Wine Industry Looks At Hard Seltzers
How to attract a new generation of wine drinkers. That was one of the topics discussed this week at the annual Unified Wine and Grape Symposium held at Sacramento's Cal Expo this week. The Sacramento Business Journal's Sonya Sorich says some wine makers think adding hard seltzer to their products is the way to go ... given the popularity of White Claw and Truly.
"Modesto-based Barefoot Cellars, for example, is launching its own hard seltzer product, made from wine,” says Sorich. “Most hard seltzers are malt-based, but they can also be derived from grapes. But even if winemakers don't make their own seltzers, they can use lessons from the hard seltzer industry."
Particularly marketing lessons. Several hard seltzer brands have grown popular through their labeling techniques. Consumers are attracted to cans of seltzer that are clearly labeled as having only 100 calories and being sugar-free. Winemakers continue to look at their packaging, especially as cans become more popular.
Possible Delay In Convention Center Reopening
Sacramento's largest convention was in town this week - the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium. It was held at Cal Expo because the usual venue, the Convention Center, is still closed for renovation. Organizers say they'll bring the event back to Cal Expo next year even though, under the original plan, the new convention center was scheduled to open in November. Sorich says the symposium's been told the opening date for the convention center might change.
"The city has acknowledged that construction on the performing arts center that will accompany the convention center is anticipated to be delayed by 10 weeks,” says Sorich. “The opening date for that is now December. But the opening date for the convention center hasn't changed ... for now that is."
The city says it's committed to finishing the project on schedule, but if the weather's bad, that could affect the final time frame. Meanwhile, Visit Sacramento, the city's tourism bureau, is letting all the events booked at the convention center for early next year know about the potential delay.
Restaurant Openings, Closure
Two new restaurants are opening soon in the Sacramento area. Stick House Mongolian BBQ is expected to open in the El Dorado Hills Town Center in late March or early April. The owner is part of the family that operates the Mimosa House restaurant chain. And Sorich says another new eatery will fill a restaurant space near the state Capitol at 11th and L streets ...
" ... which was most recently occupied by The Diplomat Steakhouse,” says Sorich. “Information from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control confirms this new downtown business will be called Prelude, and it apparently has ties to the popular Zinfandel Grille restaurant on Fair Oaks Boulevard."
Meanwhile, a well-known restaurant near Arden Fair mall - Elephant Bar - has closed its location on Arden Way. It was the chain's last remaining site in the Sacramento area, after a Citrus Heights location closed last year. The closure leaves Elephant Bar with two locations: one in Burlingame, and one in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
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