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News Briefs for March 17, 2014

March 17, 2014

•Global sales of Bordeaux wine slipped last year, as exports to the crucial Chinese market fell by 16% amid the government’s crackdown on luxury gift-giving. Aggregate sales value of Bordeaux wines declined by 1.4% to 4.24 billion euros (US$5.9 billion) in 2013, according to the Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB) trade association, even as volume inched up by 0.3% to the equivalent of 742 million bottles. Exports were down by 6% from a value standpoint, largely because of the dropoff in China. China and Hong Kong collectively account for roughly a quarter of Bordeaux’s total wine sales.

•Three major beer brands have pulled out of St. Patrick’s Day parades in New York and Boston, in protest of their exclusionary policy toward the LGBT community. Guinness and Heineken have both withdrawn sponsorship from the New York City celebration, while Sam Adams has similarly dropped out of Boston’s festivities. In a public statement, Sam Adams owner Boston Beer Co. said said it had tried to convince Boston’s parade organizers to modify their rules (the Boston parade, like the New York parade, permits LGBT groups to march, but does not allow them to use signage identifying their sexualities). Guinness owner Diageo, meanwhile, issued a statement that the brand would “continue to work with community leaders to ensure that future parades have an inclusionary policy.”

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