July 2008

Industry Spotlight

By: The Tasting Panel Editorial Team
The 10 Cane Mojito Kit

Rum’s peak season is upon us and 10 Cane Rum is on a mission to launch consumer mixology to new heights with the 10 Cane Mojito Kit, the first-ever luxury cocktail kit, now available to the off-premise trade.

Each kit includes a 750 ml. bottle of 10 Cane Rum and a 946 ml. bottle of Stirrings Simple Mojito Mixer (enough for 8 cocktails). The Mojito can now be easily mixed by any consumer.

10 Cane is made with first-press cane juice, never molasses, for a light, smooth taste. The fresh notes of sugarcane found in 10 Cane perfectly complement mint and lime juice, making a delicious and utterly irresistible Mojito. SRP $34.99.

The Other Grapes

Don’t know Albariño from Vermentino? TASTING PANEL contributor Laura Holmes Haddad has just published Anything But Chardonnay: A Guide to the Other Grapes ($20, Stewart, Tabori & Chang). The paperbound volume provides an informative take on red and white varietals, wine regions, producers, prices and pairings—all enlivened with splashes of wine trivia and charming graphics.

Kahlúa adds Mocha to its Liqueurs Line-up
Kahlúa Mocha is the new addition to the brand’s family of premium coffee liqueurs. Made with a blend of 100% Arabica coffee, natural vanilla and real dark chocolate, the launch of flavors is Kahlúa’s biggest innovation in the last decade and a top priority since the brand was acquired by Pernod Ricard in late 2005.

A Fresh New Look for Freixenet
Driven by the notion that “great brands never stand still,” Barcelona-based sparkling wine Freixenet has updated its look. Freixenet is introducing new packaging across its full family of sparklers, designed to attract a contemporary audience to the sparkling wine fold. Rather than completely overhaul the recognizable and iconic frosted bottles, the colors have been adjusted, with clean, elegant labeling highlighted by gold-embossed accents, varietal coding on neck rings and more brand information in a simpler, more premium format.

Sex and the City Toasts with Chimney Rock

John Melfi, Producer of the movie Sex & The City with Chimney Rock Winemaker Elizabeth Vianna.

They’ve shown us what shoes to purchase, what dresses to hang in our closets and what bags to sling over our shoulders, and now we know what to stock in the cellar: Chimney Rock Elevage Blanc, the white Bordeaux-style blend that’s featured in the movie and was the exclusive wine brand served at the premiere party at New York’s MOMA (Museum of Modern Art). “It’s my favorite wine and she [Chimney Rock Winemaker Elizabeth Vianna] is my favorite person,” said John Melfi, producer of the film. “It’s the perfect blend.”

High Marks for Martell High Marques

Martell higher-marque cognacs—Martell Création Grand Extra and Martell XO—recently received top honors from both the 2008 San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC) and the 2008 Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) annual cognac tasting. Martell Création Grand Extra received a Double Gold Medal from the judges at the SFWSC and a Platinum Medal/96 point rating from BTI. Martell XO received a Gold Medal from both renowned independent panels.

“It’s an honor to have two distinguished panels of experts, including the judges of the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and those from BTI, independently rate these two ultra-premium Martell marques to be of superior quality and taste,” kvells Larry Neuringer, Brand Director for Martell, Pernod Ricard USA.

The 2008 San Francisco World Spirits Competition is the first comprehensive, international spirits judging held in the U.S. on an annual basis, founded in 2000 by Anthony Dias Blue and now under the auspices of THE TASTING

Trellis Wine Consulting

Wine industry veteran Dixie Gill Huey recently formed Trellis Wine Consulting, LLC to provide key guidance to wineries and related businesses. According to Huey, “The wine industry is experiencing an increasing need for management and strategy consulting, given the trend toward consolidation and the resulting enhanced competition for distribution. It is cost prohibitive for many wineries to hire multiple experts in the fields of management, marketing, sales and operations. In hiring Trellis Wine Consulting, a wine business benefits from cost savings due to our depth of expertise and breadth of services.”

Huey has a decade of experience in marketing and management of over 30 wineries. For more information, visit www.trelliswineconsulting.com.

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