Products & Packaging
* Freixenet USA has debuted a new sparkling wine, Freixenet Brut de Noirs, which will be marketed as a “soft brut,” the company says. The Spanish sparkler is similar in style to a blanc de noirs (dry while being soft and fruity) and made from 50% garnacha and 50% monastrell, both red grapes from the Penedés region. Freixenet Brut de Noirs retails for $7.99 to $9.99.
* If you were in the know in the ’80s and early ’90s, then the return of Perfect Endings Liqueur cakes will make your holiday. Not A Bad Idea has started to produce Miniature Cakes, 22- and 34-ounce cakes made with Bacardi Rum, Amaretto di Saronno, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Grand Marnier, Drambuie, Courvoisier and Wild Turkey.
* For customers who want to avoid tobacco, the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company has released an alternative–the herbal cigarette. The Natural American Spirit Herbals are completely tobacco free, composed of cornsilk, yerba santa, licorice, mullein, coltsfoot and horehound. Consumers can find the herbal smoke in orange packs of cigarettes or roll-your-own tobacco.
* Schweppes will be ringing in 1999 with a new look. Starting January, Dr Pepper/Seven Up will release Schweppes with a new, modernized label that includes rising bubbles and a bolder yellow and black Schweppes logo.
* Icehouse consumers will be able to see the Miller Brewing Co.’s beer with a new perspective, with the brand’s redesigned packaging on 12-, 16- and 24-ounce cans. The cans are now two-sided, one side featuring the logo horizontally and the other vertically.
* Jameson Gold Irish Whiskey has been introduced to the U.S. market at $59.99, retail, for a 750 ml bottle. The blend of old pure pot still whiskey and rare whiskey from Austin, Nichols is packaged in a dark green bottle with a gold label, which is then neatly packed into a gold gift carton.
New Wine Releases
Fontana Candida has released a 1997 Fontana Candida Frascasi (suggested retail price, $7.99); and a 1997 Fontana Candida Pinot Grigio ($7.99); Callaway Vineyard & Winery has released a 1996 Dolcetto ($16) and a 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon ($11); Clos Du Bois has released a 1996 Sonoma County Zinfandel ($14); Champagne Deutz has released a Deutz Blanc de Blanc 1993 ($45) and a Deutz Brut Classic ($29); Charles Krug has released a Peter Mondavi Family 1996 Reserve Sangiovese ($16) and a Peter Mondavi Family 1996 Merlot ($16); Jekel Vineyards has released a 1996 Jekel Late Harvest Johannisberg Riesling ($18) and a 1996 Jekel Reserve Chardonnay ($21); Benziger has released a 1997 Sonoma County Fumé Blanc ($10), a 1996 Sonoma County Merlot ($16) and a 1996 Sonoma County Zinfandel ($18).