Number of Master Sommeliers in the Americas chapter–132 men and 25 women. The Court of Master Sommeliers was established in England in 1977 to improve the standard of wine and beverage service in restaurants and hotels. In 1987, the first MS Diploma Exam was held in the U.S. There are now 247 MSs worldwide.
Number of reservations made at super chef Gordon Ramsay’s new Vegas restaurant in its first ten days, according to the L.A. Times. The restaurant is called Hell’s Kitchen after Ramsay’s wildly popular TV show of the same name. The Continental menu doesn’t move far from the classics, but reports are that the cocktails are fantastically avant garde.
Amount per gallon (in U.S. cents) that wineries will now pay in taxes on the first 30,000 gallons of wine they produce thanks to the new Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. While the excise tax on wine remains at $1.07 per gallon, the Act provides for a $1.00 credit on the first 30,000 gallons. The credit will be a boon, especially to small wineries.
Hours that it took to sell out of 2018 BottleRock Napa Valley three-day passes ranging in price from $349 to a hefty $3900 per person for the Platinum level pass. This year’s raucous music, wine, beer, and food festival is Memorial Day weekend, May 25-27, and includes headliners Bruno Mars, The Killers, and Muse, along with 80+ other musical acts. The first BottleRock happened in 2013.
Percentage of alcohol by volume (abv) that U.S. “table wine” can now possess thanks to new legislation known as the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. Formerly, table wine in the U.S. was defined as wine containing less than 14% abv. The new higher limit will reduce the amount of taxes wineries pay on wines over 14% alcohol.
Percentage of wine consumed in the U.S. by Californians alone. Of course, California is the leading wine producing state—making more than 90 percent of all U.S. wine. If California were a nation, it would be the fourth leading wine-producing country in the world behind France, Italy and Spain.
Year the California legislature enacted Assembly Bill 374 which provided for special instruction in “viticulture and the theory and practice of fermentation….and the management of cellars.” The bill was in response to devastating vineyard losses wrought by phylloxera. This led in turn to the establishment of the world-famous Viticulture and Enology department at the University of California at Davis.
Percentage of wine consumed globally that is not made in the country where it was consumed. According to a survey of global wine markets from 1860 to the present by the University of Adelaide, throughout most of history, most wine has been consumed close to where it was made. It wasn’t until the 1990s that exported wine constituted more than about 10% of all wine made.
Number of millions of cases of spirits produced last year by the top 25 spirits brands in the U.S. alone according to Shanken News Daily, enough booze to make about 32 billion one-ounce shot cocktails. The smaller spirits brands contributed an additional 500,000 cases themselves. The top spirit brands sold in the U.S. are Smirnoff and Bacardi.
Number of millions of bottles of Champagne sold by the end of last year. Just three days remain to exceed that figure this year (we assume you’ll do your part). According to the official trade group Comité Champagne, there are now 15,000 growers and 300 Houses (major firms) in the Champagne region.