November 2008

Industry Spotlight

By: The Tasting Panel Editorial Team

Radeberger Pilsner Flies High in Reno

Tom Louderback (right), CEO of Bay Area Beverage Company in Richmond, CA, and his grandson-in-law, Justin Quinton (left), owner of Cantina Los Tres Hombres of Sparks, NV, flew in the Radeberger Pilsner balloon in front of 180,000 spectators at the 27th Annual Great Reno Balloon Race. 

Pernod Ricard to Distribute V&S Brands

Pernod Ricard USA has assumed full responsibility for the distribution of the Absolut vodka brand in the U.S. The move follows the July acquisition of Absolut owner Vin & Sprit (V&S) Inc. by Pernod Ricard, as well as the subsequent early termination of a contract with Future Brands, a joint venture between V&S and Fortune Brands. The wine and spirits company has also has begun distributing Plymouth gin, Level vodka and Frïs vodka, all of which had also been distributed by Future Brands.

Leblon Holiday Package

The Leblon Cachaça Gift Package is perfect for any holiday party or gathering of family and friends. With an attached booklet, your customers will have seasonal recipes at their fingertips.
Expecting Some Healthy Recipes?

Preggatinis: Mixology for the Mom to Be features 75 liquorless libations scribed by Natalie Bovis-Nelson, aka “The Liquid Muse.” Published by GPP Life, the book’s due date is later this month. $16.95.

Jameson’s Biggest Fans

Left to right: Simon Fay, Irish Distillers Limited; Timothy Lawler and Liam Scott, Pernod Ricard USA; Kieran Folliard and Peter Killen, The Local Irish Pub.

In September, Irish pub The Local in Minneapolis was honored for selling the most Jameson Irish whiskey on earth! Yes, Minneapolis is home to a pub that sells more Irish whiskey than any other bar in the world, including Ireland.

Skyy Spirits’ New Exec Appointments

Gerry Ruvo
Gerry Ruvo has been named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Skyy Spirits. In addition, the company has also created the new position of Chief Operating Officer/Chief Marketing Officer to be filled by Andrea Conzonato, who was most recently Group Marketing Director for Skyy Spirits’ parent company, Gruppo Campari in Milan.

Andrea Conzonato
Ruvo’s career in the beverage alcohol industry spans more than three decades, including ten years at Skyy Spirits, where he assumed the role of President and CEO in 2005. Ruvo has led the San Francisco–based company to the position of tenth largest sprits firm in the United States. The Skyy Spirits portfolio has grown exponentially since the company’s founding in 1992 and now includes 24 vodka, tequila, rum, aperitif, liqueur and whisk(e)y brands.

Beam Global CEO Inducted into Bourbon Hall of Fame

Tom Flocco

Thomas Flocco, President and CEO of Beam Global Spirits, the fourth largest premium spirits company, has been inducted into the Bourbon Hall of Fame. Beginning in 2003, when he joined the company, Flocco had the foresight to invest heavily in the growth of Beam Global’s bourbon portfolio when most companies were focused on other spirit categories.

Hall of Famers

Jeff Gollaher, CA Sales Manager for Hall Wines, and winery President Mike Reynolds were spotted at Craftsteak in Los Angeles during a trade tasting of their artisanal Napa Valley wines.

Russian Standard Gold Makes Its Debut─in Russia

 “Russian Standard Gold continues our fine tradition of creating authentic vodkas with remarkable purity,” said Roustam Tariko, founder and President of Russian Standard Vodka. “Combining the time-honored benefits of ginseng with our state-of-the-art distillation technology, we have created the gold standard in vodka production.” SRP 500 rubles.

Grand Master

Checkmate is a limited-production Bordeaux blend from Jim and Beth Summers of Summers Estate Wines in northern Napa Valley. “We can hardly wait to see how Checkmate will evolve,” notes Jim.

The wine selected comes from the best three barrels out of 600 in the Summers cellar—a reason for the wine to lead their premium tier wines across the (chess)board. SRP $100.

Amoretti 2008 World Pastry Team Championship Leads to USA Gold

Left to right: Team USA’s Claude Escamilla, Dimitri Fayard and Stéphane Tréand; Jack and Maral Barsoumian from Amoretti; Team Captain Laurent Branlard.

A week after the closing ceremonies in Beijing, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were once again awarded to the best and most talented teams in the world—but this time it was at the Amoretti 2008 World Pastry Team Championship. The event took place in late August at the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center in Nashville. The Amoretti-sponsored event attracted teams from Belgium, China, Italy, Mexico, Russia and South Korea, as well as Japan and Switzerland.

Team USA took the Gold medal, captained by Laurent Branlard, renowned Executive Pastry Chef at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel, with teammates Stéphane Tréand, Executive Pastry Chef at the St. Regis Resort, Monarch Beach, CA, and Dimitri Fayard, owner of Vanille Pâtisserie in Chicago.

The teams competed in creating masterful entremets (cakes), entremets glacés (frozen desserts), three different types of chocolate bonbons and petits gâteaux (small cakes), a pastillage tray (edible sugar-based decorative dough) and plated desserts.

According to Team Captain Laurent Branlard, “I’m confident that Amoretti’s superior flavorings and pastry ingredients contributed to our team taking Gold and to the special awards we received for the Sugar Showpiece and Dégustation.”

Amoretti are also leaders in manufacturing world-class pastry ingredients, supplying renowned pâtisseries, chocolatiers, ice creameries, five-star hotels, restaurants, gourmet coffee chains and Fortune 500 industrial bakeries, as well as presidential and royal palaces throughout the world.

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