Biodynamic Wines from Lake County Go National With Skyland

The biodynamically farmed wines of Hawk and Horse Vineyards are now represented by Skyland Distributing Company. “We are honored to represent this distinguished winery,” says Brian Eddington, General Manager, Skyland Distributing Company. “As a biodynamic producer from Lake County, they are leading the way in producing distinctive and delicious wines,” he added.

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Jeff Morgan on Why This Kosher Wine Has Dual Citizenship

When wine writer Gabriel Geller heard about the man behind Covenant Winery, he knew it was an inspiring story, one worth telling. “It’s a story of faith, entrepreneurship, and chutzpah,” he says. In 2002, Jeff Morgan was at a winemaking conference in Napa Valley, CA when an intriguing topic came up: why aren’t there more good kosher wines? The question led the journalist-turned-winemaker on a quest to produce not …

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Cascade Kriek 2017 Released On Draft and 500ml Btls

Cascade Brewing recently released its Kriek 2017 project on draft and in a new 500ml bottle format. The product is a blend of sour red ales aged in oak wine barrels for up to 17 months with more than 16,000 lbs. of fresh Bing and sour pie cherries. The beer features complex flavors of cherries, roast malts, oak and spice, and comes in at 7.7 percent ABV.

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Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select Whiskey

In the world of whiskey, Jack Daniel’s has been making a bold statement. That while they have been known for well over a century for their classic Old No. 7, they know how to make a variety of amazing whiskeys. The latest of Jack Daniel’s newest offerings is a bold and sophisticated concoction that goes by the name of “Sinatra Select.” Aptly named in tribute for one of Jack Daniel’s biggest fans: the legend Frank Sinatra himself.

Glenfiddich Releases New Concept Fire & Cane

The world’s most awarded single malt Scotch whisky has launched the fourth and newest concept in its Experimental Series with Glenfiddich Fire & Cane, a smoky whisky finished in sweet rum casks with an SRP of $49.99. Fire & Cane is inspired by the early innovation of Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman, who ran peated spirit through the Glenfiddich stills for the first time in 2003, birthing the concept. Fire & Cane …

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Wine of The Week Sonoma-Loeb Viognier 91 Points

Viognier – that weird wine, the outlier, mis-pronounced and mis-produced, far too often resulting in a weird amalgam of perfume and cologne. There are about 3,000 acres planted in California alone and though still considered an obscure wine (though Texas and Virginia do well with the grape), it is not a strong sell to the public at retail. But when Viognier is understood and produced with care for the grape and its historical context …

Four Roses Picks Official Flower Grower for 130 Year Anniversary

Four Roses has selected premier grower Jackson & Perkins as its partner to launch a special edition rose to commemorate the brand’s 130th anniversary. The rose is available via JacksonAndPerkins.com and will retail for $26.95. The plants will begin shipping August 17 to open plant zones. “Four red roses have been synonymous with our brand since the legend began in 1888,” said Four Roses Master Distiller Brent Elliott.

National IPA Day Highly Monetizable

It seems as though anything with the name IPA attached to it sells out the door, all day long. With that in mind, on-premise licensees would be running away from profits if they weren’t to monetize National IPA Day this August 2nd. With the help of Coopers’ Craft Bourbon, here are five outstanding IPA cocktails assembled by bartenders from around the country, with which to treat IPA-happy customers.

6 Frozen Cocktails That Won’t Embarrass Your Bar

The frozen cocktail is becoming a thing of the past, and there are a few reasons why. Smoky brown spirits are hugely popular, with mezcal replacing tequila in many Palomas and whiskey forming the basis of what were once traditional gin cocktails, like the Negroni. Egg-white whipped cocktails in coupe glasses are making an appearance on most cocktail menus alongside several mule variations. The frozen cocktail simply isn’t cool anymore.

Wine of the Week 2014 LaZarre, 93 Points

Great vineyards produce great fruit. What a winemaker does with that fruit is another matter, and not all winemakers are sensitive to what they have been given. The 2015 LaZarre Pinot Noir comes from the La Encantada Vineyard in Santa Barbara’s Santa Rita Hills, one of Santa Barbara’s premiere vineyards and a plot originally planted by pioneering Pinot producer Richard Sanford. There is an elegance that comes, not from a talented winemaker manipulating…

Josh Phelps Releases His First Rosé, Space Age

Founder and Winemaker Josh Phelps released his first rosé from his American wine label, Grounded Wine Company, Space Age, a Grenache rosé from Paso Robles, California. Made from 100% Grenache grapes from three select parcels in the Paso Robles appellation, the rosé showcases California terroir with an elegant expression of the popular pink wine. “Grounded wines demonstrate how choices made by a winemaker can influence a wine, and Space Age is…

Mendoza 2015 Vintage That Was Saved By Rains Releases Stunner

The Mendoza 2015 harvest was “saved by the heavy rains” and low temperatures that were observed in Mendoza in February, allowing the grapes to achieve better balance and slow ripeness as well as to maintain their freshness and subtle mouthfeel, which was critical after the high temperatures that were registered from winter to summer and the premature phenology that it caused. The harvest…

Erick Castro Joins Arizona Distilling Co

Arizona Distilling Company has named San Diego-based bartender, Erick Castro as its newest partner. Castro will be involved with the brand on a multi-faceted level, including research and development, overall strategy and cocktail development, as well as executing ongoing tastings and trainings as he advocates for the brand across the U.S., and soon globally. “As a long time fan of Arizona Distilling Company, I am thrilled to come on board as partner, and to be given…

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Artisanal Brewers Collective’s Noah Regnery Says “Be Authentic”

The on-premise business is not an easy one. Occasionally, however, we meet serial success restaurateurs and can’t help but wonder what they’re doing that others are not.  Among LA’s newest arrivals are Cornwall-themed English pub, The Stalking Horse Brewery & Freehouse, on Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles, and spacious urban, light-filled 6th & La Brea, located in the epicenter of Los Angeles. Artisanal Brewers Collective, the group which launched these two brewery…

How The Brands You Stock Connect With Consumers

So many alcohol brands, and so little shelf space. How is a brand to break through the clutter, grab the consumer and make a connection? Natasha Swords, Bonfort’s Editor in Chief reports. From a retailer point of view, it’s important to understand the overall process of brand marketing. Next time a big brand asks you for more space behind the bar, or better positioning near the cash register…

Mother of Dragons, Third Beer in Game of Thrones Launches

Brewery Ommegang and HBO Licensing & Retail have announced the newest beer in their collaborative series inspired by the award-winning drama Game of Thrones! Mother of Dragons, a beer brewed for Daenerys Targaryen, is the third beer in this year’s Royal Reserve Collection, a series of four limited release beers, each designed and brewed as an homage to one of four epic figures engaged in the battle for the Seven Kingdoms.

21 Bartenders Head To Scotland For Chivas Masters Competition

Chivas Regal has revealed the 21 national winners heading to the United Kingdom to compete to be crowned Chivas Masters Global Champion 2018. For the first time, the Chivas Masters Global Final (taking place from 24th-28th June) will return to Chivas’s roots with the five-day finale starting at the Strathisla distillery in Speyside, the home of Chivas, before culminating in London, one of the most exciting and diverse cocktail capitals in the world.

Wine of The Week Canvasback Red Mountain 91 Points

You might be surprised to know that Washington State is the second largest wine producer in the U.S. behind California. And yet Washington wine is still something of a mystery. Sure, grapes were first planted in 1825 in the Evergreen State, but it has not been able to brand itself the way California, even Oregon’s Willamette Valley, have done.

The Savoy’s American Bar Appoints Maxim Schulte New Head Bartender

The world-renowned American Bar at The Savoy appointed Maxim Schulte as its new Head Bartender. Previously helping to shape Asia’s bar scene at The Ritz Carlton in Macau, 29-year-old Schulte will be joining the American Bar’s award winning team on 20 August 2018 and embarking with them on the latest exciting journey in the history of London’s oldest surviving cocktail bar. German born, Maxim started his career in Hamburg

Tequila Day Cocktails to Spice Up Your Bar

Tequila day is right around the corner and this year, instead of serving straight shots, spice up your bar’s selection with these cocktails. The first being Prickled Pink. Centered around Pink Agua de Tuna, this cocktail is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Your customers will be consuming with delight as the prickly pear puree pairs perfectly with Milagro Silver, lime juice, and agave nectar.

2015 Chappellet Signature Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

High-end Cabernet Sauvignon is a dominant force in Napa. Admittedly however many are variations on a theme – big brooding wines with a hefty price tags that are indistinguishable from each other. Chappellet has long been an authoritative maker of quality wines out of Napa, most notably their Cabernet’s, and the 2015 shows why. This wine offers smooth and delightful black cherry, cassis, blueberry pie notes, cedar and blackberry, but there…

Wine Of The Week: 2017 Lang & Reed Chenin Blanc, Mendocino – 91 Points

Chenin Blanc in the U.S. is not only under appreciated, but typically misunderstood. California versions want to abandon their Loire Valley roots and create an entirely different animal. For an American market, that might be okay. But true articulated versions of Chenin, a delicate and nuanced grape, needs guidance and that inspiration and historical context hails directly the Loire. Though Lang & Reed also make a Napa version of Chenin…

Copper Cane’s Joe Wagner Says Just “Go With Your Palate”

Bonfort’s Editor-in-Chief, Natasha Swords talked to Joe Wagner, possibly the industry’s most trail-blazing personality, about his most recent venture, Copper Cane Wine & Provisions. After his sale of Pinot Noir brand, Meomi for $315 million, Joe quickly created Copper Cane, a luxury brand collective that focuses on decadence. Steeped in family winemaking history, Joe is that perfect, accidental balance of depth of tradition and knowledge matched with an inherent compulsion

Tequila Don Julio Releases First Innovation in Six Years

Tequila Don Julio has released Tequila Don Julio Reposado, Double Cask, a limited-edition Reposado tequila finished in casks used in the making of Buchanan’s Blended Scotch Whisky. Inspired by Don Julio González’s innovative spirit and passion to take the art of tequila making to new heights, current Master Distiller Enrique de Colsa is continuing the legacy by producing a truly unique tequila. The latest variant to the portfolio is a rich and…

2016 MacRostie Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast

In many cases a wine is greater than the sum of its parts and this holds true for the 2016 iteration of MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, utilizing fruit from five different sites. To keep that fruit in prime expression this wine was whole cluster pressed, after which 15% of the wine stayed in stainless steel while the rest went into both new and used oak. A smart decision as this…

Suerte Targets Small Format Consumers With 50 ml Bottles

Suerte, the small-batch, single-distillery tequila maker, announced today the release of its Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo in 50 ml bottles. “In the six years since we started Suerte Tequila, we have watched the brand expand and reach new audiences nationwide. We hope that by introducing 50mL bottles of Suerte, more people will try and love our traditionally-crafted tequila,” said Suerte Co-founder Laurence Spiewak.

Are You Tapping Into The $2 Billion Hangover Market?

Americans consume 117 billion drinks every year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Hungover workers who trudge to the office after a night of tying one on cost the U.S. economy $160 billion annually in lost workplace productivity. What all of this means is that Americans are buying hangover cures to the tune of almost $2 billion dollars in the U.S. alone. Now are you interested?

Marshall Stuart: Big and Bold Like Winemaker, Like Wines

Winemaker, Marshall Stuart started out his career in 1988, working with Carl Key at Keyways Winery in Temecula, California. While working there he completed his Bachelors Degree in Winemaking, Viticulture and Enology at University of California, Davis one of the most renowned viticulture and enology programs in the world.  In 1994 Marshall purchased his own property and, subsequently, opened his own winery in 1988, Stuart Cellars. When he closed

Shaw Ross Taps Into Upscale Prosecco Consumer With Danzante

If timing is everything, then Shaw Ross International Importers, LLC has nailed it with the release of Danzante Prosecco. Known for its Pinot Grigio, the addition of this Prosecco adds of bit of sparkle to its portfolio in one of the hottest U.S. wine categories. “Danzante Prosecco offers a uniquely refined taste profile for the upscale, luxury prosecco drinker,” said Alessandro Bernini, Shaw Ross International Importers, LLC, Italian Portfolio Manager.

Altos Tequila Bartender Competition Puts Up $50,000

Altos Tequila has unveiled the next phase of its celebrated educational Tequila programme; The Tahona Society Collective Spirit. The contest challenges bartenders to come up with a new sustainable initiative, event or project that benefits bar staff, customers, the community or the environment – in a bid to win a $50,000 grant to bring the concept to life in their home bar. A new approach to cocktail competitions, the evolution of…

Joe Menetre Is New VP At Suerte Tequila

Suerte, the small-batch, single-distillery tequila maker, today announced that Joe Menetre has joined the team as Vice President of Sales. “Demand for Suerte has been growing rapidly over the last couple of…

Nemiroff Honey Pepper Vodka, 90 Points

Flavored spirits are always a challenge, in large part because one of the reviewer’s tasks is to suggest a prospective place in the cocktailian’s toolkit. That said, while not an extraordinary sipper, I think this Nemiroff entry has a place in that toolkit. Cocktail Recommendation: A classically-rendered Sherry Cobbler, but with the Nemiroff Honey Pepper Vodka subbing for sherry, resulting in a comparatively high-proof refresher served over pebbled ice.

Wine Of The Week – July 4th Edition: 2016 Frank Family Carneros Chardonnay – 91 Points

Chardonnay is the most planted and most widely consumed wine (red or white) in the U.S. It has become as American as the proverbial apple pie. Chardonnay’s diversity means it can be light and crisp like stainless steel versions, the big oak and butter bomb, a late harvest iteration, to Champagnes and sparklers of the highest order. Napa’s Frank Family Chardonnay has always been a very consistent wine…

14 Recipes For Your World Cup Soccer Cocktail Menu

Argentina. Agüero’s Argentinian Buck. Ingredients: 1.5 oz Fernet-Branca. Splash of lime juice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with Lime Wedge. Inspiration: For the refined palate that seeks something a little laid back — a pleasantly bitter and minty liqueur mixes gracefully here with the spicy, earthy kick of carefully brewed ginger beer. An instant classic!

WoW: 2015 Scheid Vineyards Pinot Noir– 92 Points

The Santa Lucia Highlands, located in Monterey County has established itself on a singular variety – Pinot Noir. Sure, there are more than a dozen other varieties planted on the mountain slopes and the bench that sits above the Salinas Valley, but Pinot Noir in Santa Luca is like hand and glove. And in Monterey, Scheid has long established itself as one of the leading wineries with 4,000 acres of vineyards.

How To Compete in Florida’s Beer Scene Boom

In under five years, Florida’s beer scene has blown up but in a cultish way. Florida is America’s fastest-growing state for craft breweries where innovators are finding a welcoming home. One of those breweries is Concrete Beach Brewery, est. 2015, helmed by Head Brewer, Eric Hernandez whose journey from the food manufacturing industry, to homebrewer to head brewer is a riveting tale of success in the frantic race to make kick-ass craft beer. Bonfort’s very own Judi Laing sat down with Eric to chat about what it takes to break through the noise in an increasingly competitive category.

Resolute Wines Now ÆRENA Wines

Resolute Wines, ironically changed its name, but its liquid in the bottle is as consistent and high-scoring as ever. The brand is now officially ÆRENA Wines. Featuring distinctive bottlings from both well-known and emerging appellations, ÆRENA Wines creates authentic California wines that embody a sense of place and decidedly drinkable point of view.

Millennial Drinkers Get their “Woodstock” in Brooklyn

We Baby Boomers learned all about wine in our immediate post-drinking-age years. We helped create a “wine culture” in America, in which you’d darn well better know the difference between a Napa Valley Chardonnay, and the same grape variety as grown in Chablis….or why the tricky harvest of 1964 in Bordeaux created successful wines at some properties, poor wines at others.  Cocktails? The old folks had them sometimes…as in “screwdrivers,” or vodka with orange juice. And that was about it, for then. But…..Apres ça…le deluge.

Celebrity Branding Is Shortest Path To Shelf Space

What do George Clooney, David Beckham, Bob Dylan, Matthew McConaughey, Jay Z, Ryan Reynolds, Drake, Connor McGregor, Darius Rucker, Channing Tatum and at least a dozen more celebrities have in common?  They’ve each matched their own branding to hard liquor. Ben Woo is based in Los Angles as managing director with global business strategy firm, RedSky Insights.

WoW: 2017 Cliff Lede Sauvignon Blanc, 92 Points

It may seem innocuous but there is more Sauvignon Blanc planted in Napa than any other county in California. Historical data shows that Sauvignon Blanc was first planted in the Livermore Valley in the late 1800s in the Golden State and a comprehensive culmination of that history is exhibited in the Cliff Lede iteration. The first whiff of the nose tells you exactly what this is.

Master Distiller Chris Morris’s Newest Inspiration is Steeped in Kentucky Tradition

The only problem any master distiller could find with a brand like Woodford Reserve is, well, that’s it’s as close to perfect as you can get. So, what’s left to discuss you ask, and quite rightly? The problem is that if you’re adding to the brand’s portfolio then every addition must also, then, be perfect, or what’s the point? And define perfect? This writer’s perfect may not be your …

Old Forester Returns Home

Returning to the same building it once called home, Old Forester Distilling Co. opened to the public today at 119 W. Main Street in Louisville, Kentucky. The $45 million, 70,000 square foot distillery will guide guests through the brand’s rich history and Bourbon making process of Old Forester, a brand sealed in history as America’s First Bottled Bourbon.

Bonfort’s Gin Category Report, And Leaders of the Splinter Segments

The gin category is exploding, but is there enough room for every brand out there? Well, that depends on how you slice it, and what you consider to be “gin”. Natasha Swords examines the market, exemplifying some truly diverse leading their corners of the market as viable and growing segments. The U.S. beverage market is a $354.2 billion industry with alcoholic beverages making up 60% of the revenues, with $211.6bn in sales.

Wine of the Week: 2014 Duckhorn Cabernet Sauvignon, 95 Points

Cabernet Sauvignon may be a dime a dozen, but a handful of exceptional Cabernets taste like a million bucks. This is one of them. Though Duckhorn might be better known for their steadfast devotion to Merlot they have always produced Cabernet as well. Their Patzimaro Vineyard, located at the base of Spring Mountain in Napa near St. Helena, takes full advantage of its diurnal swings to achieve amazing fruit. Comprising Cabernet Sauvignon…

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Malt Whiskey Released Nationally

Woodford Reserve has just released Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Malt Whiskey, a blended malt whiskey based on historical recipes and influenced by Woodford Reserve Bourbon. The Malt is the newest expression of the Woodford Reserve portfolio, which includes the original Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, and Woodford Reserve Rye. This is the fourth addition to Woodford Reserve’s 22-year-old brand.

Hendrick’s Mastermind Launches New Bourbon Infused With Oil From Beaver Castor Sacs

Eau De Musc (“Water of Musk”), a new limited-edition beaver castoreum whiskey from the branding mastermind of Hendrick’s Gin brand, officially launches nationwide on June 11, 2018. Well-regarded in the spirits world for pushing boundaries with his bold choice of flavors and exotic ingredients, Steven Grasse and his talented team at Tamworth Distilling and Mercantile are about to introduce one of the most thought-provoking spirit releases of the year.

Wine Of The Week: 2016 Shooting Star Barbera , 90 Points

Barbera has a long history in Italy’s Piedmont region with known plantings dating back to the 1200s. In California, however, Barbera has been planted for just over 100 years. For the last 50 of those years, Jed Steele has been making an incredible diversity of wine including this California iteration of Barbera. His grapes, from Lake County, were fermented in small lots and aged 10 months in a combination of both American and Hungarian oak.

This RTD Negroni Levels Field For Off-Premise

The St. Agrestis Negroni Four Pack retails for $24.99 and is currently available for distribution in NYC and Brooklyn. It has taken the Negroni to the off-premise level quite effectively with a retro-NYC bottle design, and a surprisingly high-quality liquid on the inside. The RTD market has some doozies, but this isn’t one of them, and it’s sure to roll effectively across the country over the next 12-24 months.

Hamilton Distillers Selling Off Discounted Whiskey Barrels

Brewers seeking discounts on Whiskey Del Bac barrels can reach out directly to Hamilton Distillers tomorrow, Thursday, June 14th from 11AM to 4PM. The Arizona-based distillery will have a large selection of their used-barrels for sale at discounted prices. Both Classic and Dorado barrels are available for sale on a first come, first served basis. No holds.

Fever Tree Takes Direct Control of U.S. Operations

Today Fever-Tree took over direct control of its U.S. operations through its U.S. subsidiary, Fever-Tree USA. Headquartered in Brooklyn, Fever-Tree USA will be responsible for all aspects of the Group’s North American business including importation, warehousing, distribution, marketing, sales and direct customer relationships. Since first entering the U.S. market in 2007, this pioneering approach to taste and quality has seen Fever-Tree become the fastest growing and No. 1 premium mixer…

Anheuser Busch’s Michael Taylor Is New CEO At Green Flash Brewing

Anheuser Busch’s Michael Taylor  has taken up the position of CEO  at Green Flash Brewing Company, known for its fan favorites like West Coast IPA and Alpine Duet.  With more than 14 years of experience in the beer and beverage industry, Taylor will focus on strengthening the Green Flash and Alpine brands, culture and regional footprint, while guiding the long-term strategic growth of the businesses.

Father’s Day Covered For Your High-End Customers

Inglenook, Napa Valley’s first estate winery, offers an incredibly memorable Father’s Day gift with its 2014 Rubicon and 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, two exceptional cabernets from a historical winery that make a lasting impression with their quality and distinctive flavors. With its quality wines and iconic chateau, Inglenook is also an exceptional destination to spend the day for locals and visitors alike. 

6 Bars That Know How To Kill It During Negroni Week

In Portland, Oregon Caffè Umbria is a full-bar coffee roaster with two locations on Madison Street and NW 12th Avenue. Retail District Manager, Danica Copus says with Negroni week just around the corner, they have prepped their cocktail menu for their carefully curated Negroni Elixir, which sells for $12. Made with Grappa Nardini, Calisaya, Caffè Coretto Coffee Liqueur, and lemon zest garnish, this one is a good one for any bar’s menu.

Bonfort’s Wine of The Week: Graham’s 20 Year-Old Tawny Port, 93 Points

The misunderstanding of Port is that it is either for the winter months or merely an after-dinner drink. Yet neither is exclusive. Graham’s 20-Year-Old Tawny bridges all the gaps. Using a variety of Ports from five different vineyard sites, this 20-Year-Old is drinking extremely well right now. Comprising various grapes including Tinta Barroca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, and Touriga Franca, this 20 YO is full of life.

Pahlmeyer Adds The Jayson Sauvignon Blanc

Pahlmeyer Winery has released a new Jayson by Pahlmeyer Sauvignon Blanc, adding to the winery’s line of wines established by founder Jayson Pahlmeyer in 1992. The Jayson by Pahlmeyer 2017 Sauvignon Blanc will be allocated selectively on- and off-premise nationally Ask your distributor for details.. “My father’s primary ambition when he started Pahlmeyer was to craft a red wine as fine as the first growths of Bordeaux,” said President Cleo Pahlmeyer.

Dave Phinney on Why Now?

Napa Valley Winemaker, Dave Phinney, has always had a constant in his life: Agriculture. So when he opened The Savage & Cooke Distillery on historic Mare Island off the coast of San Francisco, and proximate to Napa Valley, it exemplified the natural evolution of the creative mind. In a recent interview, Dave told Bonfort’s that his move into spirits was a logical progression, “We were already in the alcohol space…

Mina Group Hires Bar Back USA to Seek Out New Opps

Back Bar USA, a consulting firm that works with beverage and hospitality brands around the world, announced a partnership with award-winning chef Michael Mina’s restaurant company, Mina Group. Back Bar USA will work with Mina Group’s eclectic portfolio of more than 30 restaurants, including Bourbon Steak and PABU Boston, to identify partnership opportunities with upscale beverage and spirits brands. “There is a tremendous opportunity with Mina Group’s innovative, contemporary concepts…

The G4 Effect: Explodes Onto Category, Becomes Instant Favorite

You’ve probably heard about G4 Tequila by now. It’s one of those brands that you look forward to telling your colleagues about, but then discover everybody was clued in before you. You hear its name for the first time, and then you notice it popping up in conversation every day, or a customer wants to know why you don’t stock it already, and why can’t you put it in their Paloma?

5 Memorial Day Champagne Cocktails To Boost Your Bottom Line

Moët & Chandon’s Ice Imperial and Ice Imperial Rosé, are the first-ever champagnes designed specifically to be enjoyed over ice. Moët & Chandon first pioneered this trend in 2011, launching Moët Ice Imperial (SRP: $59.00) followed by Moët Ice Imperial Rosé which just debuted last summer (SRP: $75.00). This small evolution means champagne is no longer only for special occasions. It’s a cocktail you can serve anytime, anywhere…

Bonfort’s Wine of The Week Locations “F”

If wine is about terroir, then Locations Wine is about everywhere terroir. Winemaker Dave Phinney wanted to explore the world of wine by creating blends from the best grapes in various countries. He makes blends from New Zealand, Spain, Italy, Portugal and, in this case, the “F” for France, which comprises mainly of Rhone Valley grapes, Grenache and Syrah, but with a few added Bordeaux varieties tossed in…

Redbreast Dream Cask Sells Out Same Day Of Release

If you were hoping to sell Redbreast Dream Cask, you’re out of luck. Irish Distillers has confirmed that the limited edition, 32 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish whiskey, Redbreast Dream Cask, has sold out, and it launched just three days ago. Offered initially  through The Redbreast Birdhouse, at 4.00pm on 19th May – World Whisky Day – all 816 bottles of Redbreast Dream Cask were sold by 10.30pm on the same day…

Southern Glazer’s Moves Into Cannabis Distribution

Southern Glazer’s has made the distribution of cannabis, officially, respectable. It was only a matter of time, a short one, before the alcohol industry, a mainly finely tuned machine comprising well-trained sales reps. and seasoned division managers, would take over the existing and disorganized world of cannabis distribution. The cannabis industry is today, what the alcohol industry was straight after Prohibition. A lot of gatekeepers have suddenly…

Martini Invites U.S. Bartenders to Cycling Weekend in Italy

Marking its 50th Year in 2018, Martini Vermouth is bringing industry colleagues who celebrate and serve the brand in their on-premise businesses to Italy for Martini Racing Ciclismo, a bespoke program to promote health and wellbeing in their industry through cycling. Invited bartenders also to take part in La Classicarace weekend 15th-18th September in Italy, the spiritual home of Martini and host to some of the world’s most iconic classic cycling races.

Bulleit Bourbon Visitor Center to Create 30 New Jobs

Left to right: Kentucky State Senator Paul Hornback, Shelbyville Mayor Tom Hardesty, Kentucky State Representative Rob Rothenburger, Tom Bulleit, Ed Bello, Shelby County Judge-Executive Dan Ison, Barry Becton Construction will soon begin on a nearly $10 million Visitor Center at the Bulleit Distilling Co. in Shelbyville, Kentucky. This week, Bulleit Distilling Co. and Diageo executives joined Shelby County elected and community leaders to celebrate the start of construction and enjoy…

Casa Noble’s Pepe Hermosillo Talks The Tequila Space

Mexico’s Casa Noble has enjoyed a rich and noble tradition since 1776, when the distillery first began making tequila.  The brand itself launched in 1990 and quickly earned a reputation for being a high end, fine handcrafted tequila. Casa Noble’s Founder and seventh-generation Maestro Tequilero Jose “Pepe” Hermosillo sat down with Bonfort’s Jose Martinez to discuss the past, present and future of tequila.

Yeungling Supports Sales with New Ad Campaign

D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc. today the launch of “Spread Your Wings,” a new brand campaign and tagline designed to engage consumers. The launch of the advertising campaign is the first driven largely by Yuengling’s sixth-generation– Jen, Debbie, Wendy and Sheryl Yuengling. “Spread Your Wings” builds on the Yuengling Eagle iconography and centers on its eagle wings to symbolize the unique qualities of the brand and today’s consumers.

Take Control of your Sampling Costs

For suppliers, this has always been the bane of marketing life. How do you monitor all this sampling and brand ambassador activity? Distributors report the usage in variable ways, usually not very detailed and rarely in a timely manner. Suppliers often argue their share of the expense, and countless work-hours are spent figuring it all out. But, it looks like there’s a solution. And it’s a really good one.

Bisol Relaunches Its Prosecco Collections

The Bisol family, a name synonymous with Prosecco, announced the relaunch of its entire line of Prosecco, featuring a complete packaging redesign. The new design emphasizes the Bisol family’s historic roots in the Prosecco Superiore di Valdobbiadene, where the family has been tending vines since 1542. A redesigned logo incorporates this historical date, the “Valdobbiadene” indication, and a stylized, steep hill reminiscent of Cartizze. Each label showcases the nuanced variation…

How to Mitigate Waste with Food Well Spent

Hello again! Owen and Freddie here to talk to you about something that’s very important to us, not only as business owners but also as people with a concern for the future of our industry. This week we’re talking about reducing waste, single-use plastics and making sustainable choices behind your bar. When done correctly, you’re not only lessening the negative environmental impact of your bar but also helping to preserve the…

Campari Kicks Off Espolòn-Deadpool Campaign

Espolòn Tequila has a new Creative Director – none other than loquacious anti-hero Deadpool, who will assume the role of Creative Director for Culture ‘n Stuff leading up to the theatrical release of his highly anticipated movie, Deadpool 2, in theaters nationwide on May 18th. Espolòn’s history as one of the Campari Group’s most creatively daring spirits has made the brand a top seller in the US, growing +57.1% in 2017.

6 Top Mixologists Weigh in on Mezcal

Bonfort’s always likes to go to the streets when it comes to getting a real picture of how a brand, category, or sub-category is performing. We asked six top mixologists to evaluate mezcal’s performance, its uses, its demographic and its future. They name their favorite brands, how they serve them and the communication they afford curious consumers. Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, which means your opportunity to educate customers is ripe. Don’t waste it.

4 Easy-To-Sell Rosés This Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is upon us and that means brunches, lunches, and breakfast in bed. Remember to use those words in your signage at retail, and pair Mother’s Day on-premise menus with rosés that don’t hike up the price per plate so much that they’re off-putting. Make the decision to buy an easy one and consider your demographic. On Mother’s Day, you’re often selling to females who don’t usually drink rosés…

Bob Dylan’s New Whiskey Hits Six States

The Chicago-based Spirits Investment Partnership and Bob Dylan have released Heaven’s Door, a collection of super-premium craft American Whiskeys. Bob Dylan’s first and only brand partnership, Heaven’s Door will be an ever-evolving portfolio of handcrafted whiskeys in collaboration with different master distillers and blenders from across the country. The current portfolio rolls out mid-May in Tennessee, Texas, California, Florida, New York and Illinois. RRP $49.99 – $79.99.

RNDC Takes On Playa Real Tequila in TX + CO

Playa Real recently signed a partnership deal with Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) to distribute the brand in Texas and Colorado, with additional states on the horizon. With its recent acquisition of Breakthru Beverage, RNDC is now the largest distributor in the United States, with operations in over 22 states. Each of the three tequilas is 80 proof and filtered through a precise triple distillation process, producing a smooth and authentic tequila taste.

10 Perfect Father’s Day Gifts You Already Stock

Father’s Day is just around the corner (June 17th) and it’s time to start thinking about how to suggest to your customers that a great bottle of whisky, gin or vodka is, in fact, the gift he really wants. Here are 10 brands you probably already stock which cover the age and location demographics of most men. Get your signage going to position these brands, or similar ones, where your customers can see them.

Mezcal: To Be Noble is to Be Sustainable

Bob Murphy imports Noble Coyote, a recently brand to the U.S., and says sustainability is now a key component of introducing a mezcal brand into the U.S. market. For producers within the category, taking the issue of sustainability seriously sometimes means weighing up the pros and cons of making and marketing, say, Tepextate which gets more at the register but takes 35 years to grow versus Arroqueño which takes 12-14 years, on average.

Abraham Bowman Sweet XVI Released

This limited release explores how barrel entry proof affects bourbon flavor profile over long aging periods. The bourbon was aged for sixteen years prior to bottling. The four entry proofs chosen for this experiment were 125, 114, 105, and 90 proof. Each of the barrel proofs was evaluated individually over the course of sixteen years before marrying the barrels together to comprise the Abraham Bowman Sweet XVI bourbon.

8 Mom’s Day Masterpieces Made with Stirrings

Mother’s Day is close. Very close. If you haven’t devised a cocktail program yet, then look no further. Stirring’s and Bonfort’s have you covered. Together, we’ve sourced recipes from leading Mixologists around the country, created specifically for May 13th. And for our off-premise readers we’ve created these cocktails in printable form, so you can print them out and stick them onto your Stirring’s displays.

Licensee Caroline Benkert On Our Changing Industry

My great-aunt owned a restaurant when I was a child, which was, interestingly, where my parents met. She was a total badass who ran every single part of the restaurant all while being the most popular woman in town.  Now I’m lucky enough to continue to create my own stories and memories at my own bar, following in my aunt’s footsteps. Though Caroline and Paul are new to entrepreneurship…

This Brand Targets At-Home Bartenders

Premixes for cocktails are, without doubt, not all created equal. Some are bad. Some are, really, bad. But others raise the bar beyond expectation. There’s no greater endorsement of a product than a high-profiled industry-member putting their face on it, to be judged by the industry in which they work. Bonfort’s spoke to Jay Whitney, President at FoodStory Brands, about communicating Cocktail Artist to the on- and off-premise trade.

Half Moon Has Juicy Gossip For SF Bay Area

Today, Half Moon Bay Brewing Company launched its newest limited release 16 oz can: Juicy Gossip IPA. It’s an exploration in fruity hop flavors including Citra, Mosaic, and Denali hops with a tropical yeast blend and wheat malts. This combination creates a slightly sweet maltiness followed by a blast of hops-provided tropical fruit, red berries, and orange flavors. The flavor rounds out with a dry, slightly citrus finish. 

7 Vodkas With Taste Profiles That Help You Sell

Not all vodkas are created equal, but to many consumers, they taste, at the very least, indistinguishably similar. Bonfort’s has put together a list of seven vodkas, each of which wears a distinctive, and identifiable, taste profile. We also asked each brand for its most notable selling points (story) to help our readers shift it off shelves and into consumer shopping baskets. Nemiroff Honey Pepper Vodka SRP $17.99

Prairie Spirits’ New Packaging Revealed

Prairie Organic Spirits, a certified organic spirits company, is debuting its new packaging on store shelves starting this month. The revamped bottle represents the brand’s commitment to making organic spirits. This craftsmanship is represented by the bottle’s new custom hammered design and wooden cork cap. The label on each of the three varieties uses a combination of familiar and new colors, including earth tones and design elements representative of Prairie’s…

Sterling Releases Two Rosés For Broad Consumer Appeal

Sterling Vineyards Vintners Collection Rosé 2016 (SRP $12; distributed nationwide) is light pink in color with aromas of strawberries, fresh picked berries and subtle floral notes. A blend of Syrah and Tempranillo, the wine’s rich palate is balanced by a refreshing, racy acidity, with flavors of pink citrus and orange blossom. This rosé can be served on its own or paired with fresh seafood, grilled chicken or charcuterie.

Sazerac Launches Great Agave Website

The Sazerac Company just launched an educational website about all things agave. This new website, www.GreatAgave.com includes information about the history of agave spirits, the plant itself, where it’s grown and the many unique processes and people that have made spirits like tequila and mezcal the fastest growing categories in the industry. Rich in story and tradition, the agave plant has been used to create some of the oldest distilled spirits in the….

Sustainability Is Key For Newer Mezcals

As Bonfort’s reports on the continuing Mezcal craze heating up across the country, we discover Puente Internacional’s La Luna Mezcal. Hailing from Etucuaro, Michoacan in Mexico, La Luna is one of the few mezcals that is grown and harvested completely sustainable and biodynamic. Grown by the Perez Escot Family, who have been crafting Mezcal since 1910, La Luna prides itself on supporting surrounding communities while honoring traditional methods.

Moraga Bel Air’s Scott Rich Doesn’t Aim To Please

Scott Rich is as approachable a winemaker as they come. Despite the continued success of Moraga Bel Air, the positive reviews, the unwavering quality, and the loyal following he has created since joining the winery in 1996, Scott is humble and friendly. But he doesn’t aim to please. He strives, instead, to make the best wines he can. Upon arriving at the stunning 14-acres Moraga Bel Air site in Beverly Hills, owned…

Industry Insider: Brandon Bartlett Says Be Realistic

“Be prepared and know your cost of goods. Then, remember there are other costs that go on top of that before you can get to where you need to be pricewise on the shelf.” – this is the No.1 piece of advice Brandon Bartlett, Director of Spirits at Wine Warehouse Distributing gives to new brands seeking distribution. No. 2 is, “Can you continue to supply your distributors if and when you are successful?”

Bonfort’s Tequila Category Report 2018

While Mexicans do not confuse Cinco de Mayo with Mexican Independence Day (Sept. 16th), they do trail behind Americans in alcohol consumption every May 5th. Americans may be unclear why they’re celebrating Cinco de Mayo but they’re doing it with more conviction than the holiday’s country of origin. Quick history lesson: Cinco de Mayo commemorates the 1862 battle of Puebla, in which a staggeringly outnumbered cluster of Mexican soldiers, won victory…

The Matter of Mezcal

According to research firm, Technavio, the increasing disposable incomes and the lifestyle changes of consumers have considerably increased the demand for mezcal. Premium spirits such as mezcal, tequila, gin, Scotch whiskey, and Irish whiskey have become a status symbol, especially among youth. Lead analyst at Technavio, Manjunath Jagannathan states, “The increasing number of mezcalerias and the rising number of export brands continue to fuel the mezcal growth revolution in bars, pubs…

Here Are The Top 50 Brewing Companies By Sale Volume

The Brewers Association (BA)—the not-for-profit trade group representing small and independent craft brewers—today released its annual lists of the top 50 producing craft brewing companies and overall brewing companies in the U.S., based on beer sales volume. Of the top 50 overall brewing companies, 40 were small and independent craft brewing companies. “In an increasingly competitive and mature marketplace, these brewing companies continue to lead and pave the path for…

These Steps Will Keep Your Bar Consistently Fresh

When it comes to the bar programs at Liquor Lab, we encounter demands that change constantly, especially as a business that increases complexity within the program and the cocktails themselves. Juices, syrups, purees and the like, need to be prepared in a way that satisfies quality, time efficiency, and volume because these are the elements that often make a program stand out. Juices, as well as syrups, purees and other cocktail…

How One Company Is Responsible For Why We Salt Our Drinks Today

The word salt is derived from the Latin, salarium. This was the money paid to Roman soldiers for purchases of salt and, hence, represented their salary. Today, for 60 partners at Twang, it still does. (“Partners” is Twang-speak for “employees” – quite indicative of the company’s perspective that everyone counts as pretty much the same and that the company is really, for all intents and purposes, a great big family.)

Industry Insider: Henry Preiss On Being Genuine

Henry Preiss of Preiss Imports can look at the pricing that a new brand entering the United States has put together and tell in about 20 seconds if they understand how the U.S market works. “Any brand looking to enter the U.S. market needs to understand the three-tier system and how it affects price,” he says. “A lot of foreign brands don’t. I can tell especially if they’ve come in through a licensed

Kate Johnston Deconstructs American Single Malt Whiskey

Virginia Distillery Company’s Sales Director, Kate Johnston sat down with Bonfort’s to discuss the single malt category and American producers’ place within it, and moreover, the on- and off-premise licensees role in educating their customers on what is American Single Malt Whiskey? Virginia Distillery Company (VDC) is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Nelson County, Virginia, about 30 minutes south of Charlottesville on Route 29.

Eric Hobbie Will Launch A New Era In Cocktails At Palms, Las Vegas Next Month

When Clique Hospitality’s Andy Masi, alongside nightlife partners Ryan Labbe and Jason ‘JRoc’ Craig were tapped by Red Rock Resorts to bring two unique concepts, APEX Social Club and Camden Cocktail Lounge, to Palms Casino Resort, they reached out to Intoxicologist Mastermind, Eric Hobbie to aid with the venues’ opening in May 2018.

How To Do The Beer Salt Thing Right

Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner and that means get-togethers with old friends, spicey food and Mexican beers. Those of us who are organized will remember to buy Mexican beer, but domestic will do just as well in a pinch. Either way, the salted beer rim is big during Cinco de Mayo and you don’t want to be the only gringo in the room who looks like the $30 cocktail diva or divo who doesn’t know how to hang with a bottle of Dox Equis.

4 Reasons Why Muscadet Is Getting More Popular

What’s the trendy, affordable, up-and-coming wine of the summer? Muscadet, according to The Absinthe Group’s Wine Director Phillip Acquafresca. Muscadet is a growing wine region located in the western Loire Valley and is the only region in the world that almost exclusively cultivates the Melon de Bourgogne grape. Today’s Muscadet producers have gone to great lengths to ensure that they’re producing wines of the highest quality, including the introduction of crus…

Three Olives Launches Rosé Vodka For Millennials

Three Olives Rosé Vodka is a new flavored vodka that combines the refreshingly fruity taste of rosé wine with signature smooth, crafted vodka. To celebrate the great taste and mixability of Three Olives Rosé Vodka, the brand has teamed up with Betches Media, the satirical socially-driven authority behind the “rosé all day” lifestyle to collaborate on custom social content, limited-edition merchandise and events rolling out all summer long. 

Mastering The Cocktail Salt Rim This Cinco De Mayo

That moment when ten customers ask for salt and rocks margaritas at the same time #seriously? Pat Trevino of Twang, the leading beverage salt manufacturer in the country, says get ready and know which salts you plan to use, way ahead of time! Not all salts, as it turns out, are created equally. Naturally flavored blends of wildly delicious ingredients. Twang-A-Rita is a line of premium cocktail rimmer blends for cocktail…

#CIROCSummerSquad Re-releases Colada Bottle

Sean “Diddy” Combs and the makers of CÎROC Ultra Premium Vodka announced the return of Summer Colada, the first flavor named as part of the 2018 CÎROC Summer Collection. Originally released in 2017 as a limited edition, CÎROC is relaunching the liquid due to its success. “This summer we’re bringing back Summer Colada, one of our most successful limited edition variants,” said Sean “Diddy” Combs, Chairman of Combs Enterprises.

Gilles Bogaert Appointed CEO of Pernod Ricard EMEA and LATAM

Gilles Bogaert, Managing Director in charge of Finance, IT and Operations, has been appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pernod Ricard EMEA & LATAM. A Comex member, he will report to Alexandre Ricard. Gilles, a graduate of ESCP Europe (France), began his career in 1991 as an auditor at Arthur Andersen in Paris, and joined Pernod Ricard in 1995 as Audit & Development Manager. He became CFO of Pernod Ricard Argentina…

New Managing Director for Baron Philippe de Rothschild’s Branded Wines

Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Baron Philippe de Rothschild S.A., announced the arrival of Véronique Hombroekx as Managing Director of the Branded Wines division. After a successful career within several international companies developing well-known retail brands, Véronique Hombroekx will bring a new take on the activities of Baron Philippe de Rothschild’s Branded Wines division “I am delighted to be joining the team at Baron Philippe de Rothschild…

Lafite Through The Lens of He ChongYue

He ChongYue is one of the most esteemed contemporary artists in the circle of Chinese photographers today. More recently he interpreted the cellars at Lafite in this stunning assembly of insightful imagery. Born in Beijing in 1960, he took up photography in 1984, and mostly works with a wooden chamber camera. His interest in rural life made him a perfect candidate to photograph Lafite. He ChongYue currently lives and works in Beijing…

Jean-Marie Heins CMO At Broken Shed

Broken Shed Distilleries, Inc. announced that Jean-Marie Heins has been named Chief Marketing Officer. In this role, Heins will be responsible for the overall marketing strategy and implementation for Broken Shed Vodka, and will report to Samuel A. Brown, Executive Chairman and Jonathan Bailey, Chief Executive Officer and President.

Gran Passione Returns to Veneto Roots

Gran Passione announced the return to its Veneto roots to focus on north-eastern Italian selections beginning this month. The core wines, all imported by Winesellers, Ltd., Gran Passione Rosso Appassimento Veneto IGT, Gran Passione Bianco Veneto IGT and Gran Passione Prosecco DOC Spumante will showcase contemporary flavors and style from the Veneto region.

JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset

JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset has expanded with the launch of JCB Spirits — three vodkas (classic, caviar infused and truffle infused) and a gin distilled from a wine-base made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay sourced from the Côte d’Or in Burgundy. The spirits, which launched early March in selected states, captures the JCB hallmarks of quality and style in a new line that represents an extension of Burgundy beyond wine.

Yeungling Launches First Year-Round Beer in 17 Years

D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc., America’s Oldest Brewery, is adding a new beer to its iconic core product portfolio, Yuengling Golden Pilsner, a modern pilsner crafted with the perfect balance of hop and malt character for crisp, smooth refreshment. Born from six generations of brewing expertise, Golden Pilsner is Yuengling’s first year-round beer to debut in 17 years.

Belvedere Releases Ginger Zest

Belvedere Vodka just launched a new flavor, or maceration, Ginger Zest. The liquid is a refreshing blend of tangy ginger and juicy spring lemon with a touch of grapefruit. It’s perfect for the season and warmer months ahead, with a unique flavor profile great in a wide variety of drinks. A massively on-trend versatile flavor, ginger’s popularity has soared recently throughout food and drink. That said, there are very few ginger-flavored…

The Mezcal Collaborative National Cocktail Competition

The Mezcal Collaborative and Panorama Mezcal announced The Mezcal Cocktail Mission, a multi-city cocktail competition with Pelotón de la Muerte, aiming to develop an original cocktail that belongs to mezcal using only four ingredients. As the cocktail scene booms, the Mezcal Collaborative, Panorama Mezcal and Pelotón de la Muerte are working towards innovating new mezcal forward cocktails that become synonymous to the spirit. Just as an “Old Fashioned”…

Buffalo Trace Releases 3 Vintage Bourbons, SRP $2,500 Per Bottle

This spring Buffalo Trace Distillery will unveil three new O.F.C. Vintage bourbons. These rare bottles are each vintage dated according to the specific year in which the bourbon was distilled at Buffalo Trace Distillery. This vintage release includes bourbon whiskey from the years 1985, 1989 and 1990. The three unique vintages are extremely rare, as only one barrel was bottled from each year noted. Very little whiskey remained…

Bonfort’s Wine
and Spirits Journal
is the original business-to-business publication for the alcohol industry.
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Reborn in 2018.

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