Robert Mondavi's profit warning is further evidence of slackening demand in the US. Many expected the US winemaker's double-digit sales growth to continue. But the economic downturn and WTC attacks have caused Americans to travel less and dine at home more often. While this may well increase off-trade sales, companies such as Mondavi that rely heavily on the on-trade will see a continuous slide in revenues.

Robert Mondavi's announcement earlier this week that earnings per share would be 10-20% lower than last year came as a clear shock to investors. The wine company happily churned out double-digit growth figures last quarter and many investors were expecting the upward trend to continue, albeit at a less pronounced rate. Tuesday saw the share price fall by 15% as shareholders realized the extent of the problems.

Mondavi isn't the only wine-maker to be affected by the US economic downturn by a long way, but the company has a high exposure to the entertainment and travel industries, which together account for around a quarter of its revenues and have been hit quite severely. As consumer confidence fades and job certainty wanes, people are becoming increasingly nervous about spending money. The terrorist attacks and threat of war have done nothing but exacerbate this problem further.

Even Mondavi's Golden Vine outlet in Disney's California Adventure has been rethought. The wine-maker has already invested more than $12 million developing a wining-and-dining attraction at the amusement park, which is now going to be written off. Attendance at the park, which opened earlier this year, has consistently failed to meet expectations and Golden Vine has yet to turn a profit. Mondavi is relinquishing control, becoming a sponsor rather than a partner in the venture.

Americans are still drinking wine, though, even if they are not going out to do it - so the outlook isn't entirely bleak for the US wine industry. But the shift from on-premise to at-home consumption is not what Mondavi needs.

Coupled with a dent in the market for premium wines, the outlook for any company that relies heavily on the on-trade is certainly much bleaker.

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