Archive for the ‘Wine Business’ Category

Nov 19, 2020

“Catastrophic” — The State of Restaurant Wine Sales

In a press release that outlined the state of depletions (sales from wholesalers to restaurants/retailers) over the past 12 months ending in September, SipSource analyst Dale Stratton described on-premise (restaurant/bar) alcohol sales this way: “The situation in the on-premise is nothing short of catastrophic and continues to get worse every day.” It’s possible that Stratton was understating the situations for restaurants and bars. This is particularly the case as many states engage in a second round of shutdowns of restaurants…

Nov 17, 2020

Wine Writing In the Age of COVID

Thinking about my 16th anniversary at the helm of FERMENTATION, it is the uniqueness of the current moment rather than the longevity of my efforts that strikes me today. I don’t think I am alone among those that write about wine and the wine industry in noticing that the wine writing space has been enveloped by a filter colored by COVID’s impact and the adjacent influences particular to the moment. The analytical effort of describing and commenting on this industry…

Oct 30, 2020

Report—Cannabis Impacting Wine and Alcohol Sales

Over the past week or so, Wine-Searcher’s W. Blake Gray has done a fantastic job of covering how Napa Valley’s powers that be are reacting to the cannabis marketplace. A little over a week ago Gray reported how Napa Valley is helping the California cannabis industry create its own AVA or appellation system for cannabis, while at the same time working to prevent a “Napa Valley” cannabis AVA. More recently, Gray covered the disagreement inside the Napa Valley wine industry…

Oct 18, 2020

Fundamental Reform of Alcohol Laws Is Coming —Are You Ready?

It is worth noting that the pandemic-induced re-invigoration of discussion concerning alcohol regulation is a phenomenon we don’t see happening in any other industry. Whether the topic is interstate alcohol shipping, producer self-distribution or restaurant sales of drinks for takeout, this kind of increased consideration of industry reform is of a type that few if any other industries besides alcohol are having. The only plausible explanation for alcohol’s unique response to the pandemic is the fact that so much of…

Oct 11, 2020

Wine Wholesalers and Lawmakers Are Playing Chicken With Amazon

I watched a committee hearing last week that heard testimony concerning the proposal in New Jersey to lift the production cap that currently prohibits large, out-of-state wineries from shipping wine to New Jersey consumers. It isn’t likely to pass this year, but it eventually will. In the course of the hearing, various folks giving testimony assured members of the committee that, “no!”, this bill would not allow out-of-state retailers to ship wine into New Jersey. That soothed the concerns of…