Wine Giant Giddy on Profits

Economy staggers, consumers drink more
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2008 2:43 AM CDT
Bottles of Ravens Wood, Alice White and Clos Du Bois wines. Constellation Brands Inc. said Tuesday its fiscal first-quarter profit jumped 50 percent.    (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
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(Newser) – The turbulent economy may be driving consumers to drink. While some might be crying in their beer, the world's biggest wine maker, Constellation Brands—whose labels include Robert Mondavi and Ravenswood—reported a huge 50% increase in profit the first quarter of 2008, reports the Wall Street Journal. Analysts believe fewer people are drinking in restaurants, opting instead to drown their sorrows at home.

The upturn may not be as surprising as it first appears. Insiders say alcohol sales are often not affected by economic downturns. "People drink when the economy is good, and they drink more when the economy is not so good," said a vice president at Constellation.