“Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary has teamed with Santa Rosa, California-based Vintage Wine Estates, Inc. VWE on a new lifestyle platform called "Shop Mr. Wonderful."
What Happened: O’Leary, the chairman of O’Leary Financial Group whose nickname is “Mr. Wonderful,” is no stranger to the oenophile realm: he is also the founder and chief sommelier of O’Leary Fine Wines.
In this new venture, he will provide readers his insight on wine through a blog and an interactive “Ask Kevin” feature.
Shop Mr. Wonderful will also provide an e-commerce option that includes more than 55 wine selections from the Vintage Wine Estates’ family of wineries.
“Shop Mr. Wonderful is my opportunity to highlight products that I love, that I share with my family and friends, and now, because of www.shopmrwonderful.com, with my incredible fans and followers who, like me, want to live the wonderful life,” said O’Leary in a press statement. “One of life’s most wonderful pleasures is a fantastic glass of wine, so I’m beyond thrilled to share my favorite wine picks on this new platform.”
Why It Matters: Bringing in a high-profile personality like O’Leary will help call attention to a sector that has not recorded its best year for sales.
Although the U.S. wine industry recorded 27 consecutive annual gains through 2020, it is expected to see a 0.5% volume decrease this year, down to 335.4 million 9-liter cases, according to the 2021 edition of “The U.S. Wine Market: Shanken’s Impact Databank Review & Forecast.”
“While the U.S. has been the world’s largest wine-consuming market since 2013, volume growth has been modest at best in each of the past 10 years due to fierce competition from whiskies, hard seltzer, and other ready-to-drink brands,” the Shanken report said. “While the wine industry registered an above-average 2% volume increase last year owing to off-premise gains during the pandemic, wine continues to lose market share to spirits and flavored malt beverages.”
Photo: Kevin O'Leary with Benzinga founder and CEO Jason Raznick.
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