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14

Percentage of wine consumers who said they’d pay $1 more for wines made with organic grapes in Sonoma State University’s 2018 survey of the American wine consumer. The same percentage (14%) said they’d pay $2 more. But 33% said they would not be willing to pay more at all.

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16

Average price (in U.S. dollars) of a 750-ml bottle of wine from Oregon, according to Market Watch. The average cost of wine from California and Washington is far lower—$7 and $10 respectively. Of course, a large percentage of Oregon wine is pinot noir and we all know that inexpensive pinot is pretty much an oxymoron.

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362

Approximate price (in thousands of U.S. dollars) of the most expensive case of wine sold by Christie’s auction house in 2018. The wine was Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s Romanée-Conti 1988, each bottle of which went for over $30k. However, the most expensive bottles of alcohol sold by Christie’s last year were not wine, but aged whiskies from both Scotland and Japan.

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1

Position Portland, OR, just nabbed in Smart Asset’s ranking of the Ten Best Coffee Cities in the U.S. The ranking considers several factors including the number of “exceptional” roasters and coffee shops. After Portland, the top cities in descending order are: Seattle, Oakland, San Diego, New Orleans, San Francisco, San Jose, Denver, Austin, and Honolulu. Four of the cities are in California, the best state for overall buzz.

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0.6

Cost (in cents) of the little fake green “grass” found in those containers of sushi you buy in the supermarket. Since it’s inedible, what’s the point of adding it? Historically, the Japanese used real lily or orchid leaves as a way of preventing rice from acquiring a fishy smell. Today in Japan, bamboo leaves are used for the same reason. In the U.S., alas, it’s P.E.T plastic.

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100

Amount (in millions of U.S. dollars) that Anheuser-Busch (makers of Budweiser), will invest in Tilray Inc, a producer of Canadian cannabis. According to Reuters, the two companies are partnering to research non-alcoholic cannabis-infused beverages. The pot beverage market is expected to explode in popularity this year.

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59

Percentage of wine consumers in Sonoma State University’s 2018 American Wine Consumer survey who said they use social media principally to ask friends for recommendations of which wine to buy. The same survey revealed that wine ratings from critics are important to just 23% of wine consumers.

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3

Inches in diameter of the first black Périgord truffle to be successfully cultivated in the U.S.  Uncovered in the Otellini Truffle Orchard in Sonoma on December 11, 2018, the impressive tuber was the result of an inoculation carried out by the American Truffle Company, a science-based cultivator of European black truffles.

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1100

Number of wineries now operating in Brazil. While winemaking in that country dates back to the late 19th century, it wasn’t until the last decade that the wine industry has taken off. According to Wines of Brasil, 33.7 million cases of wine were produced in 2017 and 195,000 acres are now planted with vineyards.

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37

Value (in millions of U.S. dollars) of grapes in California’s Lake County alone that were rejected this past fall because of suspected damage from smoke taint. The taint can occur when grapes still hanging on the vine are exposed to prolonged intense smoke. Luckily, in both 2017 and 2018, the enormously destructive fires in California and Oregon occurred after most (but not all) grapes had been harvested.