Beverage Bulletin June 2014

California Beverage Retailers Association

Beverage Bulletin

P.O. Box 56686

Sherman Oaks, CA 91413

(818) 788-8120

Ron Ziff, Editor

June 2014

This month's stories include:

A Quotation from Oscar Levant

Headline News Stories -Diageo and Scottish Independence, Democrats Pay a Premium for California Wine, U.S. is #1 in Wine Consumption, Wine & Food World's Fair, Another Merger?, Warning Labels on Soft Drinks Coming?, Drought Update, A Wine by Any Other Name..., New Record Price on DRC, New Record Price on Rose', What's New?


Celebrities in the Industry - Lisa Vanderpump, Maynard James Keenan


Popular Culture – Books - Shadows in the Vineyard; Movies - Jon Favreau's Chef with Scarlett Johansen, Waitress with Keri Russell, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Ang Lee's Eat Drink Man Woman, Julie and Julia, I Am Love


Wine - Chinese Sales Strategy, Gene Research May Cure Cabernet Vine Disease, Gene Research for GMO Wines, Changes at Korbel, When is a Beverage Bottle Dangerous?, Fake Wine Club, Italian Police Find Fake Wine, Chinese Counterfeiters Move Off Shore, How Much is a Bottle of Wine Worth?, Instant Wine, On Premise Wine Sales Down 17%, More Grapes to the Acre, Treasury Economizes and Fends Off Buyers, Indian Tribe Wants Vineyard Land, School District Wants Vineyard Land, Winery Wants Vineyard Land


Beer - Craft Beer Sales Growing, Gene Research to Make GMO Beer, Only the Bitter Apples Make the Best Cider, This Month's Chuckle


Spirits – Drinksicles?, Craft Irish, New Premium Scotch, When You Don't Want Your Jeans to Smell


Other Food and Beverage - 101 Year Old Bar Entertainer, Old Coca-Cola Bottle, Red Lobster Sold, Top Delis, New Coke Dispensers


The Changing Market - New Flavor Pairs, Continued Growth in Organic Foods, Sales Up at Whole Foods


Health - Red Wine Fights Cavities


Recipes - for adult ice cream: Caramel Corn Freeze, Frozen Banana


...and as always Tasting Notes and the Industry Calendar


Work is the curse of the drinking classes” -Oscar Levant (1906-1972)

Headline News Stories

Diageo and Scottish Independence

Ivan Menezes, CEO of Diageo expressed his thinking on Scottish Independence in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal. Scotland will vote on the issue in September. He declined to take sides on the issue, but went on to say that Diageo and the whisky industry are dependent on a stable currency, membership in the EU, name protection, and the ability to trade freely. All of these are uncertain if Scotland leaves the UK. Even if an independent Scotland were to seek EU membership, it would take years to accomplish. Diageo controls 40% of Scotch production. 80% of the industry is controlled by non-Scottish companies. Diageo owns Johnnie Walker, Lagavulin, Talisker, Haig, several other labels, and a controlling interest in Whyte & Mackay. Menezes went on to say that his company cannot leave Scotland, so they have been proactive by talking with leaders on both sides of the issue.

Democrats Pay a Premium for California Wine

The Democratic National Committee held a fundraiser headlined by President Obama at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose. The wines featured at the event were Guglielmo 2012 Private Reserve Pinot Grigio and 2010 Private Reserve Pinot Noir. Brothers Gene, George, and Gary Guglielmo were proud to have their Morgan Hill wine chosen for the event. The Pinot Grigio sells for $18 and the Pinot Noir $15. The dinner cost $32,400 a plate (including the wine).


U.S. is #1 in Wine Consumption

The U.S. became the biggest consumer of wine in 2013 and France moved into the #2 position for the first time. U.S. consumption rose .5% while French consumption dropped 7%. France still leads on a per capita basis. The French still consume 1.2 bottles of wine per adult per week. That's 6 times more than the average American. The French drink 46.4 liters of wine per capita each year, while Americans drink 9.1 liters.

Wine & Food World's Fair

Milan, Italy is getting ready to host a World's Fair in 2015. The facility will host pavilions from 147 countries in 3.5 million square feet and feature 80 events daily. The fair is expected to be visited by more than 20 million people during its 6 month run from May 1 through October 31. Andrea Bocelli will sing at a pre-opening ceremony on April 30. The fair's theme is Foods and Wines of the 21st Century.

Another Merger?

There are rumors that Brown-Forman has made an offer to buy Remy-Cointreau for 90 a share. The market price hit a low of 53 per share after two bad quarters with drops of more than 30% in sales of Cognac. Cognac sales have been off because of changes in social policy in China. The offer by Brown-Forman is a premium of 37. 60% of the company's shares are owned by the Heriard Dubrieul family. The family reportedly turned down the offer. Remy-Cointteau owns Remy Martin Cognac, Cointreau, and Mt. Gay Rums. Brown-Forman owns Early Times Bourbon, Jack Daniels, Herraduro Tequila, and Southern Comfort.

Warning Labels on Soft Drinks Coming?

The California State Senate has passed a bill to put warning labels on soft drinks. The bill now goes to the State Assembly. SB 1000 would place the warning on the front of all beverage containers containing sweetened drinks with 75 or more calories per 12-ounce serving. The label, created by a national panel of nutrition and public health experts, would read: "STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay."

Drought Update

Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein allied with House Republicans to put a drought relief bill on fast track and pass it through both houses of Congress over the objections of environmental groups. The bill provides $300 million for new California water projects as well as programs for Oregon's Klamath River Valley and Lake Mead. The bills passed were Senate 2198 and H.R. 4032.


California farmers normally use 80% of the state's water. 10% of California's water goes into just the almond crop. In a normal year the state produces 1/3 of the nation's vegetables and 2/3 of the nuts and fruit. Most of this comes from our Central Valley. The country can't eat without California. The agriculture in other states is mostly centered on grain production and animal products based on the grain production. California's Central Valley usually irrigates with 34 million acre feet of water. This year the irrigation ditches are dry. Vegetable growing land is going fallow and what water is available is being used to keep trees and grape vines alive.


Two property owners in Merced have offered to pump about 100,000 acre feet of water and sell it to farmers in Stanislaus County over the next 4 years. They are asking $46 million for the water that would come from wells on their land.


The Healdsburg Water District has approved the use of treated waste water for irrigation of 25,000 acres of vineyards. The water use is subject to restrictions. It can be used for drip irrigation. It can't be used for frost prevention. State water regulations do not allow any spraying of treated waste water where it could come in contact with things that could be used for human consumption. The plan is to truck it to vineyards in the Alexander Valley, Dry Creek, and the Russian River Valley.


Jay Lund, the Director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis has published a study that shows Central Valley farmers have fallowed more than 400,000 acres this year. Lost income from the unplanted crops will be $1.7 Billion and 14,500 workers will lose their jobs.


The Australia Bureau of Meteorology reports that Pacific Ocean temperatures continue to trend toward an El Nino weather pattern for later this year. If the trend continues the threshold for the weather shift would occur sometime in July or August. An El Nino would cause drought in Southeast Asia and heavy rains in North and South America. The result would be a bad season for cocoa, sugar, and palm oil and a good year for crops coming from California and the West Coast.

A Wine by Any Other Name...

The U.S. and the European Union reached an agreement in 2006 that limited American use of European regional wine names like Champagne, Burgundy, Chianti, and 18 others to wineries that were using them at the time. Other wineries and new labels had to read “Sparkling Wine” or “Red Wine Blend.” Now, Jose Ramon Fernandez, of the European Wine Companies Committee has requested the trade negotiators open discussions on the second round of talks which, at the time, promised to change all remaining labels. The current talks include discussion of tariffs, trade protections, and wine names.

New Record Price on DRC

A case of 12 bottles of Domaine Romanee-Conti 2009 sold at auction in Chicago for $155,350. It was reported as the top priced lot at the auction held by Hart Davis Hart Wine Co. A 6 bottle lot of 2008 went for $65,725 and a single 1.5 liter of 1971 sold for $35,850. A lot of 2 bottles of La Tasche, one 2009 and one 2010, drew $38,240.


New Record Price on Rose'

A single bottle of Sine Qua Non 1995 Queen of Hearts Rose' brought a price of $37,200 plus buyer's premium for a total cost of $42,780 at an online auction on WineBid. The price shocked winemaker, Manfred Krankl. He said he is “humbled and flattered.” The winery only produces small batches and only 25 cases of the Ventura County wine were made. The 1995 rose' was never sold. It was given as gifts to friends and business associates. Later, some of them sold their bottles. It is thought that a collector bought it in order to own one of “the rarest of the rare.”

What's New?

New beverage packaging is hitting the market this summer. Each of these companies hopes to hit it big if consumers pick up their idea for new packs. Liqs is a 3 pack of premium cocktail shots including Tequila Cinnamon Orange, Vodka Lychee Grapefruit, and Vodka Cucumber Lime; price $9.99. Dos-a-Rita by Dos Equis is a 24 oz can made to compete with Budweiser's Lime-a-Rita; price $2.69. Stack Wine, a 750 ml of Pinot Grigio packed in 4 tumblers shrink wrapped together; price $11. Public House, a 3 Liter box of white wine packed with 10 plastic cups; price $38. Friends Fun Wine packed in 250ml cans; Peach Moscato, Strawberry Moscato, or White Sangria; each can is 150 calories at 6% alcohol; price $3. Autajon, a French packaging company, is introducing 3D labels for wine. The first is a Cote du Rhone with butterflies that seem to fly off the label.

Celebrities in the Industry



Lisa Vanderpump's Pump Lounge

Lisa Vanderpump, star of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules owns Sur and Villa Blanca has now opened the P.U.M.P. Lounge. You can order a “Pinky Pump Burger” or a Shepherd's Pie while people watching celebrities. The chef is Penny Davidi from Food Network Star. The upscale watering hole is located at Robertson and Santa Monica in West Hollywood.


Maynard James Keenan

Maynard James Keenan, the lead singer in the group Tool and songwriter for A Perfect Circle, is dissolving his partnership in the Arizona Stronghold Winery. He will be taking the vineyard in southern Arizona and renaming it. His partner will be taking another vineyard in Mesa Verde. The partners reportedly have not spoken in 2 years.

Popular Culture


Shadows in the Vineyard by Maximillian Potter. The true story of the 1,000,000 ransom demanded for not poisoning the vines at Romanee-Conti. Details the mystery and the ensuing manhunt. Will be released in July. $27.


Looking for a little food and beverage entertainment? Watch one of these movies:


Jon Favreau's Chef with Scarlett Johansen is reputed to be filled with mouth watering scenes featuring a Los Angeles chef.


Waitress with Keri Russell is about a waitress going through hard times. She bakes pies; lots of different kinds. The pies sell and solve all her problems.


Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a documentary about an 80 year old sushi chef, his craft, and his family.


Ang Lee's Eat Drink Man Woman features a father, his three daughters and their lovers. They cook and eat and drink their way through life and romance. Dad cooks Sunday dinners.



Julie and Julia is about Julie Powell's book in which she makes every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering The Art of French Cooking.


I Am Love is an Italian drama about a family whose son intends to open a restaurant with a great chef. The chef and the son's wife have an affair and eat lots of good food.



Chinese Sales Strategy

L'Huguenot Winery in South Africa is targeting the China market by using Chinese salespeople for coverage. Salespeople who sold $32,000 worth of wine were rewarded with trips to the winery. 240 of them made the cut. In total its sales force sold 1.5 million bottles in China last year. The company plans on launching a secondary label at a lower price point in order to double its sales.

Gene Research May Cure Cabernet Vine Disease

A group of scientists led by Dr. Walter Gassmann at the University of Missouri has isolated a gene in Cabernet Sauvignon grapevines that makes them vulnerable to the powdery mildew fungus. Vineyard owners now fight the fungus by spraying with fungicides or copper sulphate. The discovery will allow them to breed new vines that don't have the defective gene and eliminate spraying.

Gene Research for GMO Wines

Scientists at Macquarie University in Australia have joined with scientists in the U.S., U.K., China, and Singapore in an effort to develop the first artificial genes in a GMO yeast that would be used to make “perfect wines.” The flavor, smell, and sugars in wine are all the result of the action of yeast. But, the results are inconsistent. A perfect yeast would produce the right result every time, without any errors or lesser vintages.

Changes at Korbel

Gary Heck and his daughter Richie Ann are reported to be involved in maneuvering over control of a multi-million dollar stake in champagne producer, Korbel. It is said to have spilled over into a lawsuit between them about postings she made on CraigsList.


Pernod-Ricard has purchased Kenwood Vineyards in Sonoma from Korbel. The purchase gives the company a prestigious label with a nationwide distribution network. This is the company's second property in Northern California. Pernod-Ricard also acquired Mumm Napa when it bought Allied-Domecq.

When is a Beverage Bottle Dangerous?

Three Oregon women are suing supermarkets for beverage related injuries. A woman is suing Safeway for $108,000 for slicing her finger while reaching for juice in a cooler. Another woman is suing Fred Meyer for $500,000 because she stepped on broken glass in the bottle return area. Jewel Strite, an Albertsons customer had the bagger double bag her groceries. Unfortunately, he put a 1.5 liter bottle of wine in a single plastic bag. While loading the groceries into her car, the bag split, the bottle dropped out and broke, fracturing her ankle and causing other cuts and bruises. She is suing for $8.2 million. The wine was Barefoot Chardonnay.

Fake Wine Club

Danish magazine Gastro has exposed a man and wife who ran a wine club scam that put on lavish dinners at top venues around the world. Annual dues were $25,000; dinners and travel were extra. Members were treated to the world's finest wines including Romanee-Conti and Lafite Rothschild. The problem is that the wines were all fakes.

Italian Police Find Fake Wine

Italian police have confiscated 30,000 bottles of fake Brunello, Chianti Classico, and Sagrantino di Montefalco. They were tipped off by astute drinkers who recognized they were not drinking the real thing. The wines had been sold in stores and restaurants in Italy, but had not made it into the international market. The police did not identify the people responsible for the fraud.

Chinese Counterfeiters Move Off Shore

Chinese wine counterfeiters have moved their Bordeaux bottle filling activities off shore and are now making their fakes on boats and shipping them to the mainland where they can pass into commerce undetected. Xinshi Li, the President of the Chinese Academy of Inspection and Quarantine says that the counterfeiters are making Chateau Lafite and other high end Bordeaux out of cheap wine. He estimates that there are more cases of Lafite 1982 for sale in China right now than were produced by the chateau.



How Much is a Bottle of Wine Worth?

One measure of the value of a bottle of wine is how long a person has to work to buy it. The French online wine magazine La Feuille de Vigne used a cost of living index from the U.N., average hourly wage, and the average price paid for a bottle in a store to come up with the answer for 109 countries. The cheapest was in Luxembourg where it takes only 14 minutes to earn enough to buy a bottle of wine. The most expensive was Iran where it takes 60 hours. In the U.S. it takes 44 minutes, Canada 41 minutes, U.K. 29 minutes. The international average is 7 hours 15 minutes.

Instant Wine

Der Spiegel reports that Swiss water bottler, Katadyn, is selling a red powder flavored to taste like wine. Mix the powder with water and you get an 8% alcohol drink. It is being sold to hikers to take along into the mountains.

On Premise Wine Sales Down 17%

Wine sales are down 17% at casual restaurants. Wine writer, Blake Gray, has examined the wine lists at Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Ruby Tuesday, and Outback Steakhouse. He found the selections to be bleak and overpriced and speculates that's the reason for falling sales. The wine market and consumer tastes have continued to evolve while the lists stayed static, became dated, and expensive.

More Grapes to the Acre

Joe Ciatti of winery real estate broker, Zepponi Company, reports that many California vineyards were replanted between 2005 and 2013 with varieties that give bigger yields. The result was a 14% increase in harvests. The total tonnage during that time increased from 3.7 million tons to 4.2 million tons on the same acreage. The majority of plantings in the southern portions of wine growing areas have been in reds.

Treasury Economizes and Fends Off Buyers

Treasury Wine Estates announced a 5% layoff of its 3500 employees. At the same time it also announced that it had turned down a $2.9 Billion dollar offer from KKR. Along with the layoffs, CEO Mike Clarke said that the company will achieve savings through lowering office costs, IT expenses, and other savings through a smaller workforce. However, Clarke kept the door open by saying that any suitor is free to approach the company.

Indian Tribe Wants Vineyard Land

The Mishewal Wappo Indian Tribe has asked for federal recognition with the aim of opening a casino in Napa Valley. Winery owners throughout the valley are organizing to fight the request. The wineries say they don't oppose recognition of the tribe, but oppose a casino which would take vineyard land and forever change the environment in the valley.

School District Wants Vineyard Land

Napa Valley Winegrowers are fighting a proposal by the Napa Valley School District to build a new middle school. The district had negotiated to buy 20 acres at $2.7 million. The land would be the first taken out of the agricultural preserve since it was first created in 1968. The school district's plan is opposed by wine grape growers, industry groups, and environmentalists. Faced with the opposition the district has taken the item off their agenda for the time being.

Winery Wants Vineyard Land

Environmental reviews are underway as opposition develops against the new Mountain Peak Winery in Soda Canyon at the Northeast end of Napa Valley. The winery would have a capacity of 100,000 gallons, an 8,700 winery, a 15,000 crush facility, and 64,000 feet of caves dug into the hillside. The application is for 18,000 visitors a year. Neighbors are complaining about having traffic where there currently is none.


Craft Beer Sales Growing

Craft Beers now sell 14.3% of the beer market. Last year their sales increased by 20%. Meanwhile the total beer market fell by 1.9%.

Gene Research to Make GMO Beer

Scientists at White Labs in San Diego are studying the DNA of over 2,000 yeasts used to make beer. There are 12 million genes in the DNA sequence for a single yeast. Different yeasts can make totally different beers from the same ingredients. The team, led by Troels Prahl is working with a similar lab in Belgium to map out the beer making yeasts. The object is to create GMO yeasts that will make the beers of the future.

Only the Bitter Apples Make the Best Cider

Hard Cider was a popular drink until Prohibition. Now we are slowly seeing Cider return to popularity. One of the reasons it's slow is that there aren't enough of the right kind of apples. Cider apples are very tart. They're called “spitters,” “bittersharps,” or “bittersweets.” During Prohibition Cider apple orchards were replaced and just didn't come back. It will take a few years for new orchards to come on line. In the meantime, some Cider makers are importing apples from France. Others are using eating apples, but that doesn't make good Cider.

This Month's Chuckle

Finally, in case you missed it, here are links to the videos “Hey, Pass Me a Beer I”

and “Hey, Pass Me a Beer II”

It may be worth spending a few minutes wondering if there is a higher calling for a can of Old Milwaukee.



Alcoholic slushies are a sudden hit in New York. Consumers text their order to an Instagram address and get a delivery of a bottle of frozen alcoholic treat called a “Phrostie” for $10. The New York State Liquor Authority is investigating the situation. Their concern is that production is unregulated, there are health concerns, and (most important) taxes are not being collected. According to New York Magazine food critic, Adam Platt, it is pure sugar and grain alcohol that is like “Kool Aid meets Red Bull mixed with 150 proof Everclear.” He says “After the first sip you're loving the sugar. After the third sip you're thinking how pretty the colors look and why can't you feel your lips. After chugging the whole thing, who cares?”

Craft Irish

There is a renaissance brewing in Irish Whisky that mirrors what has happened with Bourbon. In 2000 there were 3 distilleries in Ireland. In 2013 there were 7. This year 5 more are starting up. It will take a couple of years to age the whisky and get it to market. But it's on its way. Look for craft Irish in the near future.

New Premium Scotch

Diageo is promoting its new Haig Club Single Grain Scotch Whisky. The company has hired some important spokesmen to make the sale. Retired soccer player, David Beckham, and American Idol creator, Simon Fuller, will be out there pitching the premium product. The whisky is single grain, blended from various ages that were matured in three different kinds of barrels.

When You Don't Want Your Jeans to Smell

Chip Burgh, President of Levi-Strauss recommends that you don't wash your jeans. Washing fades the color. He says “Get them smelling better by spraying them with Vodka.”

Other Food and Beverage

101 Year Old Bar Entertainer

The Whale & Ale, British Restaurant and Pub, in San Pedro featured Harry Hall, resident violinist on June 6. It was Harry's 101st birthday. He has been playing at the restaurant every Friday night since 1995. There was a major celebration on June 6 to mark the event.

Old Coca-Cola Bottle

Jim Vergo, a bottle collector in Albuquerque, bought an old bottle for $4 at a flea market. The label was 90% intact and said that the bottle had once contained “Doc Pemberton's French Wine Coca.” It was a alcoholic nerve tonic that promised to cure miscellaneous afflictions. The fact that the tonic evolved into Coca-Cola makes it extremely valuable. It is one of only 3 known to exist; and the only one with a label. It is expected to bring at least $5,000 at auction.

Red Lobster Sold

Darden Restaurants has sold the Red Lobster chain to Golden Gate Capital for $2.1 Billion. Hedge fund, Starboard Value, has complained that the price has undervalued the restaurant chain's real estate and that its breakup value is far higher. Darden CEO, Clarence Otis, says it is a fair price and the cash will allow Darden to pay off debt and concentrate on Olive Garden, which provides most of its cash flow.

Top Delis

Food and Wine Magazine has named the top 22 Delis in America. 6 from California made the list. Here they are:

Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen – San Francisco (3 locations)

Canter's Deli – Los Angeles

Nate & Al's – Beverly Hills

Langer's Delicatessen – Los Angeles

Saul's Deli – Berkeley

Corti Brothers – Sacramento (The only Italian Deli on the list)

New Coke Dispensers

Coca-Cola is introducing 3 new dispensing units. Two of them are designed for medium size operations and will fit on a counter top to dispense up to 80 different drink combinations. The third unit is designed for offices and break rooms. It will dispense up to 35 different drinks.

The Changing Market

New Flavor Pairs

Globalization is changing tastes all over the world. Dole Foods, one of the world's largest marketers of fruit has identified new flavor pairing trends in the Mediterranean.

Southern Italy- Peaches & Almonds, Strawberries with Olives

Greece- Mandarin Oranges and Honey, Raspberries and Yogurt

Turkey- Blackberries and Feta, Cherries with Lamb

Lebanon- Pineapple and Pistachios, Apples and Tea

Israel- Bananas with Sesame, Mango and Couscous

Continued Growth in Organic Foods

U.S. consumers continued to buy more organic products. Sales in 2013 were up 11.5% to $35.1 Billion. Of that $32.3 Billion was food; the balance was in various household products. Organics represent 4% of total food sales. Fruits and vegetables were the largest segment of organic sales at $11.6 Billion, up 15% from the previous year. The figures are from Nutrition Business Journal.

Sales Up at Whole Foods

Whole Foods same store sales for the 1st quarter were up 4.5% over a year ago, but less than expectations. It also reported lower margins and sales drops in older stores. Analysts feel all these changes reflect competition from other natural food grocers, and competition on natural foods from other more traditional grocers Kroger and Safeway. Meanwhile Walmart and Target are adding items in the same categories.




Red Wine Fights Cavities

A team of scientists from the Research Institute for Food Science in Madrid and the University of Zurich have found that red wine can protect teeth against cavities. Bacteria in the mouth produce a biofilm that contains acid that damages teeth. The scientists found that red wine, de-alcoholized red wine, and red wine spiked with grape seed extract all kill the bacteria and help protect teeth. The team was led by M. Victoria Moreno-Arribas.


Here are the recipes for two adult ice cream desserts. Enjoy in hot weather!

Caramel Corn Freeze


1 1/2 Scoops Vanilla Ice Cream

2 oz. Bourbon

3 or 4 Ice Cubes

Caramel Sauce as garnish


Garnish tall glass with caramel sauce. Mix other ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into glass. Serve.


Frozen Banana

1 1/2 Scoops Chocolate Ice Cream

2 oz. Malibu Coconut Rum

1 Ripe Banana, peeled

3 or 4 Ice Cubes


Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into a tall glass. Serve.



Tasting Notes


Ron Ziff Tasting at Vino California

Our pick at the Vino California annual Italian Wine Tasting was Luretta; a winery founded by the Salamini Family. The wines were all sound and reasonably priced. Boccadirosa Malvasia 2011, dry, sweet finish, good aperitif or dessert wine, $12.50; Principessa Spumante Brut, a slight straw color, nice bubbles, good balance, $16; Barbera Bonarosa 2011, good ruby color, 14% ABV, good food wine, $12; Roccafiore Bianco 2012, light white, easy drinking, 12.5ABV, $10. Contact


At the Wine Warehouse Spring Tasting our favorite continues to be Pedroncelli Vineyards Zinfandel 2011, Mother Clone, Dry Creek Valley. This wine is unique. It is made from grapes of vines over 100 years old. The color, nose, and flavors are deep and full. $16-$18. Contact Mark Abraham at or (800) 836-3894.


The Santa Rita Hills tasting is always delightful and this year was no exception. There were some nice surprises. Kita Wines Grenache Rose was a full bodied and flavorful wine $18. Kita is owned by the Chumash Indian Tribe and vinted by Tara Gomez, the only native American winemaker. Contact David Alvarado or (310) 804-1484.


Rozak poured a 2007 Syrah, full body, good nose, dark Syrah color, good legs, $16. Contact Randy Rozak or (949) 706-5632.


Di Bruno Pinot Noir 2009 is ready to drink, aged in older barrels, fruit forward, good color and nose, harvested late in the season, $16. Contact Lisa Christensen or (805) 350-0876.


At Taste the World we were able to try a number of good, reasonably priced wines. Filini Wine Company poured Malvasia Del Fiore 2012; a clean clear, white, slightly sweet. A good cocktail wine $18. Contact Lee Nordlund or (877) 949-3316.

From San Francisco Wine Exchange three wines from Millbrandt Vineyards in Washington: Pinot Gris 2013 light, dry, good food wine $12.99; Chardonnay 2012 light oak, gentle straw color, good nose, aged 6 months in French oak, $12.99; Riesling 2012, 1.4% residual sugar, light sweetness, clean, good nose, $12.99. Contact Kelly Milbrandt (206) 595-7873, or Stephanie Nelson (214) 601-4091, or Jonathan Apt (949) 294-7031.

From Winesellers two Spanish sparklers that were light, fresh, and easy drinking: Mas Fi Brut Cava NV and Mas Fi Brut Rose' Cava NV, both $10-12. Contact Roger Manyosa Blasi

All Taste the World selections available through Henry Wine Group. (800) 669-9428.


The LA Winefest was one of the most spectacular trade/consumer events as usual. Over 100 booths and food trucks sampled food and beverages to nearly 20,000 over the two day event. Part of the proceeds were donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Stella Artois quenched the thirst of many. Our favorite brew was Hoegaarden. Cupcake Vineyards poured Chardonnay; bright, fresh, light yellow caste, $7 to $10. Frey Vineyards showed Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, good color and nose, full body, $16.50.


Industry Calendar

6/5 Ancient Greece Wines-LA

6/9 Hungarian Wine Road Show-LA

6/11 Sagrantino Grand Tasting-LA

6/13 Dennis Rodman Vodka - Glendale

6/18-19 Unified Grocers Expo – Long Beach

6/21 Pinot Days-SFO

7/15 FPFC Expo- Anaheim

7/29-8/1 Confit Expo-LA

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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