This week’s wine news: One of the wine industry’s top analysts says sales could drop 12 percent in value this year. Meanwhile, one NBA player has turned his hotel room into a wine cellar and Wine.com says its worth $1 billion.
• Premiumization’s death knell? The pandemic could mean a 12 percent drop in the value of wine sold in the U.S., says analyst Jon Moramarco, editor with Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates. His numbers are among the best in the country, so the wine business pays attention. Moramarco told an on-line seminar that he expects total U.S. wine sales to end the year down 12.5 percent in value, an almost unheard of decline, though volume will be up 1.3 percent. The reason, of course, is the loss of the restaurant and bar business during the pandemic. He told the audience that some of those numbers were evident in the first half of this year: Volume was up 5.7 percent from 2019, but value was down 6.5 percent. In other words, we’re buying more, cheaper wine than we have in years – maybe even sine the recession.
• How cold is it? Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, a noted wine lover, has converted his entire hotel room into a wine cellar during the NBA’s pandemic playoffs. McCollum cranks up the air conditioning so the room stays between 50 and 60 degrees – which, as we all know, is the ideal temperature for storing wine. The New York Post reports that McCollum does raise the temperature slightly when he’s in the room, but otherwise the goal is protecting his 84 bottles of wine (mostly Oregon pinot noir). Frankly, the Wine Curmudgeon is impressed. I love wine, but I don’t know that even I would do that.
• Really? $1 billion? Wine.com, the on-line retailer, has valued itself at $1 billion, as it looks for to borrow money to expand. Bloomberg.com reported that Wine.com wants to raise around $50 to to $75 million, part of a process that could include become a public company through a stock offering. Needless to say, the pandemic has boosted the retailer’s business; sales were up 79 percent over the past 12 months and its CEO said, “The last quarter has fundamentally changed our growth trajectory.”