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Global Sound Byte! BevCast Weekly News Episode #7

Bevcast Weekly News is a news series giving you a quick look at the most important news, trends and developments of the week.


Listen to Industry News and other Insights on the Bevcast Podcast Channel on Soundcloud. Bevcast Weekly News is a news series giving you a quick look at the most important news, trends and developments of the week.

Bevcast Weekly News is brought to you by Sommeliers Choice Awards, which is an international wine competition that Beverage Trade Network hosts in San Francisco where wines are judged For On-Premise Market on Food Pairability, Typicity, Value, Quality, and Package.

 Submission is now open for the 2019 Sommeliers Choice Awards. Please visit for more information.

So gear up for your week ahead - these are our top stories of the week.

*To listen to the full Podcast and more, kindly stay tuned into BevCast channel on SoundCloud, iTunes, and Stitcher.

New State of the Wine Industry Report Has US Winemakers Buzzing

The 2019 “State of the Wine Industry” report from Silicon Valley Bank showed that overall wine sales in the U.S. were down over the past 6 months – the first such drop in the past 25 years. Understandably, that resulted in a lot of discussion within the U.S. wine industry.

California Winemakers Need to Look For New Ways to Attract Millennials

One of the most controversial assessments in the Silicon Valley Bank report was that California winemakers were not doing enough to attract millennials. There has been a marked decline in millennials drinking wine, especially expensive wine, as they embrace craft spirits instead.

Wine Intelligence Report Backs Up Silicon Valley Bank Findings

The concern over U.S. millennials turning away from wine in favor of alternatives such as spirits and even cannabis (especially in states such as California, where it has been legalized) was also a theme of a recent Wine Intelligence report on the U.S. wine market.

Millennials Blamed For Lower Wine Sales

In response to these reports, influential wine site Wine Searcher even ran a story called “Millennials Now Ruining Wine As Well.” And, at a recent industry event in California, the consensus appeared to be that younger wine drinkers know fewer wine regions and varietals than they did just three years ago.

US Wine Market Now Worth $70.5 Billion

But maybe there has been too much anxiety over the Silicon Valley Bank report. Another report – the Wine Analytics Report – shows that the U.S wine market more than doubled in value since 2003. In 2018, 408 million cases of wine were sold in the U.S., worth a combined $70.5 billion.

The Biggest Wine and Spirits Trends of 2019

Vegan wine, premium sake and cannabis-infused wines are some of the most important wine and spirit trends for the next 12 months, according to the Seattle Times. In addition, technology – in the form of fine wine trading apps, robots in vineyards, and self-serve alcohol vending machines – could disrupt the industry.

Wine Business Monthly Introduces “Hot Brands” of the Year

So what about the hot brands of this year? In its February 2019 issue, Wine Business Monthly will profile the “2019 Hot Brands” within the U.S. wine industry. One of these is Elk Cove Vineyards from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Another is Aridus Wine Company, an Arizona winery.

French Winemakers Acknowledge They Might Have a Chardonnay Problem

Now that the Chardonnay grape is grown in just about every wine-producing country in the world, traditional French winemakers in some regions of Burgundy are having a hard time competing, says the Washington Post. In response, some are reinventing themselves, even going so far as to produce red wines instead.

It’s Time to Rethink Everything You Know About Retsina

Retsina, the traditional Greek wine that many people love to hate, could be experiencing a renaissance. In his column for the New York Times, Influential wine critic Eric Asimov highlights efforts being made in Greece to create “delicious wines” that pair well with many cuisines.

South African Winemakers Could Be Backing Away From Cheap Bulk Wines

VinPro Day in Cape Town was a wake-up call for South African winemakers trying to go premium. South African wines are still among the cheapest in the world and, according to one speaker, 14 percent of all South African bulk wine is sold for less than the price of water.

British Super-Premium Gin Expanding in US Market

Silent Pool Gin from the UK has already won over gin fans in Europe, and now it’s set to expand its presence in the U.S. market. Silent Pool Gin first hit California store shelves in late 2017, and will now roll out to select U.S. cities.

Sweden’s Wine Industry Starting to Attract Global Attention

Forbes recently profiled Sweden’s emerging wine industry. Only state-run stores can sell wine in Sweden. Wine is not advertised and there are no discount promotions. Most wine is bag and box bulk wine. However, wineries are thriving, and Sweden even has an emerging wine “hot spot” (Skane) in the south.

California Now Has a Wine Bar For Natural Wine Fans

San Francisco-based wine bar Verjus will be the first of its kind in California – it will sell more than 400 natural wines, all made without any industrial processes. 70 percent of these wines will be French, with a focus on iconoclastic producers from established wine regions like Bordeaux and Burgundy.

Wine Retailers Carefully Watching US Supreme Court Wine Case

The highest court in the U.S. is currently hearing oral arguments in the case of Tennessee Retailers v. Blair, and the consensus is that the outcome of the case could have a tremendous impact on interstate commerce. At issue: whether or not in-state retailers should be protected from out-of-state competitors.

Ciatti Releases California Report For January 2019

Global wine and grape brokers Ciatti have released a comprehensive report on the state of the California wine market. In 2018, bulk wine sales were sluggish and the premiumization trend appears to be slowing. Moreover, the domestic retail market is still facing pressure from craft beer and spirits.

Cognac Exports Reach a Record Level in 2018

In 2018, cognac producers recorded €3.2 billion in total turnover, representing the fourth straight year of growth. That’s nearly 204.2 million bottles of cognac. Demand from China and the Far East played a big role in exports growing 3% year-over-year, as did free trade agreements.

In Portugal, Wine Industry Is Uniting Around the Problem of Climate Change

In March 2019, the city of Porto will host a high-level wine and climate change conference that will feature a keynote address from former U.S. Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore. Last year, former U.S. President Barack Obama spoke at the event, which attracts both winemakers and academics.

Canadian Wine Palates May Differ By Geographic Region

In what has been described as a case of “British Columbia oenophiles vs. Montreal sommeliers,” the Journal of Wine Research has published a study concluding that the geographic location of a wine expert in Canada can impact the perception of a wine, with “striking differences” in wine palates possible.

The Most Famous Wines in China Are Still French

A brand awareness survey of 2,000 Chinese consumers by Wine Intelligence found that half of the Top 32 most recognizable wine regions in the world are French, compared to just four for Italy and three for Australia. The top wine regions included Bordeaux, Provence, Burgundy, and Champagne.

The Most Expensive Wine Cities in the World

The Economist Intelligence Unit recently examined the cost of a bottle of wine in the world’s Top 10 most expensive cities, finding that the cost of that same bottle could vary by as much as $20, depending on the city. The most expensive wine cities in the world are Tel Aviv, Seoul, and Singapore.


Thank you again for going through the Bevcast Weekly News. Once again, a quick reminder to enter your wines in the 2019 Sommeliers Choice Awards, the international wine competition that is organized by Beverage Trade Network every year in San Francisco that rates wines by Quality, Value, and Package.

That’s it for now, Subscribe to BevCast for weekly Audio News updates.

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