September 2008

Industry Spotlight

By: The Tasting Panel Editorial Team
Come, Sit, Stay . . . For a Cocktail Hour

During Houston’s dog-days of summer, a portion of the proceeds from specialty cocktails helped Special Pals animal shelter provide temporary housing and healthcare to homeless dogs and cats.

In The Hilton Americas-Houston’s Lobby Bar, the world was made a better place by helping homeless puppies and kittens awaiting their forever-homes . . . and no one needed a doggie-bag!

Created especially for this event, cocktails included the Cat Nip (“the Purrrrfect Martini”) and the Bull Dog, a cocktail made with Red Bull.

Ultimate Tequila Sampler

This convenient, leather-accented 4-bottle pack contains 375 ml. bottles of Patrón Silver, Patrón Reposado, Patrón Añejo and Patrón XO Cafe tequila and coffee liqueur. At $89.99, approximate retail price, it’s the perfect gift set for retailers to stock for ultra-premium tequila fans.

Kobrand Ramping up Promotion of Appleton Estate Rums

Kobrand Spirits, a division of the wine company established in January, continues to ramp up its staff to import, distribute and provide sales and marketing for Appleton rums, taking the place of Brown-Forman. Jo-Ann Craner, Senior Brand Manager for Appleton Estate, was in Jamaica in July and explained Kobrand’s strategy to THE TASTING PANEL on-site at Appleton Estate. “We really want to focus on the Estate line. That’s really where rum is going,” she said. “The premiumization of rum is occurring and we see that. We believe that Appleton Estate possesses all the key components of a premium brand: history, authenticity and a variety of offerings for various palates.” —Camper English

"Flavor Cue” Packaging of Deakin Estate Wines

Importer Freixenet USA releases the new “flavor cue” packaging for its line of Deakin Estate wines from Australia, part of the company's Ferrer Wine Estates collection of premium global wines. Crowned with a new twist-off Stelvin closure, the package features a series of abstract watercolor illustrations of fruit—depicting the predominant taste profile of each wine. The suggested retail price remains at $8.

Deakin Estate wines are produced at Red Cliffs in the Murray Valley of Northwest Victoria. First planted in 1867, the estate's vineyards now cover 865 acres, overseen by winemaker Dr. Phil Spillman. The wines were introduced to the U.S. market by Freixenet USA in mid-2002.

Nouveau PET

Boisset Family Estates made a bold move that will transform the experience of the well-known Beaujolais Nouveau wines from historic wineries Mommessin and Bouchard Aîné & Fils: They will be packaged exclusively in lightweight PET plastic bottles.

Jean-Charles Boisset, President, Boisset Family Estates remarks, "In addition, we will simultaneously debut Fog Mountain, featuring the first organically-farmed California Nouveau in 750 ml. PET bottles, to highlight our commitment to reducing the wine world's carbon footprint by producing locally.

“We considered whether we should still ship thousands of cases of wine in heavy bottles via air throughout the world in order for the wines to arrive on time for their annual release date in November, when we can reduce fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions by more than half through a responsible choice of packaging." 

Boisset estimates the PET bottles will save millions of pounds of greenhouse gas emissions from entering our atmosphere. Life-cycle analyses conducted by third parties have suggested that PET bottles produce 40% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than traditional bottles.

For all the Beaujolais Nouveau imported to the U.S. and Canada, this translates into an estimated reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of more than 2 million lbs. For the world's total Beaujolais Nouveau production of 5 million cases, Boisset estimates savings of more than 37 million lbs. of CO2.

The Glenlivet Gathering

The Gathering is an annual welcoming of Glenlivet enthusiasts to reward consumers with exclusive tastings, product knowledge and brand culture first-hand.

From left to right: The Glenlivet team includes Winston Evans, Central Brand Ambassador; Ricky Crawford, Northeastern Brand Ambassador; Ron Zussman, Brand Director, Randy Adams, Southeastern Brand Ambassador; Jim Cryle, Master Distiller (retired); Mark Cronin, Southwestern Brand Ambassador; and Rick Edwards, Western Brand Ambassador.

A Dutch Takeover

Amstel Light (imported light beer from Holland), recently unveiled its new “One Dam Good Bier” ad and PR campaign that captures the open-minded spirit of the city of Amsterdam. A“Dutch Takeover” was staged in mid-May on N.Y.’s famed Amsterdam Avenue to “reclaim” this section of Manhattan, a nod to the culture of Holland.

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