Low-carb beer
success inspires
wine companies

Wine company Brown-Forman has
released their latest vintage:
low-carb.  The company is now
One.6 Chardonnay and
Merlot, brands named for
the grams of carbs per five ounce

In the first week of availability over
125,000 cases were sold to
retailers.  A wine is considered a  
hit if it sells just 400,000 cases in
the first year. The wine retails at
$9.99 a bottle.

The major factor in deciding to
launch the brands was the huge
success of low-car beers, led by
Anheuser-Busch's Michelob Ultra.  

The wines have an alcohol
content of 14.5% and will be
backed by a $5 million ad
campaign built on the idea that
the only thing missing from the
wine is the carbs.  The campaign's
slogan is: "Life is full of
compromises.  This isn't one of

To achieve low-carb status special
varietals are chosen and then,  
according to winemaker Cara
Morrison, they are fermented as
dry as possible to cut the sugar.
Feature News  from  beernexus.com
Lawsuits target beer and alcohol

Lawsuits have recently been filed by consumer rights
attorneys in 6 states accusing Coors,  Heineken, and
Bacardi of using a "long running, sophisticated and
deceptive scheme ... to market alcoholic beverages to
children and other underage consumers."

Additional lawsuits were filed that targeted Miller and
Anheuser-Busch. Those suits charged that the companies
intentionally place ads in magazines that appeal to males
and females under 21 which push them to obtain alcohol

The lawsuits are modeled after cases that were brought
against the tobacco industry beginning in the mid-1980's.  
Those suits also focused on youth oriented ads and sought
huge damages for tens of thousands of underage smokers
and their parents.  

The Journal of the American Medical Asociation estimates
that underage drinkers in American consumed over $22
billion worth of alcohol (20% of the market)  in 2003.
The alcohol companies point to a study conducted by the
Federal Trade Commission last year that there  is no
provable link between alcohol ads and  underage drinking.  

The ads, the companies say, are commercial free speech
protected by the First Amendment.  Also, the companies
say they have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to
encourage parents to talk to children about drinking and to
train retailers to recognize underage customers.  

Miller spokesman Mike Hennick commented that
"Lawsuits like these obfuscate the real underlying issues
of how teens get alcohol - through parents, friends or by
using fake IDs."