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

News Briefs for December 10, 2013

December 10, 2013

•Total Wine & More tells SND the company has reached a new milestone in its business with the opening of its 100th store. Total Wine cut the ribbon on its 100th outpost, located at La Plaza Del Norte Center, 125 NW Loop 410 in San Antonio, on November 25th. Operating across 15 states, Total Wine will have estimated revenues of $1.5 billion this year.

•New York’s Riviera Imports has partnered with Celebrity Cellars International to launch Ron Burgundy Blended Scotch in select U.S. markets. Named for the main character in the popular “Anchorman” film franchise, the new offering is produced by Scotland’s St. Andrews Distillery. Initially limited to 72,000 bottles (6,000 cases) and currently available in more than 20 states, Ron Burgundy Blended Scotch is priced at $25 a 750-ml. and, according to Riviera Imports CEO and founder Ed Caan, well-positioned to attract Scotch whisky newcomers. “Our goal was to make a legitimate whisky that tastes good, but is also affordable and approachable,” Caan told SND, adding that the brand’s label seeks to balance its Ron Burgundy branding with more “serious” cues. The brand, which is rolling out just ahead of Paramount’s “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” premiere on December 15, is expected to achieve nationwide distribution by February.

•After a record-setting opening a week ago at the new branch in Chicago, the organizers of the food emporium Eataly surprised the city by shutting down the facility on Monday. In a statement, Eataly’s owners admitted that long lines—with 120,000 visitors and 80,000 diners logged in the first seven days—had surprised and overwhelmed staff. In a statement, they said that that the closing “was to preserve the standards of quality and service,” adding that ‘never, ever has another Eataly been as successful as our outpost in Chicago.”

Russian Standard is quickly building its Russian distribution business with big-name global spirits brands. Just one day after announcing that it had begun handling the Jose Cuervo line in Russia, Russian Standard said earlier today that it has agreed to market and distribute Heaven Hill Distilleries’ Bourbon range in the Russian market. Along with Evan Williams, the world’s third-largest Bourbon brand, Russian Standard is adding Heaven Hill’s Elijah Craig and Heaven Hill Bourbons to its distribution lineup, as well as the Bardstown, Kentucky-based company’s Bernheim Original Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey.

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