Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

News Briefs for May 6, 2013

May 6, 2013

•Wine prices in American restaurants have been on the rise over the last six months, according to a study done by independent firm Restaurant Sciences. The study found that over the fourth quarter of 2012 and first quarter of 2013, family dining and white tablecloth establishments saw the greatest price increases—the family dining segment was up an average 8.36% and white tablecloth restaurants showed a 5.35% average increase. Meanwhile, wine prices in mid-priced casual and upscale-casual segments have gone up slightly, increasing by 1.9% and 1.99%, respectively. The survey examined over 28 million wine “drinks”—including any purchase of a glass, bottle or carafe of wine—from over 5,000 restaurants and representing some $289 million in restaurant wine sales.

•New York startup Splitbin has launched a new online wine retail platform aimed at appealing to Millennials. Specializing in wines priced below $20, Splitbin will allow customers to purchase either single bottles or create a mixed “bin” with different bottles of their choosing. Additionally, the site offers a split payment option, meaning customers can split the cost of any purchase over $100 with other people. Splitbin, which primarily stocks independent producers, currently ships to all states except Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Texas, South Dakota, Maryland and Utah.

•Renowned Napa Valley restaurant The French Laundry has launched a spirits program after receiving a full liquor license late last year. The Michelin three-star venue, which previously only served wine and beer, now offers roughly 60 spirits, liqueurs and dessert wines by the glass, ranging from $15 for Smith-Woodhouse Late-Bottled Vintage Port to $1,950 for 57-year-old Macallan Scotch served in a Lalique crystal glass, as well as a selection of cigars ($20 to $595).

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