CEO Tom Gearing speaks to Wall Street Journal about impact of US tariffs
Tom Gearing, CEO and co-founder of Cult Wines Limited, spoke with the Wall Street Journal recently about the market implications of a US tariff on European wines with alcohol levels of up to 14%.
In the article, Tom explains how US imports of wine with alcohol levels higher than this threshold have skyrocketed since they are exempt from the tariff. He also notes signs of changes on the production side as European producers are making more wines exceeding this 14% mark.
The Wall Street Journal approached Tom for his thoughts on the topic as analysing shifts in the industry forms a major component of what Tom and the Cult Wines team looks at day to day. Staying ahead of trends is vital in an industry where any change can have significant effects on supply, demand, and pricing.
America Taxed Your Favorite Bordeaux? Try One With More Alcohol.
Wine investor Tom Gearing was intrigued by a French vintner’s offer of a 2019 Cabernet-Merlot blend rich with aromas of cinnamon and jasmine and what the vintner called “a dazzling expression of the estate’s terroir.”
Even more alluring was its alcohol content: 14.02%
That two-hundredths of 1% meant Mr. Gearing could sell the big red from Château Cos d’Estournel in Bordeaux to Americans for the vintner’s recommended $153 price instead of $191. That’s because of a quirk in U.S. tariff code that has sent high-alcohol European wine exports soaring...