BevAlc Roundup | “Granholm 2” Enters the Spotlight, a Cheating Scandal Roils Latest Sommelier Exam, and Augmented Reality for Wineries

It’s well into October now, which means the leaves are turning, the grape harvest is winding down, and all the beer is pumpkin spiced. Now’s also a chance for a brief pause before things really pick up for the holiday season, so why not relax a bit with the Roundup?

This week we have a couple in-case-you-missed-it posts from the regular blog feed on developments in the courts: first, our take on Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Ass’n v. Byrd, a case out of Tennessee that will no doubt take up much of the oxygen over the next few months; and second, a Michigan case that once again rules that the state can’t discriminate against out-of-state retailers when creating retailer DtC shipping laws. Then, we look at what the recently negotiated USMCA trade agreement could mean for trading wine, how the 2018 harvest is shaping up (spoiler: it’s looking great!), and what an upcoming wine auction shows about historical tastes and preferences.

In other news for this week’s Roundup, wineries are facing added pressure from Chinese tariffs, the beer industry discusses where it can find growth in the future, and American saké is coming into its own.

Stay up to date with the latest trends in the DtC wine market with the Sovos/Wines & Vines 2018 DtC Report. Make sure to download your copy here!


Regulatory News and Discussions

TTB Newsletter | Top stories includes updated guidance for the wine industry on filing returns and reports annually, and reminders about changes you can make to previously approved alcohol beverage labels that don’t require you to get a new COLA. TTB

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Tennessee Case Many Are Calling “Granholm 2” |

Byrd presents the opportunity for the Court to clarify many questions left unsettled after Granholm. ShipCompliant by Sovos

Michigan Court Rules Against Discriminatory Retailer Direct-to-Consumer Shipping Law — Again |  The case, Lebamoff Enterprises v. Snyder, is the second time in a decade that a court has ruled against a Michigan law of this type. ShipCompliant by Sovos

California Wine Achieved Major Wine With USMCA Trade Deal | American wine industry executives said U.S. trade negotiations with Canada produced meaningful progress in eliminating some protectionist policies, particularly in the province of British Columbia. CNBC

California Wineries Will Be Allowed To Post Photos To Social Media Ahead of Special Events | Assembly Bill 2452 which Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law on Sept. 22, gives wineries and alcohol producers the opportunity to post the photos ahead of the special event.

Tied-House Law Update | During the Wine, Beer & Spirits Law Conference, Marc Sorini discussed recent legal developments in federal and state trade practice law. Alcohol Law Advisor

Oregon Lawmaker Seek Probe of Winery Deception | Say labels infer California wine actually from Oregon. KTVA-21


Industry Updates: Market Conditions and Developments

2018 Could Be “One for the Record Books” | Napa and Sonoma grapegrowers report extended hang time and steady picking pace, yielding healthy and “happy” grapes. Wines&Vines

Cheating Scandal Invalidates Latest Master Sommelier Tasting Exam | Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas, reports that passing candidates must retake the tasting portion. SevenFifty Daily

Led By $23 Million Purchase of Cisco Brewers, Craft Brew Alliance Buys 3 Beer Companies | CBA, a publicly traded craft brewery group headquartered in Portland, Ore., today announced that it would wholly acquire Massachusetts’ Cisco Brewers, North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountain Brewery and Miami’s Wynwood Brewing. Brewbound

The Millennial Wine Smell Test: Non-Conforming Beverages | Wine and beer crossovers defy convention. How are they being marketed to younger drinkers? Wine Spectator



What “Amazon Effect?” Wholesalers Conflate Issues | Wholesalers and retailers have a new boogeyman to scare legislators. It’s called Amazon. And in a few states they are conflating the so-called “Amazon effect” to prevent the expansion of consumer choice with winery direct shipping. Free the Grapes!

Augmented Reality for Wine: Past, Present & Future | With Treasury, Gallo, and other wine producers launching their own augmented reality wine apps, it’s worth reviewing the evolution of this digital marketing tactic within the wine industry and what to expect in the future. Medium

Wine As History, Not Just Industry | Christie’s, in advance of an important December auction, describes the discovery and character of a historic cache of old Madeira found in New Jersey’s Liberty Hall Museum at Keen University back in 2016. Fermentation


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