Lauber Selections Presents 2014 Grand Annual Tasting

Posted on | June 30, 2014   Bookmark and Share
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Lauber Selections, the fine wine division of Fedway Associates, held its 2014 Grand Annual Tasting on May 14th at Mayfair Farms in West Orange. The trade enjoyed sampling from Lauber Selections’ diverse global portfolio of wines.

RumChata Revs Up

Posted on | June 30, 2014   Bookmark and Share
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RumChata Vice President Mike Neises had help from RumChata-sponsored Indy car drivers Marco Andretti and James Hinchcliffe to present a check to Terence Jung (2nd from left) of the Lone Survivor Foundation.

Sales of cream liqueurs traditionally peak at the holidays. But leave it to the brand driving category growth to also buck tradition. In May, Agave Loco Brands celebrated shipping their millionth case of RumChata, a remarkable milestone for a brand that rolled out less than five years ago in a category that has been relatively flat.

RumChata’s appeal starts with its unique character. Modeled on the Mexican rice milk drink horchata, RumChata blends real dairy cream with high-quality Caribbean rum, incorporating flavors of cinnamon and vanilla. Though cream-based, refrigeration is not necessary.

RumChata is now available in all 50 states, as well as Canada and the Caribbean, at 13.5% ABV and an average retail price of $19.95. Hitting one million cases is worth celebrating, but RumChata founder and Master Blender Tom Maas is not resting on his laurels. He says, “There are still several markets around the country where RumChata as a brand is underdeveloped. As a small player in the distilled spirits business it has been hard to get the trade to take our brand seriously in some places.”

But numbers speak for the brand’s broad appeal: RumChata has generated more than $420 million in retail revenues on- and off-premise. Maas says, “Retailers are realizing that we are not just a fad and we have a very strong and loyal fan base.” Going forward, the priority for RumChata is “to continue to educate the trade on just how profitable this brand can be for them if they choose to feature it,” says Maas.

BOTTLED PATRIOTISM

This month marks the close of RumChata’s first cause-driven market initiative—the Freedom Bottle Program, in support of the Lone Survivor Foundation, which helps restore, support and renew wounded service members and their families. The company produced a limited run of red, white and blue logoed bottles available between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. “This is really the first organized effort we were able to do, since we’re so new to the marketplace,” notes Maas. “We are very big supporters of our military veterans. We thought that by promoting a commemorative Freedom Bottle might shine more light on the group we are supporting.”

Sales of the Freedom Bottle kicked off over Memorial Weekend with Indianapolis 500 tie-ins. Since the brand had already allocated the proceeds from all Freedom bottles produced for charity, they made the check presentation during Indy 500 festivities.

RumChata fans showed support and helped raise funds during the race by tweeting with the hashtag #RumChata500; The RumChata Foundation donated 500 cents ($5) for every tweet received. RumChata was also prepared to donate for top-three placement finishes for its sponsored drivers. Marco Andretti’s third-place finish ensured a donation of $25,000. All together, RumChata’s Freedom Bottle Program raised $138,555 for the Lone Survivor Foundation.

ICED COFFEE SUMMER

The RumChata Summer Iced Coffee Sampler Pack is one way the brand is aiming to maintain sales momentum in the hot months. The pack includes two 8 oz. ready-to-drink cans of Casa del Sol coffee with a 750ml bottle of RumChata. “We’re so confident that RumChata iced coffees are the best tasting iced coffees in the world, we decided to give the coffee away,” says Maas. The packs cost the same as a 750ml bottle of RumChata, $19.95.

“We also want our customers to remember how well RumChata can mix in some of their favorite cocktails,” Maas adds. “I know if we can educate the consumer, we know they will enjoy RumChata for a long time to come.”

Union Wine Co. Launches Underwood Pinot In a Can in NYC

Posted on | June 27, 2014   Bookmark and Share
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On June 4th, Union Wine Company celebrated the launch of their Underwood wines in a can at the new Will Leather Goods Store. Guests enjoyed sampling Underwood Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir anned wines and meeting Union Wine Co. owner and winemaker Ryan Harms, who flew in from Portland, OR, and promoting Union Wine Company’s #pinkiesdown movement. Underwood Wines are available in New York through Verity Wine Partners.

Long Island Hospitality Ball 2014 Benefits American Cancer Society

Posted on | June 27, 2014   Bookmark and Share
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The fourth annual Long Island Hospitality Ball was held on June 2nd at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. Benefiting the American Cancer Society, the sold-out event, which showcased local New Hyde Park and Hamptons restaurants and 65 liquor companies and wineries, raised nearly $360,000. Three industry peers were honored: Bill DeSilva, Sales Manager at Southern Wine & Spirits Metro NY; Mike Ginty, Sales Manager General Market, Boening Bros.; and a dedication in memory of nightclub and entertaining guru, John N. Smythe.

Diageo & Atlantic Wines & Spirits Celebrate Belmont Stakes

Posted on | June 27, 2014   Bookmark and Share
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Diageo and Atlantic Wines & Spirits celebrated the 2014 Belmont Stakes on June 7th, toasting Bushmills with WFAN radio personalities Boomer and Carton. Ketel One was a big part of the brand new Champagne VIP Room on the first floor of the clubhouse.

Pilsner Urquell Partners With Tom Mylan For Meat Hook Dinner

Posted on | June 27, 2014   Bookmark and Share
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Pilsner Urquell teamed with Tom Mylan, executive butcher and co-owner of The Meat Hook in Brooklyn, for a dinner celebrating the brewery’s new limited edition cans draw inspiration from 171 years of Pilsner Urquell, at Brooklyn Kitchen. Guests enjoyed a live butchering demo and a seated meal paired with Pilsner Urquell beers.

Sud De France Festival Hits New York

Posted on | June 27, 2014   Bookmark and Share
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The Sud de France Festival had activation throughout New York in late spring and early summer. There were dinners, a sommelier competition and many participating retail stores offering Sud de France Festival tastings featuring wines from the Languedoc-Roussillon region in the South of France.

The Wine Group Kicks Off The Chloe Collection On a Yacht

Posted on | June 27, 2014   Bookmark and Share
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On May 20th, The Wine Group kicked off the Chloe Collection luxury wine portfolio with Southern Wine & Spirits. Local members of the trade enjoyed a scenic evening trip around New York Harbor on the Zephyr Yacht, while sipping Chloe Collection wines.

Spike Goes on Whisky Spree

Posted on | June 27, 2014   Bookmark and Share
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Spike McClure, Diageo and AWS Master of Whiskey, recently made a training swing through the area, visiting over 15 accounts in metro NY on behalf of Johnnie Walker and Diageo’s Classic Malts.

Pernod Ricard USA Promotes Responsible Drinking

Posted on | June 27, 2014   Bookmark and Share
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On May 22nd, Pernod Ricard USA employees gathered in New York City for part of the company’s global mobilization promoting responsible drinking. The day included the launch of a collaboration with a NY-based company that created a smartphone breathalyzer: Alcohoot. It also included the finals of an employee marketing campaign challenge to reduce underage and binge drinking as well as a demo illustrating the partnership with the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.

 
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