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News Briefs for October 1, 2012

October 1, 2012

•Sidney Frank Importing Co. has added the VnC cocktail brand to its portfolio and will serve as VnC’s exclusive importer and distributor in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. Created in 2007 by Shane McKillen, co-founder of 42 Below Vodka (which is now owned by Bacardi), VnC’s premixed cocktails retail for around $12.99 a bottle and include eight flavors: Banana Daiquiri, Mango Daiquiri, Margarita, Pacific Mai-Tai, Passionfruit Caprioska, Pomegranate Cosmopolitan, Strawberry Daiquiri and Vodka Mojito. Touted as a low-calorie, 100%-natural option, the VnC brand is available in 24 states and 30 countries and has risen by triple digits the last three years, with calendar 2012 sales forecasted at 200,000 cases.

Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits is launching a multimillion-dollar ad campaign for Yellow Tail wine ahead of the holiday season. The campaign is meant to convey that Yellow Tail will be America’s “go-to” wine brand for holiday celebrations. Created by New York-based BurnsGroup and developed by MPG, the “Go-to” holiday ads will run nationally from October 1, 2012-January 1, 2013. The push features 15- and 30-second TV spots that will air on cable channels and popular late night television, such as Saturday Night Live and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, as well as a corresponding campaign to appear on the brand’s Facebook page.

•Sausalito, California-based importer Vine Connections has tapped The Mark Wine Group to handle its on-premise national accounts in the U.S. Under the partnership, The Mark Wine Group will represent select brands from Vine Connections’ portfolio—which primarily features Argentine wine and Japanese sake—to national restaurant and hotel chains. Vine Connections currently markets around 19 boutique Argentine wine brands (typically priced at above $10 a bottle) and 20 premium Japanese ginjo sake brands. Austin, Texas-based The Mark Wine Group, which specializes in connecting small, independent wine producers with national on-premise accounts, also represents brands from Boisset Family Estates, Bogle Vineyards, Freixenet, Mionetto USA and Vintage Point, among others. Last year, the company reported sales of more than 90,000 cases.

•Location-based social media platform Foursquare has partnered with online reservation company OpenTable to expand its services. Now, when Foursquare users search for nearby restaurants on the Foursquare smartphone application, they can also make reservations at the restaurants by clicking a button that will lead to the OpenTable application. Foursquare currently has more than 25 million users and OpenTable provides online bookings at more than 25,000 restaurants throughout the U.S. and internationally.

•The storied fine-dining restaurant Delmonico’s is opening a second location, dubbed Delmonico’s Kitchen, on November 7 in Midtown Manhattan. Opened in the heart of New York City’s financial district in 1837, Delmonico’s celebrates its 175th anniversary this year, and at the new Delmonico’s Kitchen executive chef Billy Oliva will serve updated versions of the restaurant’s signature dishes, including the Delmonico Steak, Eggs Benedict and Baked Alaska. Delmonico’s managing partner Dennis Turcinovic is also teaming up with Neal Sroka, founder and president of international real estate company Douglas Elliman Worldwide, to open outposts of Delmonico’s in such international cities as São Paolo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Bogotá, Colombia; and Panama City, Panama, in the future.

•Terlato Wines CEO Bill Terlato has been honored as Businessman of the Year by the Italian American Chamber of Commerce. Terlato accepted the award at a black-tie gala held September 24 at Chicago’s East River Arts Center. More than 400 guests attended, and the evening also featured a silent auction of large-format bottles, including a three-liter of Terlato Family Vineyards Angel’s Peak Syrah 2004, a three-liter of Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio 2011 and a three-liter of Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 1997, with the sale benefiting the Italian American Chamber of Commerce’s culinary education efforts.

•Southern Wine & Spirits has named Mickey Horton to the new position of national director, environmental health and safety (EHS). In his new role, Horton will be part of Southern’s supply chain strategy team and be charged with enhancing the company’s environmental health and safety standards. Prior to joining Southern, Horton most recently spent eight years as director, EHS and risk management for pest control company Terminix.

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