If you have ever done a business management course then you would probably have been asked to complete some team bonding task that involves building something out using nothing more than string and a few basic items. Either way it is all about testing our ability to think laterally and be creative. An exercise everyone in the wine industry should be asked to do says MBA graduate himself Alistair Morrell. The current UK economic landscape for wine is not looking great and many in the trade seem to be a little long in the mouth.
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- Social and Cultural Aspects of Drinking
- Premiumisation boost predicted for global wine
- Alistair Morrell: can wine live up to the Marshmallow Challenge?
- This Banker Gets to Drink Wine All Day
- Beloved pioneer of B.C. wine industry started making wine when he was just a teen
- How the LA Wine Industry is Making a Comeback
Social and Cultural Aspects of DrinkingVIDEO ON THE TOPIC: How To Start a Brand Without a Distillery
Click on the accompanying image to download and read the full document using Adobe's Acrobat Reader. In this context, it is essential for those concerned with policy and legislation on alcohol to have a clear understanding of the sociocultural functions and meanings of drinking.
This section outlines the principal conclusions that can be drawn from the available cross-cultural material regarding the symbolic uses of alcoholic beverages, the social functions of drinking-places and the roles of alcohol in transitional and celebratory rituals. From the ethnographic material available, it is clear that in all cultures where more than one type of alcoholic beverage is available, drinks are classified in terms of their social meaning, and the classification of drinks is used to define the social world.
Alcohol is a symbolic vehicle for identifying, describing, constructing and manipulating cultural systems, values, interpersonal relationships, behavioural norms and expectations. Choice of beverage is rarely a matter of personal taste. At the simplest level, drinks are used to define the nature of the occasion.
In the Weiner Becken in Austria, sekt is drunk on formal occasions, while schnapps is reserved for more intimate, convivial gatherings - the type of drink served defining both the nature of the event and the social relationship between the drinkers. Even in societies less bound by long-standing traditions and customs, where one might expect to find a more individualistic, subjective approach to the choice of drinks, the social meanings of different beverages are clearly defined and clearly understood.
A US survey Klein, examined perceptions of the situational appropriateness of various types of alcoholic drink, finding that wine, but not spirits or beer, is considered an appropriate accompaniment to a meal; wine and spirits, but not beer, are appropriate drinks for celebratory events, while beer is the most appropriate drink for informal, relaxation-oriented occasions.
In cultures with a more established heritage of traditional practices, perceptions of situational appropriateness may, however, involve more complex and subtle distinctions, and rules governing the uses of certain classes of drink are likely to be more rigidly observed. In France, for example, the aperitif is drunk before the meal, white wine is served before red, brandy and digestifs are served only at the end of the meal and so on Clarisse, ; Nahoum-Grappe, Among Hungarian Gypsies, equally strict rules apply to brandy: brandy may only be consumed first thing in the morning, during the middle of the night at a wake, or by women prior to a rubbish-scavenging trip.
It would be regarded as highly inappropriate to serve or drink brandy outside these specific situational contexts Stewart, Choice of beverage is also a significant indicator of social status. In France, by contrast, where wine-drinking is commonplace and confers no special status, the young elite are turning to often imported beers McDonald, ; Nahoum-Grappe, Preference for high-status beverages may be an expression of aspirations, rather than a reflection of actual position in the social hierarchy.
There may also be a high degree of social differentiation within a single category of beverage. Purcell notes that in Ancient Rome, wine was not simply the drink of the elite: its variety and calibrability allowed its use as a differentiator "even within exclusive, high-ranking circles". Wine was, and is today in many cultures, "a focus of eloquent choices".
Certain drinks, for example, have become symbols of national identity: Guinness for the Irish, tequila for Mexicans, whisky for Scots, ouzo for Greeks etc. In other words, the older peasant drinks cider; the younger person outside agriculture opts for beer. It is, however, too soon to tell whether their current habits will persist into maturity Gamella, Yet the drunken behaviour of the Papago on these occasions was invariably peaceful, harmonious and good-tempered.
These "two types of drinking" co-existed until the white man, in his wisdom, attempted to curb the ill-effects of alcohol on the Papago by banning all drinking, including the still-peaceful wine ceremonies. Prohibition failed, and the wine ceremonies eventually became indistinguishable, in terms of behaviour, from the secular whiskey-drinking.
Even in societies where there is less disapprobation attached to female drinking per se , we find that certain drinks are considered unfeminine, while others are regarded as too feminine for male consumption Engs et al , As with many other areas covered in this review, information on the symbolic meanings of different types of alcoholic drink is scattered, disjointed and incomplete, usually buried in research focused on other issues.
Again, there has been no significant cross-cultural study of this phenomenon, beyond the occasional two-country comparison. In particular, more attention should be directed to the changes currently occurring in some European cultures. When the British, for example, an ambivalent, episodic, beer-drinking culture, go to France, an integrated, wine-drinking culture, they exhibit a tendency to drink wine in beer quantities and display all of the behavioural excesses associated with their native drinking patterns, with the result that young British tourists "are now renowned in France and elsewhere in Europe for their drinking and drunkenness" McDonald, In Spain, by contrast, the young males appear more sensitive to alien cultural influences, and have adopted, along with beer-drinking, the anti-social behaviour patterns of their beer-drinking guests.
The need for further and more precise research on the symbolic functions of alcoholic beverages has been recognised even outside the culturally-minded field of anthropology.
The historian Thomas Brennan argues that:. The problems with quantification illustrate the need for a greater awareness and investigation into the cultural aspects of alcohol. Drinking, as we have already noted, is essentially a social act, subject to a variety of rules and norms regarding who may drink what, when, where, with whom and so on.
The nature and role of the public drinking-place may be seen as an extension, or even a physical expression or embodiment, of the role of drinking itself. There has been no systematic cross-cultural research on public drinking contexts, and the available material is scattered and incomplete.
These small-scale studies of public drinking-places in various societies indicate that, in terms of insight into the social and cultural roles of alcohol, this is one of the most fertile and rewarding fields of enquiry and that more extensive cross-cultural comparison would significantly improve our understanding of these roles.
Despite the inevitable lack of coherence in the available literature, some significant general conclusions can be drawn from the existing research in this area. First, as noted above, it is clear that where there is alcohol, there is almost always a dedicated environment in which to drink it, and that every culture creates its own, highly distinctive, public drinking-places.
Second, the drinking-place is usually a special environment: it represents a separate sphere of existence, a discrete social world with its own laws, customs and values. Third, drinking-places tend to be socially integrative, classless environments, or at least environments in which status distinctions are based on different criteria from those operating in the outside world.
Finally, the primary function of drinking-places, in almost all cultures, appears to be the facilitation of social interaction and social bonding. Even where the climate does not allow permanent outdoor tables, a glassed-in pavement section is common.
These physical features reflect the equivocal status of drinking-places in societies with what Campbell calls "an ambivalent drinking culture, characterised by conflict between or among coexisting value structures.
The characteristics outlined above are, of course, broad generalisations, and in any modern, complex culture there will be a wide variety of drinking-places. Indeed, cataloguing, classifying and comparing the different types of drinking-place in a given society, their decor, clientele and other distinguishing features, has become a favourite pastime among social scientists Campbell, ; Fox, , ; Gilbert, ; Pujol, The liminality of the drinking-place is of social significance even in non-ambivalent, integrated drinking cultures.
The drinking-place provides a symbolic punctuation-mark differentiating one social context from another Mandelbaum, The drinking-place is the physical manifestation of the cultural meanings and roles of alcohol.
Alcohol has long been regarded as a social leveller, and the act of communal drinking as a means of communication between those of different ranks and status in society. If, as we propose above, the drinking-place embodies the symbolic social functions of alcohol, we would therefore expect to find, in most cultures, that drinking-places tend to perform a socially integrative, equalising function.
We would expect drinking-places to be, if not strictly egalitarian, at least environments in which the prevailing social order may be challenged. This, throughout history and across cultures, is precisely what we do find. In his study of plebeian culture in Shakespearean drama, Leinwand notes that in the 15th century, alehouses, taverns and inns were:.
In urban San Jose and Los Angeles, Chicanos, Mexican-Americans and Anglos mix freely in bars, cocktail lounges and clubs, and suburban night-clubs, where "dance partners are chosen across ethnic and racial lines" and "the mixing of young people from a wide range of class and ethnic backgrounds also results in…normative homogenisation" Gilbert, In Spain, drinking-places provide " … an atmosphere of openness and social access [in which] any adult male is free to participate in barroom activity.
Everyone in the tavern is free to speak to anyone else. Similarly, Gusfield comments that: "in the drinking arena first names are required and organisational placements tabooed. These integrative qualities, along with its role as a special, liminal environment, contribute to the key function of the drinking-place as a facilitator of social bonding. This function is so clearly evident that even in ambivalent drinking cultures, where research tends to be problem-centred and overwhelmingly concerned with quantitative aspects of consumption, those conducting research on public drinking-places have been obliged to "focus on sociability, rather than the serving of beverage alcohol, as the main social fact to be examined" Campbell, The facilitation of social interaction and social bonding is, as noted elsewhere in this review, one of the main functions of drinking itself - the perception of the "value of alcohol for promoting relaxation and sociability" being one of the most significant generalisations to emerge from the cross-cultural study of drinking Heath, , It is not surprising therefore, that the drinking-place should be, in many cultures, an institution dedicated to sociability and convivial interaction.
The special features of a dedicated drinking-place - the layout, the decor, the music, the games, the etiquette and ritual practices, and, of course, the drinking - are all designed to promote positive social interaction, reciprocity and sharing Gusfield, ; Rooney, ; Gamella, ; Park, ; Fox, , etc.
In Austrian lokals , for example, Thornton observes that:. Benches surround the tables, forcing physical intimacy between customers. Small groups of twos or threes who find themselves at the same or adjoining tables often make friends with their neighbours and share wine, schnapps, jokes and game-playing the rest of the evening.
In almost all drinking-places, in almost all cultures, the unwritten laws and customs involve some form of reciprocal drink-buying or sharing of drinks. This practice has been documented in drinking-places from modern, urban Japan and America and rural Spain and France to remote traditional societies in Africa and South America. The central role of exchange and reciprocal giving in the establishment and reaffirmation of social bonds has long been recognised by anthropologists, sociologists and even zoologists, so fundamental is this practice to the survival of any social species.
The combination of these factors, the special alchemy of design, ritual and alcohol that characterises the drinking-place and sets it apart from other public institutions and social environments, ensures that, in many cultures, the drinking-place is at the centre of community life.
In Poland, for example, the Karczma is where contracts are sealed, village disputes settled, celebrations held and marriages arranged Freund, , while for Guatemalans in the US, the bar is a meeting-place where "one may seek out others, develop friendships, and if needed, find temporary assistance in a loan or lodging or obtain information about jobs.
In New Zealand, Graves et al observe that:. Men from all ethnic groups come there to be with their friends; their alcohol consumption is a by-product of this socialising.
This does not mean that the consumption of alcohol is an unimportant part of pub activity. Otherwise a man might as well meet his friends in an ice-cream parlour or coffee shop.
One of the major functions of moderate alcohol use is to promote social conviviality. But it is the conviviality, not the alcohol, which is of central importance. The striking degree of functional similarity between drinking-places, across such a wide variety of very different cultures, cannot be disregarded. Despite significant differences - and indeed diametric oppositions - in cultural perceptions of alcohol, the ethnographic evidence suggests that the drinking-place meets some deep-seated, universal human needs.
As a species, we are addicted to ritual. Almost every event of any significance in our lives is marked with some sort of ceremony or celebration - and almost all of these rituals, in most cultures, involve alcohol.
In this section, we provide an overview of the cross-cultural literature on the roles of alcohol in both transitional and festive rituals, and the conclusions that may be drawn from this evidence.
Major life-cycle events such as birth, coming-of-age, marriage and death; important life-changes such as graduation or retirement - and even far less momentous shifts such as the daily transition from work to play - all require ritual endorsement.
Rites of passage serve to construct, facilitate and enhance the difficult passage from one social, physical or economic state to the next. Alcohol, in most cultures, is a central element of such rituals. As significant transitions are ritualised, in some form, in every society, and almost all of these rites of passage involve alcohol, an exhaustive catalogue of rituals and beverages would be repetitive and unenlightening: a few representative examples convey the range of transitions which are ceremonially marked, and illustrate the role of alcohol in this ritualisation.
Alcohol punctuates our lives from the cradle to the grave. He notes that:. They also provide a base for conviviality and the easing of social tensions in a society where human relations are not easy. Alcohol seems to do much, for example, to break down barriers between the sexes and social classes on ceremonial occasions. In most cultures, a marriage is a major transformation, conducted in stages, each of which requires a drinking-event.
In Poland, Freund notes that "each stage of the wedding, including the betrothal, the wedding ceremony and the reception is marked by alcohol. In many cultures, the ritualisation of transition is not restricted to the major life-cycle transitions of birth, coming-of-age, marriage and death, but extends to less portentous life-changing events such as graduation, job promotion, house-warming and retirement. In the Republic of Georgia, for example, even the most minimal transitions such as the arrival or departure of a guest provide a legitimate excuse for a feast, always involving large amounts of both alcohol and ritual.
The purchase or building of a first house, and subsequent house-moves, are, in many cultures, transitions of significance in terms of social and economic status, as well as potentially stressful events for those concerned - a combination which seems to demand ritual recognition. In some cultures, the rites of passage associated with house-transitions may involve only family and close friends; in others, the entire community may participate in the ritual, in which alcohol will usually play a central role.
In Peru house-building "is often a festive occasion made merrier by the consumption of large quantities of chicha, cane alcohol or pisco " Doughty,
Envious friends will imagine your life to be one long string of hedonistic parties and picture you as some sort of cross between Prince Harry, Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen. But in reality, you do not get paid to simply drink and have fun — far from it! While the work is exciting and sociable, the vast majority of your time will be spent working hard, putting in long hours and learning from extremely talented business people in a dynamic — but mostly sober — environment. Getting into the industry is equally hard work, largely because it sounds so desirable that it attracts a high volume of bright hopefuls, but also because it is so warm and convivial that few ever choose to leave and openings as a result are few and far between. One great way to break into this competitive sector is to apply for a graduate or apprentice scheme. They can give you a foothold in the industry and set you on your way to a long and dazzling career.
Premiumisation boost predicted for global wine
Here we look at five steps you can take to ensure that you build a career in the drinks industry with the strength, intention and savvy to last. Lots of other industries, like Finance and Architecture, require you to sit exams to prove your knowledge if you want to progress. Fortunately, the drinks industry is incredibly sociable. Put aside your qualms about mispronouncing wine names to build up the network which will lead to your dream role. The key is to approach it in the right way. And for wine, the bottom often means getting up close and personal with long hours, low pay and often physical labour.
Alistair Morrell: can wine live up to the Marshmallow Challenge?
The wine sector has been experiencing a number of twists and turns in recent years — from industry consolidation to changing consumer demographics to the rise of ecommerce. The industry is consolidating, but buying opportunities still abound. Direct-to-consumer sales are on the rise, driven mostly by smaller wineries. Labor shortages are a primary concern due to immigration reform, housing shortages and competition from alternative crops. The wine sector has been experiencing a number of twists and turns in recent years. From industry consolidation up and down the value chain, to changing consumer demographics and preferences, to the rise of ecommerce, here are 10 trends that are separating the winners from the losers. Even if there was an economic downturn, evidence suggests the impact on wine sales would be minimal.
Wine has been a beverage staple since ancient times, especially in Europe. Today's global wine business is thriving, and American consumption of wine has increased dramatically in recent years, with the health benefits touted in the media. More Americans are becoming interested in learning about wine, and they are taking winery tours and attending wine tastings. The Business of Wine: An Encyclopedia is a necessary part of wine education for everyone from the curious consumer to the oenophile or business student and industry professional. It appeals to even the casual browser who wants to be more informed about wine terminology such as terroir or varietal labeling or what constitutes a Pinot Grigio or a Cabernet Sauvignon. More than entries illuminate the regions, grapes, history, wine styles, business elements, events, people, companies, issues, and more that are crucial to the wine industry. Today's wine industry is an unusually complex network of interrelated businesses that collectively serve to produce wine and get it into the hands of consumers all over the world. This A-Z encyclopedia shows how production, distribution, and sales segments work together to bring wine to the public and describes the trade in wine and its related subsidiary elements. Written by a host of wine professionals, this is the most up-to-date source to understand what goes into the enjoyment of a glass of wine. An appendix with industry data, sidebars, and a selected bibliography complement the A-Z entries.
This Banker Gets to Drink Wine All Day
Click on the accompanying image to download and read the full document using Adobe's Acrobat Reader. In this context, it is essential for those concerned with policy and legislation on alcohol to have a clear understanding of the sociocultural functions and meanings of drinking. This section outlines the principal conclusions that can be drawn from the available cross-cultural material regarding the symbolic uses of alcoholic beverages, the social functions of drinking-places and the roles of alcohol in transitional and celebratory rituals. From the ethnographic material available, it is clear that in all cultures where more than one type of alcoholic beverage is available, drinks are classified in terms of their social meaning, and the classification of drinks is used to define the social world.
This To an extent, the drop in consumption was amplified by the notably bad harvest in in the key winegrowing markets of France , Germany, Italy, Spain and South Africa. However, the year provided further evidence of consumers opting for better wine but less of it. Although, super-premium, ultra-premium, prestige and prestige-plus will all register good growth, it is premium wine that will drive the market as consumers increasingly shun lower-end offerings. Growth levels may vary, but the expansion of the premium-and-above segments will be universal across all major regions. In developed markets, wine , like other alcoholic drinks, is vulnerable to shifting consumer attitudes to alcohol. This is encouraging people to levitate to higher-end wine when then they do drink. In countries with a rich wine heritage and even those with a less-established wine tradition there is a transition away from daily to more occasional wine drinking. Wine is seen less and less as a staple accompaniment for meals and as part of a daily routine.
Beloved pioneer of B.C. wine industry started making wine when he was just a teen
Hong Kong is best known for its expensive rent, which is a major hindrance to new start-up businesses. Yet recently, some local young gin lovers have set up their own micro-distilleries amid the urban jungle and set about producing new spirits for a thirsty audience. Run by two young local distillers, Ivan Chang and Dimple Yuen, it incorporates 12 different botanicals from around the world — one third of which are of Asian origin — from dried tangerine peel to fresh lemon peel and pink peppercorn. On the palate, sweet and nutty notes arise from Chinese apricot kernel, Madagascan vanilla pod and tonka bean, leading the gin to finish with flavours of juniper, coriander seed and liquorice root. Both of us are so attracted to gin due to its huge creative flexibility that we can play around with. Apart from juniper berries, we can put whatever botanical we want in the recipe and this can easily reflect our thoughts as distillers. One of the master distillers we met during the journey is still our mentor till now! Besides the production side, we are also keen to build up a community for gin-thusiasts and spread out the distillation knowledge of gin which is actually achievable even in Hong Kong.
How the LA Wine Industry is Making a Comeback
With mounting pressure across all retail and on-trade groups to be able to manage rising costs better it is not surprising to hear of so many moves to collaborate and consolidate resources. Be it joint alliances to help with buying in non-competing areas, like we see amongst independent merchants and the Vindependents and other wine buying groups across the country, through to much bigger collaborations between multinational retailers and groups. But what does that all mean to the wine fixture and what choice is ultimately available to the end consumer? On the face it the recent news that Aldi is to create a dedicated global wine-buying hub in Salzburg, Austria, to co-ordinate buying and blending for all its markets around the world is pretty big news. For one of the strengths of the German discounters over the years has been how it has used centralised buying for so many of its core, commodity grocery lines to be able to buy at such competitive rates and keep its prices lower than the rest of the grocers on the high street. Products are centrally trialled, tested and developed and benchmarked against the number one brands in that category. So when consumers pick them up for a half the price, take them home and discover they taste just as good as the originals they come back for more. The fact that wine is only one part of what will be a major new global centralised buying hub for Aldi should be no surprise. Details from Aldi are typically scratchy, but this is likely to be an extension of an existing central buying function, rather than a completely new division.
Contact Organizer. Join us on November 27th Wednesday for a fun networking evening that's all about wine. Pierre has been involved in food and beverage industry his entire professional career.
Hambrecht is the founder of Haus, a new aperitif brand launching today that will sell directly to customers online. Hambrecht, which has a background at Silicon Valley startups like Skillshare and Uber, worked with her husband and co-founder Woody Hambrecht, a winemaker, to plot out a modern spirits brand using the sourcing, processing and bottling systems they already owned. Because of its makeup, Haus can be sold online, and it can also open its own physical stores down the road, neither of which traditional spirits brands can do. Haus is the first alcohol brand to use that loophole to start a DTC business, debuting as a broader trend in alcohol consumption ramps up.
Wine grape production has historically been restricted to temperate latitudes — largely between 30 and 50 degrees above and below the equator. Recently, though, wine has started to be made in countries within tropical regions.
I like to drink wine. I'm still waiting for my personal benefactor to materialize, so in the meantime I seek out value. I'm a sucker for cru Beaujolais and Chablis, but I'll try whatever the staff at a trusted shop recommends. My drinking habits may be about to change.