Beverage Bulletin March 2018

California Beverage Retailers Association

Beverage Bulletin

P.O. Box 56686

Sherman Oaks, CA 91413

(818) 693-5561

Ron Ziff, Editor

Ben Ziff, Publisher


March 2018

Two quotations from the TV show Last Man Standing starring Tim Allen.

Wine is the answer... What was the question?


I'm just right on that late afternoon fence. Do I have another cup of coffee or just say, “screw it”, and pour my first glass of wine?


In this month's edition:


Headline News Stories -Trade War Declared!, Government Crackdown on Illegal Trade Practices, Cotes du Rhone Scandal Rocks France, Wine Scandal Rocks Bordeaux, Academy Awards Wines


Celebrities in the Industry - Run the Jewels, Dwayne Wade, David Frost, Wayne Gretsky, Cristie Kerr, Jon Lester, Danica Patrick, Dave Roberts, Andres Iniesta


Books - The New Rum


TV & Movies - Wine Country, Stories From The Hop Yards


Popular Culture - SWL in Oscar Swag Bags


Politics & the Law - New Prime Minister Celebrates, ICE Raids California Workers, Shutdown Cocktails


Wine - 6,000 Year Old Wine Jars, Good News and Bad News for Wine Sales, High in the Sky, Outstanding in the Field, Google vs. Burgundy, Bordeaux Harvest Down, “Roos” Threaten Australia Harvest, Massive Chinese Wine Heist, When Isn't New Zealand New Zealand?, 135 Years for Wente, A New Generation at Charles Krug, Analyzing Wine Tasting, Tracing the Origins of Wine Grapes, Fake Wine, Olympic Size Bubbles, Free Wine!, Bare Facts


Beer - Craft Beer Festivals, Beer Without Hops, Redheads Strike Back, Best Beer Bar in the State, Say it with Foam, One Too Many, Phone Free Dates, These Shoes are Made for Drinking, How Far Will You Go for a Beer?


Spirits - Casamigos Adds Mezcal, Record Price for Whiskey, Coke with a Kick,

Message in a Bottle, Me Too!, By Any Other Name, End of an Era, A Happier Hour

Other Foods and Beverages - Not a Drop to Drink, Climate Change and Coffee, Finger Lickin', Top 100 Places to Eat, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, Billions and Billions Served

The Changing Market - Healthy Change, California Housing Crisis, Electric Power Loses its Spark, When Only the Best Will Do, Toys R Us

Recipes - Sacre Sauvage, Catfish Fritters
Health - Drink Wine or Beer and Live Longer, A Glass of Red Wine a Day Keeps the Dentist Away

and as always Tasting Notes and the Industry Calendar


Headline News Stories

Trade War Declared!


President Trump announced a 25% tariff on aluminum and 15% on steel earlier this month. Later he announced tariffs on a wide variety of consumer products from China. Now China has added tariffs that range from 15% to 25% on 120 U.S. products in retaliation for the first round of tariffs. Included in the list are U.S. Wines. The burden of that will fall completely on California, Oregon, and Washington. China had made no moves to retaliate for the second round as of this writing.


Government Crackdown on Illegal Trade Practices


Officials from the Alcohol and Tobacco Trade and Tax Bureau and the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control visited more than 30 wineries in the Napa and Sonoma area as part of an investigation. The investigation is part of a crackdown on consignment sales and other illegal trade practices. The federal agency had a similar investigation on the east coast last year. That investigation resulted in numerous indictments and fines. The violations of consignment sales could result in penalties to wineries, wholesalers, and retailers. The penalties could range from fines to suspensions or even revocation of licenses.


Cotes du Rhone Scandal Rocks France


French authorities have taken over the Raphael Michel bottling company and brought charges against several executives for a massive wine fraud. It is suspected that as much as 480,000 HL of ordinary wine was mislabeled as Cotes du Rhone or Chateauneuf du Pape. The alleged crime took place between 2013 and 2016 and amounted to as much as 15% of the wine shipped under those AOC's. In describing the quantity of wine, officials said it was enough to fill 13 Olympic size swimming pools.


Wine Scandal Rocks Bordeaux


The second scandal to rock the French Wine industry hit Bordeaux marketer Grands Vins de Gironde. The company has been accused of blending cheap table wines with AOC, chateaux, and estate Wines and labeling them to be sold at higher prices. The accusation alleges that during 2014 and 2015 600,000 bottles worth 1.4 million were mislabeled. Additionally, some vintage dates were changed. The company produces 180 different labels.


Academy Awards Wines


The 90th Academy Awards was bigger than ever. It took Wolfgang Puck and 300 culinary staffers work in tandem to serve roughly 1,500 guests food and drinks. That means 12,000 cocktail forks and spoons, 4,800 small plates, 7,000 mini chocolate Oscars, 300 pounds of Miyazaki Wagyu Beef, 30 gallons of house-made cocktail sauce and lots of other stuff. 800 magnums of Piper Heidsieck Cuvee' Brut were poured in addition to Francis Ford Coppola's limited edition Director's Cut Oscars 90th Edition Cabernet Sauvignon & Chardonnay. The cocktails: Negroni-Orange, Campari, Vermouth, Gin; Mojito-Lime, White Rum; Piña Colada-Pineapple, Malibu Rum. There was also a Champagne based cocktail, Sacre Sauvage. See the recipe below. The drinks left staff with 13,000 glasses to wash. How good was Wolfgang Puck's food at the Governor's Ball? Best Actress winner, Frances McDormand, was seen afterward at In 'n Out Burger.


Celebrities in the Industry


Run the Jewels

Hip Hop group Run the Jewels is working with J. Wakefield Brewing in Florida. Panther like a Panther Stout honors the movie Black Panther. The Beer will be infused with coffee beans and will be released on April 12.

Dwayne Wade

Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat launched his wines in China. The plan is to market them in the U.S. later. A Cabernet Sauvignon named Wade and a red blend named Three by Wade are the first two in the line.


David Frost

Golfer David Frost has a full line of wines produced in his native South Africa under the David Frost Wines label.


Cristie Kerr

LPGA golfer Cristie Kerr is selling Curvature Wines made in partnership with Pride Mountain Vineyards. Sonoma Chardonnay $40 and Napa Cabernet Sauvignon $55.


Jon Lester

Chicago Cubs pitcher, Jon Lester, has Longball Cellars Wine. The proceeds of his CabernAce go to Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Chardonnay $40.

Danica Patrick

Race car driver, Danica Patrick owns 80 acres in Howell Mountain. Her Somnium Cabernet Sauvignon is in limited release at $180.


LA Dodgers manager, Dave Roberts, and retired San Francisco Giants infielder, Rich Aurilla are making Napa Cabs under the Red Stitch label. Napa Cabenet Sauvignon $100 and Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir $55.


Wayne Gretsky

Wayne Gretsky sells wine from Wayne Gretsky Estates. Where are the estates? You guess. The wines come from the Niagara Peninsula, Okanagan Valley, and Sonoma County.


Andres Iniesta

Andres Iniesta is a pro Spanish soccer player and a winemaker. His Bodega Iniesta makes two lines of wine; Corazon Loco and Finca El Carril.



The New Rum by Bryce T Bauer, Countryman Publishers, 224 pages, $24.95. Rum, traditionally relegated to cloying cocktails or tropical- themed novelty drinks, is undergoing a global renaissance. In bars and distilleries across the world, rum is being defined as a dynamic, complex, and versatile drink. New to the scene of connoisseurship, rum is a spirit of possibilities, inviting imaginative bartenders and mixologists to leave their marks on this burgeoning movement. In The New Rum, award- winning drinks author Bryce T. Bauer charts the historical and cultural journey of the spirit of the Americas from its origins in the Caribbean, to its long- held status as a cheap vacation drink, to today’s inspiring craft revival. This rum-spiked travelogue also includes a producer- focused drinks guide, covering dozens of the world’s most innovative and iconic producers, making everything from Martinique rhum agricole to long-aged sippers from Barbados and the Dominican Republic. To be released June 5, 2018.


TV & Movies


Wine Country


Amy Poehler will produce, direct, and star in a new feature film for Netflix. Wine Country is a story about 6 friends that spend a weekend in Napa Valley to celebrate a 50th birthday. Also in the movie are Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Paula Pell, Maya Rudolf, and Emily Spivey. The wineries expected to be featured are Stag's Leap, Opus One, Beringer, Cakebread, Inglenook, Chateau Montelena, Robert Mondavi, and Shafer.


Stories From The Hop Yards

The British Hop Association has announced the screening of a new Heritage Lottery-funded film called Stories From The Hop Yards inspired by a rediscovered photo collection and old film footage. The film includes photos from a rediscovered collection, taken by local Herefordshire photographer Derek Evans. Capturing snapshots of life from the 1950s and 1960s, some of the images show families arriving for working or ‘hop holidays’ by train, cattle truck or charabanc(I had to look this one up. A charabanc is a type of horse drawn cart with rows of seats used in the English countryside). By day, the families picked hops, and enjoyed dinners cooked over open fires in the evenings.


Popular Culture


SWL in Oscar Swag Bags


Southern Wicked Lemonade was served at the Academy Awards bars for the evening. The lemonade is made in a choice of three pre-mixed versions; Moonshine, Vodka, & Gin. Each of this year's nominees was also given Jarritos soda drinks for an event of their choosing.


Politics & the Law


New Prime Minister Celebrates


At 37, Jacinda Ardern is New Zealand's youngest Prime Minister since 1856 and the youngest female country leader in the world. How did she celebrate her election victory? With Buchanan's Scotch. She never gets drunk. “If I got drunk on whiskey, I might ruin my love of it and that would be a tragedy.”


ICE Raids California Workers


Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has stepped up raids in California to identify and fine employers who hire undocumented workers. In a related story, a crowd of immigrant rights advocates blocked Homeland Security agents from the Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles.



The absence of undocumented workers threatens segments of the largest state economy, including retailers, restaurants and the Central Valley’s $47 billion agricultural industry, which provides more than half of the fruits, nuts and vegetables in the country. That broad, 450-mile swath of California yields an eighth of the country’s agricultural output. The state's farmers are already struggling to find workers. More than 55 percent of 762 farmers and ranchers surveyed in a California Farm Bureau Federation report from October 2017 said half of their land continues to go unattended because of an ongoing labor shortage directly related to U.S. immigration policy. 1.5 million of the state’s 2 million farm laborers are undocumented, according to Tom Nassif, President of the Western Growers Association, “We know that a majority of our workers have presented false documents in order to gain employment, so raids are always a concern to us, especially at a time when we have significant labor shortages and no hope that the federal government is going to pass legislation which allows us to have a legal workforce.” “This is retaliation from an administration hostile to immigrants,” said David Huerta, President of the Service Employees International Union United Service Workers West. “Fruit is going to die on the vine this year because of this administration. This government does not understand the contribution of immigrant labor to whole industries, and their failure to see that will have its consequences.”


Shutdown Cocktails


...and finally. The Capitol Bar in Washington D.C. Is offering two inexpensive cocktails during government shutdowns. “Have You Ever Met a Haitian” is made with Bacardi Banana Rum, pineapple juice, cranberry soda, and guilt. An “Affordable Beer Act” is a National Bohemian Beer spiked with Montezuma Blue Agave Tequila. Patrons with a government ID card can purchase the cocktails for $5 during a shutdown.




6,000 Year Old Wine Jars


Researchers led by Giuseppe Savino of La Venta Esplorazioni Geografiche have been studying the residue left on ceramic jars found in caves 300 feet below the ground in Sicily. The jars contained a number of liquids; among them wine. The jars date to the Copper Age, about 6,000 years ago. From an economic standpoint, the evidence of wine implies that people at this time and place were cultivating grapevines. Viticulture requires specific terrains, climates and irrigation systems. This tells us a lot about the life of the people that lived there in pre-historic times.


Good News and Bad News for Wine Sales


The total value of U.S. Wine exports fell to $1.53 billion for 2017. This is the first decline in 7 years. The downtrend is linked to the strong U.S. dollar. Meanwhile online sales hit a new high of $1.7 billion.


High in the Sky


American Airlines is doing research to find out if wines taste better at 30,000 feet because of the cabin's dry atmosphere. Master Sommelier, Bobby Stuckey, is charged with choosing wines for the Admirals Club, Flagship Lounges, and Flagship First Dining.


Google vs. Burgundy


Google has programmed its search engine not to work when someone tries to search for the word “gun.” What's the unexpected consequence? Wine drinkers can't search for Burgundy because the word has “gun” in the middle.


Outstanding in the Field 2017

If there’s a moment that summarizes the farm to table movement, it’s this long table, soon to be set with food harvested from neighboring fields, presided over by a local chef, to raise money for the community—in this case, for Northern California wine country fire relief. The moment—and the photo—was organized by Outstanding in the Field, which has been organizing open-air meals since 1999.


Bordeaux Harvest Down


The 2017 harvest in Bordeaux is the smallest in more than 10 years. The equivalent of 300 million bottles of wine was lost to bad weather. A few select areas escaped the frosts and hailstorms to have bumper crops.




Roos” Threaten Australia Harvest


Wineries in the Margaret River area of Australia were rushing the February 2018 harvest as ripening grapes proved tempting to the local kangaroo population. The animal population has exploded the last few years and there just isn't enough wild vegetation to fill their bellies. The animals are beloved by most Australians, so vineyard operators find it difficult to speak out on the problem. According to kangaroo control officer, Peter Stonehouse, The vineyard owners have been quietly asking him to cull the herds. An adult kangaroo can eat up to 300 pounds of grapes a day.


Massive Chinese Wine Heist


The Huang Tai Liquor Company in China reported to authorities that an audit turned up the fact that employees had stolen 40% of its inventory. About 1 million bottles worth more than $10 million is missing.


When Isn't New Zealand New Zealand?


Pernod Ricard's New Zealand winery, Montana, is under fire for using Australian grapes in entry level wines. Pernod has stated that those wines are not exported into the international market and are only sold in the home market. Internationally the wines appear under the Brancott Estate label. The entry level wines are labeled “Classic” and “Affinity”.


135 Years for Wente


In 1883 C.H. Wente, purchased 47 acres in the Livermore Valley. He and his descendants are credited with establishing the Wente Clone of Chardonnay, releasing California’s first varietal wines in 1933. Wente Vineyards is the country’s oldest, continuously operated family-owned winery and now celebrates its 135th year in 2018. The company is now led by CEO, Carolyn Wente, the fifth generation to operate the vineyards.


A New Generation at Charles Krug


Peter Mondavi's 6 grandchildren have been moved up to the Board in the C Mondavi Company. The 5 granddaughters and 1 grandson are in position to manage the Charles Krug and C K Mondavi brands. Their great grandparents, Cesare and Rosa Mondavi, bought Charles Krug Winery 75 years ago.


Analyzing Wine Tasting


Now scientists are using chromatography-mass spectrometry to analyze the factors that give wines their distinctive tastes. Harold Wiley described it this way “A mass spectrometer weighs molecules, sorts them according to weight, then counts the number of each weight.” Wiley is a pioneer who helped expand use of the tool in the 1940s. The molecular weight can reveal the exact compounds present. In 2008, Australian scientists used this method to identify the compound that gives Syrah its peppery flavor, rotundone. In grapes, rotundone is only present in the skin. Some people can detect rotundone concentrations as low as two parts per billion in red wine.


Tracing the Origins of Wine Grapes


In a research paper from Chinese scientists and members of Cornell University looked deep into the DNA of Wine Grapes. The indications are that the modern Vitis grape species diverged from earlier relatives about 28 million years ago, that Eurasian grapes diverged from North American grapes about 11 million years ago, and finally, that European species diverged from Asian species about 6 million years ago.


Fake Wine


A newspaper survey in Guangzhou, China found that 38% of consumers said they had been duped with fake wine labels. 17% had bought fake Beer and 18% had purchased fake spirits. The Southern Metropolis Daily concluded that alcoholic beverages are the country's hardest hit sector for counterfeits.


Olympic Size Bubbles


The Henkell Company sponsored a German House at the PeongChang Olympics. Henkell Sparkling Wine was served for the two weeks. Guests drank 1,500 750ml bottles and 100 jeroboams.


Free Wine!


Alaskan Airlines treated passengers to free wine on February 18, National Drink Wine Day. One glass per passenger. The event was part of a promotion called “Wine Flies Free.” Passengers are allowed to check 1 case of wine to take home from wine tourism on the West Coast.


Bare Facts


...and finally. Will Bryson has organized naked dining in Bristol, England under the name Dine Naked Bristol. The first event took place at The Flour and Ash with pizza and Red Wine. Diners must sign the Dine Naked Manifesto to ensure good behavior. The second event at the Greenbank Pub was sold out 6 weeks in advance. Liz Heyes, Greenbank's manager said “We’re proud of the diversity of community events at The Greenbank.“Naked dining is a new one for us, but it seems like a great idea and we’re delighted to host.”




Craft Beer Festivals


Comic-Cons have quietly become Craft Beer festivals. For the past several years the convention promoters and Craft Brewers have teamed to have official and specially labeled convention Beers. This year's crop of Comic-Cons will have Beer Gardens with a choice of several local Beers for the relaxation and enjoyment of the geeks that attend to see the latest in comic books and computer games. Emily Robillard, Marketing Manager for ReedPop, the top convention organizer, said “The way we see it is people come to our cons to experience art in all different types of forms: cosplay, comics, video games. We see these as not only hobbies but as different art forms, and brewing beer is right along those lines. It’s pretty much a complex art and the brewer is the artist.”


Beer Without Hops


A group of scientists at UC Berkeley led by Charles Denby have developed a yeast to ferment Beer and give it a hops flavor without the use of hops. The use of this yeast will make the brewing process more environmentally friendly and save expense. Hops requires lots of water to grow and energy to dry and transport. Hops vines take 4 years to mature and start producing their flavorful flowers. The major brewers control most of the world's supply of hops. If the use of this yeast expands in the industry, it could trigger another round of competition and consolidation.


Redheads Strike Back


An Australian brewery had to cancel an ad campaign after being accused of discriminating against redheads. Carlton & United Breweries ads called “Unexpected Ginger” were meant to promote Rusty Yak Ginger Ale. The ads on TV said “There is a surprising gene for red hair floating around in our beer, just like it’s been floating around in human DNA. Stop the spread of the gene by searching its six-pack bottles for ones marked with special “ginger gene” labels.” The specially marked bottles could be turned in by customers to get a $500 prize. The campaign was met with outrage by redheaded consumers causing the company to backtrack on the whole promotion.




Best Beer Bar in the State


Crazy Harry's in Winnetka was named the Best Beer Bar in California for 2018. The bar is owned by Chris Zaferis. Patrons call him “Z”. He has held court over 18 taps in this local establishment since 2011. Chris says he owes his success to local breweries; 8one8, Mcleod's, Hand Brewed Beer, and San Fernando Brewery.


One Too Many


Golfer, Rory McIlroy called for a limit on alcohol sold at golf tournaments after having to deal with drunken hecklers. McIlroy said“I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think that they need to limit alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something... I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves, and I’m all for that, but it’s when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy it can get a little much.”


Phone Free Dates


The Fat Boar Pub in Wrexham, Wales is offering customers a 25% discount if they don't use their cell phones. The discount is on “mobile free Mondays.” The wait staff puts the customer's phones in a lock box that remains at the table. The waiter keeps the key so there's no cheating. Pub Manager, Jade Darlington said “I think we all feel a certain amount of pressure to be constantly checking emails, social media, texts and all the other messaging on our phones. But if we can do something to encourage people to put their phones down and concentrate solely on one another and the fun night out they are having with us, then I think that’s a really positive thing.”



Say it with Foam


Beer Ripples is offering a system that prints a message on Beer foam. The imprint is done with specially made malt based ink. The company already markets a system to print images on coffee lattes. The system only costs an initial $3,000 plus an annual subscription of $1,500.








These Shoes are Made for Drinking


At the Dulle Griet Beer bar in Ghent, Belgium has been losing too many custom made glasses. To insure that tourists don't take them the owner has a policy to take a shoe as a deposit. The shoes are put in a basket that is hoisted to the ceiling. The customer gets his shoe back when the check is paid and the glass returned from the table. “Anyone who drinks our house beer must hand over their shoe,” says Alex Devriendt.


How Far Will You Go for a Beer?


...and finally. Kayleigh Snell and Paul Tyack traveled through the UK visiting every one of the 632 pubs named “The Red Lion.” The trek took 3 years and logged more than 20,000 miles by bus, train, auto, and plane. “We’ve been to so many places and met so many interesting people and everyone’s been really generous. After we’d been to about 200 Red Lions, someone said to us why didn’t we do it for charity, so we decided to raise money.” said Kayleigh. Since launching the charity arm of their adventure, the couple have raised more than £1,800 for Pulmanory Hypertension UK.


Ben Coombs from Plymouth, UK did it differently. He wanted to visit the northernmost and southernmost bars in the world. He ended up traveling 20,000 miles through 21 countries. First he traveled to the Pyramiden Hotel on the Norwegian island of Svalbard. The former mining camp there has a population of 4. The settlement is only 700 miles from the North Pole. A bottle of Russian Beer at the hotel bar on July 10, 2017 marked the start of his journey. Then he drove south through Europe and had his car shipped from Southhampton to New York. He drove west to California and then south through Mexico, Central America, and South America. He arrived at the Alambike Resto Bar in Puerto Williams, Chile on February 12, 2018. Coombs says the bar is a “dive.” Plastic patio furniture and Chilean dance music on a TV. The menu had lager and a cheap whiskey. He muses that it was the trip that was important; not the destination. Coombs has now launched Pub2Pub Adventures to bring “our unique brand of quirky road trips to the masses”.




Casamigos Adds Mezcal


George Clooney and Randy Gerber will add a Mezcal to the Casamigos line in April of this year. SRP is $44. Clooney and Gerber taste every batch of Mezcal produced. (In the interests of science). According to a statement from Clooney nothing has changed at the company except for the ownership which is now Diageo.

Record Price for Whiskey


A bottle of Yamazaki 50 year-old Japanese Whiskey sold for HK$2,337,000 ($370,000) at a Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong on January 27. It was one of 150 bottles first released in 2011. The sale set a record for the most expensive bottle of Whiskey ever sold.


Coke with a Kick


Coca-Cola will release its first alcoholic drink on a test basis in Japan. The drink is in a category called Chu-Hi. Coke calls it an “alcopop.” It's made from Shochu, sparkling water, and flavorings. The canned drink will be somewhere between 3% and 8% ABV. No release date has been set. It will compete against similar products from Kirin, Suntory, and Asahi.

Message in a Bottle


An Australian family found an old Dutch Gin bottle with a message inside. The bottle was half buried in the sand on a remote beach. The message is dated June 12, 1886. The message said the bottle was dropped in the water from the German ship, Paula, on a trip from Wales to Indonesia. Tonya Illman found the bottle while walking on the beach on Wedge Island in Western Australia.

Me Too!


Diageo is releasing 250,000 bottles of Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch made over into Jane Walker. The company will donate $1 to women's causes for every bottle sold. Some women have applauded the makeover, while others have criticized it for going too far to justify women drinking the product.


By Any Other Name


A German distiller has been selling its whiskey under the name Glen Buchenbach. The Scotch Whisky Association sued to get the word Glen removed from the label. The court decided that the word is not evocative of Scotland since it is also used on whiskeys made in Ireland and Canada.


End of an Era


Southwest Airlines is ending its $5 Happy Hour. Since 2009 passengers could buy any drink at any hour for only $5. Miller and Dos Equis will be $6; Fat Tire, Lagunitas, and Leinenenkugel will be $7; Wine $6; Spirits $7.


A Happier Hour


...and finally. Gordon's Gin has started a pop-up program at various London train stations on Friday evenings. The program is called YayDelay and gives out free Gin & Tonics to travelers whose train has been delayed.

Competitor, Lone Wolf, installed a machine that dispensed free cans of Gin & Tonic for 3 days in a London train station. Consumers had to go online and register to get a token to use in the machine.

Dispensing Gin mechanically has a long history in London. The Gin Act of 1736 made it illegal for a bartender to pour a Gin for a customer. Captain Dudley Bradstreet seized the opportunity and came up with an ingenious scheme. He rented a house in a high traffic area of London. He then installed a drawer and a pipe in the outside wall. A customer would put a coin in the drawer and Gin would be poured down the pipe into the customer's waiting container. Captain Bradstreet's Gin dispensary only thrived for a short time because copycat dispensers sprang up all over London.

Other Foods and Beverages

Not a Drop to Drink


Capetown, South Africa is going through a severe drought. Residents are rationed to 17 gallons per day for drinking, cooking, and bathing. The city is in danger of completely running out of water. But, Capetown isn't alone. Cities around the world are in danger of running short of water sometime between 2025 and 2030. The problem is caused by a combination of climate change, human action, and population growth. According to the BBC the major cities most likely to be in trouble are Sao Paulo, Bangalore, Beijing, Cairo, Jakarta, Moscow, Istanbul, Mexico City, London, Tokyo, and Miami.


Climate Change and Coffee


El Salvador is going through a coffee crisis. At one time the country supplied most of the world's Arabica Beans. Today, crops have declined by 90%. The cause is climate change. As the climate has warmed, the coffee bushes have weakened and become susceptible to to Leaf Rust disease. Local scientists have been trying to create hybrids that will withstand the heat. Will they succeed in time to save El Salvador's economy?

Finger Lickin'


KFC was forced to temporarily close more than 600 of its 900 outlets in the UK and Ireland due to a shortage of chicken. The problem was caused by logistical problems as DHL took over deliveries to the stores. DHL had promised to "re-write the rule book and set a new benchmark for delivering fresh products to KFC in a sustainable way." KFC apologized to customers for not being able to fill their needs for fried chicken. Then they had to give all the chicken to charities because it had been stored in an unregistered warehouse during the crisis.


Top 100 Places to Eat


Yelp has named the Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. 34 are right here in California! Here are the spots that made the list:

#1 TKB Bakery & Deli in Indio (named for best deli sandwiches anywhere!

#4 Yo-Way - Gardena

#15 Falafelle – Belmont

#17 786 Degrees – LA

#18 Mazaa Kabob House – Tracy

#19 King Mediterrano – Torrance

#20 The Flinderstreet Cafe – Chino

#21 Saigon Beach Restaurant – Newport Beach

#22 Yoshino Japanese Deli – Carlsbad

#25 Howlin' Ray's – LA

#29 The Red Dot Vegetarian Kitchen – Frazier Park

#35 Kech Cafe – Fountain Valley

#37 Playground 2.0 – Santa Ana

#38 Adobo Taco Grill – Lakewood

#39 FurnSaj Bakery – LA

#44 Petra-Middle Eastern Cuisine – Livermore

#45 Sunny Side Kitchen – Escondido

#51 Sultan Bakery & Grill – Murietta

#53 Sandwich House – Cypress

#54 Papa's Best Sandwiches & More – San Dimas

#56 Calhoun's Texas Barbecue – Murietta

#57 Big Al's Pizzeria – Maywood

#58 Poke Wave – Mission Viejo

#59 Beyer Deli – San Diego

#63 Bunz – Huntington Beach

#64 Appu's Cafe – Long Beach

#66 Prundale Market – Salinas

#74 Hefty Gyros – Sacramento

#79 Sierra Subs & Salads - Three Rivers

#87 Pizzamaniac – Vista

#90 Mini Kabob – Glendale

#93 Extreme Hummus – Citrus Heights

#95 Classics Malt Shop – San Diego

#96 NoHo Cafe – North Hollywood


Take Me Out to the Ballgame


Baseball season is almost here and the country's ballparks are offering a crop of new foods. Tacos are the biggest addition to the menu. Each city has a custom made favorite. BBQ Brisket in Kansas City, Chicken & Purple Cabbage in Denver, Breaded Chicken in Pittsburgh, Korean Beef in Toronto, Pineapple Pulled Pork in Houston, Seasoned Pulled Chicken in Boston, Smoked Brisket in Philadelphia, and Maine Lobster in New York. Toronto has a Rosemary Waffle Sandwich with Pulled Pork, Cheese Curds, and Maple Baked Beans. Most of the parks have added Chocolate Chip Cookies.


Billions and Billions Served


...and finally. Don Gorske of Wisconsin holds a world's record. He has eaten two Big Macs every day since May 12, 1972. Well, almost every day. He missed only 8 days in all those years. At this writing he has eaten 29,877 Big Macs. He will surpass 30,000 before summer. Are Don's actions compulsive? No. What's compulsive is that he has saved all his McDonald's receipts and has them organized chronologically in envelopes.


The Changing Market


Healthy Change


By June of this year McDonald's will have updated all of its Happy Meals for kids to be healthy. Fat, salt, and sugar will be minimized. Cheeseburgers will be eliminated. All meals will contain less than 600 calories and less than 650 milligrams of salt.


California Housing Crisis


Since the housing market tightened in 2012, the California median home price has gone up to $524,000, a compounded annual growth rate of nearly 10%, according to real estate website Zillow. The median rent for an surged at an annual rate of 6%, to $2,424. As a result, businesses are increasingly struggling to recruit from out of state; a larger share of people are enduring one-way commutes of more than 90 minutes; and more people are leaving California than moving here from elsewhere in the U.S.


Electric Power Loses its Spark


After rising for the last 100 years demand for electric power is now flat; in some cases less than flat. Due to a combination of greater energy efficiency, outsourcing of heavy industry, and customers generating their own power on site, demand for utility power has been flat for 10 years, and most forecasts expect it to stay that way. The TVA, one of the nation's biggest public utilities expects to supply 13% less electric power in 2027 than it did in 2007.


When Only the Best Will Do


The organizers for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea reached out for the best in the world. The ice rinks for hockey and curling were manicured by our own NHL Zamboni operators. They rode brand new Model 650 Zambonis. "This is the dream. This is the biggest stage in the world, so there are a lot of things riding on the guy riding on the machine!" said 31-year-old Kyle Lamkey, who drives the Zamboni for the Maple Leafs in Toronto. All 6 members of the Gangneung Hockey Zamboni Team are from the U.S. and Canada. The Model 650 is top-of-the-line and is making its debut at the Winter Olympics. When the men were off duty they spent their time in a local bar called “Tom's” eating pizza and drinking Beer.


Toys R Us


Toys R Us is closing all of its 740 stores and going out of business. The move was not unexpected. Sales have been declining for years. Industry analysts are in general agreement that the reason is that the company did little to keep up with the changing retail landscape. They say the company didn't succumb to competition; it could have done things like reducing store size and keeping the stores clean. The dominant player in the toy category is Amazon. It is likely that major manufacturers like Hasbro, Mattel, and Lego will expand their direct to consumer sales. The big winners among brick-and-mortar stores will be Walmart and Target. In the coming months look for more retail bankruptcies from companies with maturing debt, decreased profits, and under performing stores. There are many that have not cured their problems. In these times retailers must balance online capabilities with a high quality in-store experience.



Sacre Sauvage

4 ounces Rosé Champagne
1/4 ounce ginger syrup
dash orange bitters
1/4 ounce triple sec
3 inch strip grapefruit zest
6 blueberries


Mix in a tumbler-style wine glass and serve.


Catfish Fritters


1/4 cup Pilsner Beer

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 small jalapeño with seeds, minced

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Tartar sauce and lemon wedges, for serving

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

Vegetable oil, for frying

1/2 pound catfish nuggets, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup bottled clam broth

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced

    How to Make It

    Step 1

    In a large saucepan, heat 2 inches of oil to 350°. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour with the cornmeal, baking powder, 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt and a pinch of pepper. Add the eggs, clam broth and beer and whisk until the batter is smooth. Fold in the catfish, scallions, onion and jalapeño.

    Step 2

    Working in batches, drop heaping teaspoons of the batter into the oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown all over, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fritters to paper towels. Serve with tartar sauce and lemon wedges.




    Drink Wine or Beer and Live Longer


    The 90+ Study led by Dr. Claudia Kawas , at the University of California at Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND), looks at different lifestyle habits to determine how they affect longevity. Since 2003, more than 1,600 people have had twice-yearly evaluations, including neurological, neuropsychological, cognitive and physical tests, and give information about their lifestyles, diets and medical histories. Kawas announced that consuming about two glasses of wine or beer per day was associated with an 18 percent reduced risk of premature death over abstainers. The team's research also found that regular exercise, social and cognitive engagement, and moderate coffee consumption also lead to longer lifespans.


    A Glass of Red Wine a Day Keeps the Dentist Away


    Research reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that red wine can aid in fighting dental disease and tooth decay. The study was done at the Instituto de Investigación en Ciencias de la Alimentación in Madrid, Spain.


    Tasting Notes


    Each month we are out there looking for wines that “over deliver”; wines that offer more than others in their category and price level. We search out the wines that you can buy to help build your business; wines that make customers happy and keep them coming back. These are wines we rate as good buys and best buys. Check our notes. The opinions in the reviews are our own and unsolicited. We receive no compensation from wineries or brokers. This month there were several wine tastings that showed some very nice wines available at reasonable prices. The prices shown are approximate retails.


    Código 1530

    Código 1530 is a line of Tequila that is entering the market. A tasting was held in L.A.'s Griffin Club. Código 1530's aged Tequila is cellared in charred oak barrels that have previously been used for California Cabernet Sauvignon. The result is quite different from other Tequilas aged in Bourbon barrels. The designation 1530 stands for the founding of the town of Código. Tequila was first made in 1666.

    Código 1530 Blanco is an unrested Tequila, bottled straight from the still. The agave is not harvested until it reaches a brix of 32. That concentration of natural sugars allows for a full flavored Tequila. The Blanco was a surprise. It was bright and fresh with notes of citrus. $45.

    Código 1530 Aňejo is aged 18 months in charred oak Cabernet barrels. It has an amber color, mellowness, and nutty flavor that come from cellar rest and age. This one was our favorite. $130. All Código 1530 Tequilas are available through Southern Wine & Spirits. For more information contact Jeff Brueggeman at or (949) 228-2005.


    Swimming in Rose'


    Swimming in Rose' a tasting of Rose' Wines by Chambers and Chambers was held at various venues around the state. It was a rare opportunity to compare Rose's from different countries, terroirs, and vintages. All were bright pink unless noted otherwise. We reviewed a few of our favorites below. All are available through your Chambers salesperson or at (800) 999-1029.


    Triennes Vin de Pays, France, a light dry, fruity, blend of Merlot and Cinsault, $14.99.

    Henri Boutgeois Jeunes Vignes, France, Sancerre, bright, fruity, 100% Pinot Noir, minerality and lots of grape flavors, $18.99.

    Cleto Chiarli Brut de Noir Brut de Noir NV, Italy, bright semi-dry, good bubbles, $16.99.

    Selvagrossa Ica Ciliegiolo, Marche, Italy, 50 year old vines, creamy texture, good nose, $15.99.

    Scaia Rondinella, Veneto, Italy, light, dry, pleasant flavor, $13.99

    Neveran Brut 2015, Cava, Spain, methode champenoise, 18 months on the lees, good bubbles, $15.99.

    Armas de Guerra Mencia, Spain, light dry, pale straw pink, $11.99

    Mauritson Rose' of Zinfandel, Rockpile, California, creamy, fruity, good nose, $11.99.


    Family Winemakers

    Family Winemakers had an array of wineries new to the event as well as fine wines from many of the returning wineries. We list a few of them below. If yours isn't mentioned, it's only due to space limitations.


    Heritage Oak Winery, Malbec 2014, good nose, dark ruby, foft and full bodied, $28. Contact Tom Hoffman (209) 986-2763.


    Quady Winery Starboard Batch 88 (no longer using the word Port out of respect to Portugal) Full, sweet, perfect dessert wine, 20% ABV, $25. Contact Andrew Quady (559) 673-8068.


    Rack & Riddle Blanc de Noir, 90% Pinot Noir 10% Pinot Meunier, bright, good bubbles, good nose, a best buy at $21. Contact Bruce Lundquist (707) 433-8400.


    Scotto Cellars Rare Red Blend, Syrah & Cabernet Sauvignon, near black, good nose, full body, a best buy at under $10. Sangiovese Rose' 2017, good nose, bright pink, fresh, 13.0 ABV, a good buy at 12.99. Contact Bradley Gray (925) 691-9600. Distributed by Madelena.


    Shadow Ranch Vineyard Red Blend, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Tempranillo, Grenache, Zinfandel, & Cabernet Sauvignon, black, full body, good nose, balanced with everything going right, lots of berries, an excellent buy at $16. Contact Scott Beal (530) 620-2785.


    Uncorqed Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, dark ruby, good nose, full body, from Red Mountain Washington, $30. Contact Corey Boddie, (661-246-3229.


    Windrun Vintners Pinot Noir 2013, dark ruby, balanced, 14.1ABV, $30. Pinot Noir 2015, drak ruby, full body, good nose, 14.3 ABV, $33. Contact W. Scott Burns (805) 448-8110.


    Kohler & Frohling Chardonnay 2016, clean and clear, light oak, good nose, $24. Syrah 2014, dark ruby, full body, soft, good nose, $26. Contact Carole Martinson (707) 548-5366.


    Brutoocao/Bliss Family Vineyards Candelabra 2013, 100% Pinot Noir from selected blocks and selected barrels, dark ruby, full body, soft, true Pinot Noir taste with plenty of fruit & berries, 13.8 ABV, will age well for years, $50. This is one of the most memorable Pinot Noirs I've ever tasted. Contact Jeff Miller (415) 806-4948.



    Industry Calendar

    3/1 Massanois Imports - LA

    3/1-2 Taste of Italy - LA

    3/2-3 World of Pinot Noir – Santa Barbara

    3/6 Tre Bicchieri - LA

    3/7 Slow Wine – SFO

    3/7-11 Natural Foods Expo – Anaheim

    3/8 Tre Bicchieri - SFO

    3/9 Great Wines of Italy - LA

    3/11 Great Wines of Italy – SFO

    3/12-14 Women of the Vine - Napa

    3/17 Family Winemakers – Pasadena

    3/17 St Patrick's Day

    3/17-18 Zinfandel Weekend – Paso Robles

    3/21 Wivi Central Coast 2018 – Paso Robles

    3/24 Latin Food Fest – Santa Monica

    3/24 Taste Howell Mountain - SFO

    3/26 Martine's Wines – LA

    3/26 Chambers & Chambers – Laguna Beach

    3/26 Chambers & Chambers – San Diego

    3/26 V59 Wines - SFO

    3/26 V59 Wines - LA

    3/27 Martine's Wines – SFO

    3/27 North Berkeley Imports – SFO

    3/28 Chambers & Chambers - Hollywood

    4/7-8 Metreon SFO

    4/10 Revel Wine – SFO

    4/16 New Zealand Winegrowers - SFO

    4/18 Northern Cal Produce Expo – Alameda


    Promotional Calendar



    March 3 National Mulled Wine Day

    March 3 National Moscow Mule Day

    March 5 National Absinthe Day

    March 11 Daylight Savings Time Starts

    March 17 St. Patrick's Day

    March 22 National Water Day

    March 24 National Cocktail Day

    March 27 International Whiskey Day



    April 1 April Fool's Day

    April 6 New Beer's Eve

    April 7 National Beer Day

    April 9 International Gin and Tonic Day

    April 17 World Malbec Day

    April 19 National Amaretto Day





    May 4 National Homebrew Day

    May 5 National Homebrew Day (First Saturday in May)

    May 5 Cinco de Mayo

    May 7 National Cosmopolitan Day

    May 9 National Moscato Day

    May 10 Mexican Mother's Day

    May 13 Mother's Day

    May 13 World Cocktail Day

    May 16 Mimosa Day

    May 19 World Whiskey Day

    May 21-26 American Craft Beer Week

    May 25 National Wine Day

    May 28 Memorial Day

    May 30 Mint Julep Day



    New Legislation for 2018

    Our industry has more laws controlling it than most industries. The State

    Legislature and the ABC give us license privileges and can take them away. New alcoholic beverage laws were passed that are effective in 2018. Many critical issues are pending. Do you know about them and are you prepared for the changes. Is your business safe? Members are encouraged to look through the Legislative Bulletin. If there is a new law that is a problem for your business, call the association office now. The CBRA is your voice in Sacramento. If you are not a member, join today. The CBRA is your only voice when it comes to new beverage laws.

    Brands and Comments

    The CBRA Newsletter has not accepted any payment from any of the brands mentioned

    in this edition. The editor, Ron Ziff, welcomes comments at

    CBRA Membership Remains Open

    Now, more than ever, access to your industry is important. The CBRA is California's

    only statewide association of licensed retailers, and our membership continues to be

    open for the first time in 20 years.

    At CBRA we deal with licenses and regulations that affect the beverage business on a

    daily basis. That's why CBRA offers practical solutions, unique products, services,

    information, and timely advice for both large and small beverage businesses. With

    reasonable fees, superior service, and associates that are easy to reach, CBRA helps you

    to run your business better and easier. One of the most valuable services we offer is that

    call to the ABC to ask your question. We can ask that question and keep you anonymous. That's something you just can't do yourself.

    Join or renew your valuable membership today. You can't afford to delay.

    California Beverage Retailers Association – California's Only Statewide Association of Licensees. We're #1!

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