Dear Client:   This week we put on our annual Beer Industry and Wine & Spirits Summits virtually. There’s a lot to unpack from both days. We’ll kick off coverage of the events taking a look at Amazon’s alcohol strategy.  Our colleagues on the beer side were able to snag Stephanie Stubler, the Alcohol Category … Continue reading “How Amazon Sells Alcohol”

Dear Client:  Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America recently launched its own craft-focused platform, WSWA Access, geared toward providing education and resources for craft and startup wine and spirits companies [see WSD 12-09-2020]. As part of the initiative, WSWA tapped a couple craft distillers and their wholesale partners to discuss scalability, e-commerce trends, maintaining growth … Continue reading “Growing Craft Spirits Brands in 2020 and Beyond”

Dear Client:   Yesterday we published the first part of our conversation with Quintessential co-owner Dennis Kreps [see WSD 01-14-2021]. Today, we’ll pick up where we left off as Dennis discusses the impact of tariffs and wildfires as well as top priorities for 2021. HOW TARIFFS ON AUSTRALIAN WINE COULD IMPACT THE US. As an … Continue reading “Quintessential’s Dennis Kreps Talks Tariffs, Wildfires, and 2021 Priorities”

Dear Client:   Napa-based importer, marketer and distributor Quintessential Wines managed to grow in 2020 amidst a global pandemic, thanks in part to a more diversified portfolio, according to co-owner Dennis Kreps.  Some of Quintessential’s brands are “just kind of dead in the water,” particularly on-premise-focused fine wine brands, Dennis tells WSD. On the other … Continue reading “Quintessential’s Accolade Acquisition Secures Foothold in Domestic Market”

Dear Client:   The 20th annual Silicon Valley Bank State of the Wine Industry Report is out today. SVB pegs total wine volume growth at about 1% for the year (+/- 1%, depending on December data), which is an improvement over 2019.  Rob McMillan, evp and founder of SVB’s wine division (and author of the … Continue reading “We’re Entering the “Golden Age of Online Wine Sales””

Dear Client:   Our crystal ball is a little fuzzier than usual this year. So instead, we’ve pored over recent trends and trusted our gut instincts to put together our predictions for 2021. Read on, and let us know if you agree. STICKY COVID TRENDS. Of course, we expect a few COVID-related trends will stick … Continue reading “Our 2021 Predictions”

Dear Client:   Today the US Supreme Court denied Indiana-based Lebamoff Enterprises’ petition for writ of certiorari, i.e. denying to hear its case for retailer shipping in Michigan.  You may recall, in a webinar hosted last month by Avalara, Brewer’s Association general counsel Marc Sorini and Distilled Spirits Council vp of government relations Jay Hubbard … Continue reading “Supreme Court Denies Petition to Take on Michigan Retailer Shipping Case”

Dear Client:   Minibar Delivery saw revenues grow 80% year over year in calendar 2020 with 198% growth in new buyers. What were Minibar consumers buying and when? The company breaks it down in its 2020 Year in Review.  Wine accounted for the majority of sales on the platform for the year at 47%, followed … Continue reading “Minibar: 2020 Year in Review”

Dear Client:   Constellation Brands reported a net sales increase of 22% for its third quarter ended November 30. The company’s wine and spirits business showed marked improvement in the quarter, with net sales up 10% and shipment volume up 3.1%.   Constellation’s Power Brands (Meiomi, Kim Crawford, Svedka, etc.) reported 4% depletion growth for the … Continue reading “Innovation and Digital Initiatives Drive Constellation’s W&S Growth”

Dear Client:   Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost continues to make decent headway in its case against several out-of-state retailers and a wholesaler for allegedly violating the state’s liquor laws that prohibit them from shipping alcohol directly to Ohio residents. The AG has reached agreements with three more defendants (leaving just one defendant left).  BACKGROUND. … Continue reading “Wine.com the Final Holdout in Ohio AG Case Over DTC Shipments”

Dear Client:   Republic National Distributing Co. today announced an agreement to purchase Opici Family Distributing of Florida, effective March 1, per a release. Additionally, RNDC will distribute Opici Wines and Spirits (the supplier arm of the Optic family) in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and South Carolina.  “We are excited about the purchase … Continue reading “RNDC to Buy Opici Family Distributing of Florida”

Dear Client:   No one predicted a year like 2020, your editors included. Regardless, we’re still taking our annual look back at our 2020 yearly predictions to see how we did. And, in an unpredictable year, we only really missed the mark a couple times.  1. PREDICTION: TAXES AND TARIFFS. Industry trade groups will be … Continue reading “Grading Our 2020 Predictions”

Dear Client:   Happy New Year, dear readers. While your editors were on a much-needed break, we never really stopped tracking the trade news. (No, it’s not a problem… Ok, maybe it is.) A lot happened over the holidays this year from the Constellation/ Gallo deal approval (more below) to permanent FET reduction. Below we’ve … Continue reading “Over the Holiday Break: Acquisitions, Tariffs, Cocktails To-Go and More”

Dear Client:  Nearly two years and a few revisions later, the Federal Trade Commission has accepted the proposed consent order for Constellation to divest a portfolio of wine and spirits brands under $11 as well related facilities in California, New York and Washington state to E&J Gallo. You’ll recall, the latest version of the deal excludes … Continue reading “Constellation/ Gallo Deal Receives Clearance from the FTC”

Dear Client:  Ending the year on some positive news: last night, legislators passed the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act as part of the year-end omnibus bill and COVID relief package. The best part? It’s not just another one-year extension, CBMTRA (and the federal excise tax reductions included in it) will be made permanent. You’ll … Continue reading “Congress Passes Permanent FET Reduction”