A summer survey, conducted by the Luxury Institute, asked 1,771 wealthy Americans with an average income of $351,000 and average net worth of $4.3 million to rate wine and liquor brands based on quality, uniqueness and exclusivity. Check out the CNBC slideshow to see which brands came out on top. The institute offers a variety of articles on luxury-related topics. Here is a list of its 2008 articles, but you can read back to 2005.

By Lisa Palladino.

gadv1lhm This idea either sounds like torture or like a good way to avoid a DUI…unless of course you can’t steer the handlebars after a day’s worth of tasting…is that called a RUI?? Getaway Adventures offers a fantastic, car-less way to explore the valleys of Napa or Sonoma via a bicycle (or kayak if you prefer a more refreshing option).

Whether you are looking for just a day-trip, corporate/group event or weekend excursion I doubt you will be disappointed. A spread of local foods is provided for lunch, stops at a myriad of local wineries is included, and local tour guides will expand your knowledge of flora, fauna, and vineyard as you ride.

Don’t expect a strenuous adventure — it is geared toward the ‘enthusiastic beginner’ as they put it so don’t worry if you aren’t Lance Armstrong.

Vacation…wine tasting…exercise all in one? Perfect.

Tours are available from March 1st to November 30th.

By Laura Malesich.

mummconseil Rising fuel prices have some curious and wide-ranging consequences. The Financial Times reports it may be making your Champagne bottles thinner. Champagne bottles traditionally weigh more than a bottle of still wine in order to contain the pressure of sparkling wine. Bottles used to be smashed against ship bows for launching are thinned for easy breakage. But thinner bottles take less energy to create and are cheaper to ship.

G.H Mumm, the Champagne house owned by Pernod Ricard has completed a trial production run of bottle which weigh 835 grams (around 1.84 pounds which is a couple of ounces lighter than regular bottles which are 900 grams). The lighter bottles will be put in caves where the bottles will age.

The lighter bottles will save money on fuel because more of them can be loaded on each truck. Pommery, which already uses the bottles, says that if all the Champagne houses switched to lighter bottles there would be 3,000 fewer trucks on the road each year.

By Deidre Woollard.

Sonoma Wine Bloggers Conference

Filed Under Wine Blogging | Comments Off

Bloggers and wine bloggers in particular have become among the most powerful voices in America when it comes to discovering new places, new ideas and to defining the trends and conversations, says Tim Zahner, Director of Public Relations and Marketing at the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau.

Read the full story.

Design By Committee

Filed Under Wine Packaging Design | Comments Off

Seth Godin points out this really entertaining video. It is a parody of what can happen if too many people get involved in design decisions. If you find yourself in the middle of a "design by committee" custom label project have everyone watch this video. It is a good reminder that if you want to make an impact often simple is better.

By Peter Renton.

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