Wine and the economic downturn: a sense of paradox

It’s a story about the Emerald Inn in the New York Times that got me thinking about the whole, strange relationship between wine (and booze in general) and the economy.

You see, the Emerald Inn is a historic pub from New York’s Upper West Side that was supposed to close in the spring, because its rent was set to more than double in the red-hot Big Apple real estate market. Until that market tanked, and the owners saw that they’d never get a tenant who could pay that much. The owners traded down a bit (but still raised the rent), and so the Guinness will keep flowing, and the customers will keep drinking. And everyone seems happy. And if they’re not, they’ll probably be drowning their sorrow in an extra pint anyways.

Which is a bit what has been happening in the wine business over the holidays. (more…)

75 years ago today, Prohibition was repealed. I’ll drink to that!

It  was on a post from The Passionate Foodie, yesterday, that I read about it: today marks the 75th anniversary of the Presidential Proclamation of the repeal of Prohibition, a US Constitutional amendment that caused a lot of criminality and made fortunes for Canadian distillers, among other things.

While Franklin D. Roosevelt had announced his intention to repeal Prohibition from the time he ran for President, it was only on December 5, 1933 that the Constitutional amendment repealing the one that had brought it into effect actually was validated. Indeed, it was on that day that Utah (!) became the 36th State to approve what then became the 21st amendment.

It’s certainly worth cheering that anniversary. Moderation being much preferable than prohibition, obviously.

But it’s interesting to note that (more…)

Various Goings On in the World Wine Web

The fluidity of the world wide web is only surpassed, perhaps, by that of wine. OK, I’m reaching, here. It just sounded good.

Yet, there is something true to that idea. Things can move fast, and in sometimes suprising ways, on the Web.

For instance, thanks to a timely Tweet from Tim at Winecast, I found out that Amazon is supposed to add wine to its expanding catalogue of goods within weeks. We’ve come a long way from the world’s largest online bookstore.

Tim points out that, interestingly enough, (more…)

Canadians Love Wine More

While beer remains the alcoholic drink of choice of Canadians, wine has been gaining consistently over the last ten years, according to the latest figures from Statistic Canada. Between 1997 and 2007, the market share for beer has gone down from 52% to 47%, while wine increased its share from 21% to 28% (spirits went down slightly, from 27% to 25%, over the same period).

The trend seems to be accelerating, too. Between 2006 and 2007, the value of wine sold in Canada increased by 9.5%, while volumes vent up 7.1%. So Canadians are drinking more wine (61% red), and apparently spending a little more per bottle to get some good stuff.

In terms of per capita consumption, (more…)

The perfect tool for wine bloggers

I just found the perfect combination of wine lore and internet technology. And the perfect gift for everyone who loves to browse about wine online – or better yet, to write blogs about wine online.

Some funny guys in France “invented” it and put it online, for everyone’s amazement – or is that amusement. The only detail is that it seems to work only for French wines, so far.  If anyone volunteers to spread the copyright to everywhere else on Planet Wine, that would be amazing.

Ladies and gentlemen, here is the one and only USBWine.

Well. If it did exist, I’d have to have it. Wouldn’t you?

Published in: on November 29, 2007 at 12:49 am  Comments (1)