Notes from Mississippi World Trade Center Event – and comments on the wine business in MS

This past Thursday, October 28, 2010 the Mississippi World Trade Center presented an International Food and Wine Festival showcasing food and wine from around the world.  The event was held at the beautiful and amazing Viking Cooking School in Ridgeland.  Local chefs picked a country or region’s cuisine to showcase, and then local wine merchants matched wines to go with the food.  It was an educational and delightful adventure in international cuisine.  I never knew stuffed grape leaves were so tasty.  Participating partners were Viking Cooling School, Kats Wine Cellar, Colony Wine Market, Briarwood Wine and Spirits, Mint Restaurant, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Parker House.

While there I took the opportunity to get Scott Jackson’s comments on the wine business in central Mississippi.  Scott is a certified sommelier and proprietor of Colony Wine Market in Madison, Mississippi.  He said that his business is up 30 percent this year over last, and that the central Mississippi retail wine market is doing well.  He also said that wine retailers are working with the Mississippi legislature to come up with an equitable law that will allow consumers to buy wine online that is not available through a local shop.  Currently, it is illegal to order wine and have it shipped to one’s home in Mississippi, according to the Mississippi Department of Revenue website.  Here’s more info about wine sales in Mississippi from the Department of Revenue Product and Sales Information section of its website:

As the state’s wholesaler, the ABC imports, stores, and sells 2,700,000 cases of spirits and wines annually from its 211,000 square foot warehouse located in South Madison County Industrial Park. ABC offers Mississippi’s 1,600 licensed retailers almost 4,500 brands and sizes of beverage alcohol. For items not on its Price Book or its monthly Fine Wine List, ABC develops and maintains business relations throughout the nation to accommodate consumer orders of special products. The 27.5% markup (set by state laws) on products shipped by the Warehouse yields some $56,000,000 of the $91,000,000 deposited annually into the state’s General Fund.

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