If You Read Anything This Week: Wine News 7.6.2018

Restaurant Awards: Wine Spectator has announced the 3,759 restaurants honored by its Restaurant Awards this year, in three categories: Award of Excellence, Best Award of Excellence, and Grand Award. The winners represent all US states and over 75 countries. Congrats to all of those honored! [Wine Spectator]

Penfolds’ global expansion: Penfolds will be expanding with a range of special bottlings, including a Napa Valley wine by 2022, Champagne by 2019, a baijiu-infused Shiraz this September, and a brandy that is already available. Owner Treasury Wine Estates seeks to broaden the luxury brand’s base and appeal. [Decanter]

US distillers face tariffs: US whiskey has become a target of tariffs as America’s trading partners react to new tariffs on steel and aluminum. The last decade brought a boom in US whiskey exports as free-trade agreements allowed American distilleries to compete on a global scale. Especially considering the aging required for whiskey, companies are concerned about what’s ahead. [NPR]

CA fires: Firefighters in California’s Yolo, Napa, and Lake Counties have made significant progress containing the County and Pawnee Fires but don’t expect full containment until Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Klamathon Fire near the Oregon-California border has killed one person. [The Press Democrat, SF Chronicle]

Mezcal swap: With mezcal’s popularity still on the rise in urban centers and well beyond, bartenders say guests are ordering classic drinks but requesting that mezcal be used in place of the traditional spirit. Some are successful—like the Negroni and Old Fashioned—while others don’t fare as well. [NYT]

Popular fare in 1776: Smithsonian considers what the Founding Fathers were likely eating and drinking while contemplating the Declaration of Independence. Beer, cider, whiskey, and Madeira were among the most popular beverages, and taverns were a key source of gossip and political updates. [Smithsonian]

Our favorite SevenFifty Daily article this week

The state of magnums: Magnums make up 15% of wine sales in the US—a decline in recent years, perhaps due competition from options such as boxed and canned wine. Sommeliers discuss trends they’ve observed and how they sell magnums, often pointing to the “wow” factor in restaurants and quality for aging in retail. [SevenFifty Daily]

What do you think?

If your workplace received a new award from Wine Spectator, let us know what it took to reach this milestone! (Have you read 's article about wine list awards?)

What do you think of the new expansion from Penfolds?

If you're near the California/Oregon fires, let us know what you're seeing and what you've heard from neighbors.

Have your guests been asking for mezcal in cocktails listed with other spirits? Which swaps work best? Do you have any stories of cocktails gone wrong?

What have you observed in magnum sales? Who tends to buy magnums in your restaurant or retail shop? How do you encourage guests to purchase magnums?

What else have you been reading this week?

  • late responding but Mescal is moderately popular in my market, miami. I had it substituted in a mule and it faired well. In the magnum subject, I sell them all day. I feel it's a better wine and keeps consistency on table as opposed to bottle variation if two/three bottles ordered. I'll always suggest it as the wine does age better and I love selling them!!