Los Angeles is celebrating, it seems. Longtime local wine shops have been recording record sparkling wine sales over the past several days, which lines up — not coincidentally — with the Saturday morning news that longtime politician Joe Biden had officially become the next president-elect. The announcement followed days of speculation, and was immediately met with scenes of jubilation across the city. And, as with any party, that meant wine.
Vinovore owner Coly Den Haan in Silver Lake sensed the mood immediately. There, locals took part in street celebrations by driving through Sunset Junction, honking horns and blasting music. Closer to her shop on Hoover, pedestrians gathered and shouted with happiness.
“We definitely sold a lot of bubbly,” says Den Haan. “We kinda braced for it going into the weekend. We ran a little special, but it turned out every order had some sort of sparkling in it.”
Den Haan could see the change in business coming. “Tuesday was also really busy, but for different reasons, like stress drinking,” says Den Haan, when the multi-day election saga formally kicked off. “We saw people buying mostly bulk wines, six packs, and cases. It definitely was more quantity on Tuesday, and quality on Saturday.”
Silverlake Wine co-owner Randy Clement also described the weekend’s mood as celebratory, with people dancing in front of his Glendale Boulevard store. For weeks, Silverlake Wine had been handing out free posters imploring people to vote (and to think of the ramifications of the recent passing of longtime Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg while doing so), but even still they weren’t prepared for the deluge of orders once news of Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris’s projected victory came in.
“Yesterday we had to call people who sell us champagne to ask them to bring us more champagne,” says Clement. “Like right now, because we started to run out. And we started with a lot of champagne.”
In largely liberal Southern California, the Biden win was only part of the celebration. Saturday became a much-needed tension release after more than half a year of social distancing and life in an uncertain pandemic, and months of social unrest. All week long, Biden’s electoral college tally inched towards the needed threshold of 270 votes, so the Saturday call by multiple media outlets felt to some like, well, popping a cork on a bottle of champagne.
Lincoln Heights’ mega distributor San Antonio Winery noted a 50 percent increase of alcohol sales throughout the weekend, too. San Antonio Winery president Steve Riboli found that staff couldn’t keep its ubiquitous Stella Rosa sparking wine in stock, while bold cabernets were also in high demand.
“We’ve had big days since Thursday,” Riboli tells Eater. “I’m certain with the election results, folks are having fun.” Big days, indeed.