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Rosé Wine Reviews for 2020

Rosé is now “all day,” and spring 2020 is not too far off. With those points in mind — and with our retailer readers putting in their purchases for next season now — we asked wine panelists to sip and grade rosé for our first round of reviews in 2020.

As always, these selections include brief tasting notes, a rating and the wine’s retail price (which varies from store to store and market to market). If you’re a beverage professional who would like to learn about participating in our panel, please contact Beverage Dynamics editor Kyle Swartz at 763-383-4400 x2225, or email him at kswartz@epgmediallc.com.

Our wine panels from last year included:

Rating System

Five Stars (100-92): A top-flight wine, superior in taste and character, and providing a superior price/value ratio.

Four Stars (91-86): A very good wine and an excellent value. A wine for which customers will keep coming back.

Five Stars

(95) Antiquum Farm Rosé of Pinot Gris “Aurosa” (OR)

Antiquum Farm is one of the hottest rising stars of the Willamette Valley, and this wine shows why. It is a skin-contact pinot gris that is purpose-grown like a high-end pinot noir to make this intriguing rosé. Rich and layered, with great minerality and a long finish. One of Oregon’s best! ($30)

(94) The Hermit Crab (Australia)

Viognier and marsanne blend seamlessly in this creamy

wine with lots of mineral and a bit of acid to carry it through. Delicate citrus and stone fruit work perfectly with any steamed shellfish and butter. ($16)

(94) Gai’a Estate 14-18h Rosé 2018 (Greece)

From one of Greece’s top winemaker, this rosé of 100% agiorgitiko is a lovely intense pink in color, due to the 14 to 18 hours of maceration (hence the name, “14-18h”), before fermentation commences. Dry and bright, it pairs beautifully with spicy and savory foods. ($16)

(93) Mas Redonne Bandol Rosé 2018 (France)

A truly elegant example, from one of the top rosé producing appellations in the world, Provence, this Bando provides lots of bright fruit, good texture and a long, sustained finish. ($38.99)

(93) Herdade do Rocim Mariana Rosé 2018 (Portugal)

Pale salmon in the glass, this attractive combination of touriga nacional and aragonez showcases the supple, bright fruit and elegant texture of the wine. Exceptionally food friendly, this can be paired with any number of dishes. ($14.99)

(93) NV Villa Sandi il Fresco Brut Rosado Prosecco (Italy)

Fresh, bright, clean and elegant: All accurate descriptors for this excellent example of what prosecco can be when it’s as well crafted as Villa Sandi has created here. Utilizing grapes from some of the best vineyard sites in the region, this is a sparkling wine to celebrate any happy occasion. ($16)

(93) Turley Zinfandel Rosé 2018 (CA)

Dead ringer for a fine, classic, dry French rosé. Small production. High in acid but low in alcohol. Crisp, clean and wonderful with shellfish. ($23.99)

(92) Mas de Gourgonnier Rosé 2018 (France)

Certified organic from the house of Les Baux-de-Provence. Bright, clean wild strawberry with user-friendly minerality on the finish. Try it with some grilled salmon. ($18)

(92) William Rose Prohibition Rosé 2018 (OR)

This delightfully lively rosé is a 50/50 blend of Oregon pinot gris and pinot noir. The wine is completely dry, with alluring peach, grapefruit and other citrus notes, as well as some added structure from the pinot noir. This should make both white- and red-wine drinkers happy. ($20)

(92) Chateau Saint-Pierre de Mejans 2017 (France)

A lush blend of grenache and cinsault from this small family vineyard in Luberon. The winery is housed in a 14th-century chateau. Taste: fresh berries and light peach. Perfect with a cheese and charcuterie plate. ($15.95)

(92) Long Meadow Ranch Rosé of Pinot Noir 2018 (CA)

Tilting towards the lighter-pink portion of the rosé spectrum, the nose and palate focus on subtle berry fruit, with some spice and floral aspects. Bright and clean berry and stone fruit add to the complexity, as does the long finish. ($25)

(92) Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Rosé of Cabernet Franc (NY)

This rosé version of cabernet franc accentuates the elegance and finesse of the grape-growing and wine-making processes. Clean, bright, tremendously food friendly, it’s a wonderfully supple and elegant wine. ($16.99)

(92) Scharffenberger Cellars NV Brut Rosé Excellence (CA)

For almost 40 years, Scharffenberger Cellars has been providing some of the most consistently high-quality sparkling wines domestically produced. This outstanding rosé is another example in the long line of successful, delicious wines. Bright and clean, with elegant bubbles, it improves any meal, celebration or any occasion to enjoy a glass. ($22.99)

(92) Maryhill Winery Rosé of Sangiovese 2018 (WA)

A beautiful pink in the glass, this sangiovese rosé is a lovely mixture of bright red fruit, floral notes and subtle spice. The wine is bright enough to pair with a wide variety of dishes, elevating the entire meal. ($17)

(92) 2017 Casa Ferreirinha Vinha Grande Rosé (Portugal)

Produced exclusively from tourigal nacional, the Douro Valley’s most iconic grape variety. Lighter pink in appearance, the nose is dominated by discreet red fruit, with floral notes. Just as elegant on the palate, it is bright and focused, with an attractive, fine texture. ($19.99)

Four Stars

(91) NV Ninth Island Sparkling Rosé (Australia)

Using the three traditional champagne grape varieties, this beautiful sparkling wine from Australia is more than just a cost-effective alternative. It’s textured, with multiple layers of fruit and spice. An outstanding cool weather sparkler. ($25)

(91) Bogle Rosé 2018 (CA)

Light, crisp dry pink wine is a perfect sipper for a goat cheese salad or grilled shrimp. Balanced sweet strawberries and rose hips. ($12.99)

(91) Belle de Provence Rosé 2018 (France)

An elegant rosé with aromas of berries and peaches. It has a mineral quality that adds depth to the berry fruit flavors and finishes with balanced acidity. ($17.99)

(91) Clos Pegase Rosé 2018 (CA)

Produced from malbec, from the winery’s most iconic vineyard, the wine is a bright salmon pink. The nose and palate both offer plenty of refreshing bright red fruit, with floral hints. The acidity helps maintain the freshness, and lengthy finish. ($22)

(91) Susana Balbo Signature Rosé 2018 (Argentina)

The combination of malbec and pinot noir helps create a multidimensional rosé with layers of aromas, flavors and complexity. Quite pale salmon in the glass, the nose and palate showcase the elegant and subtle red berry fruit. The balanced acidity, along with texture and structure, make this one serious and delicious rosé. ($20)

(91) NV Ferrari Rosé (Italy)

Lengthy aging during the secondary fermentation provides a complexity above and beyond the price point. Leaning towards a lighter salmon hue in the glass, the nose and palate share aspects of subtler fruit and floral hints, during the long and persistent finish. ($35.99)

(91) NV Segura Viudas Brut Rosé Cava (Spain)

More of an orange-tinted color of pink in the glass. The nose and palate share aromas and tastes of graceful berry fruit, along with mouthwatering acidity. Wonderful with a wide variety of foods. ($12)

(91) NV Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rosé (France)

If you prefer your pinot noir with a bit of graceful sparkle, this is the wine for you. With extended aging on the lees, the bubbles are fine and consistent. The nose and palate are highlighted by sweet red and berry fruit. ($25.99)

(90) Finca El Origen Malbec Rosé 2019 (Argentina)

Malbec is Argentina’s iconic grape variety, and this rosé is an excellent example of how good it can be, outside of the red wine category. A brilliant pale pink in color, the nose and palate reveal plenty of lovely, delicate red berry fruit, a touch of spice, and acidity that contributes to the wine’s food-friendliness. ($13.99)

(90) DiamAndes Perlita Rosado 2019 (Argentina)

With the assistance of famed consulting enologist Michel Rolland, DiamAndes is producing a wide range of great wines. This brilliant pale pink rosé is no exception. 100% malbec, it exhibits plenty of attractive bright-red and berry fruit aspects. A hint of spice adds to the complexity, and the acidity adds lift and focus. ($13.99)

(90) Joel Gott Rosé 2018 (CA)

This perfectly complex and energetic rosé has that perfect balance of acidity and fruit. Hints of nectarine and peach with a refreshing pop of acidity are complemented with a satisfying finish. ($16.99)

(90) La Vielle Ferme Rosé 2018 (France)

Great value for every-day drinking. Pale pink with delicate aromas of currant, cherry and a touch of citrus. Well-balanced fruit and acidity ($7.99)

(90) Huber Grüner Veltliner Terrassen Traisental 2017 (Austria)

A beautiful example of this famed Austrian grape. White pepper, asparagus and citrus before a crisp finish. Try it with blanched asparagus wrapped in smoked salmon. ($19)

(89) Lioco “Indica” Rosé 2018 (CA)

From a single Mendocino vineyard site of old vine carignan, planted in the 1940s, showing expressive aromas of grapefruit, lime candy and guava, followed by strawberry, melon and chalky flavors. ($19.99)

(89) Yes Way Rosé 2018 (France)

A wonderfully light and fresh rosé, with gentle bright acidity and a clean finish. The elegance and fun of this wine make it a perfect cocktail wine. ($13.99)

Feature photo by Rebecca Matthews on Unsplash.

Alcohol Brands Partner with Food-Pairing App eMeals

As cell phones increasingly play a larger role in retail purchases both digital and in-person, some alcohol brands have partnered with an app that recommends alcohol and food pairings.

Alcohol companies including Bacardi, Jackson Family Wines and Francis Ford Coppola Winery have worked with the digital meal planning service eMeals to boost online revenues through strategies including menu pairings that place branded wine, beer and spirits recommendations as options on the weekly eMeals shopping list.

Subscribers send their final food and beverage selections for the week to Walmart, Kroger, Amazon, Instacart or Shipt for online grocery fulfillment — or use the list for in-store shopping.

The partnerships are executed through eMeals’ BrandBuilder program, which aims to grow online and in-store sales for participating food and beverage brands through a combination of recipe discovery on the service’s 15 weekly meal plans, shoppable recipe content with brand placement on eMeals shopping lists, and related promotional campaigns.

“The digital environment is critical to alcohol sales growth, both directly from e-commerce sales and indirectly from the role that online visibility plays in building brand awareness and generating demand,” says Lorran Brown Cosby, VP of digital commerce at Bacardi North America. “eMeals’ BrandBuilder program offers a unique platform for alcohol brands to fuel growth from the top to the bottom of the funnel, including coupling drink recommendations with special occasion menus to drive awareness of online alcohol delivery and availability.”

7 Valentine’s Day Cocktails

With Valentine’s Day around the corner (make your dinner reservations now!) we present 7 fun and festive cocktail ideas to help you and your special date celebrate this romantic holiday.

Buy Me Flowers

Buy Me Flowers

1 ½ oz. Bombay Sapphire gin
½ oz. Honey
¾ oz. Lemon juice
2 dashes Rose water
1 ½ oz. Martini sparkling rosé

In a shaker, add the Bombay Sapphire, honey, lemon juice and rose water. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously to chill. Double strain into chilled flute or stemmed cocktail glass and top with Martini sparkling rose. Garnish with a rose petal.

The mixologists at Bombay Sapphire created this recipe.

Budding Rose

Budding Rose

1 oz. Suntory Toki whisky
½ oz. Rhine Hall La Normande
½ oz. Rhine Hall oaked apple brandy
¾ oz. Lemon juice
½ oz. Rose green tea syrup

Combine ingredients and short shake. Strain over ice in Collins glass and top with Topo Chico. Garnish with flower.

Dylan Knox, head bartender at Vol. 39 in Chicago, created this recipe

Cupid’s Daiquiri

(pictured at top)
1 ½ oz. Uncle Nearest Whiskey
¾ oz. Lemon juice
¾ oz. Plum maceration
1 dash Tiki bitters 
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters 

Combine ingredients and shake. Strain into coupe glass.

Mixologist Kala Ellis at O-Ku in Nashville, TN, created this recipe.

Be Mine

Be Mine

¾ oz. Crème de cacao
¾ oz. Giffard Fraise des Bois
¾ oz. Coconut milk
¾ oz. Simple syrup
¼ oz. Fresh lemon juice

Combine ingredients and shake. Strain into a coup. Garnish with chocolate shavings and strawberry on rim.

Bartender Schyler Isham of Tre Rivali & The Outsider rooftop in Milwaukee, IL.

Honey Rose Margarita
Honey Rose Margarita

Honey Rose Margarita 

1 oz. Cointreau
2 oz. Blanco tequila
1 oz. Fresh lemon juice
½ oz. Honey water 
2 dashes Rose water 

Add all ingredients to shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with rose petals (fresh or dried). 

The mixologists at Cointreau created this recipe.

Fruity Pebble Colada
Fruity Pebble Colada

Fruity Pebble Colada

1 ½ oz. Beefeater Gin
1 ½ oz. Coconut puree
½ oz. Lime juice 
2 dashes Orange flower water 
1 Strawberry

Combine ingredients and blend. Fine strain into Collins glass and top with a splash of club soda.

The mixologists at Beefeater created this recipe.

The Ginger Rose

Ginger Rose
Ginger Rose

1 ½ oz. Four Roses small batch bourbon
½ oz. Ginger liqueur
2 oz.  Red wine
4 oz. Ginger beer

Add all liquid ingredients to an ice filled Collins glass and stir. Garnish with candied ginger wheel and lime wedge.

The mixologists at Four Roses created this recipe.

Melissa Dowling is editor of Cheers magazine, our on-premise sister publication. Read her recent story, Rum Adventure: Everything You Need to Know About Mount Gay.

U.S. Spirits Industry Eyes Larger Influence in Washington D.C.

The U.S. spirits industry continues to build torwards a broader influence in our nation’s capital.

More than 17,000 supporters and 10 industry groups have reportedly joined Spirits United, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States’ (DISCUS) grassroots platform designed to mobilize the spirits industry and its consumers on policy issues.

“We kicked-off Spirits United in August, and the engagement from industry members and our partners has been amazing,” says Chris Swonger, president and CEO of DISCUS & Responsibility.org.  “Within six months of launching, Spirits United has reached more than 17,000 spirits advocates. The voice of the spirits industry is getting louder and more powerful, and we’re only getting started.”

Swonger notes that in the past four weeks, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA), the Tennessee Distillers Guild (TNDG), the New York State Distillers Guild (NYSDG) and the Distilled Spirits Council of Vermont (DSCV) have joined as Spirits United partners.

Additional partners include the American Distilling Institute (ADI), TIPS, Texas Whiskey Association (TXWA), Texas Distilled Spirits Association (TDSA), Michigan Licensed Beverage Association (MLBA) and Techniques for Alcohol Management (TAM).

“We are thrilled to expand our grassroots reach in Kentucky, Tennessee, New York and Vermont—four important states for our industry,” adds Swonger. “Through our Spirits United partners, we are building a broad base of supporters, from state guilds to national industry organizations to spirits consumers, who can be activated to send a unified message to lawmakers on issues that matter most to the spirits sector.”

The Spirits United platform includes information on issues facing the spirits industry, hospitality professionals and consumers, and provides advocates with a website to weigh in on policy issues that are important to them.

Swonger believes the platform has already had a positive impact. Through the Spirits United platform, industry advocates helped drive more than 65,000 communications to Congress urging lawmakers to pass the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act (CBMTRA). At the end of 2019, Congress passed a one year extension of CBMTRA.

Feature photo by Louis Velazquez on Unsplash.

Courvoisier Announces Avant-Garde Bourbon Cask Edition

Courvoisier Cognac has unveiled the latest release in the Courvoisier Avant-Garde Series: Bourbon Cask Edition.

Available for a limited time, this expression is Courvoisier VS liquid finished in ex-Kentucky Bourbon casks.

“We’re thrilled to release Avant-Garde Bourbon Cask Edition, a first-of-its-kind expression for the House of Courvoisier,” says Stephanie Kang, senior marketing director for Courvoisier. “With the help of our local artisans and winegrowers in our hometown of Jarnac, we were able to develop an innovation that is sure to appeal to cognac and bourbon drinkers alike.”

Courvoisier Avant-Garde Bourbon Cask Edition is the first expression within the Avant-Garde series to be released for a limited time. Aging in bourbon casks creates a velvety finish with tasting notes of vanilla, honey and sweet marmalade, the company reports.

This new product will be available at a suggested retail price of $39.99 for a 750-ml. bottle. Courvoisier Avant-Garde Bourbon Cask Edition is 80 proof.

Glenfiddich Rare Collection Releases Two 1975 Scotch Vintages

The Glenfiddich Rare Collection has unveiled two new releases: Glenfiddich 1975 Vintage Cask 4706 and Cask 5114.

The Rare Collection Series, introduced in the 1990’s, is a selection of casks picked by Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman.

Released individually as single casks, both Cask 4706 and Cask 5114 are exclusive to the U.S., with only 100 bottles of each available.

Aged 44 years, this limited-edition pair encompasses whiskies laid down within a week of each other in 1975. Cask 4706 aged in a European Oak Sherry Butt, while Cask 5114 matured in a European Oak Hogshead.

Distillery-provided tasting notes are as follows:

  • CASK 4706: A lively and vibrant bouquet imparting notes of oak, antique leather, tannin and crisp parchment, while maintaining its intriguing zestiness with hints of green apple and citrus. At first sip, a silky-smooth mouthfeel is welcoming with a creamy vanilla sweetness followed by a long-lasting finish of mellow oak, toasted almonds, banana and spring blossom. It is 48% ABV.
  • CASK 5114: Envelops the nose with an intense spicy oak character and layers of dried fruits. An initial burst of sundried raisins and vanilla gives way to more subtle notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and caramelized apple. Once tasted, the first wave of flavor is a powerful expression of the Glenfiddich distillery character taken to new levels with essence of spicy oak and fruit, followed by unfolding notes of apricots, prunes and dates, concluding with woody spice, toasted macadamia and rich fruit cake. It is 54.7% ABV.

Both vintages are bottled at cask strength, and are non-chill filtered. Each bottle is individually numbered and presented in a handcrafted brown Italian leather box with a copper foiled leaflet containing information about the bottling.

Glenfiddich Rare Collection variants have a recommended retail price of $8,999.99 each.

7 Alcohol Trends at The Sun Wine & Food Fest 2020

The Sun Wine & Food Fest is among the largest and most popular food and drink festivals in Connecticut. Held in an expo hall at the sprawling Mohegan Sun casino, it attracts hundreds of guests who sample more than 1,000 dishes and libations. Many people make an annual tradition of attending. 

The event is an excellent showcase of current consumer trends. In 2019, The Sun Wine & Food Fest included several low-ABV drinks that proved popular with attendees. A year later, this trend is in full bloom.

So what did we see at the 2020 festival? Below are seven trends that stuck out while we walked through the huge expo hall, a handful of side events and the casino itself.

1) There’s Room For Craft and Macro Seltzer

What hard seltzers will consumers prefer in 2020? The wave of craft versions — or macro brands like the new Bud Light Selzter?

Judging by the festival, the answer is both.

Nobody seemed turned off by the idea of hard seltzer from Bud Light, even if that might seem like muddled branding.

“This is where the market is going,” says Eric Jones of Levine Distributing, who was sampling Bud Light Seltzer. “There’s no astringent aftertaste. There’s low calories, less sugar and low gluten.”

Across the hall, leading Connecticut craft brewer Two Roads poured their new H2Roads Craft Hard Seltzer. The brand uses real fruit, and no artificial flavors, so the product comes out colored, as opposed to the category’s traditional clear beverages.

Leading Connecticut craft brewer Two Roads poured their new H2Roads Craft Hard Seltzer.

“We’ve had a great response from that brand,” says Caitlin Guelakis, Two Roads sales manager. “People who are used to drinking clear seltzers like that ours has the colors from real fruit.”

Both booths generated large crowds. The hard seltzer trend is still growing healthily, with room for multiple styles and price points.

One of the hottest booths in the expo hall was Screwball Peanut Butter Whiskey.

2) Peanut Butter Whiskey

One of the hottest booths in the expo hall was Screwball Peanut Butter Whiskey.

Launched in San Diego in 2018, Screwball is a fast-growing brand. Last year it obtained nationwide distribution through partnership with Infinium Spirits. The flavored whiskey tastes great straight, and mixes with cranberry juice for a peanut butter and jelly cocktail, which taps into the ever-present trend of childhood nostalgia.

How popular is Screwball at Mohegan Sun? “It has surpassed Fireball,” reports Nikky Loiselle, bar manager at Comix Roadhouse, one of many bars at the huge casino. “About two months ago, people really started buying it a lot. It’s good on the rocks, or with Baileys or RumChata.”

3) Consumers Understanding Bourbon

The interest level in bourbon has long outpaced consumer knowledge. Ask a typical drinker the difference between bourbon and whiskey, and truth is, they’ll likely struggle for an answer.

The tide of knowledge appears to be turning, however. Drawn in by the massive boom in brown spirits, and then exploring around the category, consumers are finally learning the language of bourbon.

“They’re definitely trying to learn,” says Chris McAteer of North East Beverage, which was onsite representing the classic brands of Buffalo Trace. “I’d get people who tell me that they’re bourbon drinkers, but have never heard of Blanton’s. They had gotten into tunnel-vision drinking. They tried a cocktail, and liked a whiskey in it, and that became the only bourbon they drank. Now they’re trying to break out of that.”

Another whiskey rep, who preferred to stay off the record, compared consumers’ bourbon knowledge today to when people first got deeper into wine. Initially they understood a few major varietals, like cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay. Then consumers learned to explore through the different regions and styles. Same now with bourbon: they’re learning through their taste buds which brands they like. 

4) Low-Cal Wine

A brand we have covered for years, FitVine was present with a new label. It’s reflective of a broader movement.

FitVine was present with a new label.

As the nutritional trend sweeps through craft beer and the overall alcohol category, look for more wines to reduce their calories. FitVine was perhaps a couple years too early in this trend, but should settle nicely into the market, now that consumers are demanding healthier drinking options.

“On its own, without any advertising, FitVine has become a top ten brand for us in Connecticut,” says Tracy Barrette, sales representative for distributor Hartley & Parker.

5) Familiar Varietals and Blends

Watch festival attendees pick through hundreds of bottles of wine, and you’ll notice that most people stick with what’s familiar. Traditional varietals and California red blends remain top picks.

“People like to know what they’re getting with wine,” says Jeremy Mitchell, sales representative for Hartley & Parker. “That’s why they like the red blends. If they try something new, they don’t want to lose money if they don’t like it.”

The more discerning drinker thinks in terms of regions, with an understanding of the style and quality of that area. But when it comes to the broader wine-drinking demo, simplicity seems key in 2020. 

“The price point has a lot to do with it. You might see some more experimenting this year because of wine’s price point going down, with more quality wine in the $14-$19 price point,” says Shane Dones, zone manager for Brescome Bartom. “But people have really become varietal-loyal. They’re more loyal to varietals than to brands.”

6) IPAs, IPAs, IPAs

To no surprise, the many breweries at The Sun Wine & Food Fest brought a plethora of IPAs.

Consumers are far from tired of IPAs, especially as the hazy category continues to grow and splinter.

Consumers are nowhere near tired of this dominant trend, especially as hazy IPAs splinter into sub-styles. And as the battle continues between bright bitter West Coast IPAs and their hazy juicy East Coast counterparts, many breweries are releasing both styles — or beers that land somewhere in between.

“There are definitely still people who prefer something that’s more malt-forward and bitter,” says Chris Moniz, sales representative for Newport Craft. The Rhode Island brewery brought two different IPAs, reflective of West versus East coasts. “Some people these days are getting into IPAs because they feel compelled to. Hazy IPAs are the perfect way for these people get into IPAs, because those beers cut out the bitterness.”

7) Sour Beers Connect Broadly

While sour beers will never reach the sales of IPAs, they have found a firm niche in the industry, appealing to beer nerds and newbies alike.

Sours are a great first step into craft beer for consumers crossing over from other categories. “A lot of people who don’t like beer like sour ales,” says Tom Maynard, sales manager for Revival Brewing Co., which brought its Pinky Swear raspberry sour ale. “We can’t make sours fast enough.”

Drinkers who prefer the smoother, fruiter flavors of wines and cocktails will find familiar profiles in the easy-drinking sours like kettle and gose. And for the craft beer aficionado, more breweries are releasing coolship series and barrel-aged sours. 

“It really is a multidimensional beer style,” says Jason Vincent, co-owner of Epicure Brewing. “The diverse profiles of these beers are helping extend beer drinkers into other dimensions of the category.”

Kyle Swartz is editor of Beverage Dynamics magazine. Reach him at kswartz@epgmediallc.com or on Twitter @kswartzz. Read his recent piece 7 Trends Driving American Whiskey in 2020

Rooster Rojo Tequila Appoints First Global Brand Ambassador

The Luxembourg-based Amber Beverage Group (ABG) has appointed its first global brand ambassador for the Mexican spirit Rooster Rojo tequila.

Filling this role is the veteran bartender, Ansis Ancovs. The newly appointed brand ambassador has released a series of short films on his experiences harvesting blue agave alongside the jimadores in the birthplace of Rooster Rojo tequila – Tequila Town.

“Rooster Rojo is an authentic and adventurous tequila brand that captures the real spirit of Mexico,” says Ancovs. “There is no better combination for a Tequila brand ambassador, so I believe that my everyday will be all about new opportunities and new people who will fall in love with this brand and order extra 9LCS to ensure that they have the best tequila in the house.”

Rooster Rojo is made with 100% blue agave, by the Fabrica de Tequilas Finos master distiller, Arturo Fuentes Cortes. The tequila is blended with water filtered through Mexican silver, the first tequila to use this technique.

“The experience that Ansis has gained over the years will be vital in establishing and opening new markets and opportunities for Rooster Rojo,” says Pepijn Janssens, chief marketing officer at ABG. “We love the way Ansis has carried out his role as William Grant & Sons ambassador in the Baltics, and we especially love his secret passion for tequila. It will be a great partnership that will strengthen our positions in the global market.”

The brand is owned by Amber Beverage Group (ABG), a producer, distributor, logistics provider and retailer of beverages.

Beam Suntory Expands National Alignment with Southern Glazer’s

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits today announced that Beam Suntory, the second largest spirits company in America, has expanded its U.S. alignment with Southern Glazer’s.

The new deal adds nine additional markets to the current 34-market distribution relationship, effective April 1, 2020.

“Southern Glazer’s has been a significant partner in the growth of our business for 33 years,” says Greg Hughes, president, North America at Beam Suntory. “Our move to consolidate our business with Southern Glazer’s is part of a larger strategic imperative to simplify our routes to market, get closer to customers and consumers and accelerate the premiumization of our portfolio.”

Over the course of this nearly 11-year arrangement, Southern Glazer’s will represent Beam Suntory’s complete portfolio of brands across a now-43-market footprint.

“We greatly appreciate that Beam Suntory has entrusted us with the responsibility to work with them on a national level,” says Wayne Chaplin, CEO of Southern Glazer’s. “Utilizing our nationwide network and resources will significantly increase efficiencies for Beam Suntory and allow us to use economies of scale to achieve our joint business priorities. We look forward to many more years of success together.”

Dixie Citrus Vodka

Dixie Southern Vodka has announced the expansion of its farmer-partner program with a collaboration with Florida-based Lykes Bros. Inc.

Dixie recently began sourcing Valencia oranges from Lykes Citrus for its Dixie Citrus Vodka.

“When we started exploring single farm partnerships for Dixie Citrus Vodka, we found the best Florida fruit from one of the oldest and most storied growers in the state, Lykes Bros. Inc., which also happens to have South Carolina roots,” says Matti Christian Anttila, CEO of Grain & Barrel Spirits, as well as creator and owner of Dixie. “It’s an honor to be able to work with ingredient partners such as Lykes which have the same level of commitment to quality and passion that we do.”

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