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

News Briefs for March 19, 2012

March 19, 2012

•Pernod Ricard USA has unveiled Malibu Sunshine, a citrus-infused addition to its Malibu flavored rum range. Priced at $12.99 a 750-ml., the new lemon-lime offering will also be available in 50-ml., 1-liter and 1.75-liter formats. Malibu Sunshine follows the recent debut of Malibu Red, a higher-proof rum-Tequila hybrid priced above Malibu’s core brand. After reversing a decline in 2010 with 1.9% growth, Malibu rose 5.6% in the U.S. last year to 1.7 million cases, according to Impact Databank. The brand does approximately half its global business in the U.S.

•William Grant & Sons USA will launch two new flavor extensions to the Stolichnaya vodka line—Hot and Sticki—beginning in April. Available nationwide, both will be priced around $23.99 a 750-ml. and will also be available in 50-ml., 375-ml., 1-liter and 1.75-liter sizes. Stoli Hot features a flavor profile of jalapeño peppers, while Sticki is honey-flavored with floral notes. Stoli’s flavor portfolio already includes Chocolat Razberi, White Pomegranik, Ohranj, Blueberi, Razberi, Vanil, Citros, Cranberi, Peachik, Strasberi, Gala Applik and Wild Cherri. Stoli’s U.S. volume slipped 1.4% to 1.8 million cases in 2011, according to Impact Databank.

•Chicago importer and marketer Vin Divino is adding highly rated Piedmont wine producer Bersano to its portfolio effective immediately. Founded in 1907, Bersano owns 568 vineyard acres and 10 farmhouse estates. Based in Nizza Monferrato in the Barbera d’Asti district, Bersano has received several 90-plus scores from Wine Spectator, including a 92 for its 2004 Barolo Riserva, a 91 for both its 2005 Barolo Badarina and its 2007 Barolo Nirvasco, and a 90 for both the 2005 and 2001 vintages of Barolo Nirvasco. Vin Divino is owned by Rome-based consumer products company The Angelini Group. Last year, it strategically trimmed its book from over 150 labels to fewer than 20 wineries, including Nino Franco and Puiatti from Italy, Domane Wachau and Franz Hirtzberger from Austria and Casa Silva from Chile.

•Chef Marcus Samuelsson has opened a jazz and supper club called Ginny’s Supper Club in the basement of his popular Harlem, New York, restaurant Red Rooster. The space, which formerly housed Red Rooster’s private dining room, is decorated with local artwork and features banquette seating and an 18-seat bar. The food menu highlights Southern, Chinese and French influences, while the beverage program focuses on classic cocktails. Live performances will take place nightly, ranging from jazz musicians to rock bands to poetry readings.

•Clyde Frazier’s Wine and Dine, a restaurant, bar and lounge named for and dedicated to the retired New York Knicks basketball star, opened this past Friday in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. Frazier is a partner in the project along with Michael Weinstein, chief executive of Ark Restaurants. The eatery’s decorations include massive photographs of Frazier throughout the dining room, as well as 48 TVs donning the walls in the bar area and a small basketball court that guests are encouraged to use. The menu consists of traditional American bar food as well as more upscale options and a slew of original cocktails.

•Pabst Brewing Co. has appointed Daniel McHugh as chief marketing officer, replacing Bryan Crowley. McHugh has over 20 years experience in sales and marketing, and previously served as vice president of trademark brands at Anheuser-Busch. McHugh’s hire at Pabst reunites him with former A-B colleague John Coleman, who was named Pabst’s president last month. Coleman was previously vice president sales, West, at A-B. Acquired from Kalmanovitz Charitable Foundation by the Metropoulos family in 2010, Pabst has continued to enjoy strong U.S. growth for its flagship Blue Ribbon label, which rose 11% to 28.5 million (2.25-gallon) cases in 2011, according to Impact Databank.

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