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3

Day in August when the 2020 grape harvest officially began in the Napa Valley. Sparkling wine producers are typically the first to pick since high acidity and low sugar levels in the grapes are desirable for making sparkling wine. Mumm Napa and Schramsberg were the first two wineries to begin picking. In years past, this day was marked by large boisterous festivities. This year, celebrations were more muted.

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70

Price (in U.S.$) per bottle of a new Sauternes label by Château d’Yquem (classified as a Premier Cru Supérieur in 1855). The Château’s 2017 grand vin costs $460. In 2005, CEO, Pierre Lurton, decided to give batches of wine deemed unsuitable for the celebrated noble-rot (botrytised) wine to the estate’s employees, rather than sell them in bulk. In 2014, d’Yquem bottled so-called “Sauternes 1” for their employees.  Now in 2020, with “Sauternes 6,” the château has decided to go public with the wine.

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550

Current market value (in millions of U.S.$) of fraudulent wine on the secondary market as a result of forgeries by convicted wine counterfeiter Rudy Kurniawan. According to wine authentication expert Maureen Downey, “almost none of it has been removed from circulation—it is being resold over and over again” by auction houses and retailers. Kurniawan was found guilty in 2013 of selling more than $1 million worth of fake fine wine each month from 2002 until his arrest in 2012.

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3000

Number of bottles of Champagne to be given away to visitors spending at least 2 nights in the celebrated French wine region this summer. The brainchild of the Reims Tourism Office, the promotion requires travelers to stay in a local hotel or guesthouse, dine in a neighborhood restaurant, and pay for one leisure activity to receive their prize. That way the holiday can continue all the way home!

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45

Percentage increase in weekday alcohol consumption by San Franciscans since the start of the pandemic, according to BACtrack, a San Francisco company that produces smartphone-connected breathalyzer devices. The company examined the anonymous BAC (blood alcohol content) data collected from its app users before and a month after quarantine began.

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2

Number of billions of pounds of oysters consumed annually worldwide. Celebrated in the U.S. each year on National Oyster Day (Tuesday, August 4), these bivalve mollusks contain hefty amounts of vitamin A, C, D, and B-12, along with calcium, iron, protein and zinc—the mineral credited with boosting sex drive. The oysters that we eat are members of the ostreidae family, while those that produce pearls are members of the pteriidae family.

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100

Amount (in millions of U.S.$) that alcoholic beverage giant Constellation Brands has committed to investing in black and minority-owned drinks companies over the next 10 years. Constellation (owner of wine brands Kim Crawford, Robert Mondavi, and The Prisoner) will also provide sales, marketing, operations, and finance training for the companies in which it invests. The project is called Focus on Minority Founders.

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283

Percentage year-over-year growth in quarterly revenue booked by Wine.com, one of the nation’s leading online wine retailers. Citing the pandemic as the driver of much of this unprecedented demand, Wine.com also reports that revenue from Millennials and Generation Z (the purported “Holy Grail” consumer) increased by 121%. Wine.com offers live chats with sommeliers, as well as information about wine and wine regions.

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20

Current number of Michelin-starred restaurants in NYC that have adapted their tasting menus for outdoor dining during the pandemic. The rest of the city’s 71 Michelin-pedigreed establishments remain closed. In recent weeks, a growing list of upscale dining rooms—including Marea, Daniel, and Peter Luger Steak House—have opened their backyards and patios, and even added seating in bike lanes. Many are already booked-out weeks in advance.

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85

Percentage of all tea consumed in the U.S. today that is sipped cold, according to the U.S. Tea Association. The first “iced teas” in America were alcohol bombs concocted during the Colonial Era, but the simple, summer, “on the rocks” beverage that we enjoy today wasn’t even possible for any but the very wealthy until the mid-19th century. Advances in extraction, refrigeration, and shipping lowered the price of ice (which at the time was cut from frozen lakes in winter) sending its demand through the roof.

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12

Price (in U.S.$) for a bottle of Snoop Cali Red by the wine brand 19 CRIMES in partnership with hip-hop icon Snoop Dogg. A blend of American oak aged petite syrah, zinfandel, and merlot from Lodi, the wine is the first California bottling from the Australian brand (owned by Treasury Wine Estates). The wine’s packaging includes augmented reality labels that when scanned with your phone, allow you to watch and hear Snoop tell his story. In conjunction with the launch, 19 Crimes will donate $100,000 to the NAACP Legal Fund.

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100

Number of French wine brands expected to immediately market themselves as “vin méthode nature”—the new French legal designation for natural wine. Permission to use the term vin methode nature requires that grapes be certified organic and handpicked, and the wine be made with indigenous yeasts. Additionally, the wine cannot be made using flash pasteurization, reverse osmosis or other manipulative processes. Two official natural wine logos have been created—one for sulfite-free wines and one for low-sulfite.