NEWS WATCH: FIRM REPORTS RISING ONLINE WINE SALES...D&W UNCORKS UNDER-$10 WINES

FIRM REPORTS RISING ONLINE WINE SALESNAPA, Calif. - Online wine sales are growing as wineries reach out to customers with online offers, according to Inertia Beverage Group here, a consulting firm that manages and tracks wineries' online sales. The firm said in a recent report that for the first half of 2006, clients increased their online sales 423% over the year-earlier period. The majority of orders

FIRM REPORTS RISING ONLINE WINE SALES

NAPA, Calif. - Online wine sales are growing as wineries reach out to customers with online offers, according to Inertia Beverage Group here, a consulting firm that manages and tracks wineries' online sales. The firm said in a recent report that for the first half of 2006, clients increased their online sales 423% over the year-earlier period. The majority of orders (60%) were for one or two bottles of wine, down from 68% last year, while the percent of orders for six bottles rose to 13% from 7%. Sales were dominated by expensive bottles, with 53% of wines sold in the first half of the year costing $30-$50. Data were based on online sales by more than 250 clients.

D&W UNCORKS UNDER-$10 WINES

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - As lower-priced wines continue to gain popularity, D&W Fresh Market stores are bundling 35 different wines that sell for under $10. Called "Bin 35," the assortment is chosen by D&W's wine staff. "We specialize in interesting quality wines that can serve your everyday wine needs," D&W writes on its website. "There is something here for every taste." Big Y Foods and Lund Food Holdings are among other retailers that have promoted value wines, which consumers have embraced in part thanks to successes like Charles Shaw's Two-Buck Chuck. D&W also is providing summer wine tips. Among them: don't leave wine the car, as the heat and quickly "cook" the wine, and chill red wine in the summer for 20 minutes so that it can be served at 60 degrees.