Luxury Institute Announces "Toast of the Town" in Prestigious Wine and Spirits Category

High Net-Worth Consumers Rate More Than 100 Brands

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - January 13, 2009) - The independent New York City-based Luxury Institute ( today released its annual Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) for the wine and spirits industry. The results of the LBSI eagerly are awaited each year and are utilized by consumer-centric luxury brand executives to independently monitor how target consumers truly rate their brands in terms of critical luxury metrics. Rankings are derived from a survey of high net-worth consumers who rated more than 100 brands in 10 wine and spirits categories. The top-rated brands in each category are:

--  Champagne and Sparkling Wine: Dom Perignon
--  Cognac: Courvoisier
--  Gin: Hendricks
--  Liqueurs: Grand Marnier
--  Rum: 10 Cane
--  Scotch: Macallan
--  Table Wines: Opus One
--  Tequila: Patron
--  Vodka: Grey Goose
--  Whiskey: Woodford Reserve

"We offer our congratulations to the brands chosen as leaders in their category in our impartial survey," says Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. "It is a testament to the continued desire by value-minded luxury consumers for 'true' premium, luxury qualities in a variety of categories and services from apparel to wealth management. Wines and liquors are no exception. In this Darwinistic Era of Luxury, brands that claim to be prestige will have to deliver the qualities they tout, or perish."

The proprietary Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI) is the only measure of the prestige of leading brands amongst wealthy Americans. A national sample of 1,200+ wealthy American consumers was surveyed online by the Luxury Institute. The Institute's respondents had an average weighted income of $342,000.00 and an average weighted net-worth of $2.9 million.

The LBSI asks respondents to rate the brands along four main "pillars" of brand stature:

--  Consistently superior quality
--  Uniqueness and exclusivity
--  Social status as a product consumed by people who are admired and
--  Self enhancement, in that the brand makes the consumer "feel special"
    across all aspects of the customer experience

In addition, the survey measures three critical "outcome" metrics, which are compared to the category LBSI:

--  Worthiness of a significant price premium
--  Willingness to recommend brands to people they care about and why, or
    why not
--  Brand preference as the brand most likely to be considered the next
    time a purchase is made

"We've found that those brands committed to excellence are genuinely interested in where they stand in the mind of the high net-worth consumer," Pedraza says. "For the rest, we caution that this is not the time to 'fly blind' as the final verdict on whether, or not, you qualify as a luxury brand is that of the hard-core luxury consumer."

Survey results are weighted to match demographic and net-worth profiles of the same audience according to the latest Survey of Consumer Finances from The Federal Reserve.

About the Luxury Institute (

The Luxury Institute is the uniquely independent and impartial ratings and research institution that is the trusted and respected voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute provides a portfolio of proprietary publications and research and consulting services that guides and educates high net-worth individuals and the companies that cater to them on leading edge trends, high net-worth consumer rankings and ratings of luxury brands, and best practices. The Luxury Institute also operates the Luxury Board (, the world's first global, membership-based online community for luxury goods and services executives, professionals and entrepreneurs.

Contact Information: For Further Information, Please Contact: Evins Communications, Ltd. Dotty J. Giordano, Director Enid Lewin, Vice President Phone: (212) 688-8200 E-mail: E-mail: The Luxury Institute, LLC Martin Swanson Business Development Phone: (914) 909-6350 E-mail: