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'Zilla Wine and Tunes Pairing

The two essential elements of the CORKZILLA experience – Wine and music – in a pairing. Our signature feature will continue in 2013, but we've decided to take a break from the grind of producing thoughtful pairings on a monthly basis. Please look for an archive page highlighting our pairings from the past coming soon. Cheers!

What We're Listening to

Keith Richards, "Crosseyed Heart," Republic Records

Gary Clark Jr., "The Story of Sonny Boy Slim," Warner Brothers Records

Warren Haynes Featuring Railroad Earth, "Ashes and Dust," Concord Records

Jason Isbell, "Something More Than Free," Southeastern Records

Phish, "Live Bait Vol. 11" (free digital download)

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, "Chasing Yesterday," Sour Mash Records

Neil Young, "On the Beach," Reprise Records

Massive Attack, "Protection," Circa Records

D'Angelo and the Vanguard, "Black Messiah," RCA Records

Brokedown in Bakersfield, "Live!," Little Sur Records

Ryan Adams, "Ryan Adams," Pax-Am Records

Rich Robinson, "The Ceaseless Sight," The End Records

Jack White, "Lazaretto," Third Man Records

The Wayne Shorter Quartet, "Without a Net," Blue Note Records

Reach out to CORKZILLA

Entries in Diageo (4)


Weekly Wine News Around the Web

B.R. Cohn Latest Industry Acquisition: Vintage Wine Estates, based in Santa Rosa, Calif., announced it has purchased the B.R. Cohn Winery and approximately 70 acres of vineyards, according to this report in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. The deal, just the latest in a series within the wine industry, could be the end of a more than 40-year winery odyssey for founder and band manager Bruce Cohn. In the article, Cohn was less-than-optimistic about family-owned wineries surviving in the current climate – “It’s a really tough business,” he said in the report. Separately, E & J Gallo bought two brands from Treasury Wine Estates, according to this report.

Diageo Draws SEC Scrutiny: Global beverage giant Diageo is under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for allegedly inflating sales, according to this report. The investigation centers on alleged efforts by Diageo to send more cases to distributors than they’ve ordered, which would allow the company to report increased sales, according to The Guardian.

Profitability Question in Auz: A new report indicates 90 percent of Australian wineries in many regions will be unprofitable, according to this article in Decanter magazine. The report, authored by the Winemaker’s Federation of Australia, points to cooler climates as a major factor, with those wineries having a better chance to make money.

Wine Harvest 2015 Updates: With news that Mumm Napa has started harvesting its grapes for sparkling wine in Napa Valley, Calif., the 2015 harvest begins in earnest, according to this report. Over on the west side of Highway 101 outside Paso Robles, Calif. on the central coast, the Tablas Creek Vineyard is predicting an “early September” start to the harvest, according to a recent blog post.


Weekly Wine News Around the Web

Benziger Sold to The Wine Group: Sonoma Valley stalwart Benziger Family Winery has been purchased by The Wine Group, according to an article in the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat. Benziger produces nearly 140,000 cases of wine annually, according to the report, but will now join the third largest wine conglomerate. Price estimates for the acquisition range from less than $90 million to more than $100 million, according to the article. Interestingly, The Wine Group is best known for its value wines while Benziger specializes in premium and super-premium wines, along with a commitment to bio-dynamic farming in its vineyards. We’ll see how this works out.

3G Eyeing Diageo Takeover Bid?: Rumors continue to swirl that 3G Capital is intending to make a bid for beverage giant Diageo, according to this report. News of a possible deal evidently originated from a magazine in Brazil, prompting a jump in Diageo’s stock price. The man behind 3G, Jorge Paulo Lemann, has made several bets on food and beverage companies in recent years.

Wait…How Much Did you Pay for that Wine?: The annual Auction Napa Valley to benefit local charities raised $15.8 million recently, down from 2014’s $18.3 million. One bid, however, was a record – the $2.4 million paid for a single live auction lot from Opus One that includes wine as well as travel, according to this report in Wines and Vines magazine.

Small Harvest to Blame for Prosecco Shortage?: There’s concern among producers of that lovely bubbly alternative Prosecco that there could be a shortage due to a smaller than expected harvest in 2014, according to this report. Consumption has evidently skyrocketed in export markets such as the U.S., the Shanken News Daily blog reported. You’ve been warned!


Weekly Wine News Around the Web

Auction Prices Take a Dip: The Atlantic Magazine surmises that recent declines in wine auction prices portend a possible wider contraction in the luxury goods market. Auction prices have reportedly taken a 23 percent dip this year, largely due to Chinese buying patterns, after a 264 increase since the end of 2003.

Ongoing Bordeaux Uncertainty: In related news, store owners are predicting further “pain ahead” even as Bordeaux producers continue to discount their vintages, according to this Decanter magazine report. Given the run up for high-end Bordeaux, this contraction is to be expected, but the ongoing softness from Asian markets remains a bit of a surprise, given their love affair with the French varietal.

Lot18 Tries to Keep Focus: the flash wine deal site Lot18 has let 11 employees go after expanding its business too quickly after raising $44.5 million in venture capital funding, according to this report. “One of the perils of having a lot of money is, it’s easy to launch a lot of things,” Founder and President Philip James told Betabeat. The food and travel businesses will be eliminated, according to the report.

Two Prong Strategy for Diageo: Alcohol conglomerate Diageo has its sights set on the so-called millennial consumer with the launch of three new wine brands, according to this report. The three new brands – Butterfly Kiss, Rose ‘n’ Blum, and Stark Raving – will all be priced in the $12 to $14 range and hope to sell 100,000 cases of each brand by the end of the year. Diageo professes to be focused on its “heritage” wine brands and its aforementioned “lifestyle” brands, part of a “two pronged” strategy in its wine business.


Weekly Wine News Around the Web

Wine Even with Beer Among U.S. Consumers: The American beverage consumer prefers wine and beer evenly for only the second time in two decades, according to a new survey completed by Gallup. The 35 percent of consumers who prefer wine is near a record high, according to the report.

You Lookin’ At My Vines?: Legendary Hollywood actor Robert DeNiro (Pictured at right) is considering an investment in the Argentinian wine business, according to a South American business journal. DeNiro is reportedly interested in a 100-acre vineyard in Vista Flores, Tunuyan, part of the Mendoza wine region that has become known for its Malbecs.

Wine Grows on the Web: After red tape and related hurdles, buying wine on the Web is finally taking off, according to a report in Advertising Age. The report points to a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision as the turning point that finally made it possible for wine websites to navigate the labyrinth of state laws and interstate shipping regulations.

Diageo Settles Bribery Suit: It took $16 million, but global beverage conglomerate Diageo has settled a bribery suit alleging improper payments within the countries of India, South Korea and Thailand. No word whether officials in those countries have sobered up yet.

Charlottesville = Wine Blogger Ground Zero: Hundreds of wine bloggers descended on Charlottesville, VA, this past weekend to taste Virginia wine and write about it as part of the fourth North American Wine Bloggers Conference. Where is this annual event next year? Portland, OR. Look for CORKZILLA to be part of the fun.

More Random News Items: CORKZILLA can’t do it all. Check the Wine Spectator’s brief rundown of interesting news in the wine world.