Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

News Briefs for January 11, 2013

January 11, 2013

•Michelin Star chef Daniel Boulud and Whyte & Mackay’s The Dalmore have collaborated on a new single malt Scotch whisky that will be served exclusively at Boulud’s restaurants. The Dalmore Selected by Daniel Boulud features an 88-proof blend of The Dalmore single malts that’s been finished in used Muscatel, Madeira and Port casks. Boulud’s restaurant empire includes eight establishments in New York City, as well as locations in Miami, Palm Beach, Montreal, Toronto, London, Beijing and Singapore. The chef has suggested that the new single malt entry initially will be available at New York’s Daniel, Café Boulud and Boulud Sud restaurants.

•The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) has partnered with the Pennsylvania Winery Association for a new initiative intended to support local wines. Set to begin early this summer, the program will allow “PA Preferred” wineries to expand their selection and availability by submitting up to 10 varietals to sell at selected wine and spirits stores across Pennsylvania. Wineries must be part of the Department of Agriculture’s PA Preferred program (the official brand of agricultural products grown or made in the state) in order to participate. According to the PLCB, around half of Pennsylvania’s more than 150 wineries have PA Preferred status. The PLCB is the largest purchaser of wine and spirits in the U.S. and has sales of $1.5 billion generated from 609 state-operated stores.

•Washington state’s Merchant du Vin (MdV) has acquired the U.S. import rights for Du Bocq Brewery’s Belgian witbier Blanche de Namur. Produced by the family-owned brewer in Wallonia, Belgium, Blanche de Namur is made with barley malt and unmalted wheat—which gives the 4.5%-abv offering its opaque, gold hue—and bottled with live brewer’s yeast for carbonation. Under MdV’s umbrella, the beer will be available stateside in cases of a dozen 330-ml. bottles or six 750-ml. bottles.

•Ruby Tuesday Inc. has closed its 13-unit Marlin & Ray’s seafood chain and its single-unit Wok Hay Chinese restaurant following flat financial results for the company’s 2013 second quarter, ended December 4. Ruby Tuesday’s same-store sales were up just 0.3% in the second quarter, and revenue totaled $304.2 million, down from $307.4 million over the same period in 2012. In addition, the company reported a net loss of $15.1 million, up from $2 million in 2012. Closing Marlin & Ray’s and Wok Hay will allow the company to focus on strengthening its core restaurant brands, Ruby Tuesday and Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, through revamped marketing efforts and new menu items.


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