Beverage Bulletin October 2013

California Beverage Retailers Association

Beverage Bulletin

P.O. Box 56686

Sherman Oaks, CA 91413

(818) 788-8120

Ron Ziff, Editor

October 2013

This month's stories include:

*Headlines - This Bud's for Who?, 11 Year Old Brews in Space, U.S. Senate Considers Energy Drink Law, Safeway Buyout, Fresh and Easy Bankruptcy, Chateau Haut Brion Sets Record, New Drink Category

*Editorial - Pay for Play? Not Here!

*Celebrities in the Industry - Francis Ford Coppola, E.L. James

*Popular Culture – Film, TV

*Wine - Chile Frost Disaster, Large Format Chateau Margaux, France Restocks President's Wine Cellar, Vintage 2013 Champagne, Amazon Expands Wine Delivery, 6,000 Year Old Winery Found, How Much Wine is Poured?, How Consumers Choose a Wine, Argentine Inflation Squeezes Winemakers, Pussy Nouveau, What Kind of Wine to Serve with a Square Meal?

*Beer - The 10 Highest Priced Beers in the NFL, Three New Records in Craft Beer, Government Shutdown Hurt Craft Beers, Is Pub Crawling a Thing of the Past?, SAB/Miller is Brewery Shopping, Good Times for Constellation, Brooklyn Brewery Expands in Sweden, New York Restaurants Serve Big

*Spirits - Indian Bootleg Liquor Kills 42, Cognac to be Allocated, Diageo to Focus on Africa

*Other Food and Beverages - Consumers Shift Lunch from Restaurants to Stores, New York Hilton Brings Back Food, By Any Other Name, FDA Issues Spice Warning, Grain Prices Fall, Egg Sales Up, Darden Restaurants to Split?, Basic Change Coming to the Coffee Market

*The Changing Market - Shift in Consumer Food Purchases, U.S. #1 in Energy Production

*Health - Sprite Beats Hangovers, Red Wine Ingredient Fights Cancer, Brew Your Own-A New Meaning


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





I love to sing, and I love to drink scotch. Most people would rather hear me drink scotch.” - George Burns



Headline News Stories

This Bud's for Who?

AB/Inbev has lost a round in its legal battle over the name Budweiser with the Czech Republic's Budvar. The Italian Supreme Court has overturned a lower court's ruling on the name. The case has been remanded to the Court of Appeals, but will be heard in light of the recent decision. The result is that Budvar has the right to the name Budweiser and AB/Inbev has been forced to rename its beer “Bud.” Both companies are now bottling with new labels. More than 50 copyright disputes in 20 countries continue as the companies keep the 108 year old legal battle going.





11 Year Old Brews in Space

11 year old Michael Bodzianowski has designed an experiment to see if beer can be brewed in space. His experiment won a competition sponsored by the Center for Earth and Space Science Education. The purpose of the experiment is to have an alternative source of pure hydration for space travelers in case systems for making drinking water are not operable. The Pilgrims used much the same system while sailing here on the Mayflower. While the team on the space station is performing the experiment, Michael will be performing the same experiment in school to compare results. Unfortunately, Michael will not be able to taste the beer he produces.

U.S. Senate Considers Energy Drink Law

The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee may clear legislation that would prevent Energy Drink manufacturers from marketing to children. Committee Chair, Senator John (Jay) D. Rockefeller IV (D WVA) issued a statement warning the companies “to put the health and safety of our children and teens first by voluntarily committing to common sense limitations on marketing.”

Safeway Buyout

Safeway may be the target of another buyout. Several firms, including Cerberus, are possible buyers. The sale would include all or part of the company. The two largest portions are Safeway Northern California Division headquartered in Pleasanton and the Vons Division in Southern California. The company is already selling Safeway Canada and in the process of selling or closing the Dominick's stores in Chicago. Goldman Sacks is advising the Safeway Board.

Fresh and Easy Bankruptcy

Tesco has put the Fresh and Easy chain into bankruptcy as part of a restructuring and sale to Yucaipa Companies. Another Tesco affiliate would lend Yucaipa about $120 million to do the deal. The surviving entity would be 22.5% owned by Tesco. In the bankruptcy filing the company cited assets of up to $500 million and debts of up to $1 billion.

Chateau Haut Brion Sets Record

Chateau Haut Brion became the star of the Hong Kong auction and set records earlier this month. A batch of single bottles of greatest years, 1935, 1945, 1959, 1961, 1975, 1989, 1990, and 2009 went for $103,000. Cases of 1959 and 1961 each drew over $69,000. A single buyer bought 40 cases of 1989 for $948,000.

New Drink Category

Move over Energy Drinks, a new category of “relaxing drinks” is just getting started. These drinks offer a good night's sleep or just a little relaxation or happiness. Brand names include Neuro Bliss, Marley's Mellow Mood, Unwind, or Just Chill. Ingredients include melatonin, valerian root, and L-thianine as well as herbs and spices. The drinks are flavored with orange, tea, or berries.



Pay for Play? Not Here!

From time to time some industry members ask the Beverage Bulletin to pay for content or ask to pay us to print content. WE DON'T DO EITHER. We believe in reporting industry news as it happens and as we see it. We think that is honest journalism and results in news that is credible. We believe that exchanging dollars for words results in the shoddiest type of journalism and is dishonest. Rest assured, what you read in the Beverage Bulletin is news, not product placement or paid releases.



Celebrities in the Industry

Francis Ford Coppola is promoting a new chardonnay named Sophia Coppola for his daughter. The wine was kicked off with a gala event at Buvette in New York's West Village.


E.L. James, author of Fifty Shades of Grey now has her own wine. It is blended and bottled to her specs. There are 2 types Red Satin and White Silk. Both have the label “You are Mine.” She says “Wine plays an important role in Fifty Shades of Grey adding to the sensuality of the scenes. ...I hope my readers curl up with a glass as they enjoy the romance.”


Popular Culture


Uma Thurman

Jameson's Irish is sponsoring a competition of 3 short films to be made in 2014, starring Uma Thurman. The films will be directed by 3 finalist, aspiring, writer/directors. The contest is called “First Shot”, because it gives the directors a first shot at breaking into Hollywood. The entire program will be under the supervision creative director, Kevin Spacey, and producer, Dana Brunetti.




The British TV series Downton Abbey is a worldwide sensation with 120 million viewers. Now fans can drink along with the on screen family, the Crawleys. Downton Abbey Wines will hit the market November 1. The Blanc and Claret are produced in Entre-du-Mers, France and will sell for $14.99. Winemaker Jean-Marc Dulong is part of the 5th generation of vintners at Grand Vins de Bordeaux. “It is exciting for me to think about my Bordelaise ancestors crafting their clarets and blancs in the Downton Abbey era.” says Jean-Marc.



Chile Frost Disaster

Late season frost hit Chile's wine grape growing region. There were 2 frosts 6 days apart and there was a lack of water in the valley. This is the valley's worst weather problem in 84 years and may have caused up to $1 billion in damage to grapes and other fruit. Among the vineyards hard hit were those owned by Concha y Toro and Valle San Pedro. Varieties lost were primarily Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.


Large Format Chateau Margaux

Chateau Margaux has bottled 6 large format Balthazars of Vintage 2009. 3 of them are on sale in the duty free store at the Dubai Airport for $195,000 each. A Balthazar is a 12 liter bottle, equivalent to 16 750ml bottles. Each bottle is packed in its own specially designed velvet lined wooden box. That's probably a good thing because it's too big to fit in your carry on luggage.

France Restocks President's Wine Cellar

Earlier this year the French President's Wine Cellar sold off 1200 bottles and raised 500,000 Euros. At the time it was viewed as an austerity move. Now the cellar is restocking table wines from Languedoc, Alsace, and Gascony. In a press release, the cellar said most of the proceeds of the earlier sale went to the treasury while the current purchase is of “more modest wines.”

Vintage 2013 Champagne

2013 was a bad weather year for most of France. Crops were smaller and quality down. But, the Champagne region has done well. The crop is of average size with producers claiming it may be classed as a vintage year. Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon, cellar master at Louis Roederer, says this could be a great year for Cristal. Cellar masters at Veuve Clicquot, Taittinger, and Bollinger have not committed as yet, but are optimistic. Dominique Demarville, cellar master at Veuve Clicquot, said “The season was slow to to start, with cold weather retarding the vines until July. Hot weather in July and August was vital. The hot weather allowed for the fruit to ripen steadily...The maturing conditions in September and October remained optimal, which is unusual...It has allowed for a good alcohol percentage, combined with great acidity and a very low pH.”

Amazon Expands Wine Delivery

Amazon has expanded its wine sales to 20 states and Washington DC. The company now offers 5,000 wines from 700 producers. 6 bottles can be shipped winery to consumer for $9.99.



6,000 Year Old Winery Found

Archaeologists have discovered remnants of 6000 year old wine during a dig at Dikili Tash in northeastern Greece. The wine dates from about 4200 BC. Previously, it was thought wine making started in about 1200 BC. Dimitra Malamidou, Director of the excavation reported the discovery. She says large quantities of crushed grapes were found in clay pots at the site. This is the oldest evidence of wine ever found and shows that people were making and using wine in the Neolithic period. Although well aged, there is no word as to whether 4200 B.C. was a good year.

How Much Wine is Poured?

A group of researchers from Iowa State and Cornell Universities have released the results of a study that shows how much wine people pour for themselves. The size of the pour seems to depend mostly on the shape and size of the glass. A wider glass had 12% more poured. However, one interesting result was that in any size or shape glass white wine drinkers pour themselves 9% more than red wine drinkers.

How Consumers Choose a Wine

Wine Opinions CEO, John Gillespie has released the results of a survey of over 1100 wine drinkers showing how they choose a wine. 60% will take the advice of a wine knowledgeable friend, 53% with help from wine shop staff, 52% with the help of a restaurant sommelier, and only 40% will use a recommendation from a newspaper wine columnist.

Argentine Inflation Squeezes Winemakers

Argentine wineries are facing tremendous price pressure that could mean the end of bargain Malbec and price them out of the world market. Rampant inflation has doubled costs in the last 4 years. This year the country has had 10.5% inflation as the currency weakens against the U.S. dollar. Production costs including labor, glass, labels, and shipping are all under pressure. Wineries are trying to absorb as much of the cost as possible to stay on dealer's shelves.


Pussy Nouveau

Pussy Nouveau will be hitting the shelves in Japan simultaneously with Beaujolais Nouveau. The Japanese love their cats, and this 'cat wine' feeds that obsession. It is a non-alcoholic wine made from Cabernet Franc grapes, fortified with vitamin C, and flavored with catnip. It is labeled “Nyan Nyan”, Japanese for Meow. A pet food manufacturer, B&H Lifes, hopes the product will become an annual tradition to feed pets during the holiday season. The company admits that during product testing it was not a hit with cats, but owners seemed to lap up the concept.

What Kind of Wine to Serve with a Square Meal?

Truett-Hurst have introduced California Square, “the wine that doesn't cut corners.” It comes in 3 varieties that are in square bottles; Russian River Chardonnay, Paso Robles Cabernet, and Paso Robles 3 Red Blend. All are from winemaker Virginia Marie Lambrix. The company proudly notes that the bottles don't need a wine rack. They can be stored on their sides with bookends. The wines were featured at Emmy Awards weekend in September.



The 10 Highest Priced Beers in the NFL

Listed below are the 10 highest priced beers in the NFL. The cups are not all the same size so we also show the price per ounce. Is it worth the price? You be the judge. We can also note that some teams offer a cheaper cup of beer. The Cleveland Browns offer the lowest price in the league. $5 for 16 ounces, 32 cents an ounce. They are closely followed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers $5.75 for 16 ounces, 36 cents an ounce. The highest in the league is Indiana.



Price per Ounce

St. Louis Rams

$8 for 20 ounces

40 cents

Baltimore Ravens

$8 for 20 ounces

40 cents

Detroit Lions

$8.50 for 20 ounces

42 cents

Buffalo Bills

$9 for 20 ounces

45 cents

San Francisco 49ers

$7.75 for 16 ounces

48 cents

Seattle Seahawks

$8 for 16 ounces

50 cents

Oakland Raiders

$7 for 14 ounces

50 cents

Dallas Cowboys

$8.50 for 16 ounces

53 cents

Chicago Bears

$8.50 for 16 ounces

53 cents

New York Jets/Giants

$8.75 for 16 ounces

55 cents

San Diego Chargers

$9 for 16 ounces

56 cents

Indiana Colts

$7 for 12 ounces

58 cents

Three New Records in Craft Beer

A craft beer named “Dave” holds the record for the most expensive beer. Dave is a barleywine. Barleywine is a high alcohol malt beverage and Dave is no exception; it clocks in at 29% ABV. It was aged first in oak barrels and then in bottles for a total aging of 19 years. The brewing company, Hair of the Dog, released just 12 bottles last month. At a price of $2,000 a bottle it sold out in hours.


Brewmeister, a brewery in Scotland, has the record for the world's strongest beer. The brew is called Snake Venom and has an ABV of 67.5%. John McKenzie and Lewis Shand have created the beer from smoked peat malt, beer yeast, and champagne yeast. The two former college mates have been brewing beer since they were 16 years old. The alcohol is strong but still tastes malty and pleasant. The beer has a warning label on its neckband stating that consumption should be limited to 35ml and it should be treated as if it was a whisky. If it were whisky, it would be 135 proof. A 275ml bottle sells for 50, or $81 U.S.


Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy has become America's fastest turning craft beer. The company is owned by Miller/Coors. Summer Shandy, a blend of beer and lemonade, became a breakout item in 2013. The drink represents 50% of sales from the brewery and 10% of craft beer sales from Miller/Coors. It is brewed in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin and is distributed in all 50 states. The brew was introduced as a seasonal promotion in 2007. The company is considering making it a year around shelf staple.

Government Shutdown Hurt Craft Beers

The government shutdown is over. During the shutdown small brewers were stymied. Any new brew that crosses state lines must be approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). For the duration bureau most bureau employees were furloughed and there were no new approvals. Particularly hard hit were seasonal brews. The only essential employees on duty during the shutdown were tax collectors.


Is Pub Crawling a Thing of the Past?

CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale in England has released a study on pubs closing and asked for help from the public. They want people to spend more time in English pubs. The problem is that beer sales are declining in the UK and pubs are going out of style rapidly. Overall beer sales were down 7.9% in 2012 and 26 pubs are closing each week. The study shows why people have gone to pubs in the past. 75% celebrated a friend's birthday, 50% attended a wedding reception, 48% attended a wake, 48% had a date, and 42% celebrated a wedding anniversary.

SAB/Miller is Brewery Shopping

SAB/Miller is looking for new acquisitions. Worldwide beer volume has leveled off and total sales for the company have dipped 1% over the past year. The only avenue for growth is buying more brewers. Since most beer brands have local followings, the target companies being shopped are in Asia. In the US, the Miller label has been in a downward trend for about 10 years. Meanwhile, the company's Blue Moon has been riding the craft beer trend.

Good Times for Constellation

Constellation Brands has taken a giant leap forward since the acquisition of Modelo. Net sales for the most recent quarter, not including excise taxes, more than doubled to $1.46 billion. Gross margin was 39.5%. Wine and spirits volume were up 1.8% and beer volume up 1.1%.

Brooklyn Brewery Expands in Sweden

Brooklyn Brewery is opening a second plant in Stockholm, Sweden. The company has been pushing its export business in 20 countries and Sweden has become its #2 market. The new brewery will be in a former light bulb factory and will have an annual capacity of 1 million liters. The plant will cost 25 million Kronor (about $3.9 million). The Carlsberg Group has distributed Brooklyn Beers in the country since 2006. Worldwide craft beers account for 1% of beer sales, while in Sweden they account for 4%. Beer is sold in Systembolget, a chain of liquor stores owned by the government. The chain has 422 stores and offers 3,290 types of beer. Brooklyn Beer costs the equivalent of US $2.67 a bottle and has a 39% share in this highest price category.

New York Restaurants Serve Big Beer

Trendy restaurants and bars in New York City are swept up in a wave of sales of large format beer bottles. Beer geeks search out rare brews, limited editions, and new tastes from faraway breweries and then share them at a table of friends. At DBGB in the Bowery, D. Carnegie's Special Porter goes for $101 a bottle. If your in the mood for an exotic taste you can order a 3 liter of Austrian Samichlaus Dopplebock for $200.00. Bronx Brewery supplies its Gin Barrel Aged Pale Ale in 750 ml bottles to the John Dory Oyster Bar, The Breslin, and other hot spots where it sells for about $30.



Indian Bootleg Liquor Kills 42

Bootleg liquor in the northern India state of Uttar Pradesh has killed 42 people, blinded others, and hospitalized at least 50 more. The liquor may have been spiked with insecticide to increase its potency. It was sold on Friday October 18 and within 24 hours the victims started flooding hospitals. A number of arrests have been made in the incident, including 4 government officials who allowed the bootlegging and the retail shop owner whose son also died. Smuggling and bootleg liquor are a problem in India because poor workers can't afford to buy liquor from licensed sellers. In order to fight back, the government has opened shops to sell legitimate liquor at bargain prices. The bargain liquor is 72 proof and normally sells for 45 Rupees a quart. It will be available at select outlets near the border, and only to the poor, at 25 Rupees a quart.

Cognac to be Allocated

Cognac houses are starting to allocate their production due to heavy demand from Asia. The eau-de-vie has long been a favorite across the continent, but it has become a status symbol among the new rich of China. If only 10% of China drank 1 bottle a year the entire Cognac region couldn't keep it supplied. Martell reports 80% of profits come from Asia. Only 3% of Cognac production is consumed in France; 97% is exported. The most popular spirit in France is Scotch, selling 12 million cases a year. Shipments to the U.S. were up 10% in the 12 months ending in July to 3.6 million cases; while shipments to Asia were up 9% at 1.9 million cases. That is a market shift since Asian shipments more than doubled from 2009 to 2012.


Diageo to Focus on Africa

Diageo is betting on the African market to out pace the Asian market in the near future. As the cities grow and purchasing power increases, the demand for more expensive drinks also increases. Nick Blazquez, Diageo's President of African Operations, notes that 6 of the 10 fastest growing economies are in Africa. Diageo is the largest distiller in Africa with about $4 billion in annual revenue. The company is working a built in advantage of scale because it can distribute beer and spirits together throughout Africa. This allows Guinness, Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, and other brands to all share distribution costs.


Other Food and Beverages

Consumers Shift Lunch from Restaurants to Stores

Consumer lunch visits to retailers have increased by 29% since 2008 while restaurant lunch visits declined 1% according to NPD Group. The reasons given are that retail stores offer healthy option, good variety, light meal options, affordability, and one stop shopping. Among the reasons for restaurant visit declines are high unemployment and a lack of consumer confidence.

New York Hilton Brings Back Food

The New York Hilton created a stir last May when they announced room service was being discontinued because people were not using it. Now the company has announced that it will be opening a “Grab 'n Go” area as a replacement. The area will include a convenience market; a coffee, pastry, yogurt display; flatbreads and burgers, and a breakfast buffet. It was described as the real intent to do this all along. Makes sense, except... why did it take the company 5 months to let everyone know about it?

By Any Other Name

Coca-Cola was the world's most valuable brand for the past 13 years. Interbrand Consulting still values the brand name at $79.2 billion, but dropped it to #3 in value. The drink was edged out by #1 Apple and #2 Google.

FDA Issues Spice Warning

The FDA tested more than 20,000 shipments of herbs and spices and found that 7% were contaminated with salmonella. If the spices are added before or during cooking, there should be no danger. The agency is concerned that restaurants may be adding spices after cooking, which would not be safe.

Grain Prices Fall

Corn and Soy Bean prices fell as the 2013 crop started coming in early and heavy. The grains already in storage are at high levels. With bumper crops looming, prices fell. The falling prices may cause drops in animal feed bringing lower prices on meat and increased production of food oils which will in turn, increase the production of food oil's byproduct, Vodka.

Egg Sales Up

Sales of eggs are up about 17% for the quarter ended August 31. Specialty egg sales rose to more than 24% of total sales as consumers search out new “egg experiences”. Meanwhile profits are down at egg producers due to an increase in feed costs of more than 6%.

Darden Restaurants to Split?

Darden Restaurants is under fire from Barington Capital, one of its major stockholders. Barington wants Darden to be split into 2 companies in order to increase stockholder returns. The breakup would leave Olive Garden and Red Lobster in one group and 6 smaller companies including Longhorn Steakhouse and Capital Grille in a second company with high growth potential.






Basic Change Coming to the Coffee Market

A big change is coming in the coffee market. For hundreds of years raw beans have been shipped in standard 150 pound burlap bags with the producer's name printed on the side. It's such a tradition that it was standardized in international trade regulations. Now the regulations are being re-written and all that will change. Coffee will be allowed to travel in “super sacks” packed in large ship deck cargo containers. Each super sack will hold a metric ton. The change will drastically reduce shipping and loading costs. It is expected that there will be considerable downward pressure on raw bean prices which are already dropping due to 2 years of bumper crops in Brazil. Arabica prices are already at the lowest level since April 2009. The change will favor major roasters like Folgers and Maxwell House. Small individual roasters and chains like Starbucks and Coffee Bean are equipped to handle standard bags and will be under pressure to change or pay more than competitors.


The Changing Market


Shift in Consumer Food Purchases

Food trends and fads continue to surge through the US market. Organic and Gluten Free seem to have leveled out. Vegan is growing and “clean kids foods” are coming on strong. The latest trend that may sweep through the marketplace is “Paleo.” The Paleo diet is backed by doctors and is part of the growing CrossFit Physical Regimen. The Paleo Diet was founded by Dr. Loren Cordain. It mimics what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate during the Stone Age and includes meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seafood. The Paleo Diet is promoted as “the world's healthiest diet.” Paleo products are just starting to hit the market.

U.S. #1 in Energy Production

The US has quietly moved into the number one spot as a producer of energy. Fracking has made it possible. Mid year we passed Russia to become #1. In July we produced 22 million barrels a day of oil, natural gas, and other fuels. In the past 5 years imports of natural gas have fallen 32% and crude oil imports have fallen 15%.



Sprite Beats Hangovers

Hua-Bin Li and a team at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China compared the results of using 57 beverages in conjunction with drinking and to examine how the body processes alcohol and how they affected a hangover. The researchers found that herbal teas slowed down the assimilation of alcohol and worsened the effect of a hangover. Some beverages did the opposite and were a benefit. Of the beverages, it was found that Sprite worked the best and resulted in the least hangover. Plain soda water was a close second.

Red Wine Ingredient Fights Cancer

Michael Nicholl, MD oncologist at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center at Columbia, Mo. and Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri reports in the Journal of Surgical Research that melanoma cancers treated with resveratrol are more likely to be cured. 44% of the tumor cells treated with resveratrol alone were killed and in combination with radiation 65% were killed. Further studies are planned to find a method of delivering the resveratrol directly to the cells. Although resveratrol is available over the counter in health food stores, Dr. Nicholl recommends against self treatment for cancer.

Brew Your Own-A New Meaning

Dr. Justin McCarthy and Barbara Cordell, Head of Nursing at Panola College report in The International Journal of Clinical Medicine that a man in Carthage, Texas has become infected with Saccharomyces cerevisiae. (That's Brewers Yeast.) He checked into their hospital with a blood alcohol level of 5 times the legal limit. In 2004 he had surgery for a broken foot. At the time he was treated with anti-biotics. Evidently that upset the natural balance of bacteria and yeast in his gut and the brewers yeast from home brew beer took hold. Now, when he consumes carbohydrates, his stomach goes to work brewing its own beer. The result is that he gets drunk from eating a bagel, pasta, or even a soft drink. His wife became upset with the situation when he suddenly became drunk at church. Now she uses a Breathalyzer to test him after meals.



Raymond Ziff, one of the founding partners of Westward Ho Markets, has passed away at the age of 101. He served in the food and beverage industry from 1934 to his retirement in 1989. In 1949 he and his partners started the first Westward Ho in West Los Angeles. The chain grew to 4 stores by his retirement in 1989. Westward Ho made its mark on the beverage industry by selling more than 25,000 bottles of wine each month for a period of several years. Raymond Ziff was father and grandfather to two of the Beverage Bulletin's staff.

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.


Authentic Wine Selections

Authentic Wine Selections offered some interesting wines at very reasonable pricing. Roland-Champion Blanc de Blancs Champagne was classic and refreshing $52. The Brut Rose is also a good choice at $55.


Authentic Wine Selections also poured Burt Street Cellars Wines, which were made in classic European styles. The 2012 Pinot Noir Rose was in the dry Tavel style $15. The Carneros Chardonnay was fresh, acidic, with no oak $25.99. The winery had a 2011 Grenache blended with 25% Syrah; and a Syrah blended with 25% Grenache. Both wines had classic flavors, deep ruby color, full body, and have lots of fine years of aging ahead of them $29.99. The star favored by many of the buyers was the 2012 Pinot Noir, this wine has a beautiful balance and will age well into the future $49.99. Contact Authentic Wine Selections contact Robert Morrison or (415) 336-0250.


Pinot in the City Tasting

The Pinot in the City Tasting featured wines from Oregon's Willamette Valley. There were a number of very good wines at prices that will keep your customers coming back. Actually, there were so many good buys that we had to limit our review to a few of the best.


Anne Amie Vineyards poured Muller-Thurgau 2012, 12.8% ABV. This white wine was a delightful surprise; light, bright, fresh, with a good nose. Pairs with food or stands alone. $15. Also a 2012 Pinot Gris. A light bright wine 13.4% ABV, pairs well with food, $19. And 2010 Winemaker's Selection Pinot Noir. Light fresh, true Pinot taste, bright red color $35. Contact Nurit Robitschek at Discoveries in Wine or (707) 963-4724.


Sweet Cheeks Winery showed 2012 Riesling. This cool climate wine had lots of flavor and a measured sweetness, 7.5% ABV, $12. Contact Kacy Minnis or (541) 349-9463.


Brooks Winery showed a 2010 Riesling that was dry, light, fresh, and clean 11.5% ABV. Will pair well with food. $18. Contact Janie Brooks Heucke at or 503-435-1278.


Chehalem had a delightful 2011 Three Vineyard Riesling that had a good nose, was clean and fresh with a good acid/sugar balance 10.5% ABV. $21. Contact Thomas Sichta at or 503-527-5553.


Left Coast Cellars featured a 2012 The Orchard's Pinot Gris. This wine was bright, fresh, had a full body, full flavor, 12.9% ABV. $18. Contact Mark Pape at or 503-831-4916.


Industry Calendar

10/30 I.E.E.M. Italian Tasting – LA

10/31 Halloween

11/3 Daylight Saving ends

11/7 ANCO tasting - LA

11/9 Wine Riot - LA

11/11 Veterans Day

11/28 Thanksgiving

11/28 Hannukah

12/5 80 years ago this day President Franklin Roosevelt announced that the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified by ¾ of the states.

12/7 Pinot Days Tasting – Southern California

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

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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