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June 01, 1974 - Image 8

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1974-06-01

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Poge Eight

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Saturday, June 1, 1974

Wine: A flourishing local favorite

By SANDY HAUSMAN
Although the nation's wine
producers report a major slump
in sales, four major local wine
dealers say sales are on the in-
crease.-
From 1969 to 1972, the Califor-
nia wine industry grew an aver-
age of 10 per cent a year. In
the 20 years before that, the
growth rate was closer to three
per cent.
BUT LAST YEAR, the indus-
try was startled by a drop to
only 1.9 per cent.
Industry observers speculate
that the drop may have come
in response to higher prices of
wines. Over the past five years,
consumers have had to pay
from 25 to 200 per cent more on
a bottle, depending on its la-
bel.
Yet wine buyers at the Village
Corner, the Campus Corner,
the Main Street Party Store and
the Wine Shoppe report that,
if anything, wine drinkers here
are leaning toward a higher
quality and price range.
GONE ARE the days of pop
wines which sell for about a

dollar. "When I came into the
store three years ago, Boone's
Farm was king," says Steve
Warren, a wine buyer for the
Campus Corner.
"We were also selling wines
like Paisano and Bali Hai. But
as sales started falling off, we
quit carrving as much.
"And instead of going away
to look in other stores for the
cheap wines, people shifted to
higher-priced wines. They
found out they could get some-
thing better for fifty cents
more."
AT THE VILLAGE Corner,
the situation was similar. Some
time last summer, Boone's
Farm began to lose its wide-
spread popularity, not just here,
but around the country.
The Campus Corner now sells
75 per cent less of the Apple
and Strawberry vines. The Vil-
lage Corner has dropped by 50
per cent.
One reason for the national
slump in wines, some say, is a
leveling off in the drinking pop-
ulation. Over the past five years
more than 20 states lowered
their drinking ages. Wine, like

the other alcoholic beverages,
got a share of the action as
millions of new drinkers entered
the market.
Although the ntmber of new
drinkers has leveled off around
the country, Ann Arbor con-
tinues to introduce large num-
bers of young people to the
world of wines. All four stores
surveyed agreed that their wine
buying clientele was predomi-
nately young people.
EVEN THE connoisseurs of
wine here seem to be college
age people. "I had a man come
in yesterday," says Robert Lit-
tleton, owner of the Wine
Shoppe. "I don't know if he was
a student, but he looked like
one. He bought two bottles of
1961 Bordeaux that came to
$240. I don't think he was col-
lecting. He was planning to
drink them."
At the Main Party Store, part-
owner Ruth Davis says she re-
cently sold a 1971 German wine
for $160. The buyer - "just a
young guy!"
Steve Warren (Campus Cor-
ner) points to the store's most
expensive wine, which sells for

about $80, and remarks, "Sur-
prisingly enough, we're selling
a lot of this stuff. And it's not
to gray-haired old men pulling
up in Cadillacs. It's to people
who come in off the street
wearing blue jeans and san-
dals."
BUYERS are not only looking
for better wines, but for differ-
ent wines. While the Campus
Corner and the Village Corner
list customer favorites like Paul
Masson, Christian Brothers and
Almaden, they also mention a
number of imported wines as
big sellers.
On Main Street, Tom Davis,
co-owner of the Party Store
with Davis, says he sells most-
ly white German wines and
Bordeaux reds. But he adds
that people are branching out
into Lebanese, Israeli, Spanish
and Polish wines.
The growth in popularity of
imported wines here also con-
tradicts major trends in other
parts of the country.
U. S. DEPARTMENT of Com-
merce statistics show that ship-
ments of imported table wines
declined 13 per cent in the
first quarter of 1974. What's

anybeetter?
Probably not. All thingsconsidered you do
what you do pretty doggone well. After all, no one
has taken your job. And you're eating regularly.
But...
But have you ever considered what doing your
job just a little better might mean?
Money. Cold hard coin of the realm.
If each of us cared just a smidge more about
what we do for a living, we could actually turn that
inflationary spiral around.Better products, better
service and better management would mean savings
for allof us. Savings of much of the cash and frayed
nerves it's costingus now for repairs and inefficiency.
Point two..By taking more pridein our work
we'll more than likely see America regaining its
strengthinthecompetitive worldtradearena. When
the balance of payments swings our way again we'll
all be better off economically.
So you see-the only person who can really
do what you do any better is you.
Amedca taonlyworks

more, whie American wine
prices have been leveling off,
import prices continue to
climb.
Why has Ann Arbor defied the
trends? Clearly, the presence
of a major university makes the
difference. "Either is makes
people more cultured or it
drives them to drink," says are
wine dealer.
"Ann Arbor is an unusually
good wine market," says Tom
Davis of the Party Store. "We
sell twice as much wine here
as in a place like Flint which
is bigger. I'm sure it's because
of the University."
Expressing the delight of
many wine dealers in the area,
Lee Thompson, a wholesale dis-
tributor, comments, "It's pret-
ty hard not to be up in the
wine market here. The only way
you could miss is by not coming
to work."
Gallo wine
boycott
cuts sales
By SANDY HAUSMAN
City wine dealers disagree
about the impact of a nation-
wide boycott of wines produced
by California's E. J. Gallo
company.
But the Wall Street Journal
has listed the United Farm
Workers boycott as one cause
of a nine per cent drop in Gallo
shipments last year.
AS PART of the local boy-
cott, the Farmworkers Support
Committee continues to leaflet
and picket the Village Crets
store and a nearby Wrigley su-
permarket on Friday afternoons
and Saturdays.
From 10 to 30 pickets are in-
volved each week, according to
support committee Director
David Super. "We hope more
people will be free to join this
summer. Some public school
students and teachers will be
coming out," Super says.
A meeting for present and
prospective members will be
held on June 5 at 7:30 p.m. in
the Michigan Union. The com-
mittee plans a slide show of
national strike activities along
with a talk by one former strik-
er from California.
The strike end boycott against
Gallo began last Mummer when
the company recognized t h e
Teamsters Union over the Unit-
ed Farm Workers. A boycott
called earlier against non-UFW
table grapes is still is effect
as well.
THIS WEEKEND
8:30 $2.50
FRI.-SAT.
KATE and ANNA
McGARRIGLE

wrote the "Wrok Song"
and others as recorded
by Maria Muldaur,
Lot don Wainwright,
Linda Ronstadt, etc.
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