Beverage Bulletin August 2017

California Beverage Retailers Association

Beverage Bulletin

P.O. Box 56686

Sherman Oaks, CA 91413

(818) 693-5561

Ron Ziff, Editor

Ben Ziff, Publisher


August 2017


The wine that is used in the most sacred celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice must be natural, from the fruit of the grape, pure and incorrupt, not mixed with other substances. Great care should be taken so that the wine well conserved and has not soured,” - From Pope Francis in a letter describing the duties of Bishops sent by Cardinal Robert Sarah in July 2017. At the same time gluten free bread was banned for use in Communion.

In this month's edition:

Headline News Stories-Who Won't Pay for the Wall?, Shipping Changes, Chateau Phelan-Segur Sold, Anchor Brewing Sold To Sapporo


Celebrities in the Industry-Josh Groban, Kelsey Grammer, 50 Cent, Martha Stewart


Popular Culture-Motorcycle Wine, Next Generation Beer, Pop a Cork


Books-Around the World in Eighty Wines, Burgundy: Twisted Roots, Amaro


TV & Movies-Rioja Romance


Politics-Presidential Menu, TPP and Wine, NAFTA and Wine, North Korea,

Wine Grapes and FSMA


Wine-Massive French Wine Fraud, New Zealand Wine Fraud, UK Wine Fraud, Winery Embezzler, Winery Sued, Counterfeit Krug, Vineyard Saved from Fire,
Walmart Wine Scores Victory, Champagne Shift to Brown Glass. Vineyard Robot

World's Top Selling Bottled Wines for 2016, Lesser Known Grape Varieties, Italian Wine Yields Down, Penfolds Grange 1951 Sells for $51,750, Chilled Dom Perignon in an Hour, Ancient Wine Factory


Beer- Homebrew Recipes, Constellation Buys Craft Brewer, Goldman Sachs Downgrades Brewers, Orwell's Pub, Craft Ale vs. Craft Lager, Ancient Chinese Beer, Beer Saves Man's Life, When a Cold Mug of Beer Just Isn't Enough, Bottles & Cans, What's in your Glass?


Spirits-Mexico Drink Warning, I'll Have What She's Having, Counterfeit Scotch, Rare Scotch Auction Record, One Drink Limit, The Archaeologist Gin, Top Bourbon Bars, The World's Top Selling Brands of Gin, Most Popular Liquor Brands by State, Copper Mug Warning, Rare Cognac, Bullfight Drinking Ends


Other Foods and Beverages-Yappy Hours, Coke Zero, Judge OK's Beverage Tax,

Avocados in Short Supply, Starbucks Buys Out Chinese Partner, Take me Out for a Hot Dog, Hot Dogs & Marshmallows, World's Biggest Cheeseburger

The Changing Market-Food Brands On the Way Out

Recipes-Hemingway Daiquiri


Health-Fewer Falls, More Words, Better Use of Words, Part of a Healthy Lifestyle,

A Longer Life


and as always Tasting Notes and the Industry Calendar


Headline News Stories

Who Won't Pay for the Wall?

The Border Tax to pay for “The Wall” has quietly died in Congress. Speaker Paul Ryan said “There are just too many unknowns.” Among the “knowns” we can still enjoy Tequila, limes, avocados, guacamole, and Corona without a 15% tax.

Shipping Changes

UPS and Fedex have started cracking down on retailer shipments of wine into some states. Among those states are New York and Illinois. This is not a change in law or a state crackdown. It's a change in shipper policy and enforcement of existing laws. Many retailers have individual contracts with the shippers. As they come due, new contracts prohibit shipping of wine to some states.


UPS is expanding its international wine, beer, and spirits shipping business. It will be shipping from Canada, France, Italy, Australia, and New Zealand to thirsty Asians in China, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Thailand, and Taiwan.

Chateau Phelan-Segur Sold

Chateau Phelan-Segur has been sold to European shipping icon, Philippe An de Vyvere by the Gardinier family. The details of the sale were not disclosed. The Gardinier's have owned the property since 1985. Phelan-Segur is a prime wine producing property. 2016 is reputed to be its best vintage yet. The chateau is a Cru Bourgeois, although wine quality and price put it in a league with Grand Cru Clase wines.

Anchor Brewing Sold To Sapporo

Anchor Brewing in San Francisco has been sold to Sapporo Brewing of Japan. The 121 year old company was sold for $85 million. Founded in 1896, Anchor was one of the leaders in the craft beer revival movement. The beer will continue to be made with the same recipe. The company had survived the 1906 earthquake and fire, but never reached greatness. In 1965 it was on the verge of bankruptcy when Fritz Maytag bought it for a few thousand dollars. He reformulated the beer to an earlier style and patented the process as “Steam Beer.” Then he started making other types that no one else was making. Maytag sold the company to Greggor and Tony Foglio, who have held it for the past 7 years. The sale does not include Anchor Distilling which makes Junipero Gin and Old Portero Whiskey. The distillery will become a separate company.


Celebrities in the Industry

Singer, Josh Groban, made a wine in partnership with Halleck Vineyards. The proceeds from the sale of “Find Your Light Pinot Noir 2014” go to the Groban Children's Arts Foundation. The wine is being sold winery direct to consumers for $50 per 750ml.


Rapper, 50 Cent, has sold his stake in Effen Vodka to Beam/Suntory for $60 million.


Sequential Brands Group has opened the Martha Stewart Wine Company. The wines are sold online by the bottle or through a wine club. Prices range from $12.49 to $29.99. The website features video tasting notes and “Martha's Favorites”, wine and food pairings.

Actor Kelsey Grammer, founded Faith American Brewery in upstate New York. His first bottling of Faith American Ale will be released for sale in the near future.

Popular Culture

Motorcycle Wine

Josh Cellars is the first wine brand to sponsor the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally through South Dakota. This is the 77th annual running of the event. The big question: “Will bikers drink Rose'?” The wine will be poured at every pit stop.


Next Generation Beer

Schmaltz Brewing produced a collector's edition of Symbiosis Beer for the Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas. The suds were in honor of the 30th anniversary of Next Generation.

Pop a Cork

The American Century Celebrity Golf Tournament was played on July 13. Korbel Champagne sponsored its 11th Annual Spray-Off at the 18th tee. Players paused their game to pop Champagne corks for distance. 42 celebrity golfers participated including Stephen Curry, Jerry Rice, Derek Lowe, Joe Carter, and Larry the Cable Guy. Jay DeMarcus won the second year in a row by popping his cork 75 feet. The winning pop got $5,000 for the charity of his choice.



Around the World in Eighty Wines by Mike Veseth, Roman & Littlefield, 224 pages, $24.95. Inspired by Jules Verne's book, the book starts and ends with wine merchants on St. James Street in London. The author takes a tour through the wineries of Bordeaux and Burgundy and continues on around the world through well known and obscure wine regions. The book contains greater truths and tidbits that will make good cocktail party conversation. To be released in November.

Burgundy: Twisted Roots; A vengeance in the Vineyard Mystery by Janet Hubbard, Poisoned Pen, 230 pages, trade paper cover, $15.95. Third in the series. NYPD detective Maxine “Max” Maguire travels to France with her mother and father only to get involved in the disappearance of another American and the death of a French detective. Great meals and great wines fill the pages. Like the wine, the book has a good finish.

Amaro by Brad Thomas Parsons, Ten Speed Press, 280 pages, $26.00. Featuring more than 100 recipes, Amaro is the first book to demystify the ever-expanding, bittersweet world, and is a must-have for any home cocktail enthusiast or industry professional.

TV & Movies

Rioja Romance

In last months edition we reported that The Bachelorette show was sending Rachel Lindsay and her three finalist bachelors to a winery in Spain. We can now tell you that they went to Eguren Ugarte Winery. The winery is located in Rioja, about 70 miles south of Bilbao. The winery has been family run for 150 years. During the show she was serenaded by a man with a guitar. He is Vitorino Egarte, the owner who wanted a cameo. The wine has won many awards. If you would like to retrace the steps of the TV show, you can rent one of the 21 rooms in the winery hotel.


Presidential Menu

On President Trump's recent visit to France, he and French President Emmanuel Macron and their wives ate dinner at Le Jules Verne, the 2nd story restaurant in the Eiffel Tower. The group ate a selection of pate; tomato, eggplant, and zucchini; Dover sole, spinach and Hollandaise; filet of beef, brioche with foie, souffle potato with truffle sauce; warm strawberry with yogurt sorbet; and hot chocolate souffle with chocolate ice cream.

TPP and Wine

The decision by the Trump Administration to pull out of the Trans Pacific Trade Partnership (TPP) has left California wineries and other agricultural producers with heavy tariffs exporting to Asia. The void is being filled by 11 other exporting countries in 27 separate trade negotiations. Among them are Australia, New Zealand, and the EU. Also losing out are the ports of LA/Long Beach and Oakland which would have carried the traffic.

NAFTA and Wine

Negotiations to reset the NAFTA Agreement start this month. California wines are not specifically listed as one of the subjects of the negotiations. But, agricultural products, including wine, are one of the main subjects. At stake is access to sales. Currently, several Canadian provinces allow domestic Canadian wines better access to sales. British Columbia and Ontario allow grocery stores to sell Canadian wines.

North Korea

There has been a lot of talk surrounding the threats and counter threats between North Korea and the U.S. But, looking back, were there clues about what might happen? North Korea was already suffering from crop failures and food shortages after a drought that has worsened for 16 years. In late July the Pyonyang government canceled its annual Taedonggang Beer Festival. No reason was given. Is it possible this whole situation could have been avoided with a generous serving of beer? Pictured here are waitresses pouring at last year's festival.

Wine Grapes and FSMA

Bills being considered in Congress and the Senate would exempt wine grapes from the FDA's proposed produce safety rules (FSMA). The rules require growers to keep records for two years of where fresh produce is sold. Since wine grapes are rarely consumed raw, they would be exempted.



Massive French Wine Fraud

Raphael Michel, Chairman of one of France's largest bulk wine bottlers has been arrested and company owner, Guillame Ryckwaert, has been accused of wrong doing. The charges against both are fraud. However, the exact details have not been disclosed. Insiders say the fraud could include selling as much as 3 million cases of wine fraudulently labeled as Cotes du Rhone, Chateauneuf du Pape, and other AOC from 2013 to 2017. The discrepancies were turned up in a routine audit by customs officials.

New Zealand Wine Fraud

New Zealand's Ministry of Primary Industries has filed 156 charges against Southern Boundary Wines and three of its directors; Scott Charles Berry, Rebecca Junell Cope, and Andrew Ronald Moore for wine fraud. The charges are for selling thousands of bottles for export with labels fraudulently listing vintage, variety, and origin. The wines involved were Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Allegedly, the wines were blended and then sold as single vineyard wines. The exact number of bottles involved and wines falsified is unknown because the required records were destroyed. This is the first case brought by the ministry under the New Zealand Wine Act.

UK Wine Fraud

Three men have been arrested in London for running a phony wine investment scam. The fraud was run out of a call center on London's Fleet Street. Victims were cold called and offered returns of up to 40%. So far police have identified 39 victims who lost 1 million. No real wine was ever involved. The names of the men were not immediately released.

Winery Embezzler

Sandra Suzanne Turner of Cloverdale was sentenced to serve 3 years in state prison for embezzling $194,000 from Paul Hobbs Winery. As their bookkeeper, she wrote 119 checks to fictitious vendors. Her scheme came to light when a real vendor called about an unpaid invoice.

Winery Sued

Joseph White is suing Ca' Momi Winery for age discrimination. He was fired after being asked his age at a company sales meeting. After revealing that he was 67, the sales manager said that he was “too old” to be in the industry.


Counterfeit Krug

LVMH won its case against auction house, Acker Merrall & Condit over the sale of a single bottle of Krug Champagne Vintage 1947 that was sold for $13,500 in 2012. The bottle was counterfeit and LVMH had contended that the auction house represented it as real and damaged the reputation of their brand.

Vineyard Saved from Fire

During the recent Central Coast fires, the Bien Nacido Vineyards, home to Bob Lindquist's Qupe' and other wines, narrowly escaped burning. Michael Brughelli, the vineyard sales manager saved the day. Mike is a trained volunteer fireman and knew just what to do. He used a bulldozer to widen the perimeter road so it acted as a fire break. After the fire was over, the roadway and charred fire line outlined the vineyards that had been spared.

Walmart Wine Scores Victory

Decanter Magazine/s World Wine Awards for 2016 had hundreds of experts do blind tastings on thousand of wines. The winner of the Platinum Best in Show went to La Moneda Reserva Malbec, a Chilean wine. At the time it was sold exclusively in Walmart's ASDA stores in the UK. It's since been added to the offerings at Walmart stores in the U.S. The price: only $7.

Champagne Shift to Brown Glass

Louis Roederer started bottling in brown glass in 2010. Champagne houses, Drappier and Piper Heidsieck, have also changed to brown glass. The first brown bottles of Piper will hit the market in 2018. Brown glass blocks 99% of damaging light rays. While green glass only blocks 50% to 90%, depending on the shade of green.

Vineyard Robot

Digital Harvest, a start up tech company, demonstrated its Project ROVR (Remote Operated Vineyard Robot) at the 2017 FutureFarm Expo in Pendleton, Orgeon. The robot is an attempt to do vineyard work and solve part of the labor shortage in premium vineyards.


World's Top Selling Bottled Wines for 2016*

#10 Great Wall. China. 7 million cases. -10.2%

#9 Beringer. Napa. 7.5 million cases. +2.7%

#8 Hardy's. Australia. 9 million cases. -5%

#7 Robert Mondavi. Napa. 10 million cases. -16%

#6 Sutter Home. Napa. 10.5 million cases. +7.5%

#5 Yellow Tail. Australia. 11.5 million cases. 0%

#4 Changyu. China. 15 million cases. 0%

#3 Gallo. California. 15 million cases. 0%

#2 Concha y Toro. Chile. 16.3 million cases. +7.2%

#1 Barefoot. California. 22.5 million cases. 0%


*These figures are for bottled wine. By some measures boxed wine represents half of all wine sold. Franzia is the #1 brand in boxed wine at 23 million cases, down 8.6% for the year.

Lesser Known Grape Varieties

You know Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, and Chardonnay. But, what about Lagrein, Saperavi, or Mencia? Take a tour of 150 lesser known varieties at the website Gourmet on the Road Again. Far from a complete list. These are all grown in Australia. More than 2,200 varieties are grown worldwide.


Ancient Wine Factory

Construction workers near Beersheba in southern Israel discovered a large wine press capable of producing enough wine to fill 8,000 bottles at a pressing. The Israeli Antiquities Authority was called. The experts from the agency dated the facility to the 4th century AD.

Italian Wine Yields Down

Italian farmers association, Coldiretti, reported that yields could be around 10-15% lower than 2016 overall, with regions such as Franciacorta falling by as much as 30% due to the late spring frosts, while droughts in Chianti and other denominations in Tuscany will cause tonnage to fall by 20-30%.

Penfolds Grange 1951 Sells for $51,750

A single bottle of Penfolds Grange 1951 was sold at auction in July for $51,750, setting a new record price. Penfolds Grange is made from Shiraz grapes blended with a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon. It is generally considered Australia's finest wine. The 1951 vintage is extremely rare. It was the first vintage and never sold. Only a few bottles were produced and given to friends.

Chilled Dom Perignon in an Hour

Dom Perignon has partnered with the delivery service, Thirstie, to deliver a chilled bottle to consumers within an hour. The service is offered in New York and Miami. The wine is ordered online at Dom's website and delivered cold and ready to drink.


Homebrew Recipes

The Homebrewers Association has published the 50-State Commercial Beer Clone Recipes Guide . Gary Glass, Director said “Just about every one of the 1.2 million people in the country who brew their own beer, has considered making a career of brewing. Many professional craft brewers got started as homebrewers in their kitchens and backyards—and by sharing these recipes, we are thrilled to spread the love of beer and the art of making it.”

Constellation Buys Craft Brewer

Constellation Brands has purchased Funky Buddha Brewery in Southern Florida. Funky Buddha was founded in 2010 and is the state's fastest growing small brewer. The plans are to distribute nationwide. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Goldman Sachs Downgrades Brewers

Goldman Sachs has downgraded investments in beer companies after analyzing sales and recent sales declines in some beer brands. What they found was that millenials, who are the biggest customers of the beer industry today are leaving the category. This age group not only has no brand loyalty to beer brands, but also has no ties to the category. Now, they are leaving beer completely and are starting to drink wine and spirits.

Orwell's Pub

YouGov surveyed London pub goers to find out what they considered to be important in a pub. The survey found that they wanted a pub to serve food, have a beer garden, have real ale, and not allow children. The company compared the results with George Orwell's 1946 essay on “a ideal public house.” Orwell's pub included food, a beer garden, a staff that knew the regulars, let you use the telephone, and served beer in “strawberry pink china mugs.” Those mugs are now a thing of the past.

Craft Ale vs. Craft Lager

Craft beers generally fall into two categories: Ales and Lagers. The basic difference is in how they are brewed. Ales are brewed with a “Top cropping yeast” that floats to the top of the tank. Lagers are brewed with a “Bottom cropping yeast that sinks to the bottom. Ales brew at higher temperatures and are easier to make. Lagers have to work at a lower temperature and take much more skill on the part of the brewmaster. As craft brewers have learned their trade many have started brewing lagers. Pilsner is among the lightest of lager styles. But pilsner is a widely accepted style and easy to drink. Look for more craft brewers to start making pilsners as the industry matures.


Ancient Chinese Beer

Chicago's Field Museum has partnered with Off Color Brewing to make Qing Ming Beer, inspired by artifacts and writings found in a Chinese tomb dating back to 1,600 BC. Previously the museum and brewer collaborated to recreate an ancient Peruvian beer.


Beer Saves Man's Life

Mick Ohman's big mistake was following Google Maps. When he was returning home to Phoenix, he followed a road that got rougher and rougher. Eventually, his car broke down from bumping over boulders. He was stranded in blistering heat. Mick survived the next 3 days on a bottle of water and 2 cans of beer. He was finally rescued by a mountain biker who gave him a ride into Phoenix.

When a Cold Mug of Beer Just Isn't Enough

A Beer bath is thought to be detoxifying, improves blood circulation, and cleanses the pores. But, where can you get a beer bath? Fortunately, we have done the research and

list a few places below.

Bjorbodin Spa in Iceland offers a tub filled with beer. A tubside tap lets you fill a glass and drink while you soak.

Strakenburger Brewery Castle in Austria. Here a castle has been turned into a brewery and bathers can enjoy a dip in converted brewing tanks.

Bernard Beer Spa in Prague offers a therapeutic bath along with unlimited mug refills while you bathe.

Brewdog Beer Hotel in Ohio is scheduled to open in September 2018. Every room will have an IPA tap and showers will have a refrigerator so you can enjoy a cold one during a hot shower. Luxury suites will have an IPA hot tub.

If you want a beer bath, but don't want to travel, just do it at home. It takes about 5 cases of beer to fill a home bathtub. Go ahead enjoy!

Bottles & Cans

Jeff Lebo has collected 87,000 vintage beer containers that line the walls of his Brewhouse Mountain Eco Inn in Pennsylvania. He uses the collection as a tourist attraction to get people to stay at the inn. The collection was valued at $1.6 million in 2015.

What's in your Glass?

...and finally. George Toubbeh is suing Heineken and Kroger. He bought a six pack of beer at Ralphs Grocery in Fountain Valley, California. When he drank a can of the beer he became violently ill. His daughter looked in the can and found two geckos had been packed in it along with the beer. Toubbeh is asking for payment of his medical bills, loss of earnings, and other damages. Heineken says their beer is the highest quality and the suit is without merit.



Mexico Drink Warning

The State Department has issued a travel warning to people traveling to resorts in Mexico. They are being warned to watch out for tainted or counterfeit alcohol and to avoid over indulging. There has been a rash of tourists drinking at hotel bars; blacking out; only to wake up hours later with no idea what happened. In one recent case a Wisconsin woman died after passing out from a drink. Abbey Connor, 20, was pulled from a swimming pool after she lost consciousness. She was taken to a hospital where she later died.


I'll Have What She's Having

The Queen of England is said to enjoy 4 cocktails a day. Her daily drinks start with a pre-lunch cocktail of Gordon's Gin and Dubonnet with a slice of lemon and ice. Lunch consists of vegetables and fish accompanied by a glass of white wine and a piece of chocolate. Dinner starts with a Dry Gin Martini. She ends the day with a glass of Champagne before bed. Her former chef tells us that these are her preferences. But, in truth, she paces herself and eats and drinks very lightly because she has to appear at too many 5 course gala functions. Lunch is usually grilled sole on a bed of spinach with a side of courgettes. (Courgettes? That's Zucchini to the rest of us.) Four drinks a day is not her regular mode


The Queen's now retired chef, Darren McGrady, says that all the pots and pans date to the 19th Century and have Queen Victoria's seal on them. Elizabeth II cares about food, but prefers her horses and dogs. When he asked to replace some of the kitchen equipment, he was told that they had to save that money to buy more “horses and saddles.”


Counterfeit Scotch

A Chinese tourist paid about $10,000 for a 20ml pour of 1878 Macallan Scotch at the Hotel Waldhaus in St. Moritz, Switzerland. The incident was reported widely in the press. Then the bad news came as experts noted that the bottle was probably one of a large run of fakes that were made in Italy in the late 1990's. Hotel manager, Sandro Bernasconi, has sent the bottle for authentication. He has promised the drinker a refund if the bottle is proved fake. Hotel Waldhaus is noted for its extensive collection of rare Scotch.

Rare Scotch Auction Record

Rare Whisky 101 reports that sales of aged Scotch at UK auctions set new records this Spring. 21,617 bottles were sold from April to June 2017 compared to 12,638 during the same period in 2016. Value was 6.18 million up from 2.8 million a year ago

One Drink Limit

Peddler's Bar & Bistro in Clifton Park, New York enforces a strict rule. Parents who bring their kids to the restaurant are limited to one drink with dinner. The restaurants general manager, Melisa Gravelle, insists on making sure children are not endangered by riding with a driver who is under the influence.

The Archaeologist Gin

Custom motorcycle maker, Ehinger Kraftrad, is marketing a Gin with Harley Davidson parts in the bottles. Each bottle of The Archaeologist Gin comes with a certificate authenticating the metal parts inside. Parts include 1939 flathead camshafts, 1947 knucklehead screw nuts, and 1962 panhead rocker arms. The price tag $1,000 per 750ml bottle. The first batch is sold out. You can get on the waiting list.

Top Bourbon Bars

The Bourbon Review has named the top 99 Bourbon Bars in the country. Several are right here in California. Here's the list:

Hard Water, Pier 3, The Embarcadero, San Francisco with 200 kinds including 8 private barrel selections. “An American Whiskey Bar.” New Orleans food.
Rickhouse, 246 Kearny Street, San Francisco. Consistently one of the world's greatest bars.
Elixir, 16th & Gurerro, San Francisco. Over 450 bottles available at all times.
Bourbon and Branch, 501 Jones Street, San Francisco, behind the “Anti-Saloon League” door.
Seven Grand, 515 W 7th Street, Los Angeles. The center of Bourbon culture in LA. Includes displays in glass cases. Hidden inside is the Bar Jackalope with Japanese Whiskeys.
Bosscat, 4647 MacArthur Blvd., Newport Beach. Features over 300 Bourbon selections. Acme Bar & Company, 2115 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. A large collection of Bourbon and Mezcal.
Seven Grand, 3054 University Ave., San Diego with 400 Bourbon, offerings.

The World's Top Selling Brands of Gin for 2016

#8 Gin Mare. 146,000 cases, up 49% for the year.
#7 Hendricks. 953,000 cases. +21%
#6 Larios. 1.22 million cases. Three varieties including a strawberry flavored Rose' +17%.
#5 Seagram's. 2.63 million cases. Best seller in the U.S. +5%
#4 Beefeater. 2.7 million cases +3.8%
#3 Tanqueray. 2.9 million cases. Outsold Beefeater for the first time in 2016. +12.4%
#2 Bombay Sapphire. 3.05 million cases. +14.7%
#1 Gordon's. 4.62 million cases. +0.7%

Most Popular Liquor Brands by State

The social drinking app, BARTRENDr, analyzed the posts of its 700,000 users to find the most popular liquor in each state. In 42 states it was a whiskey brand. Jack Daniels, Fireball, Crown Royal, Evan Williams, Jim Beam, or George Dickel. Jack Daniels and Fireball tied for #1 in 15 states. States with other spirits were Colorado – Bacardi, Connecticut and Washington – Patron, New York and Massachusetts – Hennessy, Oregon – Jose Cuervo, Virginia – Grey Goose, and Wisconsin – Captain Morgan. California's favorite is Jack Daniels. The study was tilted toward the younger tastes of app users.

Copper Mug Warning

Iowa State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has issued a warning to bartenders about drinking mugs. Copper mugs are popular for serving Moscow Mules. Unlined copper mugs can poison drinkers when the copper reacts with the acid in the drink.

Rare Cognac

Remy Martin has released Louis XIII Time Collection – The Origin 1874 in a crystal decanter. Retail price: $8,000.

Bullfight Drinking Ends

...and finally. The parliament of Spain's Balearic Islands has issued new regulations on bullfighting. Of most importance to the bulls; they will no longer be killed in the fights. Of most significance to the spectators is that service and drinking of alcohol will be forbidden in the stadium.

Other Foods and Beverages

Food and Wine Magazine rated the best pizza parlors in the country. Twelve are right here in California.
Oakland –
A16 Rockridge, 5356 College Ave, 510-768-8003
Santa Monica –
Milo & Olive, 2723 Wilshire Blvd, 310-453-6776
San Francisco –
Del Popolo, 855 Bush St, 415-589-7540
LA –
800 Degrees, 10889 Lindbrook Dr, 310-443-1911
San Francisco –
Casey's Pizza Truck, 415-763-7443
LA –
Mozza, 641 N Highland Ave, 323-297-0101
San Francisco –
Flour and Water, 2401 Harrison St, 415-826-7000
San Francisco –
Pizzeria Delfina, 3621 18th St, 415-437-6800
Santa Monica –
Stella Rossa, 2000 Main St, 310-396-9250
Yountville –
Redd Wood, 6755 Washington St, 707-299-5030
Oakland –
Pizza Aiollo, 5008 Telegraph Ave, 510-652-4888
Larkspur –
Pizzeria Picco, 316 Magnolia Ave, 415-945-8900

    Yappy Hours

    Do you want to go out to eat, but can't bear to leave the dog at home? We have the answer! LA has a few good restaurants that welcome your pooch! Some even have “Yappy Hours.”
    BBCM, 8653 West Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, 310-360-6900, will serve you while your furry friend sits by your patio table.
    Lazy Dog Restaurants, 3525 West Carson, Torrance, 310-921-6080, takes it a step further with a menu for you and another menu for your dog. Why not order him a special hamburger patty?
    Nelsons, 100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes, 310-265-2836, allows you and Fido to share a meal and a panoramic ocean view from the patio. Meals for two: Hamburger & Fries, Mahi Mahi Tacos, and Fish 'n Chips. Chardonnay for you. Only water for your friend.
    The Ponte, 8265 Beverly Blvd, The Grove, 323-746-5130, Italian entrees and seafood. Alas, no doggy menu. But he can sit and watch.
    La Poubelle Bistro & Bar, 5907 Franklin, Hollywood 323-465-0807, French cuisine, pooch can sit and watch. $25 corkage for your own bottle of wine.

    Coke Zero

    Coca Cola will discontinue Coke Zero in the black bottle this month and replace it with a new Coca Cola Zero Sugar in a red bottle. The change has been tested in 25 other countries and test marketed in the U.S. for a year. It is supposed to deliver the taste of regular Coca Cola but without any sugar.

    Judge OK's Beverage Tax

    The Illinois Retail Merchants Association had sued to stop a new one cent per ounce tax on carbonated beverages saying it was vague and unconstitutional. Judge Daniel Kubasiak dismissed the case, setting the stage for implementation of the tax. It will be paid by retailers and foodservice operators on all carbonated beverages; whether they are sugared or artificially sweetened.

    Avocados in Short Supply

    Demand for avocados has been greater than supply since Spring 2016. Currently, fruit from California and Peru have been coming in at lower than normal levels, keeping prices high and guacamole scarce. Production from Mexico should hit normal levels to give price relief around October 1.

    Starbucks Buys Out Chinese Partner

    Starbucks bought the 50% of its China business owned by its Chinese partner for $1.3 billion. It now owns the 1,500 coffee houses outright. The company is on track to have 5,000 outlets worldwide by 2021. At the same time Starbucks announced that it will be closing all 379 of its Teavana stores.

    World's Biggest Cheeseburger

    ...and finally. Mallie's Sports Bar & Grill in Detroit made the world's biggest cheeseburger. It took 2,000 pounds of beef (after cooking it only weighed 1,794 lbs.), 300 pounds of cheese, tomatoes, onions, pickles, and lettuce. The bun weighed in at 250 pounds. It was served to his customers. None went to waste. The following day the leftovers were turned into taco meat and given to local shelters.

    Take me Out for a Hot Dog

    Sports Illustrated ranked Major League Baseball stadiums on food safety. The number and type of Health Dept violations was used to rank the facilities. Of the 28 stadiums listed; AT&T Park in San Francisco is 14th with 88 violations, Petco Park in San Diego is 15th with 119, Angel Stadium is 23rd with 59, Dodger Stadium 25th,, with 247, and the Oakland Coliseum 27th with 131. Safeco Field in Seattle was rated the safest with only 1 violation.

    Hot Dogs & Marshmallows

    Ivanka Trump served a Filipino meal at daughter, Arabella's, 6th birthday party. In the Philippines hot dogs topped with melted marshmallows is considered great party food. Why this was the choice for this 6 year-old's party remains a mystery.

    The Changing Market

    Food Brands On the Way Out

    There has been much written about consumers buying more fresh and natural foods. But where is that increase coming from? Consumers can only eat so much. The fact is that there is tremendous downward pressure on national brands of packaged foods. Among the companies that are having the most trouble: Kelloggs, General Mills, Conagra. Individual brand problems: Hamburger Helper sales dropped 13% in one year as people bought less ground beef. Chef Boyardee is losing sales to private labels and Conagra is closing one of its Boyardee factories. Candy of all types is declining in sales, Tootsie Roll has been hit the hardest losing 11% of sales in one quarter. Consumers are shifting to Greek style yogurt; Yoplait sales dropped 11% in 2016 and another 20% in the first 3 months of 2017. Kelloggs and General Mills sales have declined as people eat oatmeal, breakfast burritos, and all sorts of things besides cereal. Butter sales are up and margarine sales are declining. All packaged bread is losing sales as people trended away from carbs and, more recently, gluten. White bread sales have been hit the hardest. Chewing gum sales are off 10% since 2010 and are predicted to fall another 20% by 2020.


    The Atlantic reported in a recent edition that Americans that were hit hard by the Great Recession are recovering slowly. They don't have the optimism of Millenials or the resources of Baby Boomers who retired before the meltdown. They are largely responsible for the decline of national brands and the growth of private labels. Their recent financial strain trained them in frugality.

    Corporate Debt

    What entertainment company is up to its ears in debt? It's Netflix. Netflix has 104 million subscribers, up 25% since a year earlier. It accounts for one third of all prime time internet download traffic in North America. It produced more than 50 original shows to get 91 Emmy nominations this past year. What's the problem? $20.54 billion (with a b”) in debts.


    The Hemingway Daiquiri was created in Cuba for Ernest Hemingway. They say he loved it so much that he always ordered a double, which gave it a nickname “Papa Doble.”

    1 ½ oz. white rum
    ¾ oz. fresh lime juice
    ¼ oz. fresh grapefruit juice
    ¼ oz. maraschino liqueur
    Garnish: lime wedge

    Shake ingredients with ice, strain into a chilled glass and garnish.



    Fewer Falls

    A study published in Osteoporosis International showed that moderate drinking in older adults resulted in 20% fewer falls. The study watched 2,000 adults over the age of 60 and took place over a 3 year period. Moderate drinking was considered to be fewer than 40 grams of alcohol a day for men and 24 grams a day for women. The Internal Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research commented on the study saying that their own research showed that moderate drinkers required far less hospitalization for falls.

    More Words

    Are you a budding author suffering from “writer's block.” The University of Graz in Austria has discovered that a drink could unlock your creativity. A pint of beer does it for men; 350 ml for women. The alcohol works by removing perceived barriers. Test subjects scored 40% better on word association and creative tasks. They didn't do as well on dancing or painting.

    Better Use of Words

    In a study published in Scientific Reports researchers at the University of Exeter found that alcohol use helped memory. A group of people were given a word learning task. Then they were divided into two groups. One group drank alcohol the other group did not. The next day the drinkers were able to perform the word task better than the non-drinkers.

    Part of a Healthy Lifestyle

    A study published in Health Affairs showed that a healthy lifestyle including drinking in moderation can add up to 7 years to your life expectancy. "We've done a lot of work on looking at individual behavior—poor diet and exercise, smoking, drinking alcohol in excess—but we haven't really focused on healthy lifestyles as a whole," Dr. Neil Mehta, professor of health management and policy at the University of Michigan. The study covered 14,084 participants over the age of 50 for a 14 year period.

    A Longer Life

    ...and finally. Florence Bearse of Maine just celebrated her 100th birthday. She credits her long life to a daily glass of red wine. Earlier this year Bob Weighton, the oldest man in the UK said he enjoys sausages and “a refreshing glass of German wine.”


    Tasting Notes

    Each month we are out there looking for wines that “over deliver”; wines that offer more than others in their category and price level. We search out the wines that you can buy to help build your business; wines that make customers happy and keep them coming back. These are wines we rate as good buys and best buys. Check our notes. The opinions in the reviews are our own and unsolicited. We receive no compensation from wineries or brokers. This month there were several wine tastings that showed some very nice wines available at reasonable prices. The prices shown are approximate retails.

    Angels' Share Wines West

    Angels' Share Wines West showed a fine selection of domestic and imported wines. We chose a few that impressed us here.

    Rose Infinie Provence Rose' 2015. Light, dry, light pink color, good nose, good food wine, 70% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, $19.99.

    Domaine Gayda in Brugairolles, France. We picked these wines as best buys. They are all sound, well made, good food wines, and reasonably priced. The labels of Flying Solo are made to look like large air mail postage stamps because a tree on the property was a landmark used in the early days of flying.

    Flying Solo White 2015, fruity flavors, good nose, medium body, $13.99

    Flying Solo Rose' 2015, light pink color, good nose, $13.99

    Flying Solo Red 2015, deep ruby color, full body, fruity, good nose, $13.99

    Carabella Oregon Wines. The Chardonnay 2013 was clean and clear, good nose, full body, aged in French Oak, $24. Pinot Noir 2012, true flavors, dark ruby, good nose, 18 months in the barrel, will age well for years, $42. Plowbuster Pinot Noir 2013, grown in volcanic soil, good flavors, light ruby, medium body, a good buy at $24.99.

    Adamvs Teres Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Howell Mountain, full body, dark ruby – almost black, structured, will age well for 20 years, can only be described as “Wow!” $139.

    For all Angels Share Wines West contact James Endicott, Sales Manager, or 718-407-4121.


    Cohen Siderow Wine Imports

    Cohen Siderow poured some excellent Portuguese and Spanish wines. We picked a few that were interesting and good buys.

    Mas Foraster Organic Wines Conca de Barbera Els Nanos Collita, 90% Tempranillo, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, good nose and dark color, structured, full body, $16.99. Conca de Barbera Trepat Rosat Els Nanos, semi-dry, rose' pink, structured, good nose, raspberry notes, good food wine, $16.99.

    Mas Rodo located in Mediona near Barcelona, Spain. Penedes Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Marsela, soft, full body, meaty, dark ruby color, good nose, good finish. $24. Penedes Incognit Negre 2013, 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 23% Tempranillo, full body, soft, good nose, a good buy at $16.99. Contact Jill Cohen, Manager at or 323-428-6963.


    Vinocity Selections

    George Russian River Ceremonial Pinot Noir 2014. This is the 15th vintage of Pinot Noir hand made and bottled by George Levkoff. This is a big wine. Bright, fruity, full bodied, good nose, light ruby color, $75.

    Darms Lane Fortune 1621 Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Napa Cab, full body, dark ruby, good nose. $29.99 a very good buy for a Napa Cab.

    Contact James Endicott or 646-522-7544.


    Industry Calendar

    8/6 Taste of Ecuador - LA

    8/9-10 SuperValu (Grocery) – Long Beach

    8/18-19 Latin Food Fest – San Diego

    8/19 7th Annual MAVA, Mexican American Vintners - Sonoma

    8/19-20 Wine and Fire - Santa Rita Hills

    8/20 Family Winemakers – SFO

    8/21 V59 - SFO

    8/22 V59 – LA

    8/24-27 LA Food & Wine Festival - LA

    8/26 Taco Festival - LA

    8/27-29 Western Hospitality & Foodservice Show – LA

    8/27-29 Sabor Latino Food Show – LA

    8/28 Revel Wines – LA

    8/29 GPS - LA

    8/30 Kimberly Jones Selections - SFO

    9/2 Whiskey Live - Pleasanton

    9/4 Labor Day

    9/16 Mexican Independence Day

    9/18 Winemonger Imports/Blue Danube -LA

    9/18 Garber/Calder Tasting - LA

    9/19 Winemonger Imports/Blue Danube -SFO

    9/21 Rosh Hashanah

    9/25 Somm Like it Bordeaux – SFO

    9/25 Wine Warehouse – LA

    9/25 Youngs Market - LA

    9/30 Yom Kippur

    9/30 Mutual Trading – LA

    9/30 LA Beer Fest – LA


    Promotional Calendar


    August 3 National White Wine Day

    August 4 International Beer Day (First Friday in August)

    August 6 National Root Beer Float Day

    August 7 National IPA Day

    August 16 National Rum Day

    August 18 National Pinot Noir Day

    August 25 National Whiskey Sour Day

    August 28 National Red Wine Day

    August 29 National Lemon Juice Day



    September California Wine Month

    September National Bourbon Heritage Month


    September 4 Labor Day

    September 7 National Beer Lover's Day

    September 9 California Admission Day

    September 11 Patriots' Day

    September 15 National Creme de Menthe Day

    September 16-October 8 Oktoberfest

    September 20 National Rum Punch Day

    September 21 Rosh Hashanah

    September 22 First Day of Autumn

    September 27 German Oktoberfest begins

    September 28 National Drink-a-Beer Day

    September 29 National Coffee Day

    September 30 Yom Kippur

    September 30 National Mulled Cider Day


    New Legislation for 2017

    Our industry has more laws controlling it than most industries. The State

    Legislature and the ABC give us license privileges and can take them away. New alcoholic beverage laws were passed that will be effective in 2016. Many critical issues are pending. Do you know about them and are you prepared for the changes. 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.

    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. One of the most valuable services we offer is that

    call to the ABC to ask your question. We can ask that question and keep you anonymous. That's something you just can't do yourself.

    Join or renew your valuable membership today. You can't afford to delay.

    California Beverage Retailers Association – California's Only Statewide Association of Licensees. We're #1!

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