Feb 2009

Industry Spotlight

By: The Tasting Panel Editorial Team
New Look for Cruzan
Beam Global has re-launched Cruzan Rum with a fresh logo and sleek bottle shape.  The portfolio includes a light rum, several dark rums, a single barrel and ten flavored rums.  The St. Croix-based brand sold approximately 750,000 cases of premium rum worldwide in 2007 and grew by 23% last year in the United States, Cruzan's largest market.  
Scapa Single Malt: Reborn!
Pernod Ricard USA and Chivas Brothers announce that Scapa single malt is being reborn as a luxurious 16 Year Old, thanks to the availability of precious older whiskies discovered in the Chivas Brothers stocks. Formerly aged 14 years, the Orkney Island whisky also has a new look that is a reflection of its Orcadian heritage. The new Scapa 16 Year Old retails for a suggested price of $75 (750 ml.).

Design Your Own Cocktail at the Conrad
Conrad Hotels & Resorts, the global contemporary luxury hotel brand of Hilton Hotels, has instituted a bespoke cocktail service called Conradtini in its bars. Guests can choose the glassware, the spirits, the mixers and the garnishes. They can rely heavily on suggestions and technical support from the Conrad’s mixologists, or completely design their own concoction. “This new bar concept, which we believe is the first of its kind, celebrates each guest’s individual preferences,” says Richard Blamey, Senior Vice President, Brand Management, Conrad Hotels & Resorts. “We want everyone to feel comfortable ordering their cocktails the way they enjoy them most.” The Conradtini is available at all Conrad’s hotels and resorts worldwide.
Crustacean Restaurant Creates Cocktail for City of Beverly Hills
Elizabeth and Catherine An, partners and co-owners, Crustacean restaurants, holding “The Beverly” cocktail.

New Yorkers have the Manhattan; Cubans have the Cuba Libre; the British have the London Fog; but Angelenos have not had a cocktail to call their own—until now. Crustacean Restaurant of Beverly Hills is proud to announce the first cocktail concocted specifically for the city of Angels: “The Beverly,” created by the restaurant’s mixologist, Mark Rocha.

The genesis of Crustacean Restaurants (locations include San Francisco, L.A. and Las Vegas) reads like pages from a dramatic Hollywood script: three generations of strong willed Vietnamese women who rose from heartbreaking and devastating loss of home and country to building a multi-million-dollar food and hospitality conglomerate.

Rocha was inspired by Mary Pickford, whose favorite drink was a concoction of rum with pineapple juice and grenadine. While coming up with a fresh, updated version of the Mary Pickford cocktail, Rocha felt it was important to keep the stand-out flavor of pomegranate in the grenadine without the syrupy sweetness that accompanies it. After a couple of trials and errors, Rocha came up with “The Beverly,” a vibrant concoction of fresh pomegranate juice mingled with fresh tangerine slices, Absolut Apeach vodka and Cointreau orange liqueur.
Marketing Manager for Russian River Valley Winegrowers
Lee Hodo.

The Russian River Valley Winegrowers has named Lee Hodo as Marketing Manager for the organization, based in Fulton, Sonoma County, CA. As part of a 30-year wine industry career, Hodo was most recently Director of Brand Development at Bouchaine Vineyards in the Carneros region of Napa Valley and has held marketing positions with Rodney Strong and Ironstone Vineyards.

The Russian River Valley AVA, established in 1983, includes 196 square miles and 126,600 acres, of which 25,900 are planted in premium wine grapes. The Russian River Valley Winegrowers was organized in 1994.

Gundlach Bundschu’s New Winemaker
Keith Emerson.
After commemorating its 150th anniversary in 2008, Gundlach Bundschu Winery looks to the future by appointing Keith Emerson as winemaker. Emerson replaces Linda Trotta, who served as winemaker for
20 years and oversaw the evolution of estate winemaking at the six-generation family winery.
Beam Global Raises the Bar with New Mixologist
Philip Raimondo.
Beam Global Spirits has appointed Philip Raimondo as National Accounts Mixologist. He will work directly with the national, luxury and regional account sales teams to develop signature drink promotions for key customers.

 “As a former bartender, I understand what mixologists and consumers are looking for in cocktails,” stated Raimondo. “I believe you can only make great drinks with the finest and freshest ingredients, and am committed to teaching Beam Global customers fun and flavorful ways to mix with our brands.”

Texas Manager for Rodney Strong Wine Estates    
Kristin Hamlin. 
Rodney Strong Wine Estates recently appointed Kristin Hamlin to the position of Texas District Manager. Hamlin’s comes to the company from Crawford Malone (Fine Wine Broker), where she spent the last three years as area manager responsible for north and west Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Spurrier to Write for THE TASTING PANEL
Steven Spurrier.
THE TASTING PANEL is proud to announce the addition of renowned wine writer Steven Spurrier as a monthly contributor. His “Letter from London” will begin in the March issue. Spurrier has written several books, including the classic Clarke & Spurrier’s Fine Wine Guide (with Oz Clarke). He is a Consultant Editor of Decanter and is most celebrated as the producer of the famous Paris tasting of 1976 that has been immortalized in two major motion pictures. Steven Spurrier lives in London and is uniquely qualified to write about the wine trade in Britain as well as wine happenings throughout Europe.—Anthony Dias Blue

Coffee & Tea of the Month

Rishi Tea

Rishi tea offers artisan loose-leaf tea, direct from tea gardens around the world. The teas are cultivated under organic and Fair Trade standards to help ensure a more sustainable future for producers and consumers.

Our tasting panel enjoyed Rishi’s organic white tea called Silver Needle Jasmine. Its perfumed, silvery white leaves produce a delicate finish. For more information, go to www.rishi-tea.com.
Weaver’s Coffee
Weaver’s coffee brings a hand-roasted experience to 100% certified organic and Fair Trade–certified coffee. Our panel’s choice was Waever’s Decaf Organic Blend, producing a full-flavored, full-bodied beverage with hints of malt and caramel.







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