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Photograph by Thomas Mangieri
The Price of Popularity
Great business we are in. Everyone is interested in our prod-
ucts: consumers, journalists, politicians... but that’s one of our
problems. Here’s a sampling of issues being raised of late.
U.S. News &World Report
lists beer, wine and liquor stores
among their “10 Worst Industries of 2013.” This conclusion is
driven primarily by the recognition of the threat of competi-
tion from grocery chains, discount outlets and even the Inter-
net as many states loosen restrictions on sales. A little exag-
gerated, considering the fundamental strength of our products
with the consumer, but a good reason to try to heed the lessons
s column this month.
An added price we pay is the continued barrage of “scien-
tific studies” from the likes of the Center for Disease Control
(CDC). Latest crisis: “one in eight women binge drink three
times a month,” which they define as “having more than 3 drinks
in a day.” Are they kidding? Frank Coleman of DISCUS reminds
CDC that their own research shows that binge drinking among
women has declined 25% over the last decade to historic lows.
Again, as part of doing business with these great products,
we have to be aware of these issues and help our partners in
the industry to respond.
Chief Operating Officer
William G. Slone
Famous faces have been linked to wines for awhile now, but it
wasn’t until we began putting this issue together that we truly
understood how widespread celebrity brand involvement has
become. From promotion and social media to partial brand own-
ership and creative collaboration, stars from sports, TV, film and
music see the wine & spirits industry as a perfect fit to leverage
celebrity and engage fans. The feature starts on pg. 20.
Pernod Ricard USA is launching probevsource, a great new
resource for the trade. Get the details on pg. 28. Master of Wine
Christy Canterbury explains why it’s time to ask again, “What is
a good food wine anyway?” (pg. 38). And though it’s mid-winter,
“Carbonation Nation” starting on pg. 44 should inspire bubbly
thoughts with tips on how mixologists are using carbonation to
innovate behind the bar.
With Valentine’s Day and President’s Day this month, there
are all sorts of ways to engage consumers. The Find, Wine Buzz
and Season’s Menu all have great ideas expressly for February.
The Trickle UP Effect
Last month we documented the broad support of retailers for
New York State wines. While the inspiration for this effort
may have initially been politically motivated, the consumer
response appears to have been positive, and that message has
been filtering up.
Just recently we learned (with a little assistance from Sena-
tor Schumer’s office) that President Obama’s Inaugural Lun-
cheon will be featuring an appetizer course served with Tierce
2010 Finger Lakes Dry Riesling (a collaboration of the upstate
winemakers from Anthony Road Winery, Fox Run Vineyards
and Red Newt Cellars) and a meat course with Bedell Cellars
2009 Merlot (Long Island). These are the first New York State
wines ever served at the Inaugural Luncheon.
Another good example of the influence you can have as a
group, when you choose to join together and deal with an issue
rather than just “leaving it up to the associations.”
Jason A. Glasser
Chief executive officer