Share

1

Rank of a breakthrough new vaccine for honeybees approved by the USDA to prevent foulbrood disease, a fatal bacterial disease that can destroy entire honeybee colonies. The global food supply relies on honeybees for pollinating critical crops. The vaccine is mixed into worker bees’ food. The honeybee queen then eats royal jelly produced by the worker bees, ingesting the vaccine and becoming immune to the disease. The vaccine will be available this year.

Share

25.9

Sales (in billions of US$) expected this Valentine’s Day. Good news for retailers! Despite inflation and supply chain issues, consumers are planning to spend more than ever on gifts for their loved ones, friends, co-workers, pets, and themselves, according to a recent survey from the National Retail Federation. The surge in spending from last year’s $23.9 billion is a record high.

Share

9

Number of hours per day a California farmworker must work (or 50 hours per week) before being paid time-and-a-half, according to a new expansion of the state’s Agricultural Workers Act.  A 12-hour workday now warrants double time. With over and double time, farmworkers in some wine regions occasionally earned $30 to $40 an hour, but the work is both sporadic and grueling.

Share

359

Amount (in millions of US$) Totalwine.com accrued in online net sales of wines and spirits in 2021 (the latest figure), making it the leading online shop for eCommerce net sales in the country, according to Statista. Coming in second place: Wine.com with $289 million in 2021, followed by Nakedwines.com with $203 million, and Bevmo.com with $106 million.

Share

45

Average amount (in pounds) of cheese consumed per person, per year by people living in the European Union. Nothing shocking there! But this is a surprise: In 2021 (the last year for which figures are available), the U.S. came in second with about 39.5 lbs. per person. The most common type of cheese sold in the U.S. is shredded cheese (sigh)—prepackaged cheese that is commonly used in pizza, quesadillas, nachos, and macaroni and cheese.

Share

5.2k

Approximate cost (in US$) to grub up an acre of vineyard land in Bordeaux. Many producers of low to moderately priced wines in the region are facing financial ruin as markets for their grapes evaporate. The foreseeable solution—pulling out vineyards entirely—is itself expensive. Bordeaux currently produces some 60 million cases of excess wine per year according to the CIVB (Bordeaux Wine Council).

Share

1919

Year, this week, that national Prohibition was ratified under the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, prohibiting the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages. Prohibition, which took practical effect the following year, crippled the U.S. wine industry and paved the way for a thriving commerce in bootleg spirits. Prohibition ended in 1933.

Share

9k

Number of bottles of counterfeit wine intended for sale in China recently seized at sea by customs agents from Hong Kong. Most of the wines (valued at $25.6 million) were Penfolds, one of Australia’s best-known brands. The massive raid also uncovered 22 tons of expensive foods (dried shark fins, dried sea cucumbers), 140,000+ electronic goods, 70,000 vinyl records, 4,000 boxes of medicine, and several endangered species.

Share

17

Number of cases of wine per person the French consumed in the years following World War II, according to the Wine Spectator. Today per capita wine consumption in France is about 4.5 cases. The steep decline in French wine consumption has left many of the country’s winemakers without a local market for their wines. Some producers of inexpensive Bordeaux are reportedly nearly destitute.

Share

1

Number of millions of plant and animal species currently facing extinction, according to the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem services (IPBES), and as reported in the New York Times. That translates to about 13 bird species, 25% of mammals, 31% of sharks and rays, and possibly more than 50% of insects.

Share

1882

Year the first major traditional method (méthode champenoise) sparkling wine began to be made in California—specifically in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley. The producer, Korbel Champagne Cellars, had been founded a few years earlier by three immigrant Czech brothers whose main business was lumber, and subsequently, sparkling wine and brandy. Korbel (now minus “Champagne” in the company name) has been made for the last 141 years.

Share

32

Average price (in US$) of a bottle of wine purchased on wine.com, one of the leading online wine retailers in the U.S. According to Shanken News Daily, wine prices on the site range from $8 (for a Chilean Merlot) to $8,500 (for a Grand Cru from Burgundy’s Domaine Leroy). The site has 13,000 SKUs and sells wine in 41 states and the District of Columbia.