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

News Briefs for April 28, 2015

April 28, 2015

•Moët Hennessy has officially unveiled a new prestige Cognac celebrating Hennessy’s 250th anniversary, Hennessy 250 Collector Blend. Originally reported by SND on March 2, the 250 Collector Blend is a limited edition of about 7,000 cases worldwide. It’s packaged in 1-liter bottles, which are presented in a specially designed gift box and retail at $600 apiece. Moët Hennessy told SND last month it expects the anniversary blend to sell out within about a year.

•New York City-based gourmet grocer Eli Zabar is set to open his first wine bar in Manhattan’s Upper East Side neighborhood. Specializing in Old World wines and seasonally driven small plates, the 75-seat Eli’s Essentials Wine Bar features a rotating wine list of more than 50 vintages, including 20 by-the-glass offerings. The list, which starts at around $12 a glass and $44 a bottle, is focused heavily on the Burgundy, Piedmont and Champagne regions, with additional selections offered from Spain, Austria, Portugal and New York. Eli’s Essentials Wine Bar joins Zabar’s existing businesses, which include the flagship Eli’s Manhattan, Eli’s Vinegar Factory, Eli’s Market at Grand Central, Eli’s List wine shop and the Eli’s Essentials cafes, among other ventures.

•DraftServ, the self-service beer technology, has won an important new client with the announcement that the concessionaire at Chicago’s United Center, Levy Restaurants, is installing two units (each with four taps) for Chicago Bulls basketball and Chicago Blackhawks hockey games. Levy managers are viewing the Chicago experiment, as well as an earlier roll-out at Philips Arena in Atlanta (where the Hawks basketball team plays), as a key test, leading potentially to the placement of more DraftServ units at the dozens of other arenas for pro and college sports around the country where Levy holds concession rights. DraftServ, based in Suwanee, Ga., made its first big splash last summer when it was tested at the major league baseball all-star game in Minnesota. Levy, a subsidiary of the British food-service giant Compass Group, reportedly grossed $1.2 billion in food and beverage sales last year.

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