Daily News: Russian Vodka Exports Hit Decade Low, Communion Wine Comes Pre-Packaged

Your daily dose of news and happenings from around the drink-o-sphere:

– Galleries, record stores and off-beat restaurants are popping up in small towns near Walla Walla—a region dubbed, “Napa in bluejeans”—after a boost in wine tourism.

– As if mastering wine knowledge weren’t enough, prestige restaurants around the country increasingly expect sommeliers to have a broad cultural awareness to better engage the customer.

– The story of a Catholic Church supply company selling pre-packaged wine and wafers for Communion has gone viral.

– Officials from the Ningxia wine region in China are creating a classification system modeled after that in Bordeaux to produce more consistent quality wines.

– Because of political strife with Ukraine and western sanctions, Russia’s vodka and liquor exports hit a decade low last year, dropping 42 percent from 2014.

– Bacardi calls on U.S. authorities to reverse a January decision to grant Cuba the rights to Havana Club rum, a name Bacardi has owned in the U.S. since the 1990s.

– With Scotch netting nearly $660 million in exports in Central and South America, whisky distillers pivot toward the growing Latin American market.

[Photo: Flickr/Roo Reynolds]