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The Articles That Have Defined SevenFifty Daily

Five years in, we look back at the quintessential stories that go beyond the glass, showcasing the people and ideas moving the industry forward

Out Most Defining Articles SevenFifty Daily

SevenFifty Daily launched in July 2017 with the goal of becoming the go-to-source of information for the drinks trade, aiming to spotlight the people and ideas moving the industry forward, highlight a diverse spectrum of voices, and uncover new insights to help beverage professionals do their jobs better.

In the five years since, we’ve published over 1,000 stories in our mission to fulfill that goal—and now, we look back on 12 articles that have best defined this publication during that time. They include impactful essays and reports on the issues most pertinent to the beverage trade, such as Dorothy Gaiter’s essay on being Black in an overwhelmingly white wine world, and Betsy Andrews’ report on age discrimination in the drinks industry. But they also include some of the series that have become most popular among readers, such as science deep dives and people spotlights.

As we turn the page on SevenFifty Daily’s next chapter, take a look back at the stories that best embody our mission to cover and celebrate the business and culture of drinks.

Illustration by Jeff Quinn.

Being Black in the White World of Wine

Dorothy J. Gaiter talks about her experience as a Black wine journalist in an industry that has been slow to shed its identity as an exclusive all-white club

In the wake of the May 25, 2020 murder of George Floyd, wine businesses across the U.S. pledged to become more diverse and inclusive. Two weeks later, Dorothy Gaiter penned a forthright, firsthand account of the industry’s lack of progress over her wine journalism career, from being boxed out of tables at walk-around tastings to being excluded—or invited as an afterthought—from industry events.

Since then, many of the points in her essay have reverberated across the beverage industry. Have wine businesses’ DEI initiatives really moved the needle, or were they, once again, empty promises? That remains to be seen—and will continue to be one of the most pressing issues in our industry going forward. [Read the full article]

Photo illustration by Jeff Quinn.

Unraveling the Master Sommelier Exam Cheating Scandal

More than a year after the scandal that rocked the wine world in 2018, candidates and Master Sommeliers are still fighting for change

In October 2018, a shocked wine industry learned that a Master Sommelier had leaked confidential information from the 2018 Master Sommelier diploma exam, leading the Board of Directors for the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas (CMSA), to invalidate the results of the exam—and strip all but one of the newly minted Master Sommeliers of their titles.

But over a year later, this powerful organization had released little information about the incident, despite concerted efforts from impacted candidates and a concerned group of Master Sommeliers, raising questions about the CMSA’s structure and governance. With this follow-up investigation, SevenFifty Daily brought previously hidden details to light amidst calls for change. [Read the full article]

2018 Innovators
Illustration by Lynn Scurfield.

SevenFifty Daily’s 2018 Drinks Innovators

Celebrating the people who are pushing new boundaries and taking our industry to new heights

Part of SevenFifty Daily’s foundational mission was to showcase the people and concepts moving the drinks industry forward, working to represent a diverse spectrum of voices across the industry. This is what our inaugural Drinks Innovators feature centered on, spotlighting people like Nate Ready, the forward-thinking proprietor of Hiyu Wine Farm, and Kevin Bradford, Kim Harris, and Stacey Lee, the founders of Harlem’s first Black-owned craft beer bar.

Our original Drinks Innovators series was repeated in 2019, and the format paved the way for our Black Drinks Innovators and AAPI Drinks Innovators features in 2020 and 2021. [Read the full article]

Milk Punch
Dante’s Milk Punch. Photo courtesy of Dante.

The Science of Clarified Cocktails

How bartenders use techniques like milk washing to improve the flavor and mouthfeel of some cocktails

An early staple of SevenFifty Daily, our science series has proved to be one of the most popular among readers over the years. Whether detailing the science of structural wine components or cocktail techniques, these articles dive beneath the surface to offer in-depth insights in a digestible way. [Read the full article]

Green Gen Bottle. Photo courtesy of Green Gen Technologies.

Meet the Eco-Packaging Innovations Transforming Beverage Alcohol

A new generation of products aims to shrink the carbon footprint of wine, spirits, and beer for a more sustainable future

Beverage producers are feeling the real-time effects of the climate crisis, making sustainability top-of-mind across the industry. That’s why we launched our sustainability section in 2021, a hub for pieces that spotlight cutting-edge initiatives and ideas in this space—like those detailed in this eco-packaging innovation piece, featuring carbon footprint-reducing wine, beer, and spirits products. [Read the full article]

Photo credit: iStock.

2019 Career and Salary Survey: Industry Leaders on the Policies and Trends Defining the Drinks Business

The second edition of SevenFifty’s industry-wide report reveals reasons for optimism but also challenges for the future

In 2018 and 2019, SevenFifty Daily worked with SevenFifty to survey thousands of beverage professionals on the major issues facing the industry as a whole. The publication then spoke to drinks leaders to discuss the firsthand data from this career and salary survey, highlighting key takeaways about the state of the industry.

Since the last career and salary survey in 2019, some issues remain—or have become even more pressing, such as the need for workplace policies that put their employees first, or the impact of climate change. But after the events of the last three years, much has changed—and we hope to assess these changes using firsthand data in the future. [Read the full article]

Photo credit: iStock.

The Alcohol Retailer’s Everything Guide to Ecommerce Delivery and Shipping

A primer on what small and medium-sized operators need to know about the fast-changing laws around taxes, shipping, and technology

As a publication for the beverage trade, it has always been our goal to uncover information and highlight takeaways that professionals can utilize in their day-to-day work and leverage to level up in their jobs. This overview of online sales, local delivery, and shipping for small- to mid-sized businesses served as a guide for what has become a critical sales channel for retailers. [Read the full article]

Grizzled Canary Grisette.
Grizzled Canary Grisette. Photo by Joanna Warden.

Exploring New Frontiers in Brewing

Alternative yeasts and bacteria offer a novel flavor palette for boundary-pushing brewers

Though much of SevenFifty Daily’s coverage has centered on wine and spirits, covering innovation and trends in the beer industry has been fundamental to our reporting as well. In addition to contributing editor Joshua Bernstein’s piece exploring how brewers are working with new yeasts and bacteria, we’ve also covered innovations in beer styles, packaging, and beyond. [Read the full article]

The Drinks Industry Has an Ageism Problem
Photo credit: iStock.

The Drinks Industry Has an Ageism Problem

What it’s like to get older in the drinks industry, and how to deal with the discrimination that comes with it

Age discrimination is widespread across industries, but it is felt particularly acutely in the drinks industry, where experienced workers report being pushed out of positions or not hired for jobs due to their age. Contributing editor Betsy Andrews called this issue “personal and urgent” when she reported this piece in early 2022, and considering the outpouring of responses we received after it published, that certainly rang true for many drinks professionals. [Read the full article]

Photo credit: iStock.

How Retailers Are Managing in the Coronavirus Era

Off-premise sales are booming, yet protocol, consumer behavior, and regulations present new challenges

As drinks and hospitality businesses were upended in March 2020, SevenFifty Daily’s coverage shifted to meet the new realities that our readers were operating in. This report covered how retailers were adapting to new legal regulations and health protocols in the early days of the pandemic, while our piece on alcohol-to-go sales explored emergency legislation that allowed restaurants and bars to bring in revenue amidst mandated closures. [Read the full article]

Pascaline Lepeltier.

Supertasters Blind-Tasting Challenge

In the SevenFifty Daily Supertasters video series, we choose the wines, and then challenge some of the industry’s best palates to blind tastings in an effort to glean their extraordinary techniques

When we founded SevenFifty Daily, we understood that to drinks professionals, beverage isn’t just work—it’s passion. Blind tasting is one of those niche skills that is particular to the wine industry, something that many have a love-hate relationship with, but is part of wine culture nonetheless.

Our Supertasters video series takes some of the industry’s best-known figures and top palates and challenges them to blind-taste the wines on camera. The result is not only entertaining, but educational, providing visible takeaways to help professionals level-up their own tasting skills. [Read the full article]

Illustration by Jeff Quinn.

The Transformation of Alcohol Distribution

Pressure from small producers, ecommerce, and emerging new models are challenging the traditional three-tier system. How are new players and established wholesalers responding?

The drinks industry is always changing, but it is currently in an unprecedented period of transformation. This has certainly been accelerated by the pandemic, as businesses have utilized virtual channels to connect with buyers and consumers, but many of these changes were set into motion even prior to 2020. This report highlighted the many ways that alcohol distribution has transformed in recent years, but other major industry shifts persist, too—and SevenFifty Daily looks forward to exploring them in the years to come. [Read the full article]

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