Tag Archives: Wine Enthusiast

Winebits 510: Pet cocktails, cheap wine, wine vending machines

pet cocktailsThis week’s wine news: Who needs wine when there are pet cocktails? Plus a best cheap wine list and another wine vending machine plan

Belly up to the bar: One more challenge for a wine business already under fire – Pet Winery, which offers mock-adult beverages for cats and dogs, reports Supermarket News. The drinks, such as the Cat-Tini, Purrgundy “wine,” and Barkbrew Ale for dogs, come in bottles shaped like the corresponding human beverages. And the prices are certainly premiumized – an eight-ounce bottle of the dog “beer” is $11.50; a five-ounce bottle of Purrgundy is $9.99; and the eight-ounce Cat-Tini is $14.95.

100 wines under $15: The Wine Enthusiast has released its annual list of the top 100 wines costing $15 or less, and two of the biggest surprises are the No. 2 wine, Big Wine’s Woodbridge pinot noir, from Constellation Brands, and the Vin Vault cabernet sauvignon box at No. 7 from E&J Gallo. Much of the rest of the list, sadly, is a lot of wines with limited distribution (from Bulgaria, Greece, Israel, New York state) and prices that aren’t $15 or less in the middle of the country. But several Hall of Fame standbys are there, including Bogle, Dry Creek, and Yalumba.

Not again? A Florida startup wants to put “micro marts” in condo communities in several locations throughout the state, selling sandwiches, snacks, and alcohol. In other words, wine vending machines. The Florida Politics website reports that the company has come up with a convoluted plan to check IDs that includes scanning fingerprints from a data base of approved uses. Plus, condo residents would have to go through “checkpoints” to get to the machines, including building security. How much fun does that sound?

Winebits 505: Friends of the Wine Curmudgeon edition

wine curmudgeonThis week’s wine news: Three of my friends have earned top wine honors, so many tips of the WC’s fedora are in honor

40 under 40: Kyle Schlachter, who has been a long-time Colorado and Drink Local supporter, has been named to the Wine Enthusiast’s Top 40 under 40 Tastemakers of 2017 – people “who are shaping the future of wine, beer, cider and spirits in America.” This is a tremendous honor, since the Enthusiast is a Winestream media outlet that barely acknowledges wine is made outside of three or four regions on the West Coast, let alone anywhere else in the country. That it honored Kyle for his work spreading the word about Colorado and regional wine speaks to his enthusiasm and success. Kyle has always found a way to inject drink local into a wine conversation, and he is not afraid to do it even when talking to the snobbiest California wine drinker. Which makes him even braver than I am.

Hail to the chief: Michael Wangbickler, one of the best PR people in the wine business, is the new president of Balzac Communications. This would be a big deal in any event, but it’s especially big for two reasons: First, because Balzac may be the best marketing company in the wine business, and second, because Mike replaces the legendary Paul Wagner, who wrote the book on modern wine marketing. Mike’s perspective and long-term vision are what make him so good – he understands that the wine business is about more than what’s going on at one moment in one place, and that success in wine is about more than one news release, one 90-point rating, or one free sample. This makes him smart and unique.

Hail to the chief, part II: Dave Falchek, once a newspaper reporter, has been the executive director of the American Wine Society for the past year or so. Dave may be even more passionate about getting Americans to drink wine than I am, which should tell all you need to know about his love for wine. And that’s why he is perfectly suited to the AWS, whose goal is to get Americans to drink wine and to be more knowledgeable about it.