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News Briefs for April 7, 2022

April 7, 2022

•Tony May, a giant of Italian food and wine in the U.S., died at age 84 on April 3 after a brief illness. During a five-decade career at restaurants like San Domenico, May championed authentic Italian cuisine and mentored countless chefs. He also founded the Gruppo Ristoratori Italiani with the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce to promote Italian food and wine. Wine Spectator has more on May’s life and career.

•Luxury wine and spirits NFT marketplace Blockbar will host an auction for two rare bottles of Penfolds wine. With a starting bid of $25,000, the three-day auction, which begins April 11, is for 6-liter bottles of the 2018 Superblend Imperial Duo. The duo is made up of Penfolds 2018 Superblend 802.A Cabernet Shiraz Imperial, a blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon and 32% Shiraz, aged separately for 22 months; and 802.B Cabernet Shiraz Imperial a 55/45 Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz blend with components aged separately for 19 months. The buyer will receive a complimentary 750-ml. bottle of each to taste in a private virtual session with Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago. The NFTs serve as digital receipts for the bottles, which will be stored as an investment at BlockBar’s facility in Singapore.

•Prestige Beverage Group’s Risata has expanded its offerings, adding two new Peach and Blueberry flavored wines. The new wines are semi-sweet and made from Italian grapes. Peach is at 5.5% abv and Blueberry at 6%, with both retailing for around $15 nationwide. The new pair sit alongside Moscato d’Asti, pink and red Moscatos, Sparkling Rosé, and two semi-sweet red wines in Risata’s portfolio. Risata was up 2% to 481,000 cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Colorado-based Laws Whiskey House has introduced the latest editions of its Bottled in Bond Four Grain Bourbon and San Luis Valley Rye. The distillery’s Bottled in Bond 8-Year Four Grain Bourbon has a mashbill of 60% corn, 20% heirloom wheat, 10% heirloom rye, and 10% heirloom malted barley. The Bottled in Bond 7-Year San Luis Valley Straight Rye Whiskey, meanwhile, is 95% heirloom rye and 5% heirloom barley. Both retail at $80 and are rolling out in key markets. To qualify as a Bottled in Bond whiskey, the expression must be made by one distillery in a single season, must be bottled at 50% abv and must be aged at least four years in a federally bonded warehouse.

•Lux Row Distillers is releasing Blood Oath Pact 8 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey finished in Calvados casks. A limited supply of 17,000 (3-pack) cases will arrive at retail this April at a suggested price of $120 a 750-ml bottle. The makeup of latest edition of Blood Oath includes 14-year ryed Bourbon and an 11-year ryed Bourbon, as well as an 8-year ryed Bourbon finished in Calvados casks. Lux Row is part of Luxco, which operates as MGP’s brands division and manages all MGP/Luxco brands.

•Chicago-based Crafthouse Cocktails has widened its distribution footprint, partnering with national chains as well as distributors like RNDC and Breakthru to achieve a nearly national presence. The company’s RTDs are now available in Whole Foods in 23 states across the U.S., as well as in all Jewel-Osco stores in Illinois. In addition select Walmart locations in Florida, Missouri, Michigan, and Arizona will carry Crafthouse on Tap, the RTD-maker’s 1.75-liter boxes. Finally, the company has expanded its e-commerce presence as well, partnering with ReserveBar.

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