A new study from VinQuest has concluded that direct-to-consumer wine sales grew by 12 percent in 2010. Steve Heimoff puts the report in context, concluding, correctly, that “distribution remains, and is likely to remain, the chokehold on wine sales in America. Until someone figures out how small wineries can get into the system, there are no magic bullets to ease their plight.”
Alabama lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow local wineries producing produce than 100,000 gallons a year to self-distribute. The wholesale/distributor lobby fears it will “jeopardize the three-tier system and harm major distributors.” Yes, that’s true. But the three-tier system is a relic of prohibition – an artificial, state-mandated middleman doesn’t make sense. Tom Wark also chimes in on this story.
Tyler Colman (aka Dr. Vino) reports on a new study from the American Association of Wine Economists, which “shows wine labels… understate actual alcohol by at least 0.3 percentage points, on average.” The researchers examined data from a mind-boggling 129,123 wine samples. They also concluded that “increasing alcohol levels” are the result of “winemaker choice.” W. Blake Gray also comments on the AAWE study.
Shanken News Daily highlights some really interesting data from a new study by Chicago-based SymphonyIRI Group looking at wine sales in food/drug/convenience stores. Sales are up nearly 5 percent year-to-date. Barefoot Cellars is the top performer.
A wine tasting was held at this year’s “e-G8 Technology Summit.” Wine Spectator reports that “13 California wines were poured, including Chardonnays from Peter Michael, HdV and Knights Bridge. The red wines included 2008 Screaming Eagle, 2005 Colgin IX Estate, 2005 Harlan Estate, 2004 Sine Qua Non Syrah Ode to E, 2001 Bond Vecina and 1997 Chappellet Signature.” Quite a lineup.