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News Briefs for October 3, 2012

October 3, 2012

•A new low-calorie premixed cocktails line, Country Girl, has debuted with three flavors—Lemonade, Peach Sweet Tea and Margarita. The cocktails (32-proof) are available in 750-ml. ($13.99) and 1.75-liter bottles ($19.99). To coincide with the launch, Country Girl has partnered with Nashville-based Average Joes Entertainment (which represents a number of country musicians) and Miraculous Inc. to provide VIP tickets, meet-and-greet packages and free music downloads through the brand’s website. Country Girl Cocktails are currently available in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin, with additional markets to be added soon.

Aveníu Brands has promoted from within to fill the position of national sales director, naming thirty-year industry veteran Cory Sibley to the post. Sibley was previously vice president, Northeast Division at Aveníu, where he oversaw a 13% increase in sales over the past two years. Prior to that he was vice president-commercial director for Brown-Forman’s East division. With the appointment of Sibley, Aveníu Brands has also realigned its national sales divisions under the leadership of four zone directors: Rick Roman (Northeast), Doug Burch (Midwest), Fran Baker (South) and Eric Coles (West). The sales force also includes a “channel team,” focusing on the retail and on-premise national and regional account business, which will continue to be led by Scott Edwards.

Guinness has launched a new U.K. promotion featuring its own luxury jet service: Guinness Class. Guinness drinkers in pubs across the U.K. will be in the running to be selected as passengers on the Guinness Class private jets, which will fly from various locations around the U.K. to Dublin every Friday and Saturday for a nine-week period starting October 5. Guinness and stout-themed cuisine will be served aboard all flights.

•To commemorate 30 years of winemaking, Santa Maria Valley, California-based winery Qupé has released its limited edition Qupé 30th Anniversary Syrah. Rolling out on October 14 during the winery’s Open House event, the 30th Anniversary Syrah will be available at the Qupé tasting room in Los Olivos, priced at $100 a bottle. The wine’s launch, meanwhile, will be followed by a variety of celebratory events through December 1. Founded in 1982 by Bob Lindquist, Qupé specializes in Rhone varietals and Chardonnay from California’s Central Coast region. Qupé is part of Bacchus Capital Management’s portfolio, alongside Sbragia Family Vineyards, Pietra Santa, Andretti Winery and Wine by Joe.

•The 2013 Michelin guide for New York City restaurants has been released, with a total of 66 restaurants receiving stars. The list of three-star recipients hasn’t changed from last year’s guide, and includes Eleven Madison Park, Le Bernardin, Daniel, Jean Georges, Masa, Per Se and Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare. There are ten new entrants to this year’s list, with Atera impressively debuting with two stars, and Cafe China, Blanca, Aquavit, 15 East, Hakkasan, Jungsik, Lan Sheng, The NoMad and Torrisi Italian Specialties all debuting with one star.

•Zagat’s 2013 New York City Restaurants Survey has also been released, and 44,306 diners voted in the online questionnaire of 2,120 New York City restaurants. Le Bernardin secured its top food rating spot for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Per Se and Bouley. In the Most Popular category, Le Bernardin was also on top, while the “21” Club rose from 21st place to ninth and ABC Kitchen went up from 18th to 11th place. Other top honors include Asiate for Décor, Per Se for Service and Danny Meyer’s North End Grill for Top Newcomer.


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