Sommelier Who (Likely) Stole Picasso Wanted for Wine Theft in Jersey; Wine Enthusiast Honors Restaurants

“Always gotta keep an eye out for those cameras!”

• Last week we relayed the tale of a New York sommelier being held on $5 million bail in connection with a brazen Picasso theft from a San Francisco gallery that got caught on a security camera. Well, it turns out there was already a warrant out for Lugo’s arrest in New Jersey for the theft of $6,000 worth of wine from a wine shop, which was also caught on a security camera. [Examiner, NJ.com]

Wine Enthusiast unleashed their list of the 100 Best Wine Restaurants in the nation this week. Needless to say, it’s a lot to read. [Wine Enthusiast]

• To cork, or to screwcap? The debate rages on! [Yakima Herald]

• Cheap-stuff news: Among “table wine” brands, Gallo’s Barefoot label ranks No. 1 in sales over the last year, with Franzia box wine at No. 4, and Gallo Family Wines at No. 9. [Wines and Vines]

• Expensive-stuff news: “The spotlight is unexpectedly shining on the Aube, and its primary growing area, the Côte des Bar,” which the Times explains is the “workaday” region in the southern part of Champagne that produces much of the grapes for Champagnes but rarely gets any attention. [NYT]

• A company called Hawks for Hire lends out hawks to wineries, for just a week or two per year, in order to scare off smaller birds that feast on wine grapes. [KMTR]

• According to a new study, albeit one commissioned by the Oregon Wine Board, the economic impact on the state by the Oregon wine industry has nearly doubled since the last study in 2005. [AvalonWine]

• Northern California’s winemakers remain obsessed with the weather, and the super-cool summer, with temps staying pretty low this week and next and likely further delaying the harvest, much like they did last year. Also, they’re upping their own education about climate change. [St. Helena Star, Vancouver Sun]

Sommelier Who (Likely) Stole Picasso Wanted for Wine Theft in Jersey; Wine