Oct. 18, 2013
has added four high-demand A-listers to its lineup at its top wine-selling stores - "A" as in wines that have scored 89-90 points in oenophile publications like
The ultra-premium varietals –
La Crema Chardonnay, Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon, Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc
Wild Horse Pinot Noir
– not only score high in quality, but also in value.
The Wild Horse is the
best seller in the pinot noir varietal at a
price point and most recently rated 89. The other three are rated 90 points on a scale of 100, and all have a suggested retail price
at or below $19.99
at the participating 7-Eleven® stores.
Close to 700 7-Eleven stores are offering the ultra-premium selections. Located in 16 states across the country, these stores' wine sales patterns indicate their customers have an interest in higher-quality wines.
Not only are people drinking more wine, they are drinking better wine. A study by The Beverage Information Group shows that American wine consumption increased by 21 percent between 2001 and 2011 and is now almost neck and neck with beer drinking. The growth shows no signs of stopping, with the group's 2013 Wine Handbook reporting that the wine industry grew almost 2 percent in 2012 alone.
Wines are categorized by price: economy, less than
per 750-milliliter bottle; fighting varietal,
$3.50 - $4.99
; popular or mid-tier,
$5 - $7.99
$11 - $14.99
$15 - $19.99
, and luxury at
"Even in a tight economy, people are splurging on higher quality wine or craft beer to treat themselves," said
, a 7-Eleven vice president of merchandising. "We have seen strong customer response to our offers of premium and super-premium wines in our stores. Now, with these new ultra-premium additions, we can offer wines that have been recognized as some of the best in their class."
Varietal wines, named for the grape varieties from which they are produced, have grown more popular than the generic blended wines categorized generally as red, white and rose. Varietals also tout the grape varieties over geographic growing area. The "big eight" varietals are: for reds – merlot, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir and shiraz; and for white – chardonnay, riesling, pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc.