Tips for saving your Christmas spirits from sobering European tariffs

Tariffs will impact wine and spirits in the new year

Your spirits are safe this Christmas, but tariffs could lead to higher prices in the new year.

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“In the immediate short term, from Oct. 18 on, I think a lot of the inventories in America have been able to hold some of the pricing, but going into the new year, we’re going to see those increases—the 25 percent increases—begin to be passed on to the consumer,” Sherry-Lehmann CEO Chris Adams told FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo on Monday.

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Adams also gave tips for buying wine and spirits during the holiday season and once tariffs start affecting European imports.

Instead of a Bordeaux or a Burgundy, Adams suggested wine drinkers might turn to an Italian Brunello, which is not currently subject to the same tariffs as its French cousins. The specific Brunello to which Adams pointed was a “terrific” 2013 vintage imported by WolfPack for $60 per bottle. He did, however, note that there are various price entry points on this wine from $40 to $150.

For enjoyers of Sancerre who are in the market for a tariff-free American-made substitute, Adams recommended a Galerie Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc for $25 per bottle. He added that stylistically, this particular wine is very similar to the Sancerre, but in the short-term, it will not be subject to the same price increases as French Loire Valley wines.

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This Christmas season, Sherry-Lehmann is selling a “vast amount” of sparkling wines, according to Adams, describing it as “a sparkling wine season.” He pointed to Prosecco in particular as opposed to Champagne.

“Prosecco is made in a very different way than Champagne. It’s made with a different grape. It’s a different region [and] it’s from a different region,” Adams said, adding that the Italian sparkling wine is much less expensive.

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The secondary fermentation for Champagne is in the bottle, Adams explained, whereas Prosecco’s secondary fermentation occurs on stainless steel tanks, allowing for a larger scale of production than Champagne.

As for American sparkling wine, Adams recommended a Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs, produced in California. This sparkling wine, made with the Pinot Noir grape, retails for $38 per bottle, less expensive than tariffed Champagnes.

“The level of quality in these wines that are being made in California now are off the charts in the sparkling category,” Adams said.

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