? Pricing pressure ? in the other direction: Just in time for the Cheap Wine Book (and the shameless plugs will eventually stop) comes this blog post from banker Rob McMillan. ?Attempting to increase bottle pricing –even in an allocated environment — has been like pushing a wet string up the hill. ? Wine prices have been mostly flat since June 2012, well behind the rate of inflation. Throw in the 2012 California grape harvest, which was a record, and what looks to be an equally as large 2013 harvest, and we'll be drinking cheap wine for the foreseeable future. ?Consumers haven't been willing to pay more for wine and based on the recovery sluggishness, I can't see them willing to pay more going into the holidays or even 2014 at this point, ? says McMillan.
? Impressive hire: One of the obstacles facing regional wine has been the inability to hire the best qualified people, who have traditionally preferred to work elsewhere. That has been changing, and one example came this month Texas Tech hired a a Cal State-Fresno graduate. Maureen Qualia, whose family owns Texas ? Val Verde Winery, spent the past five years working in California before taking a job in the Hill Country to work with winemakers, do extension work, and teach classes. Fresno has one of the top three or four winemaking programs in the world.
? Google ?s affect on the wine business: The Wine Curmudgeon, watching his visitor stats this year, saw a marked drop this spring when Google changed its search algorithm. But I ?m not the only one who has suffered. Changes to Gmail, used by as many as three-quarters of a billion people, are sending wine retailer emails into spam, even though they may be legitimate. One of the untold stories of the post-modern world is Google ?s influence on the non-technology part of our lives because of its tremendous power in shaping the Internet. Who would think the search giant could change how wine drinkers buy product or find wine reviews?