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News Briefs for January 30, 2012

January 30, 2012

•Florida International University (FIU) has named its hospitality school the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, honoring Southern Wine & Spirits’ chairman and CEO Harvey Chaplin and family. “Southern Wine & Spirits and the Chaplin family are passionate supporters of FIU and the superior hospitality management education we offer,” said FIU President Mark Rosenberg. “This naming recognizes that commitment and augurs an even stronger partnership going forward.” Proceeds from Southern’s Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival benefit the school, whose state-of-the-art facilities include the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center, a 4,500-square-foot facility that was built in 1999 and offers the latest technology for beverage tasting and analysis.

William Grant & Sons USA has unveiled a new limited-edition Glenfiddich bottling, Cask of Dreams. The new offering is a marriage of Glenfiddich whiskies taken from a hand-picked selection of American oak casks holding matured whiskies of a variety of ages, with the youngest being 14 years old. The blend was then finished in 11 virgin American oak casks, which had previously been inscribed by thousands of Americans with their own personal dreams and aspirations. Selling for $99 a 750-ml., only 3,500 bottles of Cask of Dreams (48.8%-ABV) are available in the U.S.

•Oregon’s Hood River Distillers, known for its Pendleton Canadian whisky, is joining the fast-rising flavored whisky category with the launch of SinFire Cinnamon Whisky. Targeting men and women 21-40, the new brand will be in national distribution next month at around $17 a bottle. That puts it roughly in line with Sazerac’s Fireball, also a cinnamon-flavored whisky, which has garnered a strong following as a shot option among the younger LDA crowd over the past year.

•New Jersey-based importer and marketer Vision Wine & Spirits has added the newly launched John B. Stetson Kentucky Straight Bourbon whiskey brand to its U.S. portfolio. Best known for its long legacy of hat manufacturing, the John B. Stetson company crafts its Bourbon with Native American corn, barley, rye and wheat, distills it twice in a copper pot still and ages the liquid in new American white oak barrels for four years. Priced at $26.99 a 750-ml., John B. Stetson Kentucky Straight Bourbon is available nationally.

•Christie’s and Sotheby’s have kicked off the new wine auction seasons in New York and London. On January 25, Christie’s held a French wine sale in New York, alongside its “Old Masters” French art auction. The wine sale, which featured 158 lots and was 96% sold, brought in approximately $1.2 million. Top lots included cases of 1982 and 2000 Château Pétrus (sold for $58,000 and $46,000 respectively), a 1982 case of Château Lafite-Rothschild ($46,000) and a dozen bottles of 1990 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti ($46,000). Sotheby’s London auction, also held last week, featured a 665-lot collection which was 95% sold and garnered $2.5 million. Primarily made up of Bordeaux offerings, the auction’s top sales included seven lots of 1982 Pétrus, Latour and Lafite.

•Paris-based nightclub Le Baron opened its first U.S. outpost in New York City’s Chinatown neighborhood on Friday night. The much-anticipated club had been two years in the making, having just received a liquor license on December 31, 2011. The club’s interior is designed to evoke 1970s Saigon and marks Le Baron’s fourth, joining outposts in Paris, Tokyo and London.

•Chef and restaurateur Mike Isabella is slated to open his second restaurant, Bandolero, in Georgetown in the spring. To promote the new venture, Isabella has partnered with restaurant deal website LivingSocial Gourmet to offer a preview of Bandolero’s menu, which includes five-courses of modern Mexican small plates paired with Tequila cocktails for $119, and will be served at a four-night pop-up restaurant inside LivingSocial’s new headquarters in Washington, D.C.’s Penn Quarter neighborhood. The pop-up is running from February 16-19, with seatings available between 5:30 pm to 9 pm for those who buy the deal.


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