Doug Bell oversees all of Whole Foods' wine, beer and spirits buying from his home base in Georgia—for wine alone, that means about three and a half million cases each year. I talked to him recently about what he sees as the coming trends for wine (and craft beer) in 2016.
You've predicted that $15 to $25 wines are going to be big in 2016—why that price zone?
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Look, when you spend about $15 to $25 dollars, especially for imported wines, the quality is miraculously higher than you get for $8 to $10. And if you look at sales data, those wines at the $7 or $8 price, their sales are all down. The market is really feeling right now like it was before the recession. People are trading up, which is great to see.