Massachusetts Beverage Business



Article by: Lew Bryson - Vodka continues its dominance of the spirits category, unchecked by . . . well, by anything.  The economy has shuffled the deck a bit on what brands are growing and what price points and niches are successful at the moment.  More than ever, two things are crucial to a particular brand’s success or failure: image and price.  If a brand’s image – its perceived authenticity, reputation, quality – is not a good match for its [...] Read More »


Article by: Fred Bouchard - AARON FRANCISCO 48, General Manager, 111 Chop House, Worcester, MARangy, keen-eyed, impulsive, Francisco is senior beverage buyer for multiple award-winning Worcester Restaurant Group’s three destination restaurants.  These brainchildren of owners Robb and Madeleine Ahlquist are: The Sole Proprietor (since 1979), 111 Chop House (1999, where Francisco is also GM), and Via (2OO7), the latter two side by side on Shrewsbury Street.  Francisco’s Chop House wine list is robust, long, ever-evolving, with minimal overlap [...] Read More »

Still River's Apple Ice Wine

Article by: Harvey Finkel - Wade Holtzman must be a jinni to be able to cram the concentrated essence of 8O apples, nearly a bushel, into one little bottle. Abetted by his wife, Margot, and son, Leif, he manages that feat 96OO times a year at the family’s Still River Winery in Harvard, Massachusetts.The Holtzmans make just one wine, and it’s a pip: apple ice wine, called Apfel Eis, German for “apple ice”. Just as the wine is [...] Read More »


Article by: Sandy Block, MW - Because there’s so much drab, unappealing Chardonnay on the market, sometimes we in the business forget what’s made the grape such a powerhouse. Sommeliers in particular seem to bear a collective grudge against our long reigning champion varietal. There are fine restaurants where aversion to Chardonnay’s magnetic appeal is so pervasive that the wines are either tucked away in a hard to find corner of the list, or none are carried whatsoever. Why? I’ve had [...] Read More »

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