Restaurants: Several More Robust February Checks; Keep an Eye on Casual Dining

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Several more checks suggest robust February SSS Our checks continue to suggest that February restaurant SSS may be surprisingly robust. We wrote last Thursday about strong recent results at two mid-sized, privately held Restaurant concepts. We have subsequently confirmed these positive trends with several other chains across the QSR, Fast Casual and Casual Dining subsectors. ... read more>

2011 U.S. Wine Exports, 90% From California, Reach New Record of $1.4 Billion

Friday, February 17th, 2012

U.S. wine exports, 90% from California, reached a new record of $1.39 billion in winery revenues in 2011, an increase of 21.7% compared to 2010. Volume shipments were up 5.8% to 455.7 million liters or 50.6 million nine-liter cases. “The quality, diversity and value of California wines have propelled us to another record year for ... read more>

California Wine Grape Crush Down 7%, But Prices Set Record High

Monday, February 13th, 2012

According to the 2011 Preliminary Grape Crush Report, California’s 2011 wine grape crush, from all varieties, totaled 3,342,689 tons, down 7% from 2010. Red wine varieties accounted for the largest share of all grapes crushed, at 1,917,132 tons, down 7 percent from 2010. The 2011 white wine varieties crush totaled 1,425,557 tons, down 7 percent ... read more>

Consumer Wine Trends: Overall Consumption Up

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Overall table wine consumption is up in 2011, with over 291 million cases consumed, according to the Wine Market Council’s annual consumer tracking study on the U.S. wine market. But there are signs that the Millennial generation-the generation between the ages of 18 and 35-is not turning out to be the homogenous group as the ... read more>

News From The TTB: Tie-In Sales, An Unlawful Trade Practice

Monday, February 6th, 2012

To: Distilled Spirits Plants, Breweries, Wineries, Taxpaid Wine Bottling Houses, Wholesale Liquor Dealers, Importers, Retailers, and Others Concerned. What is the purpose of this circular? Our purpose in publishing this circular is to remind alcohol industry members and others that tie-in sales of alcohol beverage “products,” as defined in 27 CFR 6.11, and hereafter referred ... read more>

Two Buck Chuck Turns 10

Monday, February 6th, 2012

It’s hard to believe, but Bronco Wine Company’s Charles Shaw wine, dubbed Two Buck Chuck after the price at California Trader Joe’s, is 10 years old this month. They’ve shipped 50 million cases of the different varieties. When Two Buck Chuck first appeared, there were rumors about its origins, including being distressed wine from failed ... read more>

Brand Profile: WhistlePig Rye: 100% Rye, 100 Proof, Hand-Bottled in Vermont

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

With craft bottlings competing with commercial favorites, it takes a lot for a whiskey to stand out these days. Especially when it’s a new entrant in a category steeped in tradition. WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey, launched in 2010, has earned its spot on back bars and retail shelves the old-fashioned way: with top quality and ... read more>

Wine’s 2011 Report Card

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

The Wine Market Council and Nielsen present their annual report on the state of wine in the U.S. The results are in-the wine industry is looking up. That’s according to the seventh-annual study on wine consumption in the U.S. conducted by the Wine Market Council and Nielsen Marketing in 2011. The optimistic findings were announced ... read more>

Beyond the Chocolate Martini: America’s Love for Chocolate Infuses Spirits and Wine

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

For fans of classic cocktails like the pre-Prohibition Brandy Alexander, with its dose of sweet, dark crème de cacao, and for legions of chocolate martini fans cultivated in the 1990s, chocolate and happy hour go together like Romeo and Juliet. The relationship of chocolate and beverage alcohol is clearly built on a passionate foundation, and ... read more>

Talkin Tech: Key Transitions in the Growth of a Wine Store Website

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Every year we review benchmark indicators for the retailer ecommerce websites we support. This is a valuable routine for us to catch outliers who are lagging, stores that should be doing better than their performance suggests. We need to find out whether the problem is technical or design related, or it might concern store personnel ... read more>
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