Top Wine News of 2023

The past 12 months have shown the wine industry’s ability to bounce back, with 2023 bringing disasters and scandals, but also fresh faces, promising vintages and comeback stories.

The year wasn’t without its fair share of drama—with the collapse of the iconic New York wine shop Sherry-Lehmann and California internet merchant Underground Cellar, and the repercussions for failed Silicon Valley Bank’s hundreds of winery clients. But the news wasn’t all bad, with interesting new health research, Bordeaux’s most exciting futures campaign in several years and new positions for top winemakers in France and California. Below, click on each headline to get the full stories of the year in 2023. And buckle up for 2024!

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1. Wine Spectator Unveils 2023 Restaurant Award Winners

The art of hospitality is alive and well in 2023, evidenced by the popularity of this year’s Restaurant Award-winners reveal. A list of more than 3,500 restaurants that earned Restaurant Awards from Wine Spectator in 2023 brought a lot of buzz to the foodie world, with this year’s winners, each offering outstanding wine programs, hailing from all 50 U.S. states as well as more than 75 other countries and territories.

Posted June 26, 2023

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2. The Sad Decline of the Queen of New York Wine Stores

One of the biggest stories in wine came to light in early 2023, when news broke that legendary Manhattan wine shop Sherry-Lehmann was in trouble, behind on its taxes and running low on inventory because the company owed money to multiple distributors who refused to send the store any more wine. In addition, several customers had filed lawsuits alleging Sherry-Lehmann failed to deliver Bordeaux wines they bought as futures. The shop was facing financial ruin, and its fall from grace captured our readers’ attention for months as the story unfolded.

In March, the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) shut the store down after the owners failed to renew their liquor license. In June, Sherry-Lehmann’s landlord threatened to evict the store from its prime location on Park Avenue and 59th Street, because it owed millions of dollars in rent arrears. Meanwhile, evidence was found that certain wines were removed from the store’s affiliated Wine Caves storage facility in Pearl River and may have been resold without the owners’ knowledge. Customers who asked for their wines to be delivered did not receive them, and it appeared that some clients’ pricey bottles had been sold to other collectors to try to stave off debts.

Soon after, a joint major-theft task force of the FBI and the New York Police Department raided the shop, collecting hundreds of boxes of materials, and new lawsuits against Sherry-Lehmann owners Shyda Gilmer and Kris Green came to light, including one by a major Bordeaux-based firm that claimed more than $250,000 of 2019 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti wines it had ordered were not delivered.

Posted January 5, 2023

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