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If You Read Anything This Week: Wine News 6/28/2019

SCOTUS decision: In a 7-2 decision this week, the US Supreme Court struck down a two-year residency requirement for anyone seeking an initial license to open a liquor store in Tennessee. The Court held that this requirement violates the Commerce Clause and is not protected by the 21st Amendment. [NPR]

Heitz buys Wildwood Vineyard: Heitz Wine Cellars has acquired the 54-acre Wildwood Vineyard in Rutherford from Treasury Wine Estates for $25 million. Previously owned by Sterling Vineyards, the vineyard is planted primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon. [The Drinks Business]

Heatwave in France: High temperatures in France, as in many parts of Europe, are prompting winemakers to adapt. Teams are arriving early to finish work before the hottest part of the day. But June heatwaves are less damaging to the vines than July or especially August spikes. [Decanter]

New Grand Awards: Wine Spectator has announced the Grand Award winners for 2019, recognizing 8 new restaurants to bring the total number of current Grand Award winners to 100. The new winners are Alfredo di Roma Mexico, Fiola, Griggeler Stuba, Mastro’s Steakhouse at the Post Oak Hotel, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse in downtown Houston, the Pool, Ristorante Cracco, and Vantre. [Wine Spectator]

50 Best: The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list was also announced this week, at a ceremony in Singapore. Topping the list is Mirazur, a restaurant on the French Riviera in Menton. For the first time this year, previous No. 1 restaurants could not be considered for any spot on the list, after Noma received that distinction for four years. The highest-ranking US restaurant is New York’s Cosme, at No. 23. [NYT]

Anheuser-Busch acquires Babe Wine: Anheuser-Busch InBev has acquired Babe Wine, co-founded by Josh Ostrovsky, aka “The Fat Jewish,” after purchasing a minority stake in the company last year. Anheuser-Busch has a limited presence beyond the beer market; this move is a clear effort to connect with younger consumers. [Bloomberg]

Our favorite SevenFifty Daily article this week

Beer flaws: Beer experts unpack eight common off-flavors associated with beer, explaining their sources and how to identify whether or not a beer is flawed. Some, like acetaldehyde, can be present without causing trouble; others, including butyric acid, are always flaws. [SevenFifty Daily]

What do you think?

See a thorough explanation of and conversation about the Supreme Court decision on the forums here.

Likewise, we've been discussing the heat wave here and here.

Congrats to those whose restaurants were recognized with the new Grand Awards! As for everyone else, have you been to any restaurants on this list?

What do you think of the new 50 Best list?

What does the Anheuser-Busch acquisition of Babe Wine convey?

How often do your guests try to return beer for off-flavors?

What else have you been reading this week?

  • The SCOTUS decision could have devastating effects on small and mid-size distributors everywhere. This decision could lead to the Amazon-ification of wine sales everywhere. I would imagine it would also push out a number of small producers who use to only operate in the major markets or locally. Why would a huge distributor want to work w a winery that can only support a few states? I'm sure brand name will have a lot to do with that, but there is plenty of great wine out there that may miss out. I see the big brands and the wineries with money and the marketing gobbling up more market share, while the other small operations take a back seat or get pushed out.