If You Read Anything This Week: Wine News 4/19/2019

Notre Dame response: In the wake of the devastating fire at the Notre Dame, wine industry figures are among those responding. Château Latour owner Francois Pinault; Bernart Arnault and the LVMH Group; and Martin and Olivier Bouygues of Château Montrose and Clos Rougeard have pledged donations. The Charlois Group has offered to provide oak for the roof, and Sotheby’s is donating the proceeds of a London auction of Mouton-Rothschild wine. [Decanter]

US wine & China: The San Francisco Chronicle considers how the retaliatory tariffs on American goods passed by China last April have impacted the California and broader US wine industry. In 2018, the value of wine exports to China fell nearly 25%, to $59 million. But the dip is not just in China: overall, US wine exports dropped almost 5%. [SF Chronicle]

Wines under $12: Eric Asimov picks 12 wines that retail for under $12 and considers the relationship between price and quality at this lower price point. Asimov asserts that exciting wines can more easily be found from $15 to $20, but they’re available below that as well, even if the wines tend to offer more “simple” pleasures. [NYT]

Evolution of wine drinking: Jon Bonné tracks the evolution of wine drinking in America in the last decade, considering how we arrived at today’s sensibilities and trends. The economic recession of 2008 paved the way, making expensive wines out of reach for more Americans and opening the door for choosing “interesting” over “best.” [Washington Post]

Marketing to black Americans: Nneka M. Okona questions why the wine industry continues to miss opportunities to market to black Americans, losing out on their $1.2 trillion buying power. Rare wine references through music and television have had a notable effect, and many brands in the spirits industry have been successful in reaching black drinkers. [VinePair]

Booze-free bar review: Grub Street offers a review of Getaway, a new alcohol-free bar in Brooklyn. The writer, who is sober, was impressed by the drinks—which also called attention to the poor non-alcoholic options at most run-of-the-mill bars—and found it a reliable gathering place, if not the same as a traditional bar. [Grub Street]

Our favorite SevenFifty Daily article this week

Craft spirits entrepreneurs: SevenFifty Daily explores how entrepreneurs who have launched spirits brands navigate the industry. They cite product positioning, strategic sales, education, partnerships, and self-care as key to finding success in a crowded market. [SevenFifty Daily]

What do you think?

What else have you heard from US wine producers about exports?

Do you have any favorite wines under $12 retail? What's your typical price point for everyday wines?

What do you think of Bonné's evaluation of evolving American preferences? Do you think he accurately paints the picture? Are you equally optimistic about what's ahead?

Have you visited any booze-free bars? If so, what did you think?

Any spirits entrepreneurs out there? Share your insights!

What else have you been reading this week?

  • Speaking of fire, I have been blown away by the photos coming in from the Cote du Beaune and Chablis (Joseph Drouhin's smudge pots in Corton Charlemagne, Domaine Vocoret in Chablis) and the icicles hanging in Champagne (Domaine La Borderie) all in an effort to save the buds from frost damage.