Inside Wine - February 7th, 2020

Inside Wine (Feb 7th, 2020)

Beijing's Musée Universel du Vin / Wine case shipments up slightly / London's Prosecco ATM

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1. Beijing will be getting a large wine museum with help from Bordeaux's Cité du Vin. The Musée Universel du Vin is set to open in 2021, and anticipated to cost €60m ($66m USD). The museum will be a twin to Cité du Vin. Although it won't look identical, it will function much like its French counterpart. The museum will contain a permanent exhibition space, an auditorium, a wine cellar, classroom space, and a fine dining restaurant. French and Chinese wines will be prominently featured, although wines from around the world will be included, also. The main focus of a larger project intended to create a global wine village, the museum will be surrounded by organic vineyards, a spa hotel, and restaurants. -- DECANTER

2. American and foreign wineries shipped about 409.1 million cases of wine last year within the United States. Preliminary analysis of federal excise taxes by beverage industry consulting firm bw166 estimates this is up 1.1 percent from 2018. The two categories that contributed the most to this modest growth are sparkling wine (1.7 million case increase) and sangria/wine coolers (3.1 million case increase). This small bright spot in the wine market - where sales are stagnant, and there is a glut of California grapes - is joined by a few other positives, including the fact that rosé is still a strong category. And, for California, where this information was disseminated at the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium in Sacramento last week, current and impending wine tariffs could mean more people will be purchasing California wine. (It was acknowledged, though, that there are a lot of reasons why the tariffs aren't good.) -- NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL

3. Industry activists are offering advice about to you stay informed and take necessary actions in regard to wine tariffs. In December, the U.S. Wine Trade Alliance was founded on Facebook. Last week, members of that group held an information session in NYC, and these tips - plus others - were offered:

  • Know where the situation stands. The threat of 100 percent tariffs on all E.U. wines still looms despite a truce between President Trump and French President Macron on certain French wines. The 25 percent tariffs on certain wines that were imposed in October are already taking a toll on U.S. imports and sales. 
  • Answer calls to action. Industry members can join the U.S. Wine Trade Alliance Facebook group to keep up to date and calls to action. Among the things the piece mentions: there's a One America March to stop tariffs on wines, spirits, and foods from Europe in Washington, D.C., on February 9 that you can participate in.
  • Stock up. Wine shops should stock up where they can on wines before they receives tariffs. -- SEVENFIFTY DAILY

4. New Zealand's wine exports rose 8 percent in 2018, and the US is responsible for much of that. The country's largest export market is the United States, with $600m ($388m USD) in exports to America last year. According to New Zealand Wine Growers, the country exports to more than 100 countries, with the UK, Australia, Canada, and Germany falling in line after the US. The industry group also reports that New Zealand's premium wines are the highest or second-highest priced wines in the US, UK, and Canada. -- BEVERAGE DAILY

5. The Florida House passed a bill earlier this week that removed wine container limits. The current law says that no more than a gallon of wine in a single container can be sold. Sponsored by Rep. Chip LaMarca, the bill does away with the restriction. There are several other pieces of proposed legislation in Florida that would do away with the one-gallon limit for cider and distilleries also, but the part that passed by the House is for wine only. It now moves into the Florida Senate for consideration. -- FLAPOL

6. New York's Acker Wines will auction off $10 million of the world's rarest bottles today. Among the wines up for auction is a magnum of 1969 Dujac Bonnes-Mares from collector Wilf Jaeger that’s expected to be auctioned off for up to $24,000. The full catalog for auction can be found on the Acker Wines website. -- ROBB REPORT

7. Sonoma's Kivelstadt Cellars founder Jordan Kivelstadt is opening a family-friendly wine garden and eatery. Modeled off the beer garden concept, and in direct opposition to the usual formal Sonoma tasting room with small bites - Kivelstadt says the idea is "radically different." Before opening the doors to Kivelstadt Cellars Wine Garden and Eatery at the corner of Broadway and Highway 121, he'll close his winery's tasting room in downtown Glen Ellen in March. -- SONOMA INDEX-TRIBUNE

8. In response to global warming, the Chamber of Agriculture and the IHEV, the Côtes de Provence producer's organization, have created a "shortlist" of 10 new wine grapes that may be added to the region's appellation specifications. The red and white varieties are from the south of France, Greece, Italy, and South Africa. The list will be culled before any type is officially approved, and then they will undergo a 10-year experiment to see how they do in Provence. -- VITISPHERE

9. A bar in London has installed a "Prosecco ATM" that dispenses the sparkling wine for free. Located in a former bank, London wine bar Vagabond put the "Bank of Bubbles" outside of its premises so people walking by can have a bit of the bubbly. Those making a withdrawal of Prosecco are limited to one glass each. -- VINEPAIR

10. For your weekend wine cocktail creating, try a Wolf in Lamb's Clothing made with Lambrusco. This cocktail is inspired by a Bee's Knees and uses the traditional gin, honey, and lemon of that cocktail, shaken together with basil. The entire drink gets topped off with Lambrusco, giving it a fruity character. -- IMBIBE

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

Editor: Sheena Vasani, staff writer at Inside.

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

Editor: Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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