Beverage Bulletin May 2015

California Beverage Retailers Association
Beverage Bulletin

P.O. Box 56686
Sherman Oaks, CA 91413
(818) 693-5561
Ron Ziff, Editor

www.cbraliquor.org

May 2015

This Month's Stories Include:

Headline News Stories - Mother's Day, Kentucky Bourbon Crime Ring, LA Winefest May 30-31, Drought Update

Celebrities in the Industry - Yao Ming, Alessia Berlusconi

Popular Culture
Books to add to your drinks library - Wine in Words, The History of Wine in 100 Bottles, The Wine Bible
The Movie Biz - Alfred Hitchcock, Grace Kelly, Ingrid Bergman, and Robert Brassfield.

Wine - Historic Champagne Found, Chandon Sued for Name, 30,000 Fake Wine Bottles, Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie Wine Counterfeited, Rudy Kurniawan May Get New Trial, European Wine Rules Changed, Wineries Use Dogs, Wine Aged in Pots

Let My Raisins Go!, Wine tastings May Be Taxed

Beer - Ben & Jerry's Beer, Mexican Beer Surges, Free Beer!, Craft Beer Takes Market Share from Wine

Spirits - Distiller Direct Sales, Russian Vodka Prices Ensure Tranquility, Diageo Sales Flat, I Think I'll Wear My Whiskey Suit

Other Foods and Beverages - Computer, I'll Have a Pizza, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Chipotle is GMO Free

The Changing Market - New Labor Standards, Glass Recycling Broken

Health - White Wine Protects Against Heart Disease, Another Use for Red Wine, Wine Taste and Bouquet Decline with Drinker's Age
and as always Tasting Notes and the Industry Calendar

 

A Toast to the Beverage Industry
Queen Elizabeth didn't give us a direct quote. (She rarely speaks publicly about anything) But, her personal sommelier and cellarmaster is Master of Wine, Jancis Robinson. Robinson tells us that the Queen has preferred Riesling from the Rheinhessen for over 60 years. She usually drinks sweet, not dry wine.

 

 

Mother's Day Promotions

Mother's Day is just ahead. Families will be getting together and this is traditionally one of the biggest opportunities to promote wine, beer, and spirits. Whether the family get together is at home or a restaurant, lots of food and beverages will be consumed. For many in our business this is one of the biggest sales days of the year. One statistic: 312 million eggs will be cracked for Mother's Day brunches. This year there is a double opportunity to promote with Mother's Day on Sunday May 10. Many stores and restaurants have a big Latino trade. Unlike the U.S. Tradition of Sunday Mother's Day; Mexican Mother's Day always comes on May 10, regardless of the day of the week. With both on the same day, it's a rare chance to plan for lots of business.

Kentucky Bourbon Crime Ring Caught

Nine people who were part of a crime ring led by Gilbert Curtsinger were indicted in Franklin, Kentucky for thefts of expensive bourbon going back to 2008. The thefts involve Wild Turkey 101, Eagle Rare, Pappy Van Winkle from the Wild Turkey Distillery and Buffalo Trace Distillery. Eighteen barrels of whiskey and 26 bottles of Pappy Van Winkle were immediately recovered. Franklin County, Sheriff Pat Melton said “This is just the tip of the iceberg.” It is expected that there will be more arrests and bourbon found. The ring was connected to the 2013 theft of 195 bottles of Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon and 27 bottles of rye. The barrels found were both steel and wooden and ranged in value to $12,000 each. The case is being prosecuted by state attorney Zach Becker. However, both state and federal laws were violated, as well as tax evasion. The members of the group were employees of the distilleries and openly took the barrels out in pickup trucks or diverted them from shipments they were hauling for the company. The nine met through team softball activities. Wild Turkey warehouses more than 500,000 barrels of whiskey in Kentucky.

LA Winefest May 30-31

The LA Winefest is coming up Saturday and Sunday May 30-31. 7,000 members of the public are expected to attend as well as restaurant and retail trade. This Los Angeles’ wine event invites first time visitors and loyal fans to sip, explore and enjoy hundreds of wines and beers al fresco at the historic Raleigh Studios in Hollywood on Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31. LA WineFest is one of the city’s wine festival pioneers, founded 10 years ago in 2005 by wine expert and educator Dr. Joel Fisher as a way to bring all things wine to the City of Angels in a fun, relaxed environment. Over the years, it has established itself as the largest consumer oriented wine event in Southern California. The event provides a one-time chance to introduce your product to the public at the start of the summer party season. Do you have a Craft Brewery or Boutique Winery? Don't miss this opportunity! Special Discount pricing to have a booth at the LA Winefest is available to The Beverage Bulletin's professional subscribers. Contact ron@cbraliquor.org for information. Industry members are invited to attend. Special ticket prices are available to your consumer friends and customers. Contact ron@cbraliquor.org for information.

Drought Update

As the fourth year of drought wears on, new facets of water usage are becoming more critical. This past month the issues involved a conservation mandate from California's governor; reaction from local agencies; the extent of the dry weather, defining the relationships between senior water rights, riparian water rights, and inferior or junior water rights; and a court decision on water rates. There will be fortunes made and lost; winners and losers.

Governor's Order

Governor Jerry Brown issued a mandatory cutback of 25% use of water. He also asked for a reduction of 50 million square feet of lawns and asked local agencies to used tiered water rates to discourage consumption. The enforcement is to be by the State Water Resources Board. First, the reduction was to be from 2013 levels; later that was changed to 2014 levels. Some 400 local agencies are involved. The mandated cutbacks turned out to be based on per capita usage. Beverly Hills, Newport Beach, and 92 other cities had a 36% cutback ordered. Beverly Hills' problem is that residents can afford to continue watering. The city may impose $1,000 fines on water wasters. Compton had only an 8% cutback ordered. But, it wasn't all based on income and lush landscape. Relatively poor and rural, Corcoran, was ordered to cut back 36% and nearby Hanford 32%. Hundreds of local agencies have responded that the situation is unfair. Some have cited the fact that they have already made conservation cutbacks, use the water for farming, or have too many coffee shops using water for brewing. Compton says even the 8% may not be attainable. Their residents already have brown lawns because they can't afford to water them. Among the difficulties are many local laws that require residents to keep lawns green. Some laws are not being enforced, others will be changed. The State Assembly is considering a bill that will prevent local governments from assessing fines for not watering a lawn. Some communities in Northern California have never had water meters because water was always plentiful.

Drought Area Expands

It appears that the drought conditions are more far reaching than last year. Parts of Oregon and Washington are also involved. Since the winter was warmer than usual, much of the precipitation came as rain instead of snow. What rain there was just fed the rivers and resulted in a record low snow pack. In Washington's coastal mountains snow pack was 7% of normal. In the central Cascade Mountains it ranged from 8 to 45%. Washington Governor, Jay Inslee, declared an emergency in three agricultural regions; the Olympic Peninsula, Yakima, and Walla Walla. That includes Washington's wine producing areas.

Water Unfit to Drink

The Desert Sun reports that 1 million state residents in places like the eastern Coachella Valley city of Thermal have no safe drinking water and have been buying bottled water for years. Thermal is one of the hottest and driest places in the country. The local well water has been contaminated with arsenic and chromium and was never safe for drinking or cooking. The situation has been getting worse as wells are drying up. The Central Valley city of Visalia has many dry wells. Meanwhile the wealthy vacation homes in Palm Desert and La Quinta have been ordered to cut back usage by 25-36%. Newsweek reported that a recent tree ring study showed that this is the worst drought in 1200 years and went on to say “The sprawling Southern California megalopolis—bleached by the sun and desiccated by its heat—is like a settlement on Mars: Everything it needs to survive is hauled in.”

Court Decision

The Fourth District Court of Appeal found in favor of residents that had sued the city of San Juan Capistrano to stop charging tiered water rates. The court agreed that the rate scheme violated the California Constitution. In 1996 voters amended the Constitution to say that government agencies can't charge more for a service than it costs to provide that service.

Where Were You in 1850?

Senior water rights holders in the Delta area are scrambling to find paperwork justifying their water rights. Some of these rights go back to the 1850's with filings and records that are not easy to find and difficult to interpret. The cut off date for senior rights is 1914. Many farmers have property that fronts on the water. The Water Resources Board has been releasing water into the Delta to keep salt water from backing into the area from San Francisco Bay. The board has had complaints that the senior rights holders have been diverting some of that water. The board has asked the senior rights holders to prove their rights and account for how much water they take; two things that have never been done before. 1061 farmers from Redding in the north to Merced in the south have to comply. The farmers in the Central Valley definitely have junior or inferior rights. There is no question about that and they will get no water this year.

The Government Promised

Also at stake are riparian water rights that originated because the federal government, at the time, encouraged farmers to fill in swamp areas for agriculture. These farmers were granted the right to draw enough water to irrigate the reclaimed land. The senior rights holders and riparian rights holders say it may be impossible to find all the records from the past 150 years in just 30 days.

Farmers in the Imperial Valley have none of these water problems. Their water comes from a Colorado River allocation.

How It May End

Have you heard enough about the drought? The Bay Area Council warns that the drought could be ended by a mega-storm. The Bay Area has been hit by such a storm every 150 years and it's overdue. A storm lasting 10 days and dropping up to 12 inches over 4 to 7 days could cause $10 billion in damage. The San Francisco Bay and the existing seawalls couldn't handle it and many areas would flood.

Celebrities in the Industry

 

Basketball Player, Yao Ming, is looking to expand his winery by crowdfunding. The money he gets from investors will be used to open tasting rooms in the U.S. And China. He is trying to get $3 million from internet investors and is almost there with commitments of $2.4 million already. This investment isn't for the faint hearted. He doesn't want your ten bucks. The minimum investment starts at $5,000.

 

Alessia Berlusconi is the niece of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and head of the family's Berlusconi Holding Company, a financial powerhouse in Italy. She owns La Contessa Winery in Lombardy and has launched a low alcohol wine named “9.9.” She is farming Marzemino grapes because when ripened they don't have the high sugar levels that make high alcohol wines.

 

Popular Culture

Books

 

Wine in Words by Lettie Teague, publisher Rizzoli Ex Libris, 232 pages, $29.95. Lettie writes a weekly wine column for the Wall Street Journal. This is a collection of bright, breezy, and to the point essays on everything you ever wanted to know about wine.

 

The History of Wine in 100 Bottles by Oz Clarke, Pavilion Books. Takes the reader from the stone urns of Georgia 600 BC, through Pompeii, to the present day. In each era he chooses wine that represents the times. He even covers the counterfeits of the early 21st century. Clarke is a leading wine critic on UK television.

 

The Wine Bible by Karen McNeil, 910 pages, Workman Publishing Company, $19.95. All the facts, lots of information, look it up here. The book is 6 by 9 inches and looks like a Bible. Karen is a writer whose work has appeared in more than 50 U.S. Magazines and newspapers including the New York Times.

The Movie Biz

 

Much of Alfred Hitchcock's life and career involved the California wine country and wine drinking. The Birds was shot in Mendocino. The plot of Notorious is about bottles of Pommard. One of his silent films was named Champagne and was about a family in the Champagne business. Vertigo was shot at Mission San Juan Batista near Carmel Valley. In 1940 Hitchcock bought the historic Heart O' the Mountain vineyard in the Scott's Valley area of the Santa Cruz Mountains above Monterey. There he built a Mediterranean villa and farmed Riesling grapes that he sold to the Cresta Blanca Winery. At this home he entertained guests like Grace Kelly, Ingrid Bergman, and others. The Heart O' the Mountain vineyard now produces its own wine under the ownership of Robert Brassfield.

Wine

 

Historic Champagne Found

Frederic Panaiotis, the cellarmaster at Dom Ruinart Champagne, recently got an exciting telephone call. Two cases of Vintage 1929 had been found in a private wine cellar in Alsace. The find was doubly exciting. Ruinart is the only major Champagne house that doesn't have an extensive wine library. Its library was ransacked by the Nazis during World War II and only goes back to 1945. Ruinart was founded in 1729 and this wine was from the 1929 bicentennial bottling. The current plans are to open the bottles in 2029 on the 300th anniversary. Ruinart is a sister company with Krug, Moet & Chandon, and Dom Perignon. All are owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy.

Chandon Sued for Name

Joseph Phelps Winery has sued Chandon for copyright infringement. Phelps has been using the copywritten trade name “Delice” on one of its wines since 1987. The suit says that Chandon applied to use the name; was turned down; and then used the name anyway. Phelps is asking for damages, attorney fees, and exclusive use of the name. Chandon is owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy. Joseph Phelps died on April 15. There is no word yet if the estate will continue the lawsuit.

30,000 Fake Wine Bottles

The Taiwan Investigation Bureau has confiscated 30,000 bottles of fake wine from the Tequila Development Company in Taipei. The company had been importing bulk wine from Spain and Chile and bottling it. Real French wine was also ordered from France to mask the operation. The fake bottles were then labeled with copies of of the French labels printed in the factory's own print shop. Records indicate 440,000 bottles were sold over the past four years. Ted Lin, the CEO, was arrested and released on bail. He denies all charges.

Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie Wine Counterfeited

Miraval, the Rose' produced by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie has been targeted by counterfeiters. The popular wine is a blend of Grenache, Carignan, Syrah, and Rolle. It has been distributed for the past 2 years. This year the production of 200,000 bottles was pre-sold on allocation. Fake bottles are already appearing in China. To thwart the counterfeiters, an engraved hallmark is on the foot of each bottle.

Rudy Kurniawan May Get New Trial

Rudy Kurniawan's attorney has petitioned an appeals court to overturn his conviction. According to the documents the FBI first sent an agent to his home, posing as a neighbor looking for a lost dog, to verify that he lived there. The next day they arrested him at home. During the arrest they searched the house, including a locked room, and found wine counterfeiting equipment. Later in the day they obtained a search warrant. Since the evidence was found without a proper warrant, the lawyers are arguing that it should not have been used at the trial.

European Wine Rules Changed

Traditional vineyards won't be the same. The European Union has changed the rules. Beginning January 1, 2016 vineyards can increase their size by 1% per year. Whether your favorite wine is a Great Growth or just a Bordeaux Superior, it could be quite different in 2034 than it was in 2014. The change will apply throughout the EU, including Italy, Spain, and France.

Wineries Use Dogs

Researcher, Sonja Needs, at the University of Melbourne is experimenting with dogs to control vineyard diseases. She has found that dogs' super sense of smell allows them to be trained to detect a diseased vine long before the problem becomes apparent to the human eye. Of particular note is the ability to detect phyloxera. Phyloxera is spread by flies, but lives on the roots of the grape vines. A dog can smell it several feet below the ground surface.

 

Wine Aged in Pots

In ancient times, wines were aged in clay pots. The practice was common in Georgia, Greece, Rome, and Egypt. The tops were sealed with bee's wax or pine resin. The pots, or amphorae, were porous and provided a good way to age the wine. Some modern wine makers in Italy, Chile, and the U.S. are experimenting with clay pots. Italian winemaker, Giovanni Manetti says that the wine is quite different from wine aged in oak, steel, or glass.

Let My Raisins Go!

The Supreme Court has heard a case on the National Raisin Reserve. The program has been administered by the Raisin Administrative Committee since 1937. The government has been taking a portion of each farmers' raisin crop in order to support the price of raisins and paying little or nothing for it. Marvin Horne is a farmer that owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and over 1 million pounds of raisins that he has refused to give to the committee. Horne argues that he is entitled to “just compensation” for what was taken. The justices will have to decide if the farmers rights have been violated or if they were harmed by the taking of raisins. In a previous case the court found for the government, but said this law has outlived its time. The price of raisins is important to the wine industry because it affects the price of all grapes including wine grapes. The court will probably rule in June.

Wine tastings May Be Taxed

The Board of Equalization has ruled that some wine tastings must pay taxes on gate receipts. In the past the board has ruled that wine tastings are trade shows and no wine was sold, so the show was exempt from taxes. But, some of these tastings invite consumers to buy tickets for entry. Taxes on those tickets is what's at stake. The Board of Equalization has issued a ruling to this effect to Pinot Days, which runs tastings in both Northern and Southern California. The ruling may also apply to the hundreds of other tastings including charity tastings run by 501(c)3 corporations.

Beer

Ben & Jerry's Beer

Ben & Jerry's is partnering with New Belgium Brewing to make an ice cream flavored beer. Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale will be released later this year. It will be packed 12/22 oz bottles and be 6.3%ABV. Profits will benefit the climate change charity, Protect Our Winters.

Mexican Beer Surges

Constellation Brands is on a hot streak with Corona and Modelo brands showing an 11% increase in the company's fourth quarter. Net sales for all brands for the year were up 24% to $6 billion. Net income was up 39% and a dividend was declared for the first time since the company went public in 1973. Class A shares will get 31 cents each and Class B shares will get 28 cents each. Constellation is investing $1 billion to expand its brewery in Nava, Mexico to keep up with sales.

Free Beer!

Beginning June 1 United Airlines will be offering free Beer and Wine in economy seats on international flights. The program will keep it in line with American and Delta and international carriers Lufthansa, Nippon Airways, and United Arab Emirates. The beer menu will include Budweiser, Miller Lite, Goose Island IPA, and Heineken.

Craft Beer Takes Market Share from Wine

A major theme and panel discussion at the recent Unified Wine and Grape Symposium in Sacramento was that reasonably priced wines are losing sales as customers switch casual drinking to craft beer. Table wines under $7 have been impacted the most. Meanwhile craft brewer start ups crowd into the market with a proliferation of types, styles, and flavors.

Spirits

Distiller Direct Sales

Assemblyman Mark Levine has introduced a bill to allow a distiller to sell 3 bottles directly to consumers at the distillery. Currently, the distiller can allow the consumer to taste a product but must sell to a wholesaler, who then sells to retailers. If asked the distiller can direct the consumer to two or more unaffiliated retailers to buy the product.

Russian Vodka Prices Ensure Tranquility

The Russian economy has been in a turmoil as Western sanctions over the fighting in Ukraine have taken effect. Inflation, shortages, and deprivation are now the norm. Evidently, fearing public unrest, Vladimir Putin has pledged to keep the price of Vodka low for the duration. He says if the price were to inflate, people would be forced to drink other beverages that are not healthy or safe.

Diageo Sales Flat

Diageo had its 7th straight nearly flat sales quarter. Sales were expected to increase about 2%. Instead sales dropped 0.7% for the quarter.

I Think I'll Wear My Whiskey Suit

Apparently, it has become acceptable to smell like you just came from a bar. The Heriot Wyatt University's School of Textiles and Design in Scotland has developed a fabric that smells like Johnnie Walker Black Label. The Harris Tweed Hebrides has the smell woven into the fabric. According to Diageo, maker of Johnnie Walker, it has rich malt, golden vanilla, red fruit, with dark chocolate notes. The fabric makers are confident the odor will outlast washing and dry cleaning.

Other Foods and Beverages

Computer, I'll Have a Pizza

Remember the Food Replicator from Star Trek? Well, it's here! A 3D printer that prints food items is in research and development. The printer works with basic flours, spices, and liquids to print food items. It can make ravioli, chocolates, pizza, and other foods. The machine will be able to make custom foods for diabetics, seniors, pregnant women, and others with special dietary needs. Right now, an individual machine costs upwards of $125,000. Mass production promises to bring the price down to $1400. However, like every other technology, - computers, TV's, copy machines, and microwaves, the price will come down even more and eventually it will be found in the home kitchen.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Baseball season is back. That means hot dogs and beer at the ball parks. It also heralds a new trend in high calorie, fat laden, unhealthy weight gaining foods. The Texas Rangers have a broad assortment including deep fried Twinkies, funnel cake french fries, and several items that have added bacon or pork fat. The feature item needs a name. It is a graham crusted marshmallow, sandwiches between two cookies, and deep fried in butter. These come six to a serving for $8. They were called s'mOreo's, but the makers of Oreos ordered them to change the name. The Texas Rangers also have the “Boomstick”, a 24 inch hot dog smothered in chili and nacho sauce for $26. It was so well received that they added 24 inch quesadillas, kabobs, and a taco made with a 24 inch tortilla that's called a Tenaco.

 

The Arizona Diamondbacks have Churro Dogs. That's a churro wrapped in a doughnut, topped with frozen yogurt and caramel sauce. The Cincinnati Reds serve a deep fried hot dog with salami. The Milwaukee Brewers have a pulled pork and mashed potato parfait. The Minnesota Twins serves a lamb & goat burger and a Bloody Mary topped with a slice of pizza is available at the bar. The New York Mets Citifield has a $17 Lobster Roll, minor league Michigan Whitecaps has chocolate and bacon tacos. But their top menu item is a 5lb 4800 calorie burger. They feel you might not remember the score, but you will remember your burger. This year the Whitecaps are adding Nutella Poppers, Chorizo Oysters, and Beer-Amiso. That's Tiramisu with craft beer poured over the top. Aramark runs many of the food concessions at ballparks. They report attendance in 2014 was down 7%, but food sales were up 25%.

 

O.K., maybe you ate too many hot dogs and drank too much beer. The LA Dodgers offer a Yoga Package to work it off. After the May 17 game, up to 1,000 can do yoga on the field. For only $50 a fan gets a game ticket, a yoga mat, and 30 minutes of yoga positions on the field. The giant yoga class is led by Mia Togo of YogaWorks and her 20 assistants. If the class is sold out, you can still do your yoga in the stands with a game ticket. Only in California!

Chipotle is GMO Free

Chipotle Restaurants has announced that they are the first fast food chain to be GMO free. The company has completely phased out all genetically modified food items in all 1800 locations. Chipotle Co-CEO, Steve Ells, proudly made the announcement. The company's website says “G-M-Over it.” The last and most difficult item to be developed was the corn tortillas. Most corn grown in the U.S. is GMO.

The Changing Market

New Labor Standards

San Francisco employers have to comply with new labor standards beginning July 3, 2015. The “Formula Retail Labor Protections Ordinances” apply to many businesses including bars and restaurants and their security contractors. The ordinance covers companies with 20 more locations worldwide and 20 or more employees in the city. The new rules cover scheduling, on-call work, part time, and employee retention. Meanwhile the LA City Council is considering a minimum wage.

Glass Recycling Broken

Last month we reported that plastic for recycling is backing up in warehouses all over the world. This month the news is that local collecting agencies are finding glass mixed with other recyclables is a problem because it breaks during processing and becomes hazardous to workers. When collected separately, it is still too expensive to haul the weight of glass to remote recycling plants. Overall, it has become too expensive to handle and recyclers who used to pay for glass are asking cities to pay to have it hauled away. When cities ask residents to just put it in with non-recyclable garbage, the residents protest loudly because they want to recycle. Paper may become the next problem. So much paper is being sent to recycling centers that the resale price is nearing zero.

Health

White Wine Protects Against Heart Disease

Caffeic Acid in white wines, a phenol, causes the lining of blood vessels to create nitric oxide, which makes them relax and reduces heart disease. The National Institute of Health published a report in PubMed.gov saying that several studies showed that both red and white wines reduce the incidence of heart disease.

Another Use for Red Wine

Research at the University of South Carolina shows that resveratrol in red wine helps fight depression. The study was reported in the school's University Herald. Assistant professor, Susan Wood, says “We hope our findings will encourage scientists who are running clinical trials to test the effectiveness of natural anti-inflammatory agents on depression.”

Wine Taste and Bouquet Decline with Drinker's Age

A wine taster's ability to identify and work with taste and bouquet may increase over time, but the sense of taste and smell are declining at the same time. Dr. Beverly Cowart of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia says “Smell and taste are distinct physiological systems. Each system has its own receptors and neural pathways, but it's often difficult to work out how each sense contributes to our overall perception of a wine because smell, taste and touch (mouth feel) all co-mingle in the imbibing experience.” We perceive five basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and savory (umami) with over 10,000 taste buds. Dr. Richard Axel and Dr. Linda Buck were awarded a Nobel Prize in 2004 for finding the 350 nasal receptors that allow us to distinguish thousands of distinct smells. Cowart and other researchers now know that the with age the sense of smell fades faster than other senses. The National Institute of Ageing reports that a third of those over 70 and two thirds of those over 80 have trouble with the sense of smell. The changes start much earlier and are the result of pollution, illnesses, and the death of individual cells.

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.

Spring to Loire! The Loire Valley Wines' Day in LA was a great tasting of a particularly good collection of very promotable wines. We found many wines that will satisfy consumer tastes from novice to expert; and they were reasonably priced! These wines will make happy customers. The event was held at the Millwick, a redecorated former warehouse in the Arts District in Downtown LA. Hassan Sefrioui of Sopexa Food and Wine Marketing put together a great event.

Domaine de Cezin, 2014 was a sparkling rose' made from 100% Pinot d'Aunis grapes. Pale pink, clear, light nose, good bubble structure, hint of sweetness. $15.99. Bradley Alan Imports, Contact Bradley Alan Cohen at bradley@bradleyalan.com, Distributed in California by Urban Wine Brokers contact Scott Harvey urbanwines@me.com or (707) 968-9566.

Beatrice & Pascal Lambert “Les Terrasses” Chinon 2013, 100% Cabernet Franc. Well structured red wine, nice berry acid tones, good body, deep color, light nose. $16.99. Langdon Shiverick Imports contact Patrick Dorsey patrick@shiverick.com or (213) 483-5900.

Les Clissages d Or Muscadet 2012, 100% Melon de Bourgogne. Dry bright straw color, good wine for seafood. $15.99. Marie de Beauregard Vouvray 2012, 100% Chenin Blanc. A delightful white wine, full body & almost chewy, bright & clear, minerality. $19.99. Pasternak Wine Imports (800) 946-3110.

Domaine d'Orfeuilles Brut NV, 100% Chenin Blanc, dry, pale straw color, good bubble structure. $21.99. Domaine d'Orfeuilles Brut Rose' NV, Dry, 1/3 each Gamay, Cabernet Franc, Cot. Light pink color, good bubble structure, well balanced flavors, $18.99. Domaine des Corbillieres 2011 Touraine, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Cot. Soft, slightly sweet red wine, $17.99. The Wine House, Pierre Lemieux pierre@mosaicwinealliance.com or (760) 408-0230.

Chateau Montcontour sparkling NV, Vouvray, 100% Chenin Blanc, straw color, semi-dry, true Chenin Blanc flavor, good bubble structure. $21.99. The Wine Source, Phillippe Halleux mana8780@gmail.com or (310) 480-6744.

Moulin de La Miniere Muscadet 2013, 100% Melon de Bourgogne, dry, pleasant, good seafood wine. $11.99. La Petite Timonerie Chinon 2012, 100% Cabernet Franc, dry, good color, good nose, full bodied. $19.99. Paul M Young Fine Wines, Paul Young paul@pywine.com or (213) 232-5199.

Domaine de Montbenoit 2013, 100% Pinot Noir, light plum color, good nose, mellow Pinot Noir flavors, a good buy at $17.99. La Grille 2013 Muscadet, 100% Melon de Bourgogne, White wine, dry, bright, perfect with seafood. We rate this as a best buy at $12.99. La Grille 2013 Rose', a blend of Grolleau and Gamay, very tasty and pleasant, brilliant pink color. We rate this as a best buy at $12.99. Vinamericas, Peter Chai pchai@vinamericas.com or (866) 998-VINO.

Industry Calendar

The LA Winefest is coming up Saturday and Sunday May 30-31. 7,000 members of the public are expected to attend as well as restaurant and retail trade. Los Angeles’ signature wine event invites first time visitors and loyal fans to sip, explore and enjoy hundreds of wines and beers al fresco at the historic Raleigh Studios in Hollywood on Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31. LA WineFest is one of the city’s wine festival pioneers, founded 10 years ago in 2005 by wine expert and educator Dr. Joel Fisher as a way to bring all things wine to the City of Angels in a fun, relaxed environment. Over the years, it has established itself as the largest consumer oriented wine event in Southern California. The event provides a one-time chance to introduce your product to the public at the start of the summer party season. Do you have a Craft Brewery or Boutique Winery? Don't miss this opportunity! Special Discount pricing to have a booth at the LA Winefest is available to The Beverage Bulletin's professional subscribers. Contact ron@cbraliquor.org for information. Industry members are invited to attend. Special ticket prices are available to your consumer friends and customers. Contact ron@cbraliquor.org for information.

5/2 Kentucky Derby
5/3 Santa Rita Hills Road Trip – Ventura
5/5 Cinco de Mayo
5/5-7 Cabs of Distinction – Paso Robles
5/6 Craft Beverage Expo – Santa Clara
5/6 Henry Wine Group – Monterey
5/6-7 World Tea Expo-Long Beach
5/8 El Dorado Wine Competition – Placerville
5/10 Mothers Day
5/10 Mexican Mothers Day
5/11 Plough Wine – LA
5/11 Wine Warehouse – LA
5/12 Vino California – LA
5/12-13 Sabor Latino – Pasadena
5/13 Southern Wine – LA
5/15 Mountain Democrat Awards – Placerville
5/16 26
th Annual Winemasters – LA
5/16 JFC Food & Sake Expo – Costa Mesa
5/18 JFC Food & Sake Expo – San Mateo
5/18 Australia Wine History – San Mateo
5/18 The Next Great Grape – SFO
5/20 National Craft Beer Week
5/25 Memorial Day
5/30-31 LA Winefest – LA
6/5 Cal-China Wine Forum – Sacramento
6/8 Ramadan
6/10-11 Unified Grocers Expo-Long Beach
6/11-13 National Homebrewers Conference – San Diego
6/14 Taste of Latin America Food Festival – LA
6/20 Pinot Days – SFO
6/21 Fathers Day

New Legislation for 2015

Our industry has more laws controlling it than most industries. The State
Legislature and the ABC give us license privileges and can take them away. New alcoholic beverage laws were passed that will be effective in 2015. Many critical issues are pending. Do you know about them and are you prepared for the changes. Is your business safe? Members are encouraged to look through the Legislative Bulletin. If there is a new law that is a problem for your business, call the association office now. The CBRA is your voice in Sacramento. If you are not a member, join today. The CBRA is your only voice when it comes to new beverage laws.

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