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

News Briefs for September 14, 2012

September 14, 2012

•Petaluma, California-based Offbeat Brands has added Australia’s Grant Burge Wines and New Zealand’s Drift Sauvignon Blanc to its U.S. import portfolio. Sourced from the Barossa Valley, Grant Burge’s U.S. lineup will include its Holy Trinity Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre ($49.99), 5th Generation Shiraz ($29.99), GB 32 Chardonnay and GB 56 Shiraz (both $18.99), and Grant Burge 10-Year-Old Tawny Port ($39.99). Drift Wines’ Drift Sauvignon Blanc ($21.99) is sourced from the Awatere Valley, within New Zealand’s Marlborough region. Established in March by industry veteran Mike Kenton, Offbeat Brands was created to specifically target Millennial and Generation X consumers. In addition to Grant Burge and Drift, the company also markets the Jellybean Wines and Slices Sangria brands.

•Korbel Champagne Cellars is celebrating its 130th Anniversary with a special edition of its Korbel Sec sparkling wine. The anniversary release is a non-vintage California sparkler made from Chenin Blanc, French Colombard and Chardonnay via the traditional method champenoise. It features an “old-style” commemorative label and sells for $12.99 a bottle. 2,748 cases of the special edition of Korbel Sec were produced.

BevMo opens a new store in Los Angeles at 330 N. La Cienega Blvd. today. The new unit, BevMo’s 121st across California, Arizona and Washington, is 8,400 square feet and features a selection of 2,078 wines, 1,994 spirits, 1,481 beers and hundreds of gourmet foods, cocktail mixers, glassware, bar accessories and other items. BevMo is kicking off the new location with tastings and demos from spirits brands Grey Goose, Bombay gin, Jim Beam and Glenlivet, as well as wine and beer labels like Moreno Sparkling, Il Conte, Golden Road and Pyramid Brewing.

•Orlando, Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort has unveiled the beer and wine menu for its upcoming Be Our Guest restaurant. The 500-seat, French-inspired venue—set to open next month in the theme park’s new Fantasyland area—will offer a selection of 20 wines by the glass and bottle, including selections from Georges Duboeuf, Louis Jadot and Joseph Drouhin, among others. The beer list, meanwhile, features several selections from Belgium and France, including Kronenbourg 1664, Hoegaarden Wit, Saison Dupont and Chimay Blue. According to local media reports, beer and wine will only be offered during Be Our Guest’s dinnertime hours.

•As part of its partnership with the upcoming James Bond film “Skyfall,” Heineken has unveiled a global ad campaign, entitled “Crack the Case,” featuring actor Daniel Craig. The campaign will launch globally on September 20 across multiple platforms, featuring a personalized interactive experience that invites consumers to become secret agents themselves. The campaign was created by ad agency Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam and directed by Dutch filmmaker Matthijs Van Heijningen, Jr. Heineken is also releasing limited edition Bond-themed packaging in the U.S. starting October 1. In related news, Heineken USA has appointed Matthew Kahn vice president, marketing, portfolio brands. Kahn was formerly senior vice president, marketing at Energy Brands Inc. (maker of Vitamin Water, Smart Water and Powerade). In his new role he’ll lead marketing for the Dos Equis, Newcastle, Amstel and Strongbow brands.

•The Ritz-Carlton New York is set to open its new restaurant, Auden Bistro & Bar, at the end of this month. The new eatery is taking over the space that formerly housed BLT Market, which closed in January. Helmed by chef Mark Arnao, Auden Bistro & Bar will serve traditional bistro fare with an emphasis on local and sustainable ingredients. In addition, the hotel’s Star Lounge is being converted into Auden Lounge and its bar will become Auden Bar, where the hotel’s famed bartender Norman Bukofzer will serve classic cocktails and original creations, as well as more than 400 wines. The Auden restaurant, lounge and bar will all be connected so that guests can easily navigate between the three spaces.


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