Beverage Bulletin March 2013

California Beverage Retailers Association

Beverage Bulletin

P.O. Box 56686

Sherman Oaks, CA 91413

(818) 788-8120

Ron Ziff, Editor

www.cbraliquor.org

March 2013

This month's stories include:

A Quote from Rex Stout

Pope Francis and Wine

Chateau Montelena's Jim Barrett Dies

How Much to Hold the Ice?

California Supreme Court Ruling on Credit Card Sales
New York Soda Ban Stopped
Celebrities in the Industry-Arianna Huffington, George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Lindsay Lohan

Wine-Sterling Vineyards at Oscars, Record Grape Crush, Wine Export Record, Wine Bag in a Ship, New Zealand Drought, Chinese Buy French Champagne, Facebook Sells Wine, Origin of Viticulture Traced
French Wine Tainted, Provence Rose' Sales Boom

Beer-Food & Wine Names Top Beer Bars, Want to Become a TV Star? Apply at Heineken, Who is Behind the AB/Inbev Modelo Merger? AB/Inbev Sued for Diluting Beer, Tax Break for Craft Beers, Craft Brewer Feted at State of the Union, New High for Homebrewing, Craft Beer Size Inflation
FTC Cites Four Loko, Fresher Beer, Beer Cans Go High-Tech, New Beer Drinker's Chair

Spirits-No Change in Makers Mark, Chivas Regal: A Royal Flush,
8 Things you never knew about Scotch, Water Aged Bourbon, Beam Sued by Sidney Frank

Other Food and Beverages-Top Food Retailers, Store Closings, New Consumer Habits, New Coke Ads, Spying on Coke, Expense Accounts,
Consumer food trends for 2013, Red Bull Expansion, 5 Hour Class Action

Health-Red Wine and Alzheimer's, Red Wine and Heart Disease, Red Wine and Obesity, Blood Pressure and Drinking, Keep Young with Red Wine, Diabetes and Diet Soda
and as always... Tasting Notes and the Industry Calendar

 

The best way to drink champagne, for me anyhow, is to gulp the first glass as a primer and sip from there on.” - Rex Stout, author of the Nero Wolfe Mysteries wrote in The Rodeo Murder

 

 

Pope Francis and Wine

Pope Francis, formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, enjoys simple pleasures. A profile published in Argentine Newspaper La Nacion in 2009 gives details of his food and beverage preferences. For lunch he prefers fruit, skinless chicken, and a glass of Argentine Malbec. Malbec is a full bodied red wine made with grapes from pre-phyloxera vines. It is one of the world's best and we join the Pope in this simple pleasure. He also enjoys Italian bread made by a local nunnery or some soup he makes in his small apartment. The article goes on to say that he often took a bus to get to local restaurants where he blessed the kitchen.

 

 

 

 

Chateau Montelena's Jim Barrett Dies

Jim Barrett, whose Chateau Montelena won the famous “Judgment of Paris” has died at 86. In 1968, he, Lee and Helen Paschich, and Earnest Hahn bout the historic winery. Barrett took over the operations, replanted the vineyards, and brought in new equipment. They began producing Chardonnay in 1972 with Mike Grgich as the winemaker. Four years later Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 1973 took a surprise first place in the Paris blind tasting competition. The event put California wines in the forefront of wine enthusiasts around the world. It also caused French winemakers to start buying prime California properties for their own production. In July 2008 it was announced that Chateau Montelena had been sold to Michel Reybier, owner of Cos d'Estournel. The sale was canceled later that year when the buyer was unable to complete the deal. Today the winery remains with the Barrett family. The “Judgment of Paris” was the subject of the 2008 film, “Bottle Shock.”

How Much to Hold the Ice?

What was that service fee for? At the BLT Burger in New York there is a $2 charge for a drink without ice. At the Derby, down the street, the up-charge is $2 for a drink with ice. At the Outpost American Tavern in Dallas you are charged $1 to get your burger without cheese. The Dutch Boy Burger in Brooklyn will round up your bill to the next highest dollar. In the Time Warner Center in New York the Per Se restaurant charges $90 corkage on your wine. That's a bargain! The Masa, next door, charges $95.

 

California Supreme Court Ruling on Credit Card Sales

The California Supreme Court has ruled that online merchants have the right to ask for ZIP code and other personal information when the purchase includes downloadable content. Physical merchants do not. This decision is likely to change CRM and POS strategies in sales. The court put no restrictions on how the information can be used.

 

 

New York Soda Ban Stopped

The New York City ban on large containers of sugared drinks was stopped by a judge a day before it was to go into effect. Judge Milton Tingling said the regulation had so many loopholes and exemptions that it was “arbitrary and capricious.” He also ruled that the New York City Health Board lacked the authority to make the rule. Mayor Bloomberg vowed to appeal the decision and also asked the state legislature to ban the drinks statewide. Meanwhile Sarah Palin poked fun at Bloomberg by speaking at the Republican CPAC Convention while drinking a “Big Gulp” on stage.

 

Celebrities in the Industry

Arianna Huffington starts her day with a “Fireball.” What's a Fireball? It's a blend of Organic Orange Juice, Lemon Juice, Crushed Ginger, Cayenne Extract, and Oil of Oregano. She says “I try to be virtuous and not start my day with coffee. A fireball helps.” Note: No alcohol!

 

Mr. Pink Ginseng Energy Drink has asked Lindsay Lohan to represent them in Dubai. Ms. Lohan has asked for $500,000 for her endorsement. The company offered only $200,000. She may not be able to do the project at all. Dubai has a strict policy of not allowing convicts into the country.

 

Actor, George Clooney and Restaurateur Rande Gerber have launched Tequila Casamigos. It comes in Silver and Reposado. Priced at $43 to $47 a bottle. Clooney is touring the country to promote the brand. He has also made a short video with girl friend Stacey Keebler, Rande Gerber, and Rande's wife, model, Cindy Crawford. You can see it on youtube as “It Could Happen, Please Drink Responsibly.”

 

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are producing a wine called Miraval from their French estate. A rose' is being released this month and a white wine will be available late this summer.

 

Wine

Sterling Vineyards at Oscars

Sterling Vineyards of Napa was the official winery of the Academy Awards. The company provided 2007 Reserve Cabernet, 2009 Reserve Chardonnay, and three limited edition dessert wines. Wine maker Alison Crary said she was thrilled to provide “the best supporting beverage.” The wines were paired with food provided by Wolfgang Puck.

Record Grape Crush

The preliminary reports indicate that the 2012 California grape crush set a new record at slightly over 4 million tons. The growth in California wine sales has been in the $20 to $40 range. Roger Nabedian of E&J Winery says “The premium business in particular has been driving sales.” Other observers say the savvy consumers are buying wines that used to sell for $40 to $60 and have dropped to the $20 to $40 range.

Wine Export Record

U.S. Wine exports set a new record at $1.43 billion in 2012. 90% of that was from California. The biggest markets for U.S. wine were the EU $485 million, Canada $434 million, China & Hong Kong $189 million, and Japan $111 million.

Wine Bag in a Ship

To cut costs Australian wineries are shipping wine in giant plastic bags and bottling at destination. Hardy's is now shipping to the UK and saving about $3 a case by not using glass. Treasury Wine Estates and Jacob's Creek are shipped to the US in bulk and Yellow Tail is about to join them. A 20 foot ocean container holds about 9,900 liters in bottles or 24,000 liters in a huge plastic bladder bag. The cost to ship is nearly the same, making the bottled wine much more expensive. Last year 54% of Aussie wines were shipped in bulk. Chile ships 36% in bulk, with the US and South Africa also exporting more than half in bulk.

New Zealand Drought

Extreme drought conditions in New Zealand's North Island have caused farmers problems with crops of all types except grapes. The island's vintners say the conditions this year have been perfect for wine making.

 

Chinese Buy More French Wine and Wineries

According to the Bordeaux Wine Bureau, French wines sales were up 2% in volume and 10% in value in 2012. China now accounts for purchases of 71 million bottles of Bordeaux wine a year. The Chinese have also been buying French Chateaus. In the past four years they have bought 30 and are currently negotiating on at least 20 more.

Chinese Buy French Champagne

China consumes 24% of French Cognac sold worldwide. Now the Chinese sales of Champagne are starting to bubble over. The country is now the 2nd biggest market for Mumm and 3rd biggest for Perrier-Jouet. Champagne sales have jumped 33% each of the last 3 years. Overall China accounted for 27% of all luxury goods spending in 2012.

Facebook Sells Wine

Facebook Gifts is now available online. Customers can order a gift of wine as long as both giver and receiver are 21. Wines offered include Amuse Bouche, Blackbird, Bonterra, Capture, Clark-Claudon, David Family, Goose Cross, Mutt Lynch, Recuerdo, Tasting Room, Terra Valentine, Titus, Twisted Oak, Domaine Chandon, Sonoma-Cutrer, Bryant Family Vintners, Artesa, Benziger Family, Ridge, and Robert Mondavi. The wine is delivered by Ship Compliant. Facebook takes a commission on each sale.

Origin of Viticulture Traced

Swiss Grape Geneticist, Jose Vouillamoz, and archaeologist, Patrick McGovern, have been working to find where Vitus Vinifera vines originated. They have evidence that the wine grapes are native to an area that includes southeast Anatolia in Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbbaijian. They feel the vines were first domesticated 6-8,000 years ago in the area along with early grains. Wild grapes had been gathered for 1,000 years earlier. But that was a difficult task. The vines grew up trees and cliffs and were harvested with great difficulty. They presented their findings at the Digital Wine Communications Conference at the end of 2012. Among the earliest varieties were Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Savignin, and 10 other basic wild ancestors.

French Wine Tainted

French wine from vintage 2009 and 2010 has been tested and found to contain pesticides. The Excell Laboratory in Bordeaux checked 300 wines from Bordeaux, Rhone, and Aquitaine for 50 different chemical agents. 90% were found to contain pesticide residues. Most common were fungicides. The levels of contaminants were below toxic thresholds. Only 10% were free of pesticides.

Provence Rose' Sales Boom

Exports of Provence Rose' to the U.S. increased 40% in volume and 43% in value from 2011 to 2012. This increase comes after a 62 % increase the previous year.

 

Beer

Food & Wine Names Top Beer Bars

Food and Wine Magazine named Father's Office(LA), Verdugo(LA) and Monk's Kettle(SF) among the best beer bars in the U.S.

 

Want to Become a TV Star? Apply at Heineken

Heineken Brewery has indulged in a new employment process. The company interviewed 1734 candidates for a job. During the interviews there were emergencies including fire alarms and interviewer medical episodes. What the candidates were not told was that it was all staged and they were being videotaped. Then the tapes were shown to employees who voted on them and the top vote getters were put on the internet where they were viewed 2.8 million times.

 

Who is Behind the AB/Inbev Modelo Merger?

The BofA, that's who! According to a Wall Street Journal article (March 7 page C1) the Bank of America is in the forefront on this deal. 1) The bank advised AB/Inbev on the $20 billion takeover of Modelo, 2) BofA was the lead lender on Constellation Brands $1.85 billion buyout of Corona Importer Crown Imports from Grupo Modelo, 3) After the Constellation deal was announced BofA bought options that gave it a $1 million profit.

In order to make the deal more acceptable to the Justice Department AB/Inbev has offered to sell $2.9 billion in assets to Constellation Brands. The sale would make Constellation number 3 in the U.S. with a 5% share. Originally AB could have bought back distribution rights in 10 years. Now that is out of the deal. Piedras Negras brewery in Mexico will also be sold to Constellation to produce beer for sale in the U.S.

AB/Inbev owns more than 200 brands worldwide. The purchase of Modelo would give the company a 60% market share in Mexico.

AB/Inbev Sued for Diluting Beer

A/B Inbev has been sued in several states including California for watering down its beer and mislabeling the products. The suits claim that the beer is labeled 5% ABV, but is tested in the final stages of production and then water and CO2 are added, lowering the actual alcohol content. The suits contend the consumers are getting less than they are paying for and that this has been going on since AB and Inbev merged in 2008. Vulnerabilities in the cases: The plaintiffs have no independent testing and are relying on ex-A/B employee's statements for evidence. The defendants are following federal label requirements, but, federal law does not require alcohol content on beer labels. That might mean state standards apply. California labeling rules require each package to have exactly what is shown on the label. Federal rules require the label to be representative of the average content by production batch. Beers included in the suits are Budweiser, Bud Ice, Bud Light Platinum, Michelob, Michelob Ultra, King Cobra, and Bud Light Lime.

Tax Break for Craft Beers

Congressman Jim Gerlach co-chairman of the House Small Brewers Caucus has introduced legislation that would reduce taxes and encourage craft brewers. The current tax is $7 per barrel for the first 60,000 barrels produced and $18 per barrel thereafter. The new rates would be $3.50 per barrel up to 60,000; then $16 to 2 million barrels; and $18 per barrel over 2 million. He notes that the legislation would be good for more than 100 craft brewers in his state of Pennsylvania, who provide jobs and work with their communities.

Craft Brewer Feted at State of the Union

Deb Carey, a craft brewer and small business owner, was in Michelle Obama's box for the State of the Union Address. She produces New Glarus beer in New Glarus, Wisconsin. She brought along some of her beer which she traded for White House Honey Ale.

New High for Homebrewing

More than one million Americans brew beer at home at least once a year according to the American Homebrew Association.

Craft Beer Size Inflation

Many Craft Beers are only being bottled in large format bottles. The bottles ranges from 22 oz. “Bombers” to 750 ml wine bottles and even 3 Liter Jerobaums and are filled with specialty beer flavored with cocoa nibs or honey. The price tags compete with wine at $25 to $30 a bottle for the bigger formats. Some consumers find them off-putting because they can't be re-corked for future use. While others use them as an opportunity to get a group together to make sure the bottle is finished.

 

 

 

FTC Cites Four Loko

The FTC issued a modified order against Phusion Projects LLC, maker of Four Loko. The company falsely claimed that a 23 oz can contained the same alcohol as one or two 12 oz cans of beer. The cans will have to be re-labeled and made resealable, so consumers do not have to drink them all at once.

Fresher Beer

British brewery, Youngs, is introducing a a new unpasteurized, unfiltered beer that has no exposure to air called “Brewery Fresh” in pubs. It is shipped in specially designed tankers and pumped directly into dispensing tanks at the local pubs. The advantages are a beer that is fresher, has better bouquet and flavor, and is smoother. The beer is touted as being as fresh as if you were drinking it at the brewery.

Beer Cans Go High-Tech

The latest underground low-tech solution to a hi-tech problem is using a beer can to double the strength of your computer router. Find out how at http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Wi-Fi-Booster-Using-Only-a-Beer-Can Caution; If you do this you won't get 5 cents back for the can.

 

 

New Beer Drinker's Chair

The “Original Beer Chair” brings new comfort and convenience to beer drinkers. The chair is ergonomically designed, has back and neck pillows, and reclines. Its built in beer dispenser gives you a refill when you push the button located on the armrest. Simply load your beer in bottles or cans into the fridge on the side of the chair. A push of the button and here comes a container of ice cold beer. Set the bottle down in the well and it stays cold for the next gulp. A man could easily spend the entire weekend with the Beer Chair and a TV!

Spirits

No Change in Makers Mark

Beam had announced it was going to water down Makers Mark from 90 proof to 84 proof in order to increase bottle production and meet global demand. The announcement created a consumer storm on Twitter that caused Beam to have second thoughts. The company issued a rare Sunday notice that it was bowing to consumer demand and “doing the right thing” by staying at 90 proof.

Chivas Regal: A Royal Flush

Thousand of liters of Scotch were accidentally flushed down the drain in February while equipment was being cleaned at Chivas Brothers. Night shift workers flushing bottling lines in Dumbarton turned the wrong valves. At a nearby water treatment plant workers reported a strong smell at the same time bottling plant employees reported the loss of a large quantity of Ballantine's Scotch. The accident caused problems at the water facility which is not equipped to deal with alcohol in the system.

 

 

8 Things you never knew about Scotch

1) It has water in it. It is distilled from fermented grain, yeast, and water. The origin of the word “whisky” is Gaelic “uisge beatha” translated “water of life.”

2) The English Malt Tax of 1725 forced most distillers to bootlegging. But the English still made and drank Scotch. Even King George IV was able to order it by brand.

3) The first record of Scotch is in the tax rolls of June 1, 1494.

4) 20% of distilled spirits sold worldwide is Scotch.

5) Your Scotch might be lying about its age. The age on the bottles is the minimum age of the whisky in the blend. Some of may be a lot older.

6) Scotch goes into the barrel clear. The color comes from the barrel.

7) Scotch evaporates in the barrel at a rate of 4% a year. The evaporation is called the “Angel's Share.” In 5 years 40% is the Angel's Share.

8) More Scotch is consumed in France than any other country. It's been that way since the phyloxera epidemic, when there weren't enough grapes to make brandy. The U.K. is #2 in Scotch consumption, U.S. is #3.

    Water Aged Bourbon

    Trey Zoeller of Jefferson's Bourbon is experimenting with recreating aged bourbon as it was done centuries ago. He has a friend hauling casks of bourbon around the Caribbean on a ship. The heat, ocean breezes, and gentle rocking motion do all the work. The whiskey turns almost black with spicy tones of nutmeg and licorice. It is named “Ocean, Aged at Sea.”

    Beam Sued by Sidney Frank

    Sidney Frank Company is suing Jim Beam for $100 million. Frank has been getting its Michael Collins Irish Whisky from the Cooley Distillery. Beam recently bought the distillery. Frank claims Beam diverted all production to its own Kileggan brand and stopped producing Michael Collins.

     

    Other Food and Beverage News

    Top Food Retailers

    At the start of 2013 the rankings of the top food retailers in the U.S. (and California) are:
    1) Walmart
    2) Kroger
    3) Costco
    4) Target
    5) Safeway
    6) Supervalu (in the process of selling its retail operations to be combined with #35 Albertsons)

    Others of interest with stores in California : 10) 7-Eleven, 19) Whole Foods, 21) Trader Joe's, 30) WinCo Foods, 34) Save Mart Supermarkets, 35) Albertsons LLC

    Meanwhile 18% of U.S. households now buy at least some of their food and beverages online. That online market is predicted to reach $15 billion in 2013 according to Forrester Research. The problem is that online sales are still operating in the red.

      Store Closings

      Some of the country's biggest retailers are still trying to cope with the recession by closing stores. These retailers have scheduled closings during 2013:

      Best Buy 1056 total stores – closing up to 250

      Sears/KMart 2116 total stores – closing up to 225 Kmarts & 125 Sears

      J C Penney 1100 total stores – closing up to 350

      Office Depot 1115 total stores – closing up to 150

      Barnes & Noble 689 total stores – closing up to 240

      GameStop 4471 total stores – closing up to 600

      Office Max 872 total stores – closing up to 175
      Radio Shack 4412 Total Stores – closing up to 550

       

      New Consumer Habits

      As the country recovers from recession, consumers are buying more, but still shopping at the stores they adopted during bad times. This February Costco showed an 8% same store sales increase and Kroger a 13% increase over the same month of 2012.

      New Coke Ads

      Coca-Cola is airing a 2 minute commercial on Cable TV telling how it fights obesity by marketing over 180 low or no calorie drinks. It also talks about smaller can sizes and that calories count, no matter where they come from. A second ad features “140 happy calories in a can of Coke.

      Coke has a new energy competitor. Wrigley is introducing a chewing gum that contains 40 mg caffeine per stick; a 12 ounce Coke has 35 mg.

      Spying on Coke

      In 2008 Coke tried to buy Chinese juice and beverage maker, Huiyuan, for $2.4 billion. The deal fell through when Chinese regulators ruled that the deal would give a foreign company too much control over the domestic juice market. It has just come out that, at the time, Chinese hackers were monitoring Coke's executive emails to stay ahead of the company's negotiating strategy.

      Expense Accounts

      According to expense and travel management company, Certify, Starbucks is the most expensed restaurant in the U.S.

      Consumer food trends for 2013

      What's out: Sliders, Bacon Flavor, Brussels sprouts.
      What's in: I-Pad menus, Locally sourced meats, Sustainable seafood, Convenience (70% of restaurant food in some areas is take-out), smaller meal portions, vegetarian appetizers, wheat-free and gluten-free pasta, in-house cured meat, artisan cheese, gourmet lemonade, kale, seaweed, information on farm-to-fork, fermented food from kim chi and sauerkraut to who-knows. Consumers continue to be more health conscious and want more choices that are good for them. What's really important? Knowing your own customers.

      In some areas, Baby Boomers are making more restaurant visits than before the recession.

      Some restaurants are experimenting with Happy Hours of food specials instead of alcohol to give sales a boost during slow times.

       

      Red Bull Expansion

      Austrian company, Rexam, is adding a fourth production line to make cans for Red Bull. The plant currently produces 2 billion Red Bull cans a year and will be producing an additional 700 million when the new line is operating.

      5 Hour Class Action

      5 Hour Energy Drink has been sued in a class action. The suit claims “no crash” is false advertising. The plaintiffs say the product is marketed as a vitamin drink, but is “nothing more than a shot of caffeine.” The National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau is also reviewing the claim. NAD says it has been telling 5 Hour to remove “no crash” for the past 5 years since it ran an independent test that showed 25% of users experience “a moderately severe crash.” After the trial 5 Hour added small print saying “no crash means no sugar crash.” The product contains no sugar.

      Health

      Red Wine and Alzheimer's

      Professor Nigel Hooper of the University of Leeds in the UK has found that resveratrol in red wine works to prevent Alzheimer's disease. He has found that Amyloid proteins attach to brain cells causing Alzheimer's. “It's a misconception that Alzheimer's is a natural part of aging. It's a disease that we believe can ultimately be cured through finding new opportunities for drug targets like this.” Co-author of the study Dr. Jo Rushworth says the research is early but promising.

       

       

       

      Red Wine and Heart Disease

      A study at University Hospital in Bochum, Germany was reported in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology. The study showed that people eating meals high in fat had less inflammation of the arteries when drinking red wine as compared to other beverages.

      Red Wine and Obesity

      Researchers at French universities Lille, Toulouse, and Strasbourg monitored 8,000 men ages 50 to 59 and found that if they consumed a moderate amount of red wine daily, 75% stayed slimmer. Men who drank only 2 or 3 times a week had a greater tendency to gain weight. They also noted that the men in the study averaged 15 glasses of wine per week.

       

      Keep Young with Red Wine

      Harvard geneticist David Sinclair has published a study on the effects on resveratrol, a compound in red wine, in the journal Science. He and a team have been studying the link with a group of enzymes called “sirtuins” that trigger proteins that rejuvenate cells. The study may lead to a way to synthesize resveratrol and combat some cancers, diabetes, obesity, and other diseases.

      Diabetes and Diet Soda

      French researchers studying 66,000 women over 14 years for the National Institute of Health and Medical Research have found that there was a higher incidence of type 2 diabetes in women who drank light or diet sodas. All soda drinkers had higher diabetes rates than those that drank fruit juice.

      Blood Pressure and Drinking

      An analysis of previous studies by cardiologists at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center and Columbia University finds that light drinking reduced the effects of hypertension. The Journal of Clinical Hypertension published the analysis of 16 previous studies. Women who drank a glass of wine a day or less reduced incidence by 13%. Men who drank one or two glasses a day had less of a benefit. Heavy drinkers in both categories had a higher risk factor.

       

      Tasting Notes

       

      The Natural Foods Expo West continues to be one of the largest trade shows of any kind in the country. This year the 3 day show had 2428 exhibitors and 63,000 attendees as well as thousands of sales reps in the booths. We visited the Natural and Organic Wine and Beer Pavilion and tasted several natural brews that were outstanding. Two are rated here.

      Sierra Nevada showed its Kellerweis. Keller means cellar and weis means white. Kellerweis is what the Bavarians call Hefeweiss; half white. The beer is fresh, light, frothy, unfiltered, and raw, with live yeast. The white cloudy caste to the beer comes from the live yeast. This beer is a delight and one you can get your customers to enjoy at $8.99 a 6 pack. Contact Jason Rosenfeld jrosenfeld@sierranevada.com or (310) 750-6867.

      The second beer is Lammsbrau Organic Pilsner. This beer is light, flavorful, and refreshing. The brewery dates back to 1628. Made from natural ingredients and organic for the past 20 years; mineral water, organic barley malt, organic hops, and yeast. Unique and a good sale at $10 per 4 pack. Contact Stephan Hauke usa@lammsbrau.com or (414) 431-8652.

       

      We tasted many good to great wines at the Paso Robles Grand Tour. The area produces lots of good wine at reasonable prices that will make your customers happy.

       

      Pomar Junction Chardonnay 2011 from Templeton is an good buy at $15. The taste is clean and crisp, round, soft, and buttery. Aged in stainless with no oak. Contact Mark Stern at info@pomarjunction.com or (805) 238-9940.

       

      Eberle Muscat Canelli 2011 $15 was delicious and refreshing. Good nose, colorless, slightly sweet with 5.8% residual sugar. Made from wine aged 1/3 in Oak, 1/3 in neutral French oak, 1/3 in stainless. Eberle makes some very nice wines. Contact Stacy Miller stacy@eberlewinery.com or (805) 238-9607.

       

      J. Lohr Estates South Ridge Syrah 2010 $15 had a deep color, light Syrah flavor, and good nose. Contact Erin Tylski etylski@jlohr.com or (310) 741-1966.

       

      Kenneth Volk continues to make wines that are among our favorites. We tasted some that were new to us this year and they were delightful. Verdelho 2007 $24 was clean and fresh. Malvasia Bianca 2011 $24. Beautiful nose, dry, and elegant. Tempranillo 2009 $36 deep color, bold, full flavor. This red wine made from grapes that originated in Spain is quickly becoming one we love with food. Barbara Smith is new at the winery, but will do well here just as she has done elsewhere barbara@volkwines.com or (805) 423-7809.

      Industry Calendar

      3/22-23 Rhone Rangers-SFO

      3/26 Angeles tasting- LA

      3/26 Passover

      3/31 Easter

      4/10 FPFC Northern Cal Expo – Alameda

      4/10 Mt Veeder tasting - SFO

      4/11 Paso Robles tasting – SFO

      4/11 CIGA Installation Banquet – Sacramento

      4/14-Orange County Wine Society tasting - Anaheim

      4/18-20 California Cheese & Butter Expo - Sonoma

      4/19-20 California Wine Festival – Dana Point

      4/20-24 WAFC-Palm Desert

      5/5 Cinco de Mayo

      New Legislation for 2013

      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. 2013

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

      introduced that will be effective in 2014. 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 ron@cbraliquor.org

      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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