SevenFifty partners with Beverage Media | Inside Wine - December, 11th 2019

Inside Wine (Dec 11th, 2019)

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1. The proposed 100 percent tariff on Champagne is a boon for American auctions of the French bubbly. Wine auction houses such as Sotheby’s Wine, WineBid and Zachys have seen up to a 10 percent increase in bids since the proposed tariffs were announced on items like champagne and certain French cheeses. The rare and vintage bottles that collectors and drinkers are bidding on are already in the U.S., and therefore, prices do not include the current 25 percent tariff or the possible 100 percent tariff. -- INSIDE HOOK

2. The industry-focused drinks website SevenFifty Daily has a new partnership with Beverage Media as well as a new editorial team. In an announcement on the website this week, the online publication said the partnership with Beverage Media would "broaden both publications’ editorial scope and audience." The new editorial team that will be put in place for 2020 includes Kristen Bieler, Beverage Media’s editor-in-chief, and Anna Klainbaum, who will be overseeing digital content strategy for SevenFifty Daily. -- SEVENFIFTY DAILY

Not included in Sevenfifty's announcement is that previous editor Erica Duecy has moved to VinePair as editor-in-chief and chief content officer.

3. The "plural drinker" is a big threat to the wine industry, Wine Intelligence writer Lulie Halstead says. A plural drinker is someone who drinks other types of alcohol such as cocktails, beer, hard seltzer, or the wine variant of cannabis wine in addition to wine. Tracking data from Wine Intelligence shows that 68 percent of US adults say they consume alcohol. In the past year, about 10 percent of those adults who were regular wine drinkers have started diversifying their palates. Some are drinking wine on fewer occasions. Others are drinking less wine on the same number of occasions while switching to other alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages. -- WINE INTELLIGENCE

4. By moving their vineyards further up into the mountains, Spanish winemakers are looking to adapt to the effects of global warming. Winemakers such as the fifth-generation Torres family who run Bodegas Torres in the region of Penedes are starting to see problems from heat waves and droughts. Summer days that reach above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) happen more often so the family is now planting vines on a piece of land 1,000 meters above sea level that they never expected to plant on. Temperatures drop by about one degree every 100 meters up. In addition to planting at higher elevations, Spanish winemakers are also looking to ancestral grapes, hoping to find ones that weather the heat better. -- EURONEWS

5. A new report shows that prices have fallen for top Burgundy and Bordeaux wines. Several indices that track prices of the top French wines from those regions show declines of between 3 percent and 7 percent in sterling currency during the first 11 months of 2019. The figures came from Liv-ex, the global marketplace for the wine trade, whose co-founder Justin Gibbs says "a general sense of wellbeing has been replaced by one of concern." -- DECANTER

6. Wine bars and wine-centric restaurants are harvesting the power of Instagram by sharing wine specials, one-of-a-kind bottles or dynamic reserve lists on the app. They're communicating with their customers about available up-to-the-minute offerings by posting photos of wines that wine geeks can geek out to such as magnum bottles or old vintages on special. This method is easier than updating a website and also more visual and immediate than posting on Facebook. -- FOOD & WINE

7. Hillebrand has unveiled a 40-foot long flexitank. This revolutionary container that's the largest of its type was originally created for the fruit juice industry, but it can be used for any non-hazardous liquid that needs to be transported in dry or temperature-controlled conditions, including wine. The fully recyclable tank is designed to increase efficiency and reduce emissions. -- THE DRINKS BUSINESS

8. Sonoma's Richard Arrowood and his wife Alis have sold Amapola Creek Vineyards and Winery to a neighbor vintner. After 54 years in the business, the winemaker who helped build Sonoma County's reputation for fine wines internationally is retiring. In an interview, Arrowood talks about how starting and marketing a wine business has changed over his career, including the difficulties dealing with today's bureaucracy. -- NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL

9. Pioneering Virginia winemaker Jim Livingston has died at age 73. Livingston started Stafford County’s first commercial vineyard in 1981 and then opened Hartwood Winery in 1989. When he started in the business, Virginia had fewer than 30 wineries. Before going into the wine business full time, Livingston was a school librarian who dedicated his weekends and non-work hours to growing grapes and making wine. -- FREDERICKSBURG.COM

10. It's time for wine trend predictions for 2020 to start appearing, and the Fermentation blog has made five of them. An increase in value wines (wines that over-deliver for the price), wine media consolidation (take a look at item No. 2 for an example), and the advancement of wine shipping laws are among them. -- FERMENTATION

Robin Shreeves is a wine, beer, spirits and travel writer. She's the wine columnist and restaurant and beverage features writer for the Courier Post newspaper in New Jersey. She holds an Intermediate Sommelier certification from the Wine School of Philadelphia. Her food and drinks writing can be found at Wine Enthusiast, VinePair, Food Network, Spirited magazine, USA Today, Mother Nature Network, Drink Nation, Edible Philly and Edible Jersey. Visit her website wineandwonder.com and follow her on Instagram at @rshreeves

This newsletter was edited by Bobby Cherry, a Pittsburgh-based freelance journalist and senior editor at Inside, who also curates Inside Pittsburgh. Reach him at bobby@inside.com.

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