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Inside Wine

Inside Wine (Mar 20th, 2019)

1. Champagne sales reached a new high in 2018, but exports to the U.K., Champagne’s biggest market, declined. The U.S. — Champagne’s second largest source of exports —along with Japan, Hong Kong, China, Russia, however, continue to be growing markets for Champagne houses, by both value and volume. Domestically, the French are drinking fewer bubbles, which makes growing international consumption all the more important. — DECANTER

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2. Forget New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day; St. Patrick’s Day is the highest-grossing day for bars and restaurants. According to data from the 2018 holiday, beer sales grew 174 percent and spirits sales grew 153 percent, compared to a non-holiday. While brunch presents opportunities for profitable day drinking, happy hour, especially between 3 and 5 p.m., prove to be the most lucrative. — NIELSEN

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3. 27-year-old Marc Almert from Cologne, Germany, was named Best Sommelier of the World by Association de la Sommellerie Internationale. This wine ingenue oversees the wine program at hotel Baur au Lac and two-Michelin-starred Le Pavillon in Zurich. The 66 contestants were judged on various tasks such as written exams and tastings. Only one American — Chicago-based Dustin Chabert, Illinois market manager for DNS wines and sommelier at Spiaggia — participated in this year’s competition. — IMBIBE

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4. Online alcohol delivery and analytics service Thirstie raised $7 million in series A funding. The platform fulfills customer orders via third party retailers, while simultaneously collecting data about consumer purchasing habits. The data is then shared with alcohol brands, such as LVMH, one of Thirstie's largest customers. The New York-based company started six years ago and recently built a development center in Buenos Aires, Argentina. — VENTUREBEAT

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5. In an interview, Rajat Parr and Jordan Mackay, co-authors of The Sommelier’s Atlas of Taste, discussed their motivation for writing the book and their writing process. — WINE-SEARCHER

6. Fine wine publication The World of Fine Wine is now accepting entries for its World’s Best Wine List awards. Interested applicants can find more information in the link. — WORLD OF FINE WINE 

7. A wine press dating from 200 - 500 CE was discovered in the ancient village of Korazim, Israel. Decorated with mosaic tile, archaeologists believe this finding will provide more information into daily life in the town. — JERUSALEM POST

8. In an effort to curtail air rage, World Duty Free, which operates duty-free shops around the world, now requires all bottles of wine and alcohol to be sealed and remain unopened on flights. — THE DRINKS BUSINESS

9. SevenFifty Daily spoke with micro-importers on their best business strategies and how they make an impact in the market. Among their tips, they suggested managing growth so it happens at a reasonable rate, as well as teaming up with other companies to make their products more accessible. — SEVENFIFTY DAILY

10. Analysts responded to last week’s rumors that Pernod Ricard was selling off its wine division, saying this move was highly unlikely. — THE DRINKS BUSINESS

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Inside Wine is written and curated by Shana Clarke. Shana is a freelance journalist and regularly contributes to a variety of consumer and trade publications, including Wine Enthusiast, Playboy, HuffPost, USA Today’s Eat Sip Trip, and SevenFifty Daily, among others. Follow her on Instagram at @ShanaSpeaksWine and see more of her work on www.shanaspeakswine.com.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside); Susmita Baral (senior editor at Inside, who runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram); and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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