Posts Tagged ‘politics’

 

 

Chief executive of Majestic Wine says drinkers could turn to beer if multi-buy offers are scrapped

 

Wine could become too expensive for anyone but the wealthy thanks to Government restrictions and taxes, says one major retailer.
A potential ban on multi-buy offers in supermarkets and the recent 10p rise in wine duty could be responsible for drinkers turning to beer instead, according to Stephen Lewis, the chief executive of Majestic Wine.
This could reverse the ‘revolution’ of people enjoying a glass of wine with a meal, he said.
 
A potential ban on multi-buy offers by the Government could lead people to abandon wine for cheaper drinks, says one retailer
‘Having established this culture of food and wine, you know, which is a sea change from where we were 30 years ago, why would we want to stop that?’ Mr Lewis, whose chain has nearly 200 stores in the UK. told the Daily Telegraph.
He said that banning drinks offers in supermarkets would not solve the problem of anti-social behaviour.
Read on …

Last week we published a famous quote from Madame Lily Bollinger, and that got us thinking about our favourite alcohol-related lines.

Lily Bollinger was asked how much she enjoyed her own product, to which she replied: “I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch – unless I’m thirsty.”

Of course Lily is not the only person from a Champagne house to be attributed to a famous quote: When he first tasted his newly created Champagne, Dom Pierre Pérignon is quoted as saying: “Come quickly. I’m tasting the stars.”

Read on …

russian-pictogram-for-silence

 

 

 

A ban on alcohol advertising—and possibly articles—pits the government against a growing wine culture

Russia’s latest salvo in a long battle against alcohol abuse by its citizens is a sweeping ban on all alcohol advertising in media outlets. It’s likely to have an unforeseen victim: the country’s small but booming wine culture.

Russian governments have fought the country’s age-old culture of hard drinking for more than a century. A 2011 global report by the World Health Organization (WHO) on alcohol abuse cited Russia and its neighbors as the hardest-drinking countries in the world. Now, provoked partly by a rising tide of youthful beer binge drinking, the government is cracking down on what it sees as an important public health issue.

Few observers think Russia’s newly emerging and increasingly sophisticated fine wine scene was in the sights of the legislature, the Duma, when it enacted the advertising ban last summer. Nonetheless, the law, which took effect Jan. 1, has had an impact. It makes no distinction between beer, wine and spirits. All advertisements are banned in both traditional and online media, and state authorities have warned the ban may be applied to the editorial content of wine publications and newspaper wine columns.

“Wine is not one of the hit targets of the government … yet,” said Spiros Malandrakis, an analyst of the global drinks markets for Euromonitor International, a London-based market research firm. “They mostly focus on hard liquor and beer, but the law makes no distinction.” Beer in particular has been a sore point, and to stem the tide of its growth among young people (Russia’s legal drinking age is 18), the government in recent years has doubled excise taxes, limited hours of sale and, as of January, outlawed sales from sidewalk kiosks.

According to WHO’s 2011 study, the average Russian drinks the equivalent of about 15.7 liters of pure alcohol per year—65 percent more than in the U.S. Nearly two-thirds of the alcohol consumed comes from hard liquor, one third comes from beer and only 1 percent from wine.

Nevertheless, wine consumption is growing at a steady 6 percent a year, according to Euromonitor. At the top end of the market, fine wine is growing much faster—middle class and affluent Russians are turning away from vodka and looking to wine as a less potent, food-friendly alternative. Importers say that the market for wines from France, Italy, Spain and the New World—after a downtown following the 2008 economic crisis—has rebounded with double-digit growth. And Russians are willing to pay the price for quality. Because of high import taxes and markups, a bottle of wine sold in boutiques and restaurants is generally three to five times more expensive than the same bottle in Europe or the U.S.

Read on …

(image courtesy of Aletta Gardner/EWN)

(image courtesy of Aletta Gardner/EWN)

 

As the smoke clears after the unrest in various fruit-growing areas of the Western Cape, and with the next round of protests demanding higher wages for farm labourers and seasonal pickers on its way, the South African wine industry is weighing up the implications to its business model and to the way of life for many among the vineyards.

 

To date, the strike for an increase in the minimum wage from R69 to R150 a day – which has involved the intimidation of farmers and their full-time employees, looting, the destruction of property and the loss of life – has largely been confined to fruit farms that do not produce grapes for making wine.

But with cellars gearing up for the 2013 harvest and the pay dispute apparently no closer to resolution than it was when violence broke out in De Doorns, Wolseley, Grabouw and elsewhere last year, it seems inevitable that more wine farms – especially those using part-time workers – will soon become the focus of attention for the strike leaders as well as the political and criminal factions seeking to gain from the protests.

Should the wine grape harvest this year be seriously disrupted, it is a very real possibility that some farmers could go out of business.

Many will be among those whose only source of income comes from the grapes they sell to wine producers and whose business model revolves around low prices and large tonnage. Others up against the wall will be those making or selling wine whose success hinges more on offering the best prices than it does on the best quality, and who operate in sectors of the market where branding is not a factor.

On the other hand, the South African wine industry also comprises large corporations as well as a number of private wine farm owners with the means to weather the storm.

Many of these stakeholders are already paying way better than the minimum wage while providing their staff with decent accommodation and more, such as crèche and church facilities.

But of as much concern to these stakeholders as the cost implications of having to pay more to their workers or hiring fewer people and opting for increased mechanisation is the straining of the relationships they have with the farm hands and how to embrace a business model revolving more around quality and branding rather than tending to play the price card.

 

Read on …
Also read:

Tony Bliar.

Tony Bliar.

 

Tony Blair said that he drank alcohol to help him relax while he was prime minister, but which drinks do our world leaders enjoy?
In his memoir, A Journey, Mr Blair wrote: “By the standards of days gone by I was not even remotely a toper, and I couldn’t do lunchtime drinking except on Christmas Day, but if you took the thing everyone always lies about – units per week – I was definitely at the outer limit.
Read on …

Nelson Mandela. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Nelson Mandela. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

 

In his old age, South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandela is apparently doing battle with wine writers rather than oppressive regimes. The Wall Street Journal was forced to run a correction to an article that ran last week about South African wines, which included a mistake about Mr. Mandela’s drink choices.

The story, which was about reporter Lettie Teague learning to appreciate Pinotage, a varietal with roots in South Africa, included mentions of wines made by the House of Mandela, a winery “conceived of and led by the women of the Mandela family.”

Read on …

 

Also Read:

 

 

Time to get a life?

Time to get a life?

 

Left, right, center — in Washington, it pays to keep track. But the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies didn’t. That misstep has bubbled into a controversy with a Sonoma County winery at its center.

The placement in a press release of the word “California” to the right of the word “Champagne” — instead of the left — has French Champagne industry lobbyists up in arms.

The Champagne Bureau, the French industry’s U.S. lobbying arm, has objected to the committee’s announcement that “Korbel Natural, Special Inaugural Cuvée Champagne, California” is to be served with the dessert course of the 2013 Inaugural Luncheon on Jan. 21.

Quelle horreur!

“Champagne only comes from (the region of) Champagne, France,” the bureau’s director, Sam Heitner told The Hill, a newspaper that covers Congress. He vowed to write the committee to set it straight.

“Because at the end of the day, we want everyone to know where their wine comes from,” Heitner said.

The Internal Revenue Service tax code permits some American wineries to describe their sparkling wines as champagne only if the word is used after its appellation, or where its grapes originated.
Read on …

 

Also read:

De+Doorns+Jan+10+2013

Protest action on farms during the heart of the picking season will severely hurt the sustainability of farms and could result in job losses, the farmers’ union federation Asuf said on Friday.


The Agri-sector Unity Forum said that ongoing labour unrest in the Western Cape’s fruit producing regions will impact negatively on production, the ability to serve local and international markets and the viability of farms.

“The knock-on effects of higher food prices and retrenchment of workers will follow as enterprises are forced to either or close down,” said Asuf in a statement.

The umbrella body, who represents all major agricultural unions, said the mechanisation or venture into less labour intensive industries would inevitably lead to greater unemployment.

Read on …

Also read:

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.

 

Plus, a slap on the wrist for Champagne fraudsters, a new wine supports marriage equality, and why professional athletes may want to hide their wine collections

In just 10 days, President Barack Obama will be sworn in for his second term as Commander in Chief, meaning we at Unfiltered have four more years of executive wine pairings to look forward to reporting on. (Check out the sidebar for some of the many wine stories featuring Pres. Obama that we’ve run in the past five years.) The 57th Inaugural Ceremonies are taking place Jan. 21, and the wine-and-food pairings have been announced. Korbel will be there, for the eighth time, with a special Inaugural-labeled edition of Korbel’s Natural Russian River Valley. “Such a historic celebration deserves to be toasted with American champagne with roots in our country’s most memorable occasions,” said Korbel president and owner Gary Heck in a press release, “We are honored.” Also on hand in Statuary Hall for the luncheon will be two New York state wines, Bedell Cellars Merlot 2009 from Long Island and Tierce Dry Riesling 2010 from the Finger Lakes. Tierce is a collaborative effort between three of the Finger Lakes’ top winemakers, Peter Bell of Fox Run, Johannes Reinhardt of Anthony Road and David Whiting of Red Newt Cellars.

Read on …

MK-AX176_RUSBEE_G_20090713154324

Alcoholism cause 6% of female deaths in Russia.

 

Russia has clamped down on beer sales in the on-going attempt to tackle the country’s alcohol problem.
The new law, which came into effect on 1 January, was agreed by former president Dmitry Medvedev in July 2011 and now classes beer as a liquor.

As with sales of vodka and other spirits, kiosks and beer stalls will be restricted in how much beer they can sell and will not be allowed to sell any at all between 11pm and 8am.

Current president Vladimir Putin, said the step was necessary as he acknowledged the country’s battle with alcoholism, which is the cause of an estimated one in every five male deaths in Russia, according to the World Health Organisation, and 6% of female deaths.
Read on …