Beverage Bulletin July 2014

California Beverage Retailers Association

Beverage Bulletin

P.O. Box 56686

Sherman Oaks, CA 91413

(818) 788-8120

Ron Ziff, Editor

July 2014

This month's stories include:

Headlines - July Special Pricing, Diageo and SAB/Miller Merger Talks, Big Storms Hit French Wine Regions, Governor Brown Takes the Gloves Off, Warning Labels on Soft Drinks?, Majority Leader Sold Beer, Pom vs. Coke Lawsuit Moves On, Wineries Fight New Internet Names, Crisis Brewing in the Craft Beer Segment

Celebrities in the Industry - Dennis Rodman, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, David Beckham, Kurt Russell, Antonio Banderas

Popular Culture

Books - Nose, Legs, Body! Know Wine Like the Back of Your Hand;The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique; Vodka

TV - “Can't Get Enough of that Wonderful Duff.”

Wine - More than 500 Wineries for Sale, Treasury Sale Rumors Continue, Anjou Winemaker Wins for Fine Wine, Wine Hijacker Tracked by GPS, French Wine Burglars Caught, Bogus Wine Sellers Ask for New Court, Winemaker Arrested for Computer Hacking & Tax Evasion, Low ABV Wines on the Way Back, New Tasting Room Regs

Beer - Harry Caray's Beer Diary, Is There an Enough Beer in Brazil?, German Brewer Causes FIFA Kerfuffle, Boston Beer Financed by its Bootstraps, AB/Inbev Loses Court Battle, Want a Job? Buy a Beer!, Beer Motel Debuts, Where the Beer Beats Shampoo and Water

Spirits - D-Day Calvados to be Sold, Master Blender Sets Record, Scotch Leads UK Exports

Other Food and Beverage - The Effects of the Pom/Coke Case, Where Really Bad Food is a Hit, More Big Data Breaches, Restaurants Cut No-Shows, New Coke Cooler, Bloomberg Soda Law Killed!, Steak & Cup of Coffee: Get Ready to Pay,

Do You Need a SmartCup for Your SmartPhone?, FDA Reverses Cheese Ruling,

Safeway/Albertsons Suit Settled, Barista Scholarships

Health - Red Wine for Youth!, Which is Healthier a Mojito or a Glass of Sangria?

Recipe - Pomegranate Margarita… and as always Tasting Notes and the Industry Calendar. And a Special California Vineyard Summer Concert Calendar


There comes a time in every woman's life when the only thing that helps is a glass of Champagne.”-Bette Davis



July Special Pricing

Deciding about joining the CBRA? Do it now, during our Summer Membership Drive. Special pricing available. Email to to get a promo code that will let you join or get a year's subscription to the Beverage Bulletin for 1/2 price!

Diageo and SAB/Miller Merger Talks

As we went to press rumors were flying about a possible merger between Diageo and SAB/Miller. The merger would result in a company worth more than $100 Billion. The two companies have cooperated in the past on various projects. Speculation is that they look at the deal as a defensive move. AB/Inbev has been said to be eyeing Diageo as a lucrative acquisition target because its distribution network in Africa would provide easy access for AB/Inbev's brands to the continent without building its own distribution system.

Big Storms Hit French Wine Regions

On Sunday, June 8 a devastating hailstorm hit the Medoc. Growers reported losses of up to 85% of their grapes. 300 reported a total loss. 1,000 others reported varying levels of losses. A large portion of the loss was covered by insurance for the value of the grapes. Analysts says the problem is not the money. It's the loss of market. Currently, they are selling 2012's. Next year they will be selling 2013's. Then there will be a gap. Customers will drink other wines. Will they come back?


On June 28 a violent storm hit Burgundy with heavy hail. This is the 3rd year in a row of hail storms in Burgundy. From Chassagne-Montracehet and Beaune in the South and Nuit-St-Georges and Morey-St-Denis in the North there are reports of 50%-80% crop loss. Other areas reported 25%-30% loss. Closer estimates of the damage will be coming in the next few weeks.

Governor Brown Takes the Gloves Off

Governor Brown signed into law AB2130. It repeals the regulation that required bartenders to wear gloves to add garnish to drinks and waiters to wear gloves to put the finishing touches on a customer's plate. The regulation was scheduled to go into effect July1.

Warning Labels on Soft Drinks?

The California Senate has passed a bill which would require warning labels on more than 500 brands and types of beverages because they are sweetened with various sugars. Included are Coke, Pepsi, V-8, Capri Sun, Minute Maid, Ocean Spray, Welch's, and many others. The bill is opposed by the California-Nevada Beverage Association. The association is stepping up its efforts to fight the bill in the State Assembly.


Kevin McCarthy (R-California)


Majority Leader Sold Beer

Kevin McCarthy (R Bakersfield, CA) has been elected the Majority Leader in The House of Representatives. He appears to be a good choice because before going into politics, he operated his own Deli in Bakersfield with a Beer and Wine License!

Pom vs. Coke Lawsuit Moves On

Pom Wonderful won the right to sue Coca-Cola. The US Supreme Court ruled that the lawsuit could go forward. What is at stake is whether the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or the Lanham Act which controls false advertising prevails. Pom had argued that a “Pomegranate Blueberry Flavored Blend of 5 Juices” made by Coke was mislabeled because it only contained 2 teaspoons of pomegranate and blueberry in a 59 ounce bottle. Coke argued that the ingredients met the requirements because it listed the ingredients in order of quantity. Pom said that the words Pomegranate and Blueberry were far larger than anything else on the label but were only 0.5% of the juice. The other 99.5% was Apple and Grape juice. The Supreme Court voted 8-0 to support Pom. Justice Breyer abstained. The FDA also lost some of its authority to approve labels in the decision. This is one of the biggest business related cases in years. Read below what other effects it will have.

Wineries Fight New Internet Names

U.S., Australian, and French wineries joined at the ICANN conference to lobby against new internet domaine names like .vin and .wine. They vintners claim they will have a difficult time defending their brand names. They also claimed the change would allow cheap wine to be foisted on consumers.

Crisis Brewing in the Craft Beer Segment

Craft brewers face an impending shortage of hops. Hops are used to flavor and give bouquet to beer. Today's Craft Beers and IPA's are heavily laced with these flowers that resemble small pine cones. The growth of the craft beer segment from less than 5% to nearly 15% of the market from 2011 to 2013 has created a hops shortage. Hops sold for $1.88 a pound in 2004 and went to $3.59 a pound in 2013. The ingredient is expected to hit $10 a pound later this year. Growing costs caused some Oregon farmers to get out of the business. Oregon hops farms dropped from 6,370 acres in 2008 to 4,786 in 2013. It is possible to replant and expand production, but it takes 3 years for the vines to flower. Meanwhile, Craft Brewers could be forced out of business by high costs or just not getting enough hops to brew their beers. The solution for some may be a shift to lighter lager style brews.

Celebrities in the Industry

Hall of Fame basketball player, Dennis Rodman, has partnered with Premier Brands to make his own Bad Ass Vodka. He is touring and promoting the brand. Earlier this year Rodman traveled to North Korea and made a gift of a case of the liquor to dictator, Kim Jong Un. Rodman says he could bring peace between the U.S. and North Korea if he can get the leaders of the two countries to toast with his vodka. Sure thing.





Maksim Chmerkovskiy, of Dancing with the Stars, used to promote Svedka and Three-O Vodkas. Apparently, he liked the gig. Now he is on tour promoting his own Denim Vodka. There are major events at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City and other locations. But you might just run into him making an appearance at a local liquor store.


David Beckham and Diageo have partnered to create a Scotch for “those who have always wanted to try whisky.”


Kurt Russell has opened a new tasting room called “The Wine Saloon” at his Gogi Winery in Los Alamos. Russell specializes in Pinot Noir. Gogi is a nickname he had as a kid.


Antonio Banderas has owned 50% of the Bodega Anta Natura in Ribera del Duero, Spain since 2009. The winery was renamed Anta Banderas at the time. It was founded in 1999 by Federico and Teodoro Ortega who retain 50% ownership. The winery produces 1.5 million bottles a year. The partners plan international expansion of distribution. Recently, Banderas separated from Melanie Griffith, his wife of 18 years.

Popular Culture


Len Napolitano, author and resident of Templeton California, was named to the Author's Guild. The Author's Guild is an award given each year at Book Expo America, a publishing industry trade show. Napolitano's book, Nose, Legs, Body! Know Wine Like the Back of Your Hand, won the award. The book is a How To guide to the art of tasting and choosing wines. Napolitano was the first self publishing author to win the award.


The Bar Book: Elements of Cocktail Technique by Portland bartender Jeffrey Morganthaler. A professional bartender's how to book on the essential techniques of the skill. Includes juicing, blending, garnishing, carbonating, stirring, and shaking; what kind of ice to use and how to choose it. Over 60 recipes with step by step photos guiding you all the way to looking and being a pro. 284 pages, hardcover $30, Amazon $18, Kindle version $7.99.


Vodka by Victorino Matus, 252 pages, $26.95. The book is more about marketing than Vodka. It first sets out that government standards make Vodka “without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color.” Then it goes on to trace the marketing that built the brands. Smirnoff, Absolut, and Grey Goose are examined in detail. Then the stories of several craft brands are discussed. Among the success stories is Tito's. Tito started out trying to sell 2 cases a day. In 2013 he sold 1.2 million cases. The book is a good study of prestige brand building by New York ad agencies.


Can't Get Enough of that Wonderful Duff.” Homer Simpson is enjoying popularity in Australia. On The Simpsons he enjoys cheap, watery, Duff Beer. Now an Australian brewery is producing the stuff and selling it in 12 ounce cans. At Moe's Tavern, outside Sydney, fans can get Homer's other favorites; Krusty Burgers, Duffalo Wings, and Lard Lad Doughnuts.


More than 500 Wineries for Sale

The St Helena branch of Silicon Valley Bank has released a report that says more than 10% of winery owners are planning on selling within the next 5 years and 31% would sell under the right circumstances. Of the 4,989 West Coast wineries 524 said they would sell. According to author, Rob McMillan, This represents a generational change as many owners are looking to retire. Other factors according to industry observers include having to work much harder to market their own wines during the recession.

Treasury Sale Rumors Continue

Treasury Wines Estates announced a one time write down of $244 million. The company is continuing to cure problems and reset. Earlier this year KKR had made an offer to buy Treasury for $2.9 Billion. Rumors have surfaced that Constellation Brands and LVMH are evaluating a possible acquisition.

Anjou Winemaker Wins for Fine Wine

French wine maker Olivier Cousin was ordered by a French court to pay damages of 1 to Federation Viticole Anjou Saumur. The association had asked the governing body and the court to fine him 5,000 for mislabeling his wine and damaging the reputation of other Anjou producers. Cousin had left the Apellation Controlee in 2005, but continued to use the name “Anjou” on his labels. He said the wines produced under the Controlee standards were “industrial” and used additives like sulphites. They sell in the French supermarkets for less than bottled water. He makes his wines naturally. He contended that the group had wrongfully taken over the name, Anjou, which is the name of the region. The 1 fine was merely symbolic. He and his lawyer were ecstatic at the decision. They said the decision “was a slap in the face for the authorities.

Wine Hijacker Tracked by GPS

Reinier Hernandez-Orta pulled his truck cab into a Florida trucking depot and hooked up a 53 foot truck trailer containing $500,000 worth of wine. Both the cab and trailer were the same color, so it looked good. The real owner of the trailer saw him pull out of the depot and head down the road. For the next few hours the Florida Highway Patrol tracked him by getting live reports from dispatchers watching GPS data from the trailer. They caught up with him on Lake Worth road heading east out of Palm Beach. When they stopped him, Hernandez-Orta first admitted that he was the only driver of the cab. As HP Officers questioned him further, he switched to asking for a lawyer. The trailer and wines were returned to the real trucker.

French Wine Burglars Caught

Five men have been arrested in Bordeaux for stealing high end wine to order. They dealt in Petrus, Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Le Pin, and D'Yqeum. Wine worth 300,000 was found in a warehouse. Three are being held in prison and two are out on bail. French authorities were pleased at the results of the operation which netted both the thieves and their fences. The law enforcement team was led by Colonel Frederic Bonneval.

Bogus Wine Sellers Ask for New Court

Lawyers representing the Antique Wine Company against a lawsuit filed by Julian LeCraw in Atlanta have asked the judge to dismiss the case so it can be argued in the UK. LeCraw is suing for $100,000 he paid for a bottle of D'Yquem 1787 that turned out to be fake.

Winemaker Arrested for Computer Hacking & Tax Evasion

Swiss Winemaker, Dominique Giroud, has been arrested for hacking into computer systems of journalists. He had been under investigation since 2008 when he built a huge winery. In 2011 it was revealed that he owed the government 9 million Swiss Francs in unpaid taxes. Apparently, Giroud was concerned who in his organization leaked the information on his taxes and was trying to find it in reporter's computers. He was arrested along with a professional hacker and another unidentified person. He could face a 5 year sentence for stealing computer information.

Low ABV Wines on the Way Back

Lower alcohol wines are making a comeback with younger drinkers. Wines with 9% to 11%ABV are slightly sweeter than the heavy hitting 13.5% to 15% bottlings. The lower alcohol wines are made by arresting the fermentation before all the natural sugar is turned to alcohol by yeast. The result is wine that is more flavorful, easier to drink, and not as intoxicating.

New Tasting Room Regs

The city of Sonoma has imposed new rules on tasting rooms. They apply to tasting rooms that serve wines and beers from various makers. Hours of 11AM to 10PM, a limit of 26 special events a year and have them indoors. The rules apply to new and existing establishments and there is no cap on the number of tasting rooms. Industry members favored the rules, some locals wanted more restrictions.




Harry Caray's Beer Diary

Chicago sports broadcaster Harry Caray's diary was recently read and reviewed by the Miami Herald. In 1972 he was covering the White Sox and kept a “Day Book”; 8 of them. He visited bars 288 consecutive days. He recorded the names and locations of Chicago's best watering holes (61 of them), what he drank (mostly beer), and a who's who that drank with him. Among them Wilt Chamberlin, Don Drysdale, Jack Dempsey, Charley Finley (owner of the Oakland A's) and Jack Benny. Why did he keep the diaries? In the 70's and 80's you could deduct a 3 martini lunch if it was business related and you recorded who you entertained. Harry entertained daily. Why did he visit so many bars? A friend says liked the bartenders. He considered them his fans and liked being with them.

Is There an Enough Beer in Brazil?

At the FIFA World Cup Soccer in Brazil the events went smoothly with one exception. There weren't enough Beer stands. FIFA, the governing body, had to push Brazil to allow beer sales in the stadiums for the tournament. But, even then there just were not enough concession stands installed. The lines were sometimes hundreds long. Tony Gruner, a fan who traveled from Germany lamented “The service level is very low. We must relax and get into the flow of the country.”


German Brewer Causes FIFA Kerfuffle

German Brewer, Gaffel Kolsch has produced a collector's series of bottles depicting the flags of the 31 countries participating in the World Cup Soccer Tournament. Gaffel Kolsch is under investigation by the Iranian Sports Minister, Mohammad Abbasi, who is trying to figure out how to protect his country's rights under international law. The Iranian flag is depicted on beer labels along with the words in Farsi “God is Great.” Alcohol is forbidden under Islamic Law and the use of the flag and slogan are an insult against the Islamic Republic.

Boston Beer Financed by its Bootstraps

Jim Koch got his initial $240,000 financing for Boston Beer's Sam Adams by promising investors a stake in the business and free beer for life. Then he floated his IPO by printing coupons on the bottom of 6 packs that allowed buyers to send in $500 and buy shares for $15 each, as well as enjoy the beer they had purchased. Now, Boston Beer is the U.S. largest American owned brewery because all the bigger companies were bought out.

AB/Inbev Loses Court Battle

AB/Inbev has lost its trademark battle with Czech company, Budvar, in another country. A court ruling in Portugal ratified Budvar's previous trademark filing as prior and superior to AB's filing. The ruling is final. The legal battle continues in more than 50 cases in many countries.

Want a Job? Buy a Beer!

Brennan Gleason recently graduated from the University of Fraser Valley in British Columbia with a degree in graphic design but couldn't find work. His hobby is home brewing. The only logical step was to put the two together. Brennan printed his resume on several 4-packs of his Blonde Ale (6.9% ABV) which he named Resume-Ale and sent them out to agencies in Vancouver. He got back three job offers and accepted one at digital marketing agency, Techtone.

Beer Motel Debuts

The Dogfish Inn in Delaware will be the nation's first beer theme motel. The room will have beer soap and no mini-bar, but a fridge where you can cool beer you get from finding hidden stations on the motel grounds. Bicycle trails from the inn lead to a brewpub and the Dogfish craft brewery.

Where the Beer Beats Shampoo and Water

The Nashville International Airport has new permits from state and local agencies that allow travelers to take cups of beer from bars through security to the waiting areas for planes. The new rules apply only to open cups of beer. Bottles of shampoo and water are still forbidden. The change was made in order to allow tourists to try local craft beers and to ease the wait times.




D-Day Calvados to be Sold

Normandy Calvados maker Boulard made only 15 bottles of the Apple Spirit Vintage 1944 and named them “Calvados Boulard Cuvee Ike.” On June 6, 2014, the 70th anniversary of D-Day the company presented a bottle each to President Barack Obama, French President Francois Hollande, and Alexander Richard Eisenhower, Great Grandson of General Dwight Eisenhower. One bottle was retained by Boulard. The other 11 were put up for auction and expected to bring about $2500 each which is being donated to veterans charities.

Master Blender Sets Record

Jim Beveridge has been the Master Blender for Johnnie Walker for 14 years. He is only the 6th Master Blender since the company was founded in 1820. That's fewer than English Monarchs or Popes during the same time. It is a rare position.

Scotch Leads UK Exports

Scotch exports in 2013 were $7.2 billion. That is nearly 25% of all UK exports. $1.4 billion was sold to the U.S.

Other Food and Beverage

The Effects of the Pom/Coke Case

The Pom/Coke decision will have far reaching effects on the food and beverage industry. They include:

  1. The FDA and ATF have been the last word in label approval. Now the courts have a say in it and consumers and businesses can bring the issue to court.

  2. Both the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Lanham Labeling Act have to be considered in making label decisions.

  3. Coke will now be forced to do a couple of things: Change the label or Change the recipe. Look at all the other labels in its product family.

  4. Other companies will have to reevaluate their labels.

  5. Companies have to realize that if they push the limits on labels, it can also cost them a lot of money.

  6. This case opens the door to a new generation of lawsuits for companies that have created new products and had to face knock-offs that use cheaper ingredients to sell at lower prices.

  7. The word “Natural” has not been defined by the law and the FDA has spent years without defining it. Now, the courts may do it for the FDA.

    Where Really Bad Food is a Hit

Do you enjoy fine dining in SFO or LA? Well, you wouldn't fit in in Hong Kong. There the current fad is to find the worst food at the worst restaurant. Diners compete to find the ultimate. Then talk about it endlessly on the Web. Of the city's 11,000 eateries, Ming General Sushi currently has the honors (or notoriety). Diners complain online about the quality of the food, the tasteless sauce, and the limp wraps that should be crisp. Then they line up nightly by the hundreds to test themselves against Ming General's daily special.

More Big Data Breaches

P.F. Chang's has had a data breach from sometime in early March through May 19. Thieves apparently got magnetic stripe data from customer credit cards. The company is investigating which locations and dates were involved with the help of the U.S. Secret Service.


A Vancouver Washington company that provides data center and credit card services to franchise restaurants from a number of chains reported a breach that ran from February 28 through April 18. Information and Supplies (I&S) says that customer credit information was obtained by the hackers. The method of entry used was the same as in the Target breach. A third party vendor's computer was hacked. The password info found there was used to gain access to the I&S credit card system.

Restaurants Cut No-Shows

Some East Coast restaurants are experimenting with having patrons pay when they make reservations. The customers buy a ticket online that entitles them to a Prix Fix dinner including tax & tip. Jose Garces (also an Iron Chef) says no-shows at his Volver have dropped from 14% to near zero. Other restaurants are requiring a $20 deposit for a bar seat reservation. The deposit can be used against drinks and finger food.

New Coke Cooler

Coca Cola has developed a new “Bio-Cooler” to provide cold drinks in parts of the world that are hot but have no electricity for refrigeration. The cooler works by evaporation. There are plants growing on top of the cooler. When they are watered a chamber underneath is cooled. As the water evaporates cooling continues. The inside of the cooler can keep several drink cans chilled. If the sun hits the cooler it works even better.

Bloomberg Soda Law Killed

The New York Supreme Court turned down New York City's appeal of a lower court decision that canceled the ban on large soft drink containers. The refusal leaves the prior decision in place. The ruling stated that city's Health Board overstepped its authority and can not regulate drink size. New Yorkers can now take a sigh of relief and a Big Gulp!

Steak & Cup of Coffee: Get Ready to Pay

Look for higher prices in the coming months on coffee and beef. The Central American coffee plantations are being devastated by a disease “Coffee Leaf Rust.” The disease can infect and destroy an entire plantation in a few days. Meanwhile, the drought in Brazil continues. Shortages loom. The beef industry has become profitable again causing ranchers to keep calves on the range to replenish their herds. Without this year's feeder cattle entering the beef supply chain, retail prices on everything from filet to sausage are sure to rise.

Do You Need a SmartCup for Your SmartPhone?

Vessyl, a new cup is coming. Pour a liquid into your cup and then check the Vessyl App on your Smart Phone. It will tell you what beer, whiskey, soda, or fruit juice you poured in. Identify it by brand. Then it will give you the exact quantity, calories, caffeine, sugar, protein, sodium, and breakdown of all its components so you know what you are putting in your stomach. It will ship early in 2015 for only $199 a cup. You can pre-order now for just $99.

FDA Reverses Cheese Ruling

The FDA has cited several cheese factories in New York for aging cheese on wooden surfaces. The practice has been standard for well over a thousand years. The FDA considers it unsanitary because bacteria can be harbored on the surface and within the wood. The FDA requires all surfaces that come in contact with finished product to be cleanable. But wait... after a big flap in the cheese industry and calls from Congress, the FDA reversed its position. It now says it was misunderstood and really didn't mean to outlaw wood. For cheesemakers the issue is vital. Wood helps control moisture during the aging process and does harbor friendly bacteria that help give the cheese flavor.

Safeway/Albertsons Suit Settled

Safeway has settled a shareholder class action suit over its proposed merger with Albertsons. The settlement includes early sale of its subsidiary Casa Ley in Mexico and early termination of employee stock sale restrictions. Stores in California include Vons, Pavilions, and Safeway banners.

Barista Scholarships

Starbucks has announced a new benefit for employees. The company will subsidize online college education in order to minimize turnover. The company has 135,000 employees in the U.S. and estimates 70% are current or aspiring college students. The program was announced jointly by Cliff Barrows, Starbucks US Group President, and Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University. They expect to attract 15,000 to 20,000 students. The students can enroll in ASU or have their credits transferred from other institutions. They have no obligation to continue with the company after graduation.


Red Wine for Youth!

Resveratrol in Red Wine has been found to keep your skin younger looking. Dr. Patricia Ferris of Tulane University recently reported this finding in Health Magazine. According to Dr. Ferris, it neutralizes unstable molecules so they don't damage skin cells and also helps the body make its own anti-oxidants. The result is preventing signs of aging and repairing existing lines and spots.

Which is Healthier a Mojito or a Glass of Sangria?

Which is healthier a Mojito or a glass of Sangria? Health Magazine reports that both are sweet. But the sweetness in the Mojito comes from sugar and is empty calories. The sweetness in the Sangria comes from fruit which also adds fiber to the drink which slows the absorption of the alcohol. Mojito: 185 calories, Sangria: 160 calories. Bonus: with the Sangria you get fruit slices. Eat them instead of the high calorie bar snacks with a Mojito.

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.


The Sagrantino Montefalco Tasting was held at the Terroni Restaurant under the supervision of Sommelier David Alfano.

Tenuta Castelbuono poured organic wines a 2009 blend of Sagrantino and Sangiovese. Deep flavors, full body $18 t0 $20. A 2007 100% Sagrantino Deep flavors, full body, dark purple color. $36-$40. Contact Michael Young, Palm Bay, (818) 383-5613. Distributed by Southern Wine.

Scacciadiavoli Montefalco Rosso DOC we rate as a best buy Full body, berry flavors, good nose and color $23. Contact Vinity Wine, Ned Teitelbaum or (510) 601-6010.


A tasting of Greek wines was held at Faith & Flower managed by Tyler Dow; a beautiful, state-of-the art venue in the heart of downtown LA. The tasting was ably arranged by Allison Levine of Please the Palate. Our favorite was Domaine Foundi Dry Red $17-$19 Contact Michael Pavlidis (916) 662-3397.


At the Unified Grocers annual show we found a number of Beverage and Alcohol related products. Cocktail Rx had a line of bar syrups: Simple Syrup, Lime Juice, Grenadine, and Dirty Martini packed in 375ml $3.99. Cocktail Shakers, ready to mix, just add the liquids: including Cranberry Margarita, Peppermint Martini, Pomegranate Martini, Appletini $5.99. And buckets ready to add the alcohol and freeze: Sangria, Pina Colada, and Cosmopolitan $6.99. Contact Bob Angus or (415) 272-0433.

The Spice Hunter Mulling Spices or Witches Brew Spices no sugar 10 serving packet $2.65 and Hot Buttered Rum Mix 4 serving packet $2.65. Contact Ray Guttierrez at The Remington Group or (714) 537-3663.

Monin showed a wide variety of drink flavoring syrups including Mango, Amaretto, Pomegranate, Triple Sec, Hazelnut, Irish Creme and many others. Prices vary. Contact Tony Munoz or (703) 304-3805.

Twang showed Salts flavored for Margaritas and Bloody Marys $2.50 and Beer Salts $1.79. Contact Susan Rivera (210) 226-7008.

Brix showed a line of chocolate designed to serve with dessert wines including Milk, Dark, and Smooth Dark. $2.99. Contact Robert Gianotti or (925) 640-6432.


We enjoyed Jacquart Brut NV from Reims at a tasting sponsored by Galpin Jaguar in Van Nuys, California. The wine was bright, fresh, bubbly. The bubbles were fine and the yeast delicious; everything a good Champagne should be. $34. Contact Christopher Collins at or (626) 826-1986. Available through Wine Warehouse.


The Healthy Beverage Expo by the AK PR Group of Aaron Kiel showcased a number of interesting beverages, coffee, and tea from India, Ceylon, as well as a full aisle of Chinese Teas. Of particular interest was tea from South Carolina. Christine Parks showed handmade tea from her Camellia Forest Tea Gardens in Chapel Hill. We learned that if you can grow camellias, you can grow its close relative, tea, in the same climate and soil. To get tea plants for your own garden contact Christine Parks at or go to the website

Sovereign Flavors provides many of the flavors in cordials and liqueurs. Some designed to order for your specs. Contact Garett Larson or (714 437-1996.

Vino Alcohol Removed Wine provides the wine experience without the buzz. Red, White, and Rose' in 187ml bottles with a serving glass attached retail for $2.99. Vino Beverages, Napa, California. Contact through their website

















Pomegranate Margarita


1/2 oz. Triple Sec

2 oz. Silver Tequila

1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice

1 Tablespoon Pomegranate Juice

Mix in blender with crushed ice. Garnish with a slice of lime.



Industry Calendar

7/12 Garagiste Tasting - LA

7/15 FPFC Expo - Anaheim

8/16 – Long Beach Grand Cru – Long Beach

8/17 Family Winemakers – San Mateo

8/17-19 Western Foodservice Expo-Anaheim

9/ California Wine Month-Statewide

California Vineyard Summer Concert Calendar

Music in the Vineyards, Napa Valley (August 1-24) – Concert venues include Robert Mondavi Winery, Raymond Vineyard & Cellar, HALL, Grgich Hills Estate, Frog’s Leap Winery, Domaine Carneros, Chimney Rock Winery, Black Stallion Winery and Beringer Vineyards
B.R. Cohn Winery’s Summer Music Series, Glen Ellen – Dgiin (July 26), Crazy Famous (August 16), Falcon Christopher (August 17) and The Creak (Sept. 6).
Robert Mondavi Winery’s Summer Concert Series, Oakville – Five For Fighting (July 12); Dave Koz and Friends Summer Horns 2014 with Mindi Abair, Gerald Albright and Richard Elliot (July 18); and Colbie Caillat (July 19).
Rodney Strong Vineyards’ 24th Annual Concert Series, Healdsburg – Chris Isaak (July 13), Mindi Abair (July 26), Chris Botti (August 16), and concluding with horns galore, Tower of Power (August 31), over Labor Day weekend.
Helwig Winery’s Summer Concert Series, Plymouth – Little River Band (July 12); Garratt Wilkin & The Parrotheads, “#1 Jimmy Buffet Celebration" (August 23); and Pablo Cruise (Sept.13)
The Concerts at Wente Vineyards, Livermore Valley -- Wynonna & The Big Noise (July 16); Tony Bennett (August 6); Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons (August 14); Earth, Wind & Fire (August 26); and The Beach Boys (August 27).
Vina Robles Winery Amphitheater Summer Concerts, Paso Robles –Kenny Loggins (July 12); Ted Nugent (July 13); Sarah Brightman (August 8); Dirty Heads/Pepper (August 10); Under the Sun Tour: Sugar Ray / Smash Mouth / Blues Traveler / Uncle Kracker (August 13); and Chicago (Sept. 14).
Thornton Winery’s 2014 Champagne Jazz Series, Temecula Valley – Chris Botti (July 13); Pat Metheny Unity Group and Bruce Hornsby with Sonny Emory (July 19); Jesse Cook (July 20); Love & Soul featuring, Norman Brown and Jonathan Butler (July 26); Bobby Caldwell and Keiko Matsui (August 2); Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue/Preservation Hall Jazz Band (August 23); and Al Jarreau and Vincent Ingala (August 24).

New Legislation for 2014

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. 2014

has several new laws that you must follow. New alcoholic beverage laws will be

introduced that will be effective in 2015. Many critical issues are 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.

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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