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New York Personal Page – June 2013

Posted on  | May 28, 2013   Bookmark and Share
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A Key Measure

Seeing positive signs in the economy percolating down to beverage alcohol. According to Guestmetrics, alcohol dollar sales were up 1.8% for the four weeks ending April 21st, a solid uptick from the -0.3% slide during the first quarter. But what particularly caught my eye was a report from Restaurant Sciences indicating that wine prices in restaurants have been on the rise.

Here is why I pay particular attention to these measures. At the height of the economy in early 2008, I visited with our friends at Le Bernardin, who had some thoughts about how we could make our listings even more helpful. In the course of discussing wine pricing, I was surprised to hear about the frequency at which diners were casually ordering wines in the hundreds of dollars, and more. Granted, Le Bernardin attracts high-end clientele, but the trend was at an exceptional level that reflected confidence in the economic climate at the time.

Now, in trying to filter through a variety of economic indicators, we are seeing reports of a shift back up in wines prices. Hopefully, a positive sign you will be able to take advantage of.

William Slone, Chairman

A Business Worth Entering

If there is any real indicator of the health of the wine and spirits industry, it’s the number of outsiders who want to enter.

This was my major take-away from April’s WSWA 70th Annual Convention in Orlando. The innovation on display was astounding—there were over 300 suppliers looking for distribution—and an entire session of the U.S. Alcohol Beverage Forum devoted to educating participants on how to enter our market. According to incoming WSWA president Doug Hertz this was the best-attended convention in recent memory and membership is the highest it’s been in close to a decade. Many beer wholesalers are applying for licenses to distribute wine and spirits, and a growing number of major wine suppliers are getting into the spirits game (Trinchero Family Estates, Gallo, Palm Bay, among others).

Our industry is also a resilient one, and no one illustrates this more profoundly than Richard Leventhal, honored with WSWA’s Lifetime Leadership Award. Under Leventhal’s inspired direction, NJ-based Fedway Associates overcame incredible obstacles in the wake of Superstorm Sandy last fall. Cheers to you, Richard.

Jason A. Glasser, Chief Executive Officer

Nice Spice/Giving & Receiving

The weather’s finally warm and it’s time for rum cocktails. In “Spice is Nice”, Jack Robertiello takes a look at how the sub-category of spiced rum has expanded in the past few years with different proofs and flavors to reach and retain more rum fans.

It’s remarkable to me how inventive our industry continues to be with new trends all the time. In “Beer’s New Calling: Cocktails,” explore how bartenders across the country are reaching for the tap handles for new creative cocktail inspiration. Also be sure and ‘unzip’ and check out Absolut Tune on pg. 51 of the print edition.

The 2013 NYC Wine & Food Fest has released its lineup of events and it’s going to be another amazing experience October 17th–20th. We are proud to partner with the event for Trade Day, and it’s amazing how much is raised each year for the Food Bank for New York City and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. Giving is always good, like the new Sparkletini flavor, Acaí, with $1 from every case purchased going to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Jody Slone-Spitalnik, Chief Operating Officer


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