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News Briefs for March 20, 2013

March 20, 2013

•Oregon-based Hood River Distillers has acquired Lucid Absinthe Supérieure from New York’s Viridian Spirits LLC for an undisclosed sum. The brand, which launched in 2007, is widely recognized as being one of the first absinthe brands available in the U.S. following the market’s legalization of the spirit. Produced at the Combier Distillery in Saumur, France, Lucid is made according to traditional French methods, using European herbs such as grande wormwood, green anise and fennel. Currently available nationwide, it’s priced at $59.99 a 750-ml. Hood River’s portfolio also includes the Pendleton Canadian whisky, 1910 rye whisky, Broker’s London dry gin and SinFire cinnamon whisky brands, among others.

•Stack Wines is set to expand nationwide through a partnership with Shaw-Ross International Importers. Shaw-Ross will now handle all sales and marketing activities across the U.S. for Stack, which was previously only available in select markets in California. The brand will initially expand into Florida, Indiana and Illinois as early as next month. The announcement comes on the heels of a brand re-launch, which included a name change (from Stacked) and new packaging design. The portfolio includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Charisma red blend (all priced at $11.99-$12.99).

•Blues legend B.B. King is partnering with Hamden, Connecticut-based Votto Vines Importing to debut his eponymous wine brand in the U.S. The B.B. King Signature Collection has launched in Memphis and Nashville, and will soon be followed by a release across B.B. King’s Blues Clubs and retail stores, wine bars and music clubs nationwide. The range includes Signature Collection Red 2010, a blend of Garnacha, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, and Signature Collection White 2011, which is 100% Verdejo. Both wines are sourced from Almansa, Spain’s Bodega Santa Cruz Winery and will be priced at $13.99 a 750-ml. Votto Vines anticipates importing approximately 1,500 cases of each wine this year.

•SBE entertainment group has announced plans to open a second SLS Hotel in Miami, which will join its South Beach outpost. The new $300 million hotel will be located in the city’s Brickell neighborhood and is slated to open in 2015. SBE is partnering with chef and restaurateur José Andrés, whose restaurant The Bazaar is located inside SLS South Beach, to develop the food and beverage venues at SLS Brickell. There will be more than 10,000 square feet of space in the hotel for restaurants, lounges and bars, and restaurant plans so far include a concept from local chef Michael Schwartz. SBE also recently announced it will open an SLS Hotel in Las Vegas next year—which Shanken News Daily reported on February 15—with plans to enter Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle and Houston as well.


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