Wine Not? American Airlines Launches Flagship Cellars, an at-home Wine Experience

Each year, a dedicated team of wine experts carefully reviews 2,000 bottles to select wines that will join the award-winning American Airlines wine program. For the first time you can enjoy these premium wines by having them delivered straight to their door with American’s new Flagship® Cellars at-home wine experience.

American Airlines has built a reputation for its thoughtful selection of award-winning wines that represent unique regions and flavors from around the world. “Flagship Cellars” is a wine passport to the world with flexible wine subscriptions or build-your-own case options. The curated collection features exclusive ultra-premium wines at a lower price and with AAdvantage® mileage benefits.

“For wine lovers around the world, wine provides a deeper connection to the places they enjoy visiting,” said Alison Taylor, Chief Customer Officer at American. “We created Flagship Cellars to provide more ways for customers to enjoy our Flagship wine even if they aren’t flying in one of our premium cabins.”

How the Flagship Cellars wine experience works:

American Airlines will hand-pick wines from its Flagship wine collection, chosen by an award-winning master sommelier exclusively for American.

Anyone 21 years or older can select their wine preferences at vinesse.com/flagshipcellars.

Customers can select from curated collections of mixed wines, build their own custom box, or purchase a monthly wine subscription that includes three prestigious wines for $99.99 USD, which includes delivery.

Subscriptions may be for a limited time (while supplies last) and can be canceled at any time. The introductory offer includes an extra complimentary bottle of wine. Program and availability limitations on orders vary by state.

In addition, members of the American Airlines AAdvantage® loyalty program can earn two miles per dollar spent on every order when they provide their AAdvantage number during checkout (excluding taxes, shipping and fees). Not an AAdvantage member? Join for free at aa.com/loyalty/enrollment/enroll.

Wines considered for the American Airlines wine program undergo a thorough process. Twice a year, the wine experts identify top selections based on their notes and historical data on what has been most popular with customers around the world. The team meets with its award-winning master sommelier to blind taste wines before presenting final options to a variety of American team members to solicit feedback and identify which wines are best suited for onboard and in lounges.

American has more Global Traveler Wines on the Wing awards than any other U.S. carrier, including four first-place wins in the past year. Since 2015, American has been the top airline for first- and business-class wines in North America.

WSTA Launches Low and No Alcohol Labelling Guidance

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (UK) has produced new guidance around the labeling of low and no alcohol drinks, as a record number of Brits explore low and no products.

This guidance has been produced in partnership with the WTSA’s Primary Authority Trading Standards Partners, and at the behest of both retailers and producers.

With the popularity of the low and no alcohol category at an all-time high, and January traditionally seeing efforts by consumers to cut out or cut down on booze to start the year, drinks producers are developing new and innovative techniques to provide consumers with more choice and greater quality.

The latest data from the WSTA Market Report shows that overall alcohol sales are down compared to the same 12-month period last year. Wine and beer sales have dipped and overall, spirit sales are flat. Wine, the nation’s most popular drink, has seen a 5% decline in sales despite the boost in online deliveries.

Many new products on the market are produced to closely resemble their alcoholic counterparts – they are closer than ever before – in taste, aroma and appearance – to the spirits and spirit drinks they are providing an alternative to.

The WSTA’s new guidance aims to establish acceptable legal names, marketing text and general labeling requirements for low and no alcohol drinks.

It also looks to boost confidence for consumers in the category, helping them make informed purchasing decisions through clear, accurate, and consistent labeling – which had been retailers’ over-riding concern and motivation for asking the WSTA to offer advice that can be applicable UK market-wide.

The new guidance applies to low and no alcohol drinks that are packaged and marketed as a substitute or alternative to spirit drinks and is designed to complement existing – and any future – Low Alcohol Descriptors Guidance produced by the Department of Health and Social Care.

Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association said:

“There has been a huge amount of innovation and product development across the low and no alcohol category in recent years. Confusion – for producers and for consumers – led to a request of the WSTA to pull together comprehensive advice. Along with our Primary Authority partners, we have produced this new guide to help both producers and consumers.

We know that overall alcohol sales fell during 2020. Many Brits want to start 2021 by reducing the amount of alcohol they drink, or cutting it out completely, which is why I am delighted to have been able to publish this guidance so early in the year.

Many of our members are making it easier than ever for us to choose a lower-alcohol, or no alcohol alternative, without compromising on taste or quality. Our new guidance will help producers label and market their products with greater confidence, and will help promote clear, accurate and consistent labeling across the category, boosting consumer confidence.”

Councillor David Lancaster, lead member for environment and community safety, at Salford City Council said supporting businesses to comply with the law and promoting best practice is central to the council’s primary authority advisory work with the WSTA.

“Low and no alcohol drinks are a fast-growing market.  It is important that products are legally compliant and that they have clear and understandable labeling so that customers can make the right choices. Our staff were delighted to work with their colleagues in Wales to help the WSTA publish this pioneering guide,” he said.

Jonny Peacock, Strategy and Transformation Director for Pernod Ricard UK, said:

“The non-alcoholic spirits category is already growing fast, and with 30 percent of all consumers seeking to moderate, there’s no reason to doubt projections of continued growth of ~25% over the coming years. This move is welcome as it ensures clarity and certainty for producers and consumers as they increasingly engage in the category.”

Rob Curteis, Group Marketing Director, Quintessential Brands, adds:

“With many consumers today looking to create a better balance in their lives and their diets, there’s more interest in products that help them to moderate – be it low & no alcohol, or low & no sugar. They’re also wanting to enjoy good quality when they do indulge in a bit of what they fancy though – it’s not enough to simply remove the alcohol and not consider the impact on the taste, shoppers today are more discerning and expect more from these ‘alternatives.’

“With this being new territory for many producers, retailers and consumers, we welcome the WSTA’s proactive approach in giving guidance to the industry on this burgeoning category to help the consumer understand and navigate it, and also to protect the integrity of the spirits category.”

IWSR announces acquisition of Wine Intelligence

IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, the leading authority on the worldwide beverage alcohol industry, today announced the acquisition of London-based Wine Intelligence, the top global experts on wine consumer research and insights. The combined offering provides the industry with robust insight into consumption trends, consumer behavior and growth opportunities for the global beverage alcohol sector.

Founded in 2002, Wine Intelligence conducts projects on behalf of wine businesses in more than 35 wine markets. This acquisition enables the IWSR and Wine Intelligence teams to build a world-class consumer behavior division focused exclusively on the global beverage alcohol industry.

“As Covid-19 reshapes consumer behavior and beverage alcohol drinking occasions, industry stakeholders are looking for a deeper understanding of the consumer attitudes driving the market,” remarks Mark Meek, CEO of IWSR. “Our vision is shaped by our clients, and this acquisition is a tremendous opportunity for us to expand on our existing offerings and work with the Wine Intelligence team to provide the industry with access to comprehensive consumer insight across all categories of the drinks industry, including beer, wine, spirits and the ready-to-drink sector.”

This acquisition follows a successful decade-long relationship between IWSR and Wine Intelligence. Recent collaborations include the IWSR Covid-19 Consumer Tracker, an in-depth consumer sentiment research report series tracking the on-going impact of Covid-19 on the consumption of and attitude to beverage alcohol over an 18-month period.

“We are delighted to join the IWSR family after nearly 10 years of our organizations partnering on behalf of our client base,” says Lulie Halstead, CEO of Wine Intelligence. “I share Mark’s vision of us building a world-class and comprehensive offering of data and consumer insights to support the global beverage alcohol sectors, which we are uniquely positioned to do.”

About the IWSR

The IWSR is the leading source of data and intelligence on the alcoholic beverage market. The IWSR’s database, essential to the industry, quantifies the global market of wine, spirits, beer, cider, and RTDs (ready-to-drink) by volume and value in 160 countries, and provides insight into short- and long-term trends, including five-year volume and value forecasts. The IWSR tracks overall consumption and trends at brand, price segment and category level. Our data is used by the major international wine, spirits and beer companies, as well as financial and alcoholic beverage market suppliers. The IWSR’s unique methodology allows us to get closer to what is actually consumed and better understand how markets work. The IWSR boasts a team of global analysts, each of whom is equipped with local market expertise and an expansive network of on-the-ground industry contacts. Our analysts meet and speak with their industry contacts throughout the year in order to capture local insight, key market trends, and the ‘why’ behind the numbers. For more information about the IWSR, please visit www.theiwsr.com

About Wine Intelligence

Wine Intelligence is the global leader in wine consumer research and insights. Founded in 2002, we now conduct projects on behalf of wine businesses in more than 35 wine markets. With a team made up of wine industry and research specialists, we offer a broad range of research, insights and strategy services to help wine businesses make better and more profitable business decisions.

Silicon Valley Bank: The US wine industry will bound back in 2021

The US wine industry is poised to bounce back in 2021, according to a report by Rob McMillan, Founder, Silicon Valley Bank, with a consumer desire to celebrate set to help drive wine sales this year.

Silicon Valley Bank’s 20th annual review of wine industry prospects predicts that temporary gains will yield to long-term declines. The report raises doubts that this year’s expected sales momentum will carry very far into 2022.

Wineries that have established strong direct-to-consumer sales during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as online retailers, can expect more gains in 2021, the report says, while bricks-and-mortar retailers, urban-based grocers and restaurants will take years to recover.

Restaurants will drastically need new investment to survive or to re-appear. Yet, the report predicts a quick recovery for the industry as a whole, although the relative importance of individual sales channels will shift dramatically.

Online wine retailers had major growth in sales during 2020, and that is expected to continue into 2021. This channel, and wineries’ own online efforts, “will represent 20% of an average winery’s sales within five years,” the report predicts.

McMillan stressed that wineries, in spite of the loss of tasting room sales, are not in the same financial straits as restaurants. “Wineries seldom go bankrupt,” he said, “even if they are over-leveraged. If they have financial problems, there’s always a willing buyer.”

One problem that was lurking in the US at this time last year, according to the report, was an over-supply of wine. But damage to crops from last year’s fires and smoke, as well as diminished tasting room sales, resulted in supply now being back in balance with demand.

However, one problem that has not gone away is the changing ages of wine drinkers. As Baby Boomers continue to retire, they are being replaced by younger drinkers with different agendas.

While the decrease in demand by Boomers for wine purchases at all price levels has not been as precipitous as once predicted, the decline is not being offset by younger drinkers, who often see better value in craft beers and in spirits.

“The digital world parallels the real world,” McMillan said, “and the new consumer is not one who wants to rely on advice from most current sommeliers. We need to consider the values of younger drinkers, and they value things in the wine world differently.”

Download the full report

https://www.svb.com/trends-insights/reports/wine-report

The Top Wines from Global Riesling Masters 2020

One of the favorite grapes of the true wine connoisseur, Riesling comes in many types, from sparkling to dry, from medium to sweet. Here is an analysis of the results and a list of all the medalists from the 2020 competition.

If you want proof of Riesling’s versatility, then look at the spread of top medals in this year’s competition. Held for pure Riesling only, there were many entries for sparkling wine, dry still wines, medium-dry and sweet ones, including an outstanding Icewine at the end of the tasting. It shows that not only can Riesling be used to make a wide array of wine styles, but in each case, it can achieve excellence. This is rare in the wine world, where noble grapes tend to create something exceptional in one or two styles, with only Chenin Blanc, and perhaps Furmint, being other grape varieties that of that are capable of yielding excellent sparkling, dry and sweet results.

CRISP FINISH

At higher prices, there were two brilliant Rieslings from Domaines Schlumberger, representing a pair of Alsace grand crus: Saering and Kessler, with the former showing a touch riper peachy fruit, honey and tangerine, and the latter more pear and apple, along with chalk and salt characters on its crisp finish.

Germany was the source nation of the final Gold in this sweetness category, with the powerful Rheingau Grosses Gewachs Riesling from Weingut August Eser, loaded with apricot richness, a touch of sweetness, and a stony, dry, lime-fresh finish.

The rest of our outstanding wines came at higher sweetness levels, notably the Riesling Rotschiefer from the Mosel’s Weingut Sorentburg, with peach and strawberry, a whiff of kerosine, and a persistent clean citrus note.

The final wine of the tasting turned out to be another Master. It was layered with fruit flavors from mango to apricot, along with dried apple and raisins. It was unctuous too, with almost 190g/l of sugar, but offset by a tangy freshness. It had the characters of great Icewine, which we later learned it was, and from Canada’s Andrew Peller Estates.

The 2020 competition was judged by David Round MW, Patrick Schmitt MW and Patricia Stefanowicz MW in December at London’s 28°-50° Wine Workshop & Kitchen. The top wines were awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze medals according to their result, and those expressions that stood out as being outstanding in their field received the ultimate accolade – the title of Riesling Master.

“After a glorious day of judging the Riesling Masters in 2020, it is difficult to understand what is not to love about the Riesling grape variety. This great grape shows its range of styles beautifully, far beyond its ‘homeland’ of Germany, Alsace and Austria. Dry Rieslings can sometimes appear ‘acidic’ or ‘stretched’. Not this category here. With just a tiny bit of residual sugar and ripe fruit, these wines have purity of citrus flavors, ranging from lemon-lime in the Clare Valley (Australia) through tangerine to orange zest (Eden Valley, Australia). Apple, pear, honey and minerality are more apparent in the wines from Germany or Alsace. Many of them have a lovely accent of lemon or orange blossom adding interest.” Patricia Stefanowicz MW

Here is the link which features all the medalists from this year’s competition.

https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2021/01/the-best-wines-from-the-global-riesling-masters-2020/ 

Source:  Drinks Business