Beverage Bulletin April 2010

California Beverage Retailers Association

P.O. Box 56686

Sherman Oaks, CA 91413

(818) 788-8120


April 1, 2010

In this issue:

New Building Codes


Marketing News


President Obama settles a Bet with Beer

Chile Wineries Hit by Earthquake

New Study Predicts Consumers Will Continue Eating at Home as Economy Improves


Tasting Notes

Upcoming Events

Brands and Comments

CBRA Membership remains Open


New Building Codes

Thinking about moving into a new building or remodeling your present business? You better complete it before January 2011. Read the following:

California approves mandatory green building code

In January, California approved the most stringent, environmentally friendly building code standards of any state in the nation. Dubbed Calgreen, the code will take effect in January 2011 and will require builders to divert 50% of construction waste from landfills to recycling, use low pollutant paints, carpets, and floorings, and install plumbing and metering systems that cut water use. For commercial buildings, the code also requires the inspection of energy systems to ensure that heaters, air conditioners, and other mechanical equipment are working efficiently.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger praised the new regulations, saying the new rules will help the Golden State reduce greenhouse emissions and achieve 33% renewable energy by 2020. "With this first-in-the-nation mandatory green building standards code, California continues to pave the way in energy efficiency and environmental protection,” Schwarzenegger said. “Today’s action lays the foundation for the move to greener buildings constructed with environmentally advanced building practices that decrease waste, reduce energy use, and conserve resources.”

ABC Rules changes. The ABC has announced changes in Rule 130 to require flavored malt products to show alcohol content on the label. The change is going through administrative process. It will be effective immediately when the process completes since it will make ABC rules the same as Federal rules changed last year.


Marketing News

The Better Business Bureau has asked Miller Coors to stop advertising new “Taste Protector” caps. The caps are not new and do not “lock out air and lock in great pilsner taste” as claimed. The ruling is not binding, but Miller says it will take it into consideration.


Information Resources has released a new study of consumer buying habits called “Zero Moment of Truth: Redefining the Decision Making Process.” The study found that 83% of consumers made their buying decision at home before starting the shopping trip. That is up from 75% in 2008 and 60% in 2007. 43% of Baby Boomers use a list based on the store ad to shop. But 62% the Millennial generation make their lists from the same flyer. This generation is faced with a need for frugality early in their lives. IR predicts that many of the Millennial generation(under 30) will adopt the shopping practices their Depression Era Great Grandparents used.

Alcohol and Weight Gain: The Wall Street Journal reports that women who drink moderate amounts of alcohol appear less likely over time to become overweight than nondrinkers, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The researchers examined data on 19,220 healthy, normal-weight middle-aged women enrolled in a study of the effects of vitamin E and aspirin on heart disease and cancer. At the start of the study, the women estimated how much beer, wine and liquor they typically drank. After 13 years, about 41% of the women had become overweight or obese. Women who said they drank alcohol moderately, no matter what kind, gained significantly less weight on average—even after the researchers controlled for factors such as smoking, diet and physical activity. Women who drank 15 to 30 grams of alcohol per day (roughly one to two shots of liquor or cans of beer) were 30% less likely than nondrinkers to become overweight. The authors suggest several potential, unconfirmed explanations. One possibility: Unlike men, women burn more calories breaking down alcohol than an alcoholic drink contains.

Caveat: Few heavy drinkers were enrolled in the study. Previous studies on alcohol consumption and weight gain have produced mixed results. Subjects in the study were predominantly Caucasian, so results may not apply to women of other ethnicities.

Read the Study: Alcohol Consumption, Weight Gain, and Risk of Becoming Overweight in Middle-aged and Older Women

Banzai Beverage Company is creating a momentous sake party at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas on April 9, 2010 from 7 to 10pm. They will be hosting 15 of Japan’s most celebrated brew masters presenting over 200 of the of the world’s finest sakes ever to grace our shores.

Welcome to Sake Fever! This will be world’s largest sake event and will be open to the public so join us poolside at the Palms Hotel and be ready for an adventure. The event is in conjunction with the 36th annual UNLVino 2010 taking place in the city over the weekend. Tickets for Sake Fever are $50 in advance and $75 at the door. For tickets, go to

U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, announced a major increase in water allocations for the California Central Valley. Allocations will be 25% to 50% of the maximum allowed under the law. The increases are coming as a result of good winter rains this season. Lake Shasta, the states biggest reservoir, stands at 81% capacity; up from 55% last year. Allocations have been as low as 0 to 5% the past two years. The heavier allocations ensure the thirsty vineyards that produce our bulk wine grape crops will have a good harvest in 201

President Obama settles a Bet with Beer

More was on the line than just North American bragging rights when Sidney Crosby’s overtime goal gave Canada a 3-2 win over the U.S. in the Olympic ice hockey finals. A case of beer was also up for grabs in a friendly wager between the country's leaders. President Barack Obama followed through on his hockey bet with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper by sending case of Molson Canadian north of the border. Had the United States won, Obama requested a case of Pennsylvania-brewed Yuengling. The Pottsville, Pa. brewery is not only America's oldest beer maker but also the President’s brew of choice. For good measure Obama tossed in an extra case of his favorite beer to go along with Harper’s Molson. Obama’s top representative in Canada David Jacobson made the delivery Friday and congratulated Canada on the win. The beer will not be not only be enjoyed by Harper but the whole country as the two cases will be donated to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

Chile Wineries Hit by Earthquake

The 8.8 earthquake that struck Chile on February 27 destroyed 33 million gallons, or 13% of the country's annual production for 2009. The losses were valued at $250 million. Chile's Central Valley, just south of Santiago, was hard hit. Holding tanks buckled and split; sending wine into the local streams and rivers. Irrigation and water systems were also damaged. The quake came at the beginning of the white wine harvest leaving many wineries without the ability to process the 2010 crop.

New Study Predicts Consumers Will Continue Eating at Home as Economy Improves

The shift toward eating-at-home, or Eating In, will continue even after the U.S. economy improves, according to nearly two-thirds of food industry professionals surveyed by The Food Institute. These professionals include food retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers, and brokers.


Hundreds of readers responded to the survey which concluded March 15. The combination of food inflation and the recession has had predictable and well-documented consequences. Newly frugal consumers see Eating In as an easy way to save money. Some retailers see this as an opportunity to fundamentally change their shopper value propositions. if successful, these changes will alter supplier relationships as well as the landscape for competitive food retailers, in potentially seismic magnitude and with long-lasting dimensions. This study was focused on food, but applies to beverage consumption as well. It comes after several decades of consumers moving from eating and drinking at home to drinking and dining out. If true, the implications are that retailers who gear their operations to take advantage of this trend will continue to increase business. It also means that only on-sale establishments that actively work to counter the trend will survive. Walmart and Target are two major retailers working hard to link with new consumer buying habits and take advantage of this trend. Although they operate at the middle and lower range of the shopping curve, their efforts will be felt all the way through the industry. The study is available through the Food Institute for $99.



Our industry is more controlled by laws than most others. The State Legislature and the ABC give us license privileges and take them away. More than 100 new alcoholic beverage laws have been introduced, passed, and sign by the Governor since this session started. Many critical issues are still pending. Is your business safe? Members are encouraged to look through the Legislative Bulletin. If there is a new law that is a problem for your business, call the association office now. The CBRA is your voice in Sacramento. If you are not a member, join today. The CBRA is your only voice when it comes to new beverage laws.


Tasting Notes

There were two interesting tastings in Southern California this past month. The first by the Howell Mountain Vintners Association was held at the Petersen Automotive Museum. A fun venue. When we were taking a break from tasting we looked at vintage cars. One of the most beautiful was a 1953 custom built Cadillac given to Rita Hayworth by Aly Khan. The other tasting was by the Family Winemakers of California held at the Pasadena Convention Center.


The Howell Mountain wines were all rich in color, flavors, and bouquet. All will pair well with food or stand on their own. The only fault is that most are priced at levels that are difficult to sell in this economy. There still were some good values among the offerings. D-Cubed Zinfandel '06 $37, Highlands Cab '05 $40, Ladera Cab '05 $70, Spence Cab '06 $65. Our favorite is the Spence Cabernet Sauvignon. Full bodied, deep berry flavors, and rich red color. Prices are approximate retails.


The Family Winemakers tasting featured wines from the entire state. Nearly all wines were good to fine in quality. The only fault here was that with over 200 wineries there was far too much to taste. I am sure we missed some great wines. There were some excellent values here. The prices below are approximate wholesales and this year everything is negotiable.


Justin Vineyards Paso Robles Chardonnay was fresh and clean $12, Sauvignon Blanc $10.50. Contact Jennifer Nemansk at (805) 238-6932.


Lava Cap Placerville Chardonnay clean and fresh $12, Sauvignon Blanc light grassy flavor $10. Contact Beth at (530) 621-0175.


Madonna Estate Napa Pinot Grigio light fresh flavorful will pair well with seafood $9.50. Contact Andrea Bartolucci at (707) 255-8864.


Our favorite was Kenneth Volk Vineyards Santa Maria. These are quality wines reduced in price to meet today's economy. Three Chardonnays were fresh, very light oak, with plenty of Chard flavor and character $12-$13.50. Two Pinot Noirs were smooth and mellow with berry flavors and deep color. $12-$15. Contact Mike Brown at (714) 343-0739.


Upcoming Events

April 10th & 11th 12:00pm-5:00pm San Francisco's Vintner's Market

Fort Mason Center, San Francisco 200 California Wineries will taste their wines.

April 22 11AM to 5PM Beverly Hills. The Delicious Wine Tour will hold a tasting with more than 150 wines and spirits from 30 exhibitors from all over France, including a Best Values table with a selection of quality wines under $15 retail. CBRA members are able to attend this industry only event for free. Contact the association office for details.

May 4 2-4:30 PM Los Angeles Sonoma in the City Trade Tasting 80 wineries Sonoma County Winegrape Commission and Sonoma County Vintners, in partnership with Alexander Valley Winegrowers, Dry Creek Valley Winegrowers, and Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers. CBRA members are able to attend this industry only event for free. Contact the association office for details.
May 6 Wine Warehouse Tasting San Francisco

May 26 Wine Warehouse Tasting Orange County

May 27 Wine Warehouse Tasting Los Angeles

Brands and Comments

The CBRA Newsletter has not accepted any payment from any of the brands mentioned in this edition. The editor, Ron Ziff, welcomes comments at

CBRA Membership Remains Open

Now, more than ever, access to your industry is important. The CBRA is California's only statewide association of licensed retailers, and our membership continues to be open for the first time in 20 years.

At CBRA we deal with licenses and regulations that affect the beverage business on a daily basis. That's why CBRA offers practical solutions, unique products, services, information, and timely advice for both large and small beverage businesses. With reasonable fees, superior service, and associates that are easy to reach, CBRA helps you to run your business better and easier.

California Beverage Retailers Association – We know how to get it done.