National

Did The Treasury Defend Its Bureau?

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

As reported last year, President Obama’s Office of Management & Budget is plotting to split up Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau, moving TTB’s “protect the public” functions – which include label approvals, formula review, product testing and similar duties—to the Food & Drug Administration and its tax collection responsibilities to Treasury’s Internal Revenue ... read more>

New Products & Promotions: January 2012 Edition

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

COCKBURN’S PORT HAS A NEW LOOK Cockburn’s Port (pronounced Co-burn) has introduced an updated look. A longer neck is inspired by the brand’s original bottle, and the Cockerel embossing is now bolder and larger. The label is in a brighter white and underscored with a red line to increase visibility on store shelves. SRP Cockburn ... read more>

Big, Bold & Beautiful: Cask Strength Variations Reward Spirits Lovers

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

In the simplest terms, the proof of a distilled spirit in the U.S. is the percentage of ethanol in the solution multiplied by two: 40% alcohol by volume = 80 proof. But beyond the basic math, proof can be an factor in flavor, a mark of value, a marketing strategy and even a defining characteristic ... read more>

Merlot, The Comeback Kid: With Suppliers Pushed to Recast Its Image, Merlot is Still a Force

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Last fall, director Alexander Payne finally released a new movie, The Descendants. It’s about Hawaii, which was a relief to wine producers everywhere. Payne’s last movie was Sideways (2004); in that film, one line of dialogue from one character changed some people’s perception of Merlot overnight. But the “Sideways effect,” though real, was always overstated. ... read more>

Wine Buzz: January 2012 Edition

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

PACIFIC RIM ANCHORS NEW PORTFOLIO The creators of Pacific Rim have introduced VinMotion, a portfolio focused exclusively on the Pacific Northwest. In addition to Pacific Rim—the regional leader in Riesling—the VinMotion portfolio includes Sweet Bliss and Rainstorm. Sweet Bliss makes only sweet blends (red, white and pink, line-priced at $10 SRP) from vinifera grapes; the ... read more>

The Find: January 2012 Edition

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

1969… A VERY GOOD YEAR FOR SINGLE MALT Committed exclusively to vintage-dated Single malts, the Balblair distillery has just released its 1969—from a mere eight casks. Distillery Manager John MacDonald tastes through casks each year, determining which vintage is mature enough to be released. MacDonald says, “What really amazes me is its complexity—it’s spicy and ... read more>

How Low Can You Go? Lower-Proof and Lower-Calorie Beverages Gain Traction

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

While it seems a new cask-strength whisky or high-octane tequila is launched each week, there is an opposing—if not equal—trend featuring beverage alcohol designed to not blast your socks off. “There is definitely a trend toward including non-alcoholic and lower-alcohol cocktails on bar menus around the U.S. and beyond,” says Natalie Bovis, cocktail consultant and ... read more>

Young Sport: Blending is the New Game in South Africa

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Blending is the name of the game in South African wine.  With more than 350 years of winemaking under their belts, it’s easy to suppose that South Africans’ predilection for blending had old roots, perhaps stemming to the Huguenots arrival from France in the late 17th century. In fact, Constantia, the South African dessert wine ... read more>

Master Sommelier Creates Hybrid Wine Experience: Corkbuzz Wine Studio Opens in NYC’s Union Square

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Laura Maniec is known for many things. She is the youngest Master Sommelier ever at age 32, and transformed B.R. Guest Restaurant Group’s beverage program in her decade with the company. In November, Maniec and business partner Frank Vafier opened up Corkbuzz Wine Studio in NYC’s Union Square neighborhood—part wine bar, restaurant, private dining space and ... read more>

Bordeaux Bubble Bursts

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

The reign of Bordeaux may be over. After 15 years of the region’s investment-grade wines offering an annual return of about 15%, the price of recent vintages of industry bellwether Château Lafite Rothschild fell about 17% in 2011, according to brokers Fine and Rare Wines. Others experienced similar falls. But investors have not deserted wine ... read more>
 
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