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your news, your views January/February 2019 issue 68





3/1/19 1:10 pm

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Canadian Club is the contributor to Spirit Category * Growth.

4|drinks *Source:trade Aztec MAT to 11.11.18. Total TM FBS & RTD. Volume (9L) and Dollar ($) Value.

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REFRESH YOUR DRINK 3/1/19 12:59 pm



January/February 2019

24 30 35 42 2019

32 66





29 Interview -


16 Columns

24 Tequila

30 Interview -

10 News

32 Interview -

35 New Zealand Wine

Enzo Comes, Gin Mare

George Clooney and Rande Gerber, Casamigos Tequila

39 New Products 66 The Eye

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Letter from Georgia Lennon, CEO, The Drinks Association

62 The Tasting Bench

Chilled Summer Reds

Justin Dry, Vinomofo


2019 Hottest 100 Brands

59 Trade Activity


Letter from the CEO The Drinks Association works to make a positive difference to the Australian drinks industry, both as a dynamic partner of its members and through its support for the entire supply chain. That holistic commitment means 2019 will be an exciting year for retailers. Drinks Trade – a collaboration between The Drinks Association and Hip Media - is preparing to launch a new website that aims to keep the retail sector better informed about news, product releases and events. A new, more user-friendly website is also on the way for Drinks Guide. Drinks Guide contains product listings of current suppliers and distributors within the Australian drinks Industry. Whether you’re looking for a particular product or brand, want to know who supplies it or how to contact them, Drinks Guide helps you find the details you need. The Drinks Association is also a proud advocate of diversity and inclusion in the Australian drinks industry. The drinks industry’s diversity encompasses differences in ethnicity, gender, language, age, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, physical and mental ability, thinking styles, experience, and education. We believe that the wide array of perspectives that results from such diversity promote innovation and business success. Managing diversity makes us more creative, flexible, productive and competitive. The Drinks Association Council focussing on Inclusion and Diversity in the workplace is working to further consolidate the industry’s reputation as a destination of choice that attracts and retains the best talent. The Council has some exciting plans for the year ahead that I can’t wait to share with you in the coming months. The Australian Drinks Awards will also continue to evolve in 2019. The awards had a stronger trade focus in 2018, adding Fan Favourite, Emerging Brand and Most Distinctive Brand Awards under beer, cider, wine, spirits and RTD categories. The winners were determined via a survey of 4000 consumers and are an excellent gauge of how customers are viewing the products on your shelves. The supplier awards were also expanded - in addition to Supplier of the Year, a Supply Chain Management Award and Most Improved Supplier of the Year were added. These were determined by Advantage Group’s Industry Trade Benchmark Survey, which provides favourability ratings and qualitative retailer feedback from the off trade, on premise, wholesale and outlets channels. The Most Improved Supplier Award was introduced to recognise suppliers who have successfully set and executed a plan of improvement and have been recognised by retailers for improving their professionalism and delivery across the entirety of their commercial relationship. The Supply Chain Management Award was introduced to place increased focus on the vital connection between suppliers and retailers in supply chain engagement beyond just the hard service level results. In 2019, we will be exploring the opportunity of introducing an award recognising those suppliers working effectively with trade in the area of category management. We look forward to receiving your input into the 2019 Advantage Group Industry Trade Benchmark Survey. The survey is an opportunity to have your say on the suppliers and brands that are putting in the effort to build strong partnerships. The year ahead is set to be an exciting one, filled with rewards, innovations and challenges. The shift in Australian consumer demographics has had a huge impact on consumer consumption patterns. Additionally, the shift in when and how people are consuming drinks has significantly impacted consumer consumption. Whoever understands the customer and consumer best will win. The Drinks Association will be there to inform, connect and strengthen our industry as it evolves to meet those challenges. I look forward to The Drinks Association contributing to another successful year for the drinks industry in 2019.

GEORGIA LENNON Chief Executive Officer, Drinks Association Australia

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Editor’s Note Ah summer! Road trips and school holidays, scorching temperatures and the beach, sunscreen and speedos, emails on auto-respond, long days, cold beer and chilled wine – what is not to love? We hope that the best trading season of the year was a profitable one and with 2018 well and truly behind us, we look forward to bringing you the best stories and up to date news in the year ahead.


Welcome to the first 2019 edition and the annual, highly anticipated Hottest 100 Brands announced in time for Australia Day (page 42). With the input of industry professionals at the coalface, combined with IRI data, we predict the big brands for 2019, whilst also alerting you to other movers and shakers worth keeping an eye on.

PUBLISHER The Drinks Association


Fancy a cold red wine with your beach barbecue? This edition’s Tasting Bench section took a look at chilled reds instead of summer whites to mix things up a bit (page 62). We loved the number one wine, Richland Pinot Noir 2017, because it tastes great chilled and because it retails for $11 a bottle. Now there is true summer holiday value.

All enquiries to: The Drinks Association Locked Bag 4100, Chatswood NSW 2067 ABN 26 001 376 423

This was our first Tasting Bench in my hometown of Melbourne and we recruited a stellar Melbourne-based panel featuring Ralph Kyte-Powell, Meira Harel, Morgan Dunn and Sharon Wild. Thank you to each and every one of you, you all did a sterling job.

The views expressed in Drinks Trade are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily those of the magazine or The Drinks Association. Copyright is held by The Drinks Association and reproduction in whole or in part, without prior consent, is not permitted.

The venue for our Tasting Bench is also worth a mention. Michael Bascetta, co-founder of Worksmith and his community manager, Rachel Dougherty generously offered up their dynamic hospitality co-working space for our use. I was extremely impressed with Worksmith and all that it represents. It really is a hub for the food and liquor industry and plays an integral part in building networks for its members. The second venue is set to open in Melbourne’s CBD and I am convinced it will not be long before this great concept travels interstate as well.

Other Drinks Association publications include: Drinks Bulletin drinksbulletin.com.au Drinks Guide drinksguide.com.au Drinks Yearbook

EDITORIAL PUBLISHING EDITOR Ashley Pini .......................... ashley@hipmedia.com.au EDITOR Melissa Parker......................................... melissa@hipmedia.com.au DIGITAL EDITOR Alana House............................... alanah@drinks.asn.au DRINKS CURATOR Ben Davidson........................... ben@hipmedia.com.au

If there was a spirit that conjures the essence of summer I can’t think of a better one than tequila - think Tequila Sunrises and salty Margaritas. The big news is, on the back of celebrity endorsement and a greater consumer understanding of the nuances of Mexico’s national drink, tequila is rising out of the dens of shooter iniquity and transcending into a very respectable drink indeed. Drinks Trade had the secretly groupie-esqe opportunity of interviewing George Clooney and Rande Gerber on their tequila, Casamigos, (page 30) and also spoke to many more tequila aficionados for the tequila feature on page 25.

PHOTOGRAPHER Ryan Stuart CONTRIBUTORS Brett Heffernan, Sam Reid, Simon Strahan, Simone Allan, Jo Hargreaves, Stuart Gregor, Alec Wagstaff, Fergus Taylor, Julie Ryan, Sharon Wild, Ralph Kyte-Powell, Meira Harel, Morgan Dunn and Bob Campbell MW.

DESIGN SENIOR DESIGNER Racs Salcedo ......................... ryan@hipmedia.com.au

ADVERTISING NATIONAL SALES MANAGER Tim Ludlow ............... tim@hipmedia.com.au

Produced and contract published by:

ACCOUNTS: accounts@hipmedia.com.au 169 Blues Point Road, McMahons Point NSW 2060 Ph: 02 9492 7999 | www.hipmedia.com.au | facebook.com/ drinksmedia ABN: 42 126 291 914 8|drinks trade

Over the past couple of months there has been some exciting trade events and collaborations taking place. We have featured some of the best in The Eye on page 66. They include Bombay Sapphire’s collaboration with the National Gallery of Victoria on Escher x nendo / Between Two Worlds exhibition and Johnnie’s Walker’s winter wonderland White Walker launch at Sydney’s Icebergs among others. 2019 already sees creative and innovative trade activity raring to go including at this year’s Australian Open. Piper Heidsieck will host a Champagne House on Grand Slam Oval and Canadian Club will host the Canadian Club Racquet Club pop-up bar at Birrarung Marr overlooking the Yarra River. Finally, The Drinks Association has an exciting new development just launched and that is the new website for its members. Make sure you check it out. CEO, Georgia Lennon, describes all the benefits in her new year welcome letter on page 7. Drinks Trade exists to bring you all the news, facts and information you need to enhance your liquor businesses. If you have any suggestions email me at melissa@hipmedia.com.au I welcome any feedback. Melissa Parker Editor Drinks Trade would like to correct statistics published on page 79 in the Oct/Nov edition - Champagne Lanson produces four million bottles per year globally (8th largest international premium brand of Champagne according to IWSR) and its Organic Green Label, 50,000 bottles. Lanson Père et Fils uses 30 per cent of reserve wines in its blend from ten different vintages and half of the crus are Premier and Grands Crus.


Enjoy Yarra Burn responsibly

For more information contact your Accolade Wines Business Development Manager or call 131 492 /yarraburn


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CHARLIE PARKER’S GIACOMO FRANCESCHI WINS AUSTRALIAN GIN COCKTAIL CUP NSW’s top bartenders challenged each other for first place at the Australian Gin Cocktail Cup finals held at the Barber Shop in Sydney but Giacomo Franceschi of Merivale’s Charlie Parker’s was victorious with his winning cocktail named Deep Sea. Chairman Mikey Enright handpicked the judging panel - Jason Crawley, Andy Penny and Harriet Leigh and the silver trophy was presented to Giacomo by Fever-Tree Brand Manager Andy Gaunt. “It was a really tough call for the judges to make - the gin cocktails have been next level,” said Enright. Included in the win is a Fever-Tree-sponsored, three-day trip for two to Tasmania to visit notable distilleries including a day trip to MONA. The winning cocktail will be served as a welcome drink at the Australian Gin Awards Trophy Presentation Banquet to be held at Manjit’s on Thursday 7 March 2019.



Mirabeau en Provence has appointed their first Australian brand ambassador to leverage the brand’s popularity over the expected successful summer sales period. Working with Mirabeau en Provence through distributors Oatley Wines, Lidwine (Liddy) Moreno is a Provencal native with a strong background in hospitality and over a decade’s experience in wine sales in both France and Australia. Liddy’s appointment comes as new figures released by Provencal wine authority, Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Provence show the Provence wine region is experiencing a decade long boom, with the volume of wine sold from this region in Australia increasing by an astounding 447 per cent since 2010, and 186 per cent since 2015 alone. From January to September 2018, sales have increased by nine per cent and with the summer months to come, this is only expected to grow. This means Australians consumed over 1.5 million bottles of wine from Provence last year, of which 98 per cent were rosé, the pink drink of the season. 10|drinks trade

In an Australian first, Australians have the opportunity to buy into an award-winning brewing company. For as little as $100 the general public can purchase shares in Endeavour Brewing Co. in a brew raise launched on leading Equity Crowdfunding platform Equitise. Endeavour Brewing Co. are aiming for a $2.3 million investment from the crowd to fund expansion plans and build its own production brewery and wholesale manufacturing facility. The company also plans to use the funds to open more Endeavour Brew Bars and investigate export opportunities in South East Asia and other markets. Endeavour Brewing Co. began eight years ago with three mates and 35 of their friends establishing a community of beer lovers. Now in double-digit growth year-onyear since launch, they have sold over 6.7 million beers. Internationally, brew raises have been some of the most successful equity crowdfunds, proving a brewery is a great business for this new way to invest. BrewDog’s ‘Equity for Punks’ crowdfunding programme has recruited almost 94,000 investors since its inception in 2009, and has raised in excess of £67 million (approx. AUD$118 million).

COCA-COLA AUSTRALIA TEAMS UP WITH CITIZENBLUE TO TACKLE DRINK CONTAINER RECYCLING IN NSW Coca-Cola Australia and CitizenBlue have come together to create solutions to NSW’s waste challenge and introduce more drink container recycling options at venues and events in Sydney and regional NSW. CitizenBlue is a social enterprise collective of seven environmental not-for-profit organisations, including the Total Environment Centre, Surfrider Foundation and Landcare NSW. The partnership with Coca-Cola Australia will see drink container recycling bins strategically placed in key venues and events across NSW, with proceeds of the waste collected going back to environment and community charities. The waste is then collected and sorted through the NSW Return and Earn Container Deposit Scheme (CDS), and then recycled and transformed to enable the creation of new products, including bottles and cans.

CRÉMANT LEVERAGING AUSTRALIA’S LOVE AFFAIR WITH SPARKLING WINE Australia is number six in the world for Champagne imports, however, we import a greater volume and total value in other sparkling wine categories. Sparkling wine makes up 13.1 per cent of total wine sales value in off-premise as opposed to Champagne’s 5.9 per cent (Liquor Outlook Oct 2018 – IRI). This is where France’s second largest sparkling wine producer, the Loire Valley, is moving to maximise this enormous opportunity for sparkling wine in Australia. The majority of wines from the Loire are Crémant de Loire AOC sparkling wines. Crémant de Loire exports to the UK surged 25 per cent in the 12 months to the end of March 2018, and UK supermarket Waitrose reports a 72 per cent increase in all Crémant sales in 2017 with 2018 hitting 62 per cent increase (end of June 2018 – Source Loire Valley Wines). The Loire Valley Wine region is the second biggest AOC sparkling producing region in France with approx. 16.5 million bottles produced a year. 56 per cent is exported to the top three markets of Germany, USA and UK. Australia ranks 11th in export volume and is trending upwards year on year.

DRINKS INDUSTRY BIG BUSINESS FOR AUSTRALIA Recently announced at a reception in Canberra, the Alcohol Beverages Australia’s Industry Contribution Report found the industry contributed more than $158 billion annually in direct and indirect output in 2017 and accounted for $36 billion in direct and indirect wages and income. It also reported the beer, wine and spirits industry provides direct and indirect employment opportunities for more than 590,000 Australians. Alcohol Beverages Australia Executive Director Fergus Taylor said the report affirmed the industry’s role as a powerhouse in the economy’s domestic and export markets. “Millions of Australians enjoy beer, wine and spirits as part of a balanced, social lifestyle, and this report shows the important role the industry also plays as an employment provider and economic contributor,” he said.


Tastes of Rutherglen will return on 9 and 10 March 2019 to showcase North-East Victoria’s wine and produce and will see 19 Rutherglen wineries participate and showcase their wines for tasting matched with local produce. Tastes of Rutherglen tickets are $20 per person and include access to each of the 19 wineries. Wine enthusiasts will delight over the wide range of educational opportunities such as behindthe-scene winery tours, back-vintage tastings, Rutherglen Muscat mixology classes, cheese and chocolate pairings, wine-blending and bottling, and varietal masterclasses. The festival is well-catered for kids and families with kids menus, outdoor sports, play equipment, giant games and other kidfriendly activites such as feeding turtles and stomping grapes. Visit www.tastesofrutherglen.com.au for tickets.

INTRODUCING THE INTERNET REMEMBERS CAMPAIGN Excessive alcohol consumption as a rite of passage to adulthood is progressively and fortunately becoming an outdated concept, however, research conducted of 5,073 Australians aged 16-65+ by Quantum on behalf of DrinkWise between 11th-23rd October, 2018 reported that it is mainly our young adults still drinking at unhealthy levels. The report states young adults consume five or more standard drinks on a night out (21 per cent), compared to 16 per cent for all other age groups. Despite these statistics being alarming the study also shows an encouraging sign of more responsible attitudes, with this number reducing from 31 per cent to 21 per cent over the past two years. See https:// drinkwise.org.au/our-work/australiandrinking-habits-2007-vs-2017 It’s young male adults who are driving up the average, with one in four admitting to drinking in excess on a night out, compared to one in five young female adults. Off the back of the study, DrinkWise has launched ‘The Internet Remembers’ campaign, which will see a collection of unsophisticated drinking moments from the internet bought to life across the country via a series of augmented reality displays in bars, via social media and throughout city centres. “The fact that young adults see vomiting and making a fool of themselves as a greater risk from excessive drinking than their long-term health means we need to take an innovative approach to our moderation message,” said DrinkWise CEO, Simon Strahan.

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as awarded by the International Wine & Spirit Competition


INFORM BROKENWOOD WINES HAS OFFICIALLY OPENED THE DOORS TO ITS NEW CELLAR DOOR The new $8M development, which has been under construction for the past year, was officially opened by co-founder James Halliday at an event for friends of Brokenwood. Designed by Sydney-based architecture and design company Villa + Villa, the new cellar door will be one of the largest in the Hunter Valley wine region, covering 1,400 square metres and able to accommodate more than 250,000 visitors annually. It replaces the original cellar door built in 1975 by the winery’s founders James Halliday, Tony Albert and John Beeston. The new cellar door also includes a museum that overlooks the working barrel hall and KB’s Lookout, a unique space above the tasting room named in honour of the late Keith Barry who was the winery’s vineyard manager for 23 years. The museum will be devoted to Brokenwood’s history, with displays of significant ephemera, iconic and aged wines and will host vertical tastings of flagship wines, blending exercises and other events.

Photo: Chris Elfes

DIAGEO’S THE SMASHED PROJECT TO BE LAUNCHED IN VICTORIA After its hugely successful Australian tour, Diageo’s flagship underage education program, The Smashed Project, is returning to the ACT and visiting Victorian schools for the first time. The Project is a global theatre-ineducation program delivered by Gibber Australia and addresses the dangers of underage drinking while aiming to reduce alcohol-related harm in young people. The program first launched in Australia in May 2018, visiting more than 100 high schools over an 11-week tour and reaching more than 20,000 students across the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Queensland. In the ACT and Victoria, more than 7,000 year 8, 9 and 10 students across 35 schools will participate in a one-hour session that explores the dangers of underage drinking through a live theatre performance and interactive workshop. After witnessing a Smashed performance, audience evaluation demonstrated that 96 per cent (up 38 per cent from pre-performance student evaluations) of students were confident in knowing where to get help with alcohol related issue and 85 per cent said they were unlikely to drink alcohol underage.

NEW STUDY SHOWS PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL BENEFITS TO HAVING A ‘LOCAL’ A new report shows that individuals who have a ‘local’ hotel or licensed club are more likely to be satisfied with their life, and have broader friendship and support networks. Social-personality psychologist Dr Peter Jonason from the University of Western Sydney, who conducted the research on behalf of Lion Beer Australia, said that the social interaction provided by pubs and clubs is of tremendous importance in people’s lives. “Of more than 1,200 Australians we surveyed, those who had a local scored more positively on a number of measures of mental and social wellbeing,” Dr Jonason said. “Setting aside the debate around alcohol consumption and physical health, it appears that having a local can be good for your state of mind” The research expands on a similar study conducted in UK by Oxford academic Professor Robin Dunbar, who was also involved in the development of this study.

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Corona is the first global beer brand to trial 100 per cent plastic-free six-pack rings. The initiative is part of the brand’s commitment with Parley for the Oceans to lead the industry with eco-friendly packaging. Parley for the Oceans is a global network where creators, thinkers and leaders from creative industries, brands, governments and environmental groups come together to raise awareness for the beauty and fragility of the oceans and collaborate on projects that can end their destruction. Corona and Parley have a shared mission to help protect the world’s oceans and beaches from marine plastic pollution. With roughly 8MM metric tons of plastic entering the ocean each year, there is a need to confront the issue head on. Although Corona is primarily packaged in glass and fiberboard, the brand sees an opportunity to help redesign a common source of plastic in the category: six pack rings. The plastic-free rings being tested are made from plant-based biodegradable fibers, with a mix of by-product waste and compostable materials. If left in the environment, they break down into organic material that is not harmful to wildlife.

Lambrook Wines from the Adelaide Hills, has today been awarded the trophy for Best Sparkling White (traditional method, 24-60 months tirage) at the 2018 Australian Sparkling Wine Show. This is the first time an Adelaide Hills sparkling white has won a trophy at the show. Chaired by leading Australian wine expert and show judge, Huon Hooke, the Australian Sparkling Wine Show (ASWS) is the only dedicated sparkling wine show in Australia and aims to showcase and provide benchmarking for Australian producers. The family-owned producer has received the trophy for its 2013 Lambrook ‘Emerson’ Pinot Noir Sparkling, which is only the second vintage ever produced. The Adelaide Hills is perfectly suited to growing the traditional sparkling grape varieties of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, however, only in the last five to ten years has there been serious focus on sparkling production. Lambrook ‘Emerson’ Sparkling is from the Lambrook ‘Flower’ range and retails for $50.00.

CHÂTEAU TANUNDA CELEBRATES OPENING OF NEW CELLAR DOOR The Barossa Valley’s iconic and privatelyowned Château Tanunda has reopened its cellar door after a major refurbishment. The open plan cellar door is home to the Grand Cellar, housing over 360 barrels of Château Tanunda Grand Barossa Shiraz and features a hand-crafted, bespoke 5-metre-high re-claimed 300 year old oak wall, sourced from historic brandy puncheons. The area will host seated tasting experiences and showcase the luxury collection of Old Vine Expression wines. The space has been renovated in keeping with the heritage features of the property, including a mezzanine overlooking an impressive barrel hall. Below the mezzanine is an innovative design feature with a landscape projection system providing an insight into the history of Chateau Tanunda along with revolving cinematography of current winemaking practices. Together with the launch of the cellar door, Château Tanunda is also launching the release of a new history book ‘Château Tanunda, Winemakers since 1890’, researched and written by historian’s Geoffrey Bishop and Don Ross. The book reveals never before told stories of the Barossa’s heritage and Château Tanunda’s significance, in innovation and contribution to Australian winemaking.

GET WINE SMART SHORTLISTED FOR WSET EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) has announced that Australia’s own education provider ‘Get Wine Smart’ (previously known as ‘Wine Construct’) has been chosen as one of the nominees for the WSET Educator of the Year Award, sponsored by Riedel. Get Wine Smart, rebranded from its original name, Wine Construct, will be judged against other nominees, Adam Chase, Director of Grape Experience (USA), Caplan Corporation (Japan), Republic National Distributing Company (USA), Truro College (UK), Tulleeho Portals (India) and West London Wine School (UK). The winner will be announced at the WSET awards and graduation ceremony at the Guildhall, City of London, UK on 21 January 2019. 14|drinks trade

GET THE AQUA VITAL ADVANTAGE 100% QUALITY - The Aqua Vital Water System features a best-in-class 0.2 micron filter cartridge with an impressive 11,000-litre water capacity. 100% STYLE - Presented in a brushed gunmetal font, the Aqua Vital Water System is beautifully crafted to complement your contemporary venue. 100% SERVICE - You can rest assured your Aqua Vital Water System has undergone comprehensive Coca-Cola Amatil equipment testing and comes with ongoing maintenance support.

For more information, contact your Coca-Cola Amatil Rep or call 1800 025 123

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Simon Strahan is the Chief Executive Officer of DrinkWise

Julie Ryan is Chief Executive Officer of Retail Drinks Australia

Stuart Gregor is the President of the Australian Distillers Association (ADA) and co-founder of Four Pillars Gin

On Tuesday 4 December 2018, the members of the Liquor Stores Association of NSW (LSA NSW) passed a special resolution at their AGM to wind up and merge into

Aussie gin is everywhere, indeed, gin is everywhere, and right now it is the fastest growing white spirit category and close to the fastest growing of all spirits categories at both on and offpremise. But it was not always thus. Just a mere 14 years ago we can all remember a time I will call “Before Hendricks”. It was a dark time when gin was boring and old-fashioned and daggy as hell. Fast forward to the summer of 2018/19 and what a sexy new face gin has going on. No more Mother’s Ruin or granny’s little secret – gin, and especially premium, craft gin, is exploding – and among them, young, cashed-up consumers at the core. Today premium and super premium gin accounts for 60 per cent of all gin sales. And better still, locally made gin now accounts for 14 per cent of all gin sales – in 2014 that figure was seven per cent and that was not craft, it was locally produced retailer-brand gin. Brands like Four Pillars, Archie Rose, Melbourne Gin Company, Adelaide Hills, Never Never and Ink Gin are driving the category from strength to strength. Why? Gin’s renaissance is global. As the world looks towards drinking better cocktails and finer spirits, gin was always going to leapfrog more functional categories like vodka (which still outsells gin around 10:1 so there’s a long way to go). And gin is able to represent a place as much as any spirit. In Australia we have this cornucopia of incredible botanicals such as lemon myrtle, finger limes, Davidson plums, wattleseed, even fiery green ants, and no one in the world can replicate them. So encourage classic martinis and negronis and good old G&Ts this summer and revel in the revolution of gin – it’s about bloody time!

Every year, DrinkWise partners with industry and other stakeholders to promote our How to Drink Properly moderation messaging at Schoolies celebrations across the country. How to Drink Properly aims to make ‘drinking to get drunk’ less socially acceptable among young adult drinkers and to encourage those already drinking in safe and moderate ways to continue to do so. This year, DrinkWise worked with industry partners from licensed venues, retail outlets and hotels in Schoolies hotspots throughout Australia, to encourage school leavers to ‘stay classy’ and provide tips and advice highlighting the difference between poor drinking practices and drinking properly. The Choose wisely, Drink wisely message was promoted in over 300 liquor stores at popular Schoolies destinations throughout Australia, including LSA NSW Members, Coles (First Choice Liquor), Endeavour Drinks Group (BWS, Dan Murphy’s) and Master Grocers of Australia (IGA) aligned outlets. We also partnered with licensed venues, state government, local councils and local police to incorporate the Choose wisely, Drink wisely messaging into more than 20 licensed venues across Victoria as well as the Mantra hotel in Lorne. Our activations are supported by geotargeted Spotify advertising and social media in Schoolies hotspots and localised venues. Our partnership with the Gold Coast’s SeaFM provided Schoolies with survival packs and tips for moderating and staying safe during their stay. Our Schoolies activity would not be possible without our industry partners, who provide generous opportunities to promote the Choose wisely, Drink wisely message. If you would like to be involved next year, please contact info@drinkwise.org.au.

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Retail Drinks Australia. This was the final step in the creation of Retail Drinks as the national body to act as the unified voice of all off premise liquor retailers, enhancing their freedom to retail responsibly. The LSA had a 58-year history of acting as a consistent, professional and trusted advisor to both industry and government, and a value adding service provider to its members. Achieving the threshold of over 75 per cent of the 990 voting members in favour of the merger is a testament to the strength of the new model and the trust placed in the LSA NSW team who now join Retail Drinks. Retail Drinks’ unique structure preserves the state based committees of those liquor store associations that had the courage and vision to merge (reformed into state councils in the new structure), and will therefore retain all the local connections, influence and relevance. However, with the initial membership of over 2500 packaged liquor licences nationally, there will be immediate and significant scale, breadth and capability to boost the advocacy, representation and service delivery to all members. No individual category of membership will be sacrificed for the benefit of another, and national policies will be executed in each state and territory to ensure a consistent, unified voice for liquor retailers. There remains significant growth opportunity in membership and the Retail Drinks team are excited about taking the value of the organisation to even more liquor stores nationally. Industry was promised change and it has begun with incredible momentum. The members and supplier partners of Retail Drinks can look forward to a continuation of that momentum into an exciting 2019.

Distributed Nationally by Red + White: 1300 780 074




MAKING THE VOYAGE TO AUSTRALIA SINCE 1855 The House of Lanson has been crafting fine champagnes using traditional methods avoiding malolactic fermentation for 258 years. Our most recent addition to the family is cuvée Père et Fils Brut NV which is available exclusively through the On-Premise and selected independent wine stores. An enriched evolution of the classic Lanson Black Label it pays homage to the uniquely mouth-watering House style. On searching our archives, we discovered that Lanson Champagne has been available in Australia since 1855. Let’s raise a glass to celebrate the arrival of the new kid on the block 163 years later… www.lanson.com


Please drink responsibly. Distributed by Wine DNA, a network of Australia’s top independent wine distributors NSW-ACT:Young & Rashleigh Wine Merchants, 02 9967 5900 VIC-TAS: Santé Wines, 03 9429 1990 QLD: Cuttings Wines, 07 3262 1455 SA-NT: Options Wines, 08 8346 9111

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Alec Wagstaff is Chief Executive Officer of Spirits & Cocktails Australia

Fergus Taylor is the Executive Director of Alcohol Beverages Australia

Jo Hargreaves is Senior R&D Program Manager at Wine Australia.

2019 promises to be yet another year of threat to, and opportunity for, the spirits industry in Australia. The Christmas / New Year break seems like an age ago as we ramp up for a NSW state election and a federal election soon after. We have consultations underway on mandatory pregnancy labelling as well as sugar and carbohydrates labelling. On 1 February 2019 the spirits industry suffered once again from the six-monthly CPI increase in one of the highest alcohol tax rates in the world. The temperance movement will be spreading tales of gloom and doom far removed from the reality that alcohol consumption continues to decline along with problem drinking. Yet despite these headwinds the spirit industry continues to invest heavily in innovation of product and marketing and, even more importantly, in the people who serve, sell and market our products. Every year bartenders across the country prepare for their next opportunity to show their creativity in the many competitions supported by Spirits & Cocktails Australia members and absorb new information from training sessions and masterclasses. Some of them will take the brave step to start up their own businesses and others will progress into the corporate world to help pass on the knowledge they worked so hard to obtain. At Spirits & Cocktails Australia we are excited at the opportunity to better educate all our stakeholders on the great opportunities that can be unlocked by sensible reform to our tax system and by the investment that will flow as confidence in the business environment grows. Spirits and cocktails are at the vanguard of the “drink better” movement and we will continue to press the cause for sensible regulation at all levels of government.

Increasing alcohol prices has proven to be ineffective in reducing consumption among those at risk of harm, with those who drink at the highest levels also least likely to reduce their consumption when prices go up. In response to the recent study released by Deakin Health Economics, Australians already pay among the highest alcohol taxes in the world and there is a wealth of evidence to suggest increasing taxes does not reduce consumption among heavy drinkers who are most likely to be at risk of obesity. A big new tax on alcohol will punish responsible drinkers but it won’t work to deter those at risk of obesity. If you drink moderately, like 80 per cent of Australian drinkers, alcohol shouldn’t cause weight problems. The risk of obesity can increase for very heavy drinkers, so this is where targeted solutions ought to be directed. The study itself acknowledged the strength of evidence was low with a ‘low certainty of the effect of reductions in alcohol consumption on Body Mass Index / body weight outcomes due to absence of relevant studies.’ A recent study in the European Journal of Health Economics found when prices increased, heavy drinkers were most likely to continue drinking at the same levels they did previously, albeit choosing a lesser quality product. People who are drinking harmful levels of alcohol are unlikely to be deterred by higher prices and will instead go to great lengths to obtain alcohol when populationwide measures such as price increases and bans are imposed. Those people represent a very small part of the population and we should be implementing targeted solutions that promote education, intervention and ongoing support for them. Australians who drink responsibly should not be impacted by policies designed to address harm among problem drinkers.

Applications have opened for the 2019 vintage of Australia’s grape and wine sector leadership development program – Future Leaders. Future Leaders is a professional and personal development program that creates a network of confident, committed individuals ready and willing to contribute to the future success of the Australian grape and wine community. Future Leaders has sounded the call for leadership since 2006. Many great leaders have stepped up, planting seeds of innovative leadership that has taken both their businesses and our sector to the next level. This has seen the wine sector capitalise on a positive economy and strong brand recognition on the global stage; preserving traditions, while at the same time cultivating the future. In 2019, Future Leaders is looking for those who will ‘be next’. Participants will be guided on a personal leadership journey and asked to consider the opportunities and challenges facing our sector. They will explore cutting edge leadership skills, hear from world class speakers and receive state of the art input on topics such as innovation, thought leadership, culture and sector impact. Future Leaders 2019 will also call on previous alumni and long-serving individuals across our community to be mentors throughout the program; to provide their wisdom, build greater networks and support an exciting future for our sector. Will you ‘be next’? Visit www. winefutureleaders.com and apply before Friday 15 March 2019.

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Sam Reid is the President of Cider Australia and co-owner of Wille Smith’s

Brett Heffernan is the CEO of the Brewers Association of Australia

Simone Allan is founder and director of Mondo recruitment agency

I hope you all managed to get through the Christmas craziness and managed to trade well at the same time. It’s an important time of year for all of us in the industry whether a supplier, venue or bottleshop but it is only one part of the year and I hope you have the chance to sit down and reflect on the year that has been. From a Cider Australia perspective it’s been an enormous year, culminating in the launch of the 100 per cent Australian Grown Trust Mark and an improved relationship with key customers and with Horticulture Innovation Australia. Although we aren’t seeing Australian Craft Cider and the 100 per cent Australian Grown ‘trust mark’ rolling out at scale yet, we are set up for a big focus on that in 2019. With some strong customer support behind our members, the future looks good for this bright light within the Australian Cider Category. I’d like to say thank you to all our members, suppliers and sponsors for your support over last year and I’m looking forward to 2019 being the year the ‘Australian Craft Cider’ became a ‘thing’!

We know 2019 has major issues in store. The National Alcohol Strategy should be finalised shortly. Labelling – mandatory pregnancy warnings, carbs and sugar, and energy are all in the mix. While technology has seen consumers and industry move on since the 2009 Blewett Review, bureaucrats can’t help themselves when it comes to forcing up costs for no discernible reason. In an era of Apps and websites, the label is simply out-moded. With Aussies paying among the highest excise in the word for beer, people are increasingly asking why, and government has little rebuttal that makes sense. Greater collaboration between major and independent brewers, through the respective peak bodies, is essential. We can achieve far more for beer together, with agreed policy positions, shared resources and intelligence, than each pushing our own barrows. That has certainly been the recent experience and lesson out of the US and it makes sense in Australia. Distillers and wineries, big and small, have their argybargy over some issues, but they get it on key issues of mutual advantage. Some in the independent beer space are very anti-establishment, that’s to be expected, but for the major brewers’ part, we really don’t care about marketing pitches pitting small against big. It’s water off a duck’s back. To allow those views to see us fail to come together on issues of mutual agreement and serious policy, would be extremely short-sighted and only weaken beer’s hand in the broader alcohol policy debate. Engaging in the major policy discussions from a basis of fact, strategically positioning beer accordingly and, from there, tapping into the overwhelming goodwill Aussies have for a beer is imperative. This election year is already throwing up serious issues. While neither side of politics wants to piss-off more than 9 million beer drinking voters before polling day, it’s what comes after that counts.

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Where is your wise counsel? Is it the worldwide web? Leaders need navigational support. Mentors are worth a mention. We have interviewed over 2700 leaders in business and the one commonality was that respected drinks industry leaders sought mentors. Australian culture is predominantly a structure based upon nuclear families, unlike in Europe and there is minimal access to older, wise family counsel. Senior executives are encouraged to retire before 65 years. Corporate history is lost. This is unlike Asian cultures, where aged leaders in organisations are given guidance roles. Australia’s best and fastest growing companies today are leveraging the power of mentoring; recognising this absence of accessible wise counsel. A Deloitte survey, 70 per cent of companies are seriously concerned about their lack of employee engagement and retention. 70 per cent of Fortune 500 companies have structured mentoring programs. Employers typically spend six to nine months of an employee’s salary on recruitment, training, and replacement. This is especially important for millennial employees, who are three times more likely to switch jobs than other generations. There are massive benefits of mentoring in business: 1. Recruitment and Onboarding 2. Retaining and Engaging Talent 3. Developing In-house Talent and Future Leaders 4. Communicating culture and knowledge sharing. Smart Telco companies are creating mentorship platforms called Leadership Circles,where one mentor can work closely with several mentees – even remotely. For more information: www.mondomentor.com

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Adios Slammer...

HOLA ON THE ROCKS Tequila had a badass reputation for getting its drinkers smashed quickly. Today that outdated modus operandi is almost gone, along with the lemon wedges and salt, and in its place, the sophisticated drinking occasion and the cocktail. Now tequila can boast classy friends in high places with celebrity power to boot.


ew and innovative tequila brands including Sesión, Casamigos, el Jimador and Patrón are driving awareness around tequila as a super-premium spirit to be savoured. Celebrity endorsement and ownership, Casamigos, founded by George Clooney and Rande Gerber and Sesión, founded by Jennifer Hawkins and Jake Wall for example, is influencing the new perception. Tequila is now considered a spirit with cachet rather than good for the shooter at the end of the night. It is also finding a new place in the creative cocktail world. Many bars and bartenders are supporting tequila as an interesting alternative in 24|drinks trade

cocktails that usually call for the more traditional white spirits, such as vodka. Tequila as a category in Australia is on the rise. Latest IRI data reports tequila and mezcal sales in Australia are valued at $81 million and represent 2.2 per cent of all total glass spirit sales. In dollar growth it delivered 3.2 per cent of glass spirits and 1.8 per cent volume growth, higher than the growth of glass spirits in total. There are sixty registered tequila brands in Australia, however, it is only the top 12 that are generating sales of more than $1 million per annum and collectively account for almost $9 in every $10 spent on tequila. Less than half

of the brands delivered growth in the year ending 04/11/2018 led by el Jimador. The number one brand in terms of dollar sales is Jose Cuervo Especial. “Tequila sales are still heavily reliant on wellknown brands in Australia. There are a number of emerging brands that are well positioned to challenge these leading tequila brands calling on the same cues that are driving growth for glass spirits in general – authenticity, artisan or craft batches, locality and terroir,” says Stephen Wilson, IRI Liquor Channel Manager. “Tequila, however, has yet to see the same level of innovation experienced in other spirit

Sesión Mocha Cocktail

Patrón Tequila Harvest

types e.g. gin, and in order for continued growth further innovation is required.” The guardians of Tequila in Australia say that education is key to the continued growth and appreciation of tequila as a premium spirit. Tim Freeman, Managing Director of 100 per cent Australian-owned tequila brand, Sesión, owned by Jessica Hawkins and her husband, Jake Wall, says this is a big part of their marketing strategy. “Back in 2013 when we started to work on the concept of Sesión the category was no where near what it is today. Tequila was not received well as a spirit. It was the shot at the end of the night and we wanted to get away from that mentality. “There are those people that have had a huge night and then drink tequila at the end of it and blame tequila for their hangover. That is a bit of

a problem in Australia. That, and there is a lot of bad tequila. “We want to make it the drink you start with and not the drink you finish with.” Tim says a targeted campaign on educating Australians on the nuances of tequila is needed, but says the bartenders and the on-premise scene is helping a lot with that. Sesión has recently partnered with creative agency M&C Saatchi in a move to promote and educate around the tequila category. “One of the reason’s we have partnered with M&C Saatchi for Sesión is we need to shake things up and get the brand out there. The whole category really needs to do that. M&C Saatchi will be great for us.” Sesión’s biggest market is the US where the brand has built its market share on the quality and credibility of the product. Sesión was

Sesión’s Jennifer Hawkins and Jake Wall at the distillery

developed in conjunction with the Beckman Family who have been distilling tequila for generations and are descendents of the Jose Cuervo family. In Australia the brand leverages off the celebrity factor of Jen and Jake but not in the US. “In Australia we will have to overcapitalise to get brand awareness and market share but we want to do that.” Richard Dredge, Brand Manager for Tequila, Brown Forman says there is certainly growing interest and experimentation within tequila. “The majority of tequila (48 per cent) is now consumed in a cocktail and (39 per cent as a shot), which is very different to how tequila was

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Jose Cuervo Masterclass

consumed many years ago (Source- Shopper Tracker On-Premise 2018). There is also a new wave of appreciation for 100 per cent Agave, quality tequilas that can be sipped and enjoyed rather than being consumed instantaneously. This could be driven by the media focus on the celebrity-endorsed tequilas which has definitely helped the category progress. Interestingly, although the main source of growth within the tequila category in Australia has come from Silver (Plata), el Jimador is seeing growth in Gold (Reposado).” Brown-Forman is proactive in educating both trade and consumers around the tequila category and how to drink past purely shots. They have worked closely with key accounts to provide “Tequila Cocktail Kits” to aid in the creation of tequila classics such as the Margarita, Sangrita and freshly juiced long drinks. They are also fortunate to have a beautiful home place for el Jimador and Herradura Tequilas, a 148- yearold Hacienda in the middle of tequila country, Amatitán, Jalisco. Through its on trade Mi Casa Su Casa program, a lucky few experience how tequila is made, from the harvesting of Agave through to the maturation process. “We’ve found sharing this amazing experience as well as our unique history and story with our Mi Casa Su Casa partners has cemented great relationships,” says Richard Dredge. “Earlier this year we’ve also partnered with

Australian soft drink brand Capi to bring Mexico’s most popular drink, the Paloma, to Australia via bundle deals in the off-premise, again helping educate on new ways of drinking tequila for Australian consumers.” Jose Cuervo has also activated a program to improve education on tequila and has been running consumer masterclasses on their premium tequilas. Their education program over the past few months has been well received and puts a strong focus on educating bartenders and consumers. “There is definitely still some work to be done in terms of educating the consumer, however, over the past 12 months I have seen a dramatic change in perception towards the category. There has been a noticeable shift from the idea tequila should only be consumed as a shot, to drinking premium tequilas in tasting glasses (much like whiskey), to mixing it in cocktails, and to using it with your regular mixers such as soda and ginger beer. The growth we have seen at Jose Cuervo in our premium ranges definitely supports this shift,” says tequila specialist at Proximo, Hayley Dixon. “We recently did a tequila masterclass in the park followed by barefoot bowls which sold out.” Jose Cuervo has also run several masterclasses in different states where they have teamed up with local chocolatiers for pairings with positive consumer feedback. “Both consumers and bartenders are excited

to learn more about tequila because there hasn’t been a focus on the spirit for so long,” Hayley exclaims. “When I am behind a bar these days I am constantly asked for tequila and soda or tequila and tonic; two years ago I had never been asked for that. I can’t go past a Jose Cuervo Tradicional, Angostura bitters, ginger beer and lime at the moment!” As for other ways of serving Tequila, Hayley sees as being hot right now include, Tequila and Tonic and Tequila Spritzes. “Gin was the trend last summer, but it has been done now. Tequila and tonic pairs so well and the versatility of the spirit means you can get super creative with your tonics and garnishes. “I can’t wait to see all the creative ideas the bartenders across Australia come up with for the warmer months,” says Hayley. Alejandro Archibald Brand Ambassador, Patrón Tequila agrees. “Margaritas and shots are still the most popular way to consume tequila amongst Australian consumers while other cocktails such as the Paloma and the Old Fashioned are growing in popularity. Consumers are also gaining interest in sipping fine tequilas neat or in bespoke cocktails at highend cocktail bars. “People are really starting to see that tequila can be a high-end spirit that deserves the same treatment and respect as other spirits such as premium vodka or fine whiskey.”

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Please drink responsibly Gin Mare 42,7 % abv.


It´s not about a choice, selling or trends. It´s about loving, sharing and living.


E: orders@thinkspirits.com

W: thinkspirits.com

Mediterranean Gin.

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- GIN MARE Drinks Trade recently caught up with Gin Mare brand ambassador and regional director, Enzo Comes, during his first visit to the Australian market. While here he met the trade and welcomed the brand to the Think Spirits portfolio. Enzo, Italian by birth and living in Spain, is a true Mediterranean man, perfectly suited as the face behind Gin Mare.

DT: What has been your journey in the industry to get you where you are today? Enzo Comes: I started in hospitality as a sommelier for twelve years and worked in England, Italy, France and Spain. I wanted to travel a bit and the opportunities as a sommelier were limited, so I started working in bars, first as a bar back, and then as a bartender. I started to learn basic knowledge about bartending and I’m still learning, the learning never stops! The more I travel the more I learn and the more I learn, the more I want to know. DT: How did you become involved with Gin Mare? What is it about this gin that you love? EC: It’s the taste! My love for Gin Mare started before I was working for the brand. I was working in a gin bar in Barcelona and we started to organise masterclasses for bartenders using local and seasonal ingredients. I was also organising bartender football matches to help develop the bar community and let the magic of friendship happen outside the bar, playing football. After that I started working as gin category trainer and was eventually approached by the local distributor for Gin Mare. After six months representing the brand in Barcelona I was given the opportunity to visit different markets to share my knowledge and experience with the brand and the gin category. I feel like I’m a carrier of information, I share what I’ve been taught – passing on the knowledge.

DT: Tell us about the botanical profile. What are the signature botanicals and the role they play? EC: Gin Mare is easy to understand for me, because I’m Italian. It’s made and influenced by the Mediterranean Sea. When I first smelled it, I thought this smells like my house and was very familiar. Straight away I thought of food. The profile of Gin Mare is inspired by and built around four key pillars; the climate, the lifestyle, the gastronomy and the sensation of escape, all inspired by the Mediterranean. We want people to be transported to the Mediterranean in their mind when they have a Gin Mare & tonic in their hand. It’s about creating a simple positive experience that can make that moment seem better. Gastronomy is one of our strongest links for the brand. Early on we noticed that chefs understood the flavour profile of Gin Mare. They picked up on savoury and herbal aromas and flavours from our four key botanicals; thyme, basil, rosemary and olives. We have developed strong relationships with chefs and realised we can get to the customer through the kitchen as well as the bar. Using our gin in food dishes helps consumers to gain a deeper appreciation for it. The rest of the botanical profile includes a fresh style of juniper from Spain that gives a light touch, as well as cardamom form north Africa. We also use coriander seed and two types of orange and lemon peel to give the gin a beautiful balance.

DT: What are some of the global activations for Gin Mare? EC: Later this year we are announcing our Mediterranean Inspiration cocktail competition for 2019, where we select a gastronomic ingredient the bartenders have to use. In the past we have used eggs, artichokes and Parmesan cheese. We want the bartender to get out of their comfort zone and work with flavours in a different way than what they are used to. DT: What’s one of your favourite ways to enjoy Gin Mare? Do you have a preferred tonic water? EC: My favourite way to enjoy it is through the Mediterranean Negroni. 45ml Gin Mare, 30ml Campari, 25ml sweet vermouth. I’ve become known for that and it’s my signature drink! In the G&T, I like the Fever Tree Mediterranean tonic, of course with the savoury notes. DT: What is it about your job that you like the most? EC: One of the most important strategies for us is bartender engagement. By inspiring bartenders we are able to better reach our consumers. Without that the brand would not be enjoying the successes we are seeing today. Working for this brand has allowed me to share my life’s experience with bartenders meet, the more I give, the more it comes back.

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Drinks Trade talks with Hollywood heavyweights, George Clooney and Rande Gerber, about the phenomenal success of their tequila brand Casamigos, ‘House of Friends’. Drinks Trade: What is it about tequila that people love? Rande Gerber: For some people, they associate tequila with their college days and hangovers. Casamigos has definitely changed that experience. George and I created Casamigos out of our desire to drink the best tasting, smoothest tequila. A tequila that we could drink neat or on the rocks and not be hungover the next morning. George Clooney: You can hide a lot of bad tequilas behind a margarita. But Casamigos actually enhances the margarita. RG: The Blanco makes a perfect premium margarita. DT: What did you seek to achieve in the creation of your brand of tequila? RG: Casamigos was created out of our desire to drink the best tequila. At the time George and I were building homes in Mexico, and as one does when you spend time in Mexico, we were drinking a lot of tequila. We would go to different restaurants and bars, and bartenders would suggest different tequilas, some really expensive, some not so expensive, some good, some not so good. They all had one thing in common, they burned going down. With that, George turned to me and said, “Why don’t we 30|drinks trade

just make our own, one that’s perfect for us?” So we did. We wanted the best tasting, smoothest tequila, one that didn’t have to be covered up with salt or lime. We wanted to be able to drink it all night long and not be hungover in the morning. We spent many months researching master distillers and distilleries and found the best in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. Two years and 700 bottles of samples later, we finally got it perfect. We made Casamigos just for us to drink and share with friends. We took the time and had the patience to get it just right. Named after our homes in Mexico, Casamigos loosely translates as ‘House of Friends’. It wasn’t intended for the public, but after word got out, we couldn’t resist sharing it with everyone. GC: At first we were doing it just for us. We just started making bottles for ourselves to drink and everybody liked it so we felt that this might be something we should sell.

be able to sip it neat or on the rocks and not have to mix it with juices or anything else. It took two years for our master distiller to make it perfect. We went through 700 samples, which was also fun. We did blind taste tests with all of our friends and we finally came up with the perfect tequila. Cut to two years later—we got a call from our distillery saying we had a problem. They said, “Either you guys are selling this or you’re drinking way too much. We’re sending you 1,000 bottles a year and we can’t keep doing that and calling them samples. So you need to get licensed to sell.” After that call I asked George what he wanted to do. He said, “Let’s get licensed; if we only sell one bottle it doesn’t matter, as long as we get to keep drinking our tequila, we’re happy.” So we started the company and it took off immediately. People knew that we had something special – not your typical tequila.

DT: Describe what was involved from light bulb idea to pouring your first shot from a bottle of Casamigos off the assembly line? RG: So I looked into some distilleries, we met the master distillers and told them the profiles we wanted. We wanted it to be really smooth, no burn at all which isn’t typical. We wanted to

DT: When was the moment you realized this passion project could be big business? RG: Great brands reflect the people who create them. We took our time, had the patience and the money to get it right. It’s all we drink and that’s why we are involved in every aspect of Casamigos. From the tequila, to the name and

bottle design, to marketing and distribution, for us it’s our lifestyle. Consumers are very smart and they know what they want. They love and appreciate the authenticity and quality of our brand.

brand. The fact that we are the fastest growing ultra-premium tequila in the country is based on the quality, taste, smoothness and numerous awards we have received from tequila experts who all want and appreciate the best.

DT: Is it the Hollywood magic that is projecting this brand into the stars or is tequila the next big thing? RG: We have people drinking Casamigos that never drank tequila before as well as customers that switched from vodka and other types of liquor and are now fans of Casamigos. They love and appreciate the authenticity and quality of our

DT: Casamigos Mezcal has just been launched in Australia. Tell us about this new product and what we can expect. RG: We were given mezcals to try a few years ago and there was one we really loved. At the time, all of our attention was focused on sharing Casamigos Tequila with the world but we stayed in touch with the family that created

that Mezcal and knew one day it would become part of our Casamigos family. George, Mike (third founder Mike Meldman) and I are passionate about Casamigos and everything we do. Our Mezcal was brought to us by a family that has made it for five generations. Our Mezcal is as different as Casamigos is to the world of tequila. Extremely smooth, the perfect smokiness and easy to drink. It truly is the perfect addition to the Casamigos family. DT: What is your favorite Casamigos Tequila or is that like asking to choose between your children? And the best way to drink it? RG: We love them all equally, and our favourite way to drink our tequila is neat or on the rocks. GC: ‌ and sometimes straight from the bottle!

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Drinks Trade sat down with Justin Dry, the entrepreneurial mind behind online wine retail company, Vinomofo, at the buzzy, uber-modern headquarters in Melbourne. We talked about being brave, leaning in, and getting out of your comfort zone to achieve real success in business. Drinks Trade: Explain the business model of Vinomofo that makes it unique and therefore successful in the hugely competitive liquor retail space? Justin Dry: We launched Vinomofo in 2011 off the back of four other businesses. I felt online was the way everything was heading. I loved this Facebook thing, the community side, building a network. We started the first one called Qwoff in 2006. It was sort of Facebook for wine and we built a great audience of younger wine drinkers. I think we got to 30,000 but we didn’t have the producer side sorted out. We tried, but the suppliers were funny about people talking about their wine. They only wanted critics talking about their wine. What about the people drinking your wine? What seems silly now, back then was really hard to convince people. The wine industry was a lot different to what it is now. It was all bow ties and bullshit and we were anti that. We were passionate about wine but wanted to get rid of the intimidation and talk about wine in a different way. DT: In the documentary film The New Hustle your passion shines through, but it paints a picture of you and your business partner, brother-in-law, Andre, at rock bottom before you came up with the winning formula. How has this shaped the way you approach your retail business? JD: When we started we were so poor. We had no money. (The New Hustle features Justin’s sister, who was with small children have her credit card rejected at the super market). That was true and happened to her many times. That was hard because it was pressure. If it was just me, that’s fine. I’m poor. That’s ok. I didn’t have kids. Jodes and Andre had kids, a young family, one income, because Jodes had given up her career. She was quite a successful actress. So Andre was meant to be the breadwinner and we weren’t winning much bread! So I had this other idea… Let’s get an old Combi and travel around Australia visiting wineries. We can film it and get sponsorship. That was awesome because it was so much fun and also helped us build this great network of producers. We were spending weeks at a time with these rock stars, the up and coming winemakers, and brand owners.

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The first stage was building the audience, the second was building the network, in hindsight I didn’t know what I was doing but it worked. DT: Tell us about the launch of Vinomofo and coming up with that business name. JD: We had trademark issues so it wasn’t all smooth sailing to start with. Originally it was going to be Vinomojo, you know, get your wine mojo working. We registered it and started doing our social campaigns and started to spend some money and because we had our audience already we had 1000 sign ups. We were two days out from launch. It was a Friday afternoon and we got a letter from a legal firm to say we couldn’t launch it. There was an individual wine brand in a different category called Mojo. We called the CEO but they believed it was an issue for them. So we decided to change the name. We opened a couple of bottles of wine and as the night went on we got sillier. We said, what about Vinomofo for the ‘mofo’ trying to steal our mojo? Can we? No we can’t. Actually we could, and it would be funny, and we could always change it back when we win, and it’s a cool kind of story, and we can tell the whole thing on the website page. When we launched people loved it. They were calling themselves vinomofo’s and mofettes. By then it was happening so quickly and I loved it more than the original name anyway. 34|drinks trade

DT: What is your secret to success in business? JD: One of our principles is to be brave. You have to be to stand out. The more fame and success you get the more people want to take you down. The tall poppy syndrome is alive and well. It’s a reality when you become more visible. I had to deal with that. I didn’t want to get in front of the camera. That is not me, but you have to. Social is exploding. Video is huge. This is the best opportunity at the moment in the market. It is coming and it is a tidal wave and I just knew it. Andre had an acting background, he was fine, a natural. I was never in front of the camera. When we started we thought about getting other hosts, not us. I doubted myself because back then I hadn’t done many things outside my comfort zone. I was hesitant and fearful. I knew it should be us representing our brand and Andre said let’s have a crack at it. I was super uncomfortable but it got better and now I just lean in. Being brave is in our DNA at Vinomofo. I lead by example - make mistakes, learn from it, encourage learning. My entire business life is stepping out of my comfort zone so that is what we do well. DT: If you were to advise up and coming liquor retailers what would you say? JD: There is a lot to think about. Online is a huge part of wine retail. It is growing so fast and will get more and more about the speed of delivery. With Uber and

Deliveroo and even Australia Post, people are starting to pay for convenience over price. I think bricks and mortar is very powerful but I think it has to change or look different to what it looks like. I don’t know what the answers are but I am thinking about it very deeply because there are real opportunities. The driving force is convenience and speed. My mornings now, I order my coffee on Uber and I pay $5 delivery fee. The coffee is only $4 and I am drinking an $8 coffee but I will do it because they will deliver it to my door and they will deliver it in 15 minutes. I don’t have to leave. I don’t have to do anything and that will happen more and more. Our path has been, let’s go global. We have offices in Melbourne and Adelaide. We have warehouses in Singapore and New Zealand. I’m in each market five or six times a year. We probably will have people in those markets eventually but at this stage this is the engine room and everything is done from here. The US is the one that we have done the most planning on. We are just working through the licensing. The legal side is really complicated. It has taken longer than we had planned. We should be ready to go soon but we don’t want to go to early and spread our resources too thin. DT: What is your favourite wine? JD: Aussie Chardonnay. Chardonnay is life.



NEW ZEALAND New Zealand local, wine expert, critic and commentator, Bob Campbell MW, shared with Drinks Trade his insights into what is hot and what is not on the current New Zealand wine scene. By analysing data from the NZ Winegrowers Annual Reports - 2009 and 2018, Bob discusses where the New Zealand wine industry is compared to ten years ago, what is trending up and trending down, and makes a calculated guess on where this dynamic wine region is heading. TRENDING UP WINE PRODUCTION (+46 PER CENT) That’s a fairly hefty increase, particularly when you consider that the productive area of vineyards has only increased by around 19 per cent in the past decade. The explanation is, of course, that the yield of tonnes per hectare varies considerably from vintage to vintage. Largest vintage was 2014 (320.4 million litres) and the smallest was 2010 (190 million litres). 2014 was also the most productive with 12.6 tonnes/ha while the rain-affected 2012 vintage was least productive with 7.6 tonnes/ha. NO. OF WINERIES (+8 PER CENT) There are now 697 registered wineries in New Zealand, a modest increase from 643 ten years ago. A Sauvignon surplus in 2008 and the global financial crisis saw a slowing in start-ups and a drop from the peak of 703 wineries in 2012. The big got bigger – those producing over 4 million litres increased from 6 to 17 wineries.

EXPORT SALES (+126 PER CENT IN LITRES; +72 PER CENT IN DOLLARS) Solid growth, but a decline in return per litre, from $8.80 (2009) to $6.68 (2018). Top three markets by value in 2009 were (in order) UK, Australia and USA. The top three in 2018 were USA, UK and Australia. Sauvignon Blanc maintained its dominant position. In 2009 Sauvignon Blanc represented 81 per cent of export volume. In 2018 Sauvignon was 86 per cent of wine exports. PRODUCING VINEYARD AREA (+19 PER CENT) Steady, if slow, growth over the past decade with a small drop in 2013 and 2015. Regions with expanding vineyard area in the past ten years are Nelson (+44 per cent), Marlborough (+41 per cent), Central Otago (+24 per cent) and Wairarapa (+16 per cent). Vineyard area shrank in Gisborne (-41 per cent), Auckland/Northland (-27 per cent), Canterbury/Waipara (-16 per cent) and Hawke’s Bay (-5 per cent).

GRAPE VARIETIES ON THE UP (BASED ON VINEYARD AREA) I’ve chosen to express the change in the area of productive vineyard over ten years rather than as a percentage, which can be deceptive. For example the growth in Sauvignon Blanc over the past ten years is a comparatively modest 13 per cent and yet that represents an increase of 6,897 hectares, greater than the net increase of the total national vineyard over that period. • Sauvignon Blanc (+6,397 ha) Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is a juggernaut. Uncharitable critics might argue that the wine industry is too dependent on a single grape variety and that consumers may soon tire of it. New Zealand’s wine industry would be very different place if it wasn’t for Marlborough Sauvignon. For a start it would be around one-third of its present size, and that’s without calculating the coat-tail effect that Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has had on all other varieties. Can the present rate of growth

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For more information please contact Constellation Brands: +614 00124 581 www.kimcrawfordwines.com




Ata Rangi - Main Gate

continue? Probably not, but the restriction is going to be a lack of available land rather than an unwilling market. • Pinot Gris (+946 ha) Yes, it surprised me too. Pinot Gris is a quiet achiever. It is now the country’s third most exported wine and is clawing an everincreasing share of the domestic market. I am not the world’s greatest Pinot Gris fan but I have to concede that it has made great strides in quality over the past decade. Pinot Gris is becoming a lieutenant to Sauvignon Blanc. • Pinot Noir (+ 876 ha) The country’s second most planted grape variety is becoming something of a super-star on the international stage. It’s great for the image of New Zealand wine. Pinot Noir is a precious asset that must be protected from exploitation at all costs. • Syrah (+142 ha) With a rather miniscule 435 ha in 2018 Syrah is hardly going to keep Barossa Valley vignerons awake at night although it is attracting an increasing amount of attention from the international press. Another valuable image-builder.

TRENDING DOWN NO. OF GROWERS (-35 PER CENT) Somewhat mystified by this fairly dramatic drop to the present total of 699 I turned to NZ Winegrowers for help. CEO Philip Gregan responded, “There appear to be two trends going on … one, average vineyard size seems to be increasing and two, the number of growers does seem to be reducing. To me that suggests two processes. First in some areas Gisborne and Hawkes Bay for example, we have definitely seen some growers exiting the industry whether due to age or converting to other land uses. And second there is probably some consolidation going on i.e. smaller growers selling out to larger neighbours and/or wineries.” DOMESTIC SALES OF NZ WINE (-11 PER CENT) That figure bounces around a bit from a high in 2011 (66.3 million litres) to a low in 2013 (51.7 litres) but is generally tracking down. Sales of imported wines are on the up and consumption of all wine has slipped slightly. CONSUMPTION PER CAPITAL OF ALL WINES (-11 PER CENT) There has been a steady decline in wine consumption over the past decade. In 2009

consumption per capita of all wines was at the highest point in ten years (21.5 litres) while 2018 was the lowest point with 19.2 litres. Perhaps even more worrying for local wine producers is the even greater decline in the domestic consumption of New Zealand wine from 13.9 litres in 2009 to 10.9 litres in 2018 – a drop of nearly 22 per cent. GRAPE VARIETIES IN DECLINE (BASED ON VINEYARD AREA) • Chardonnay (-748 ha) Vineyard area dropped on the first half of the decade but seems to have plateaued in the second half. If wine quality is any guide the declining trend may soon reverse. • Riesling (-272 ha) It’s easy to make good Riesling in New Zealand but not as easy to sell it. The variety experienced a steep drop of 223 ha in 2012 and has been in slow decline since. • Cabernet Sauvignon (-268 ha) Like Riesling, Cabernet dropped sharply in 2012 and acreage has continued to decline gracefully ever since. It won’t go away but is unlikely to enjoy a revival.

WINE BRANDS TO WATCH BELL HILL, CANTERBURY* Tiny production of hard to get superquality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. SMITH & SHETH, HAWKE’S BAY, MARLBOROUGH AND CENTRAL OTAGO* Ground floor stuff, expect top quality Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Noir.

MATT CONNELL WINES, CENTRAL OTAGO* Brand new. Seductive Pinot Noir and a very good Chardonnay.

KUSUDA, MARTINBOROUGH* Collectible, hand-made Pinot Noir, Syrah and Riesling.

GREYSTONE, NORTH CANTERBURY Stylish aromatic wines and great Pinot Noir. A great site.

NEUDORF, NELSON Outstanding Chardonnay.

FRAMINGHAM, MARLBOROUGH Truly great Riesling. ATA RANGI, MARTINBOROUGH Legendary Pinot Noir. FELTON ROAD, CENTRAL OTAGO Great Pinot Noir, Riesling and Chardonnay.

*Wineries you may not have heard about Source: NZ winegrowers Annual Report 2018 www.nzwine.com/en/news-media/statistics-reports/new-zealand-winegrowers-annual-report/

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RRP:$55 • Distributor: Oatley Wines Ahead of its inaugural partnership with the Australian Open 2019, PiperHeidsieck has launched a limited-edition bottle with bespoke Australian Open label and Tennis Gift Tin featuring the Official Champagne of the Australian Open logo and tennis ball theme. The limited-edition bottle will be available onsite at the Australian Open precinct and through PiperHeidsieck’s partner, Crown Melbourne in January. The limited-edition Tennis Gift Tin, in the shape of a tennis ball cannister, will be available from select retail outlets.

RRP:28.99 • Distributor: DMG Fine Wine Following the sell out release of the 2017 vintage, Handpicked Wines has released another limited edition rosé in partnership with fashion label, Romance Was Born. Stemming from a mutual love of rosé and a shared philosophy of creativity and playfulness, the 2018 from the winery’s Yarra Valley vineyard features a special limited edition label by the celebrated designers, Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales.


RRP:$18 • Distributor: De Bortoli Wines The new De Bortoli Pinot G combines the popular, light crisp taste of Pinot Gris in a unique square bottle with a distinctive industry-first holographic label and cap. An expression of modernity, ingenuity and innovation, the intriguing packaging with its shifting colours and reflections of light from the holographic foil aim to increase the wine’s shelf impact and attract consumer interest in store.

RRP:$40 • Distributor: Spirits Platform Limited Edition bottle, Disaronno Wears Trussardi, marries the Italian lifestyle brand Trussardi, with Disaronno, the amaretto flavoured liqueur. The Limited Edition bottle showcases the Trussardi texture and greyhound logo while fine fuchsia, green and blue brushstrokes frame the famous Disaronno label. The collaboration honours both of the brand’s sense of tradition, innovation and Italian style. #DisaronnoWearsTrussardi is the sixth Limited Edition of the Disaronno® Icon project, the brand’s annual collaboration with leading names in Italian fashion.

6. JOHNNIE WALKER BLUE LABEL YEAR OF THE PIG LIMITED EDITION DESIGN RRP:$260 (750 ml) • Distributor: Diageo Australia Johnnie Walker has released this striking bottle design in celebration of Chinese New Year 2019 and the Year of the Pig. The annual commemorative Lunar New Year Limited Edition Blue Label Design series is now in its sixth instalment, inspired by the Chinese Zodiac. Johnnie Walker Blue Label is a blend of rare handpicked single malt and grain whiskies and in Chinese astrology the Pig is the symbol of prosperity, generosity and abundance. That sounds like a good reason to enjoy Blue Label in the New Year.

3. MIRABEAU EN PROVENCE ETOILE ROSÉ 2017 RRP:$23 • Distributor: Oatley Wines From the vines of the Côtes de Provence, the Mirabeau Etoile Rosé is a cuvee of 90 per cent grenache and 10 per cent cinsault. This pale classic Provencial rosé is defined by the delicate aromas of white peach, citrus and a hint of fresh pineapple. Etoile is touted as a gastronomic rosé and is appealingly silky and round with a structure and perfect for summer.






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RRP: $95 • Distributor: Paramount Liquor (On-premise), NSW: Cerbaco, QLD: Addley Clark, SA:Connect Vines, WA:Liquid Library After five years of development, the Melbourne Gin Company is releasing Single Shot, a gin made in a single distillation, unlike the MGC’s original Melbourne Dry Gin, in which botanicals are individually distilled then blended together. The result is a full flavoured gin, so much so it may louche (form a fine glazy mist) in a G&T or Martini, which MGC celebrates as a mark of distinction. Before its release, Melbourne Gin Company received major international accolades for Single Shot including Double Gold at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Awards, Gin Master at the 2018 Gin Masters Awards London, and Gold Medal at the 2018 World Gin Masters – Asia (Hong Kong) making it the most awarded gin that no one has tasted yet.

RRP:$6.99 (300 ml) • Distributor: Winemaking Tasmania An excitingly vibrant cross between a wine and a cider, Blushing Lady offers a blend of hand-picked and sorted Tasmanian apples, cherries and Pinot Noir grapes, that are pressed, fermented, then blended and lightly carbonated. The result is refreshing for easy drinking. This brand new ‘sparkling fruit fusion’ category serves as an approachable choice to new wine drinkers.

10. BLACK DEVIL CIDER RRP: $6.99 (330 ml) • Distributor: Winemaking Tasmania Crafted and made from 100 per cent fresh Tasmanian hand-picked apples that are sorted and washed, before being milled and undergoing a long, cool fermentation. The outcome is a beautifully balanced cider that preserves the crisp, fresh taste of Tasmanian apples.

8. LAKE WANAKA’S BROKEN SHED VODKA™ RRP:$64.99 • Distributor: Vodkarus Another award-winning Kiwi vodka taking the world by storm and now available in Australia, Lake Wanaka’s Broken Shed Vodka was founded by Mark Simmonds and takes the pure natural resources of New Zealand and transforms them into a premium distinctive, clean, clear as water, vodka with a luxurious mouthfeel. “Australians appreciate premium quality spirits and will love the highquality ingredients and the care we use in producing Broken Shed Vodka from those two ingredients, whey protein distillate uniquely blended with pure pristine water from two New Zealand water sources with no additional additives,” said Mark.


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11. A’TIVO SPRITZERS – ROSÉ AND WHITE RRP: $7 per can (250 ml) $24 per 4 pack • Distributor: Treasury Wine Estates Based on the popularity of wines in cans, A’tivo has extended its range for summer. The new spritzers come in two styles, Rosé with a twist of raspberry and White with a twist of lime. Wine in a can is a practical option for the warmer months because they chill faster than glass, are easy to transport and perfect for glass-free occasions such as sporting events or music festivals.





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9 1 20

Australia Day – back-yard cricket, long lunches, BBQ’s and silly games involving Hills Hoists, all resulting in strong sales both on and off-premise (particularly off-premise). It also marks the end of the summer holidays for many and going back to work. For the liquor trade we trust you’ve had a bumper summer holiday season with sales following the direction of the thermometer. UP.


ow is the time to plan your strategies for 2019, what is moving well and what isn’t. Trends over the past 12 months are a good guide, but it’s always good to have a view to the future and what innovation is heading your way – particularly innovation that sells. We’ve chosen this time to publish our list of the “Hottest 100 Brands” for 2019. We believe this list will give you some insight into what has performed well over the past 12 months including what is tipped to continue selling well in your stores in 2019.

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So how did we come up with the Hottest 100 brands for 2019? I’d love to say simple, but of course there’s plenty of crystal balling involved. We started with raw data, turned it upside down, inside out, and came back to the brands that added the most growth, and ultimately dollars, to your businesses over the last year. That gave us the ‘rear view mirror’. To gain an understanding of what’s on the horizon we turned to the professionals. In partnership with the team at IRI, and the buyers from leading Banner Groups, here is a list we hope you find useful – and sometimes eye opening – to help you build sales in your stores.

l e an P e h T ATES BLAKECatCegOory Manager

National IBA

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Dire Managing ends g e L r Liquo

RaSgEerT E M O S S E JAtMional Category Man

UT T DAVnIaDl CaCteLgOory Manager

anag General M Porters


RIEN CHneRraIlSMaOna’gBer


Ge ons Liquor Bar

ESON COneRraEl MYanLaEger tailers

INI ASbliHshLinEg YEditPor

e Ge nt Liquor R Independe

Pu Hip Media

This feature states dollar growth figures and percentage growth for the past twelve months according to IRI Marketedge off-premise data, Australia Liquor Weighted MAT 30/09/2018.

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r e e B


“Our growth is a combination of strong brand awareness strengthened with creative BTL campaigns has helped to increase the brand’s in-store visibility delivering growth through our trade partners”, Mark Churi – General Manager Sales, Casella Family Brands.


$2,601,000 and 85.5% GROWTH

IRON JACK CRISP $65,188,000 and 489.4% GROWTH


YENDA CRISP $1,454,000 and 2143% GROWTH (Massive Growth Pick)


$40,5699,000 and 110.1% GROWTH


$2,760,000 and 197.2% GROWTH

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“The top 100 brands all talk to the contemporary trends of being sessionable, easy drinking or ‘Instagramable’. Attractive and innovative product presentation, supported with strong messaging that resonates with drinkers, are peppered through the top 100 brands. Drinkers are seeking out brands that align with their own values - having a sense of fun, being adventurous and not taking themselves too seriously. They are seeking to share their experiences, and drinking occasions, on social media where the look of their drink of choice is appealing, interesting, and communicating a level of sophistication to their peers”, Stephen Wilson – Liquor Channel Manager, IRI Worldwide Research.


$4,073,000 and 608.6% GROWTH






$10,111,000 LAUNCH

$10,175,000 and 13.4% GROWTH


$3,208,000 and 12.7% GROWTH


$1,853,000 and 61% GROWTH (HIP PICK)

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JIM BEAM DOUBLE SERVE $8,989,000 and 321.5% GROWTH

“Double the flavour with a fuller smoother taste, enjoyed best with a group of mates.”


$9,433,000 LAUNCH BRAND

“Extra-aged premium strength bourbon with double the character.”



$8,560,000 and 13.4% GROWTH

$49,101,000 and 27.3% GROWTH “Largest contributor to the 2018 spirits category growth.”


JACK DANIEL’S WHISKEY & COLA $10,109,000 and 3.5% GROWTH

$11,738,000 and 16.8% GROWTH



$11,474,000 and 9.9% GROWTH

• WILD TURKEY 101 6.5% RTD • BUNDABERG UP • WILD TURKEY 5% RTD drinks trade|49





23RD STREET $1,418,000 and 231% GROWTH

$4,462,000 and 17.2% GROWTH



$2,127,000 and 31.5% GROWTH

$3,346,000 and 11% GROWTH






$5,155,000 and 22% GROWTH in VODKA

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$9,774,000 and 13% GROWTH


“Number one contributor to the spirits category (FBS & Premix) in actual litres and actual dollars in 2018.”

“Martell was the fastest growing cognac in 2018, and growing 5 times faster than the cognac category, with a recently rejuvenated packaging refresh. Martell aims to educate and recruit new drinkers to cognac with a dynamic portfolio and newly launched innovation, Martell Blue Swift – VSOP Cognac finished in Kentucky Bourbon casks”, Xenia Charovatova, Brand Manager Luxury – Pernod Ricard Australia.


$3,896,000 and 22.5% GROWTH


THE MACALLAN $1,661,00 and 122% GROWTH


$1,610,000 and 31.0% GROWTH



$1,543,000 and 9.4% GROWTH


$5,227,000 and 17.6% GROWTH

MARTELL 52|drinks trade

$2,229,000 and 64.3% GROWTH



Please savour responsibly


The perfect balance of American and European sherry seasoned oak casks

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14/1/19 4:40 pm

Our family is made up of Originals, Artisans and Icons. And that’s the people as well as the wines. With a style to delight every palate, there’s over 100 years of McLaren Vale history in every bottle. All so easy to spot with that famous red stripe. The d ’Arenberg family of wines. @darenbergwine | darenberg.com.au

Enjoy responsibly

r e d Ci



$4,610,000 and 2520% GROWTH

e n i W H



TAITTINGER $2,659,000 and 30.1% GROWTH










SHOPPER TRACKER REBRANDS TO SHOPPER INTELLIGENCE With exciting innovation, international growth and increasing expertise our range of client services has grown. This has all culminated in a new name for our business: Shopper Intelligence. Get in touch to understand how we can help drive your growth. Ph: +612 8282 0000 www.shopperintelligence.com.au




$5,478,000 and 27% GROWTH


$6,303,000 and 16.7% GROWTH


D FOR 2 01 AN R 9 B


TEST 100




$8,531,000 and 107% GROWTH


$5,256,000 and 35.1% GROWTH


$2,859,000 and 38.1% GROWTH

n w o r i e h t of s as l c A FEVER TREE MIXERS

$4,424,000 and 35.1% GROWTH


“Watch the range of tonics growing alongside gin and the ginger with whisky.”


$5,804,000 and 57% GROWTH 56|drinks trade




t is l h c at The Wd Predictions an STRENGTHEN

HERRADURRA TEQUILA “Will lead premium tequila spike in Australia in the next three years.”


MORTIMERS CIDER “Contemporary English ciders produced from 100 % fresh pressed Cider apples. The UK’s No. 1 premium crafted fruit cider. ”

“The No. 1 choice in the On trade lovingly produced in Kingston, Jamaican from fresh yellow and blue ginger root and local malts.”

VERANO CIDER EL JIMADOR “Australia’s number 1 100% Agave Tequila”

“Australia’s No.1 Spanish craft cider - crafted ciders are rapidly growing in popularity as cider lovers seek authentic products.”

BISLERI WATER “Italian Inspired, Australian by Nature.”

LA LA LAND MASTER OF MIXERS “Master of Mixes delivers a true Home Mixology solution for our retail partners, and allows the retailer to offer cocktail solutions combined with premium spirit brands that are easy to execute and increase basket size. Master of Mixes stays true to the scratch cocktail, delivering an experience rivalling that produced by some of the world’s foremost mixologists. We combine premium fruit juice and purees with cane sugar that allows retailers to offer a hassle-free cocktail solution regardless of skill level”, John Bagnall, Regional Manager, Southern Asia Pacific – American Beverage Marketers. 58|drinks trade

AQUA VITAL “The water opportunity is growing rapidly - watch out for new launches.”



TOM APPLETON JOINS FOUR PILLARS Four Pillars has appointed Tom Appleton to the role of Regional Trade Director for the successful Australian gin brand. Tom comes highly qualified to the position previously at Diageo as Head of Reserve Brands. Tom will work closely with Vanguard in getting Four Pillars in the best bars and restaurants across the country and lead the company’s on-premise strategy in the domestic market. He will also manage the New Zealand market and growing markets in Asia as well as the USA and Canada. Scott English will continue to lead sales in the Australian offpremise as well as UK, Europe and the Middle East as well as managing the fast-growing Global Travel Retail channel for the brand. Four Pillars recently announced it has just opened up its 25th international market, a landmark for the business as it approaches five years in business.


STICKY CARPET GIN HONOURS THE ESPY Created in honour of the re-opening of the iconic Melbourne venue, the Hotel Esplanade in St Kilda, or the ‘Espy’ as it is affectionately known, is the aptly named Four Pillars ‘Sticky Carpet Gin’. Co-founder and distiller, Cam Mackenzie, describes how they put the Espy in Four Pillars gin. “The botanicals have a deliberate pub feel. Rather than just using our base spirit we have added a few litres of a local roasted dark stout (Watt’s River) to add some malty, toasted character. We then filled the stills with juniper, coriander, honey, roasted barley (another beer-y ingredient), cassia, green pepper, orris root, and Cascade Hops (there it is again). The botanical basket contains fresh lemon peel and ginger. “It’s an unusual gin. It’s a gin for beer lovers. You get some lovely depth from the stout/ barley and cassia, and spice from the pepper and ginger. The hops, lemon and coriander introduce some brighter tropical and citrus notes,” says Cam. Custodian of the Hotel Esplanade, Andy Mullins, says the venue and Four Pillars Gin is a match made in heaven. Four Pillars ‘Sticky Carpet Gin’ is available on-premise exclusively at the Espy, for the time being anyway.

Co-working spaces are booming so two longtime friends, Michael Bascetta, one of Australia’s leading food and beverage curators (Bar Liberty, Capitano) and property developer Roscoe Power thought one designed by and for the hospitality industry could be a good idea. One year on and Worksmith has been so successful in luring F&B workers to office desks at its Collingwood, Melbourne address that it is already expanding to other spaces including Melbourne’s CBD. The co-founders identified the need to support, connect and promote food and beverage businesses and its workers. Over 800,000 people work in Australia’s food and beverage industry, and the vast majority work in non-traditional office settings due to the parameters of their job. “The idea is rooted in giving back to the industry,” says Bascetta. “Not only do we offer them a desk but also a chance to network and collaborate with like-minded people under one roof.” Worksmith boasts a score of high-profile residents including boutique drink companies (Four Pillars, Marionette, Archie Rose), food-focused start-ups and businesses (The Wine Gallery, posBoss, Dish app, Feastively, HoppApp, The Humble Dumpling, Eighteen Thousand Islands), F&B focused crowdfunding platform Birchal, not-for-profit Scarf, numerous distributors, plus many more. Seeing opportunity to engage with Worksmith’s network, CAPI Sparkling, Gordon Legal, William Angliss Institute and Farmwall have all signed on as partners bringing events, consultation, education pathways and a range of other services to the Worksmith community. The multi-functional setting is designed to cater to a hospitality workers’ needs, with a full 11-metre bar, an event space catering up to 100 people, a podcasting studio, a meeting room and a commercial kitchen. “We’re one of the world’s first co-working spaces with this concept, and we’ve already received calls from New York, London and Singapore,” says Power. Power Michael Bascetta and Roscoe

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CONNECT CANADIAN CLUB EXTENDS AUSTRALIAN OPEN PARTNERSHIP UNTIL 2020 On the verge of another hot Aussie summer, Canadian Club has extended its successful five-year partnership with the Australian Open (AO), re-signing as the Official Dark Spirit partner for another two years. Tennis lovers can enjoy Canadian Club & Dry and the new Canadian Club Zero Sugar Dry as well as visit the Canadian Club Racquet Club pop-up bar at the AO festival. The bar is in a prime position on the upper terrace of Birrarung Marr. The partnership for Canadian Club also includes exclusive dark spirit pourage within Melbourne Park and throughout the Emirates Australian Open Series including the Brisbane International, Sydney International and Hobart International. In addition, the brand will leverage the sponsorship across multiple touchpoints, venues, retailers and promotions to drive impact over the key summer period. “Canadian Club is dominating the spirits category and is continuing to see unprecedented year on year growth. The Australian Open is a key partnership for the brand and re-signing will see CC continue to be one of the most visible brands over summer and allow for mass trial amongst our key audience,” said Beam Suntory Marking Director, Trent Chapman.


GOOSE ISLAND LAUNCHES 2018 BOURBON COUNTY STOUT Guests were the first in the world to try the Goose Island 2018 Bourbon Country Stout at the exclusive global launch held at The Elk Room, The Everleigh in Melbourne’s Fitzroy. Guests also had the privilege of tasting the 2017 Bourbon County Stout as well to compare the two iterations. Goose Island’s Sour Sisters range was also showcased with a beer and cheese tasting, hosted by Beer Ambassador, Joe Lusk, bespoke beer cocktails curated by The Everleigh, and Chicago deep-dish pizzas by Connie’s Pizza. 60|drinks trade

Iconic Aussie brands Bundaberg Rum Lazy Bear and Budgy Smuggler have collaborated to release this summer’s must have swimwear – yes, the Bundy Smuggler. The joint venture has resulted in the creation of limited edition ‘Bundy’ Budgy Smugglers for the gents and a one-piece Smuglette for the ladies that will be sure to get some attention on Australian beaches over the warmer months. The all Australian-made swimwear has the famous Bundy R Bear emblazoned across the front and will be available to win through the purchase of Lazy Bear packs. With every six and ten promotional pack bought, people can enter their unique code online, found on the inside of their pack, for a 1-in-8 chance to get their hands on a pair until stock runs out. “We couldn’t resist the chance to collaborate with such a legendary Australian brand like Bundaberg Rum. Our Budgys are best enjoyed with a cold one in hand, so we feel it’s only right that fans can enjoy both a chilled Lazy Bear and a hot pair of Smugglers through our limitededition run”, said Jarrod Allen, Head of Research and Development at Budgy Smuggler. “Bundaberg Rum created Lazy Bear with the ingeniously lazy in mind… Lazy Bear is a ready to drink rum mixed with the refreshing taste of dry ginger and natural lime. The new Bundy Smugglers are just as fuss-free and ready to go, all people need to do is buy a pack of Lazy Bear for the chance to get their hands on the hottest togs in town” says Hayden Abercrombie, Marketing Manager for Bundaberg Rum.

#HUNTERGATHERING WINES GETTING BETTER WITH EACH VINTAGE I know what you are thinking… the winemakers of the Hunter Valley have a reputation for announcing the latest vintage as the ‘vintage of the century’ but maybe they are right? Hunter Valley wines are getting better and vintages are getting more exceptional. Call it climate change, call it progress, but at the #huntergathering tasting at the Builder’s Arms in Melbourne’s Fitzroy the 2017 vintage wines presented beautifully as did the 2018. Winemakers of the Hunter, Andrew Thomas, Andrew Margan, Iain Riggs, Mark Richardson, David Hook, Adrian Sparks, Mike De Iuliis and Jeff Byrne were all in attendance discussing their wines and revealing their passion for innovation. These winemakers are not shy to trial new varietals in the hope of finding the next Hunter Shiraz or Semillon. Varietals such as the 2018 Margan Albarino, the 2017 De Iuliis Fiano, and the David Hook Reserve Hunter Valley Sangiovese and Barbera 2017 vintages were all showing excellent promise. Better clones of these varietals have become available in recent years and has helped along quality. “Most of the vineyards for the newer varietals are still young but they are performing better,” said David Hook. “In the vineyard we have just worked out how to grow these grapes in the Hunter – viticulture is getting better all the time and winemaking techniques are getting better all the time. You have to be careful because of warmth and disease here so you don’t want too late ripening but you do want good acidity.” Like other varietals the Hunter puts its unique mark on these Spanish and Italian varietals presenting styles that are uniquely different from other Australian wine regions. As for the impact of climate change the winemakers revealed harvest was definitely earlier but sometimes the hotter years deliver more weight and flavour in the grapes. The big stars of the Hunter are obviously Shiraz and Semillon but the vineyard area is decreasing for these varietals as land is turned over to other uses. David Hook says this has led to the price of Shiraz grapes doubling for this coming vintage, however, this is indicative of an established and premium wine region. “We only make premium because it is expensive to make here and that’s where we want to be.”

Alex Wolpert, founder of East London Liquor Company

A JOB APPLICATION WITH A COCKTAIL TWIST THAT’S NOT A LEMON The team from East London Liquor Company (ELLC) is on the hunt for a part-time brand ambassador in Melbourne. It is sending out the call to all spirit-loving and industry-focused bartenders in what is a unique hiring process. The first round of ‘interviews’ is a summer cocktail competition. Ex-bartender and founder of the East London Liquor Company, Alex Wolpert, is flying to Melbourne in February to meet the finalists, judge the drinks, and ultimately hire the new Brand Ambassador. The lucky person selected to extend the ELLC team will be flown to London to visit the distillery and meet the crew.

TIA MARIA ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH MOONLIGHT CINEMA Tia Maria is set to showcase the very best in coffee cocktail mixology all summer long as the exclusive spirit partner for Australia’s outdoor cinema, Moonlight Cinema. Now, for the first time, outdoor cinema buffs can relax and enjoy the latest release with a cocktail in hand as part of the Tia Maria Coffee Project. The Project celebrates what’s new and exciting in coffee mixology. Guests will have the opportunity to sample the classic Tia Espresso Martini, the Tia Popcorn Frappe, plus the Tia Coffee Tonic. At each Moonlight Cinema capital city location, drinks will be served from one of three unique bars, the Tia Maria container bar, a Piaggio Apelino or one of the Tia Maria bespoke coffee bikes. In addition, Tia Maria is running a retail promotion that allows movie fans to take a friend for free. ‘People’s love for coffee, and coffee cocktails, is at an all-time high and through the Tia Maria Coffee Project we want to show them how versatile they can be. Now guests can raise a glass to the ultimate summer experience with the ultimate coffee cocktail,” says Mark Hickey, Brand Ambassador, Tia Maria.

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Tasting Bench

White wine and rosé are predictable drinking choices in the warmer months, but what about a good chilled red? They can be a great alternative, however, a red wine needs to embody certain characteristics before it can be successfully chilled down. Lighter body styles with plenty of primary fruit and low tannins are good picks. Chilling can make tannins and new oak scream at you from the glass in a very unpleasant way, we wouldn’t recommend giving your prized cellared Grange a long dose in the freezer for example. Drinks Trade’s expert panel tasted their way through Pinot Noirs, Gamays and Sparkling Reds to address which wines were best chilled down for optimum summer drinking.

THE TASTING The tasting panel blind-tasted three brackets of chilled red wine - Pinot Noirs, Sparking Reds, Gamays and other blends and varietals suitable for chilling. We adopted The Wine Advocate/Robert Parker 100-point wine-scoring scale: • 96–100 – Extraordinary • 90–95 – Outstanding • 80–89 – Barely above average to very good • 70–79 – Average • 60–69 – Below average • 50–59 – Unacceptable Drinks Trade published all the wines that scored above 85 points as an average.

THE VERDICT As a rule the wines that were fruitier with slight residual sugar, while being balanced with good clean acid, really rose to the occasion when chilled. Our highest scorer was an impressive entry level fruit-forward wine that impressed the judges chilled. It retails for $11 a bottle. Congratulations Richland Pinot Noir 2017. The sparkling red category didn’t score so highly. General feedback wasthe majority presented as too simple and one dimensional with amplified sugar.

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THE PANEL RALPH KYTE-POWELL Ralph Kyte-Powell has worked in the wine and hospitality industries for over thirty years including roles as a wine marketer, retailer, sommelier, vigneron, lecturer and owner/operator of a small hotel. Ralph began writing twenty years ago and has been a regular contributor to Delicious, Cuisine, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald and is best known as former co-editor of the Penguin Good Australian Wine Guide.

SHARON WILD Sharon has been pursuing her passion for wine as both a hobby and career for the past 25 years. Her wine industry experience is extensive and focuses on education and communication. She has taught wine courses at all levels, from basic wine appreciation classes to the internationally accredited WSET’s, and is an experienced presenter. She has contributed articles to wine magazines, judged on tasting panels and at wine shows. She has engaged in Master of Wine studies and passed the tasting component of the exam and was a Len Evan’s Tutorial Scholar.



Meira started working in hospitality 12 years ago in an Italian restaurant called ‘Bellini’ in Tel Aviv, Israel. After roles as a restaurant manager and a successful sommelier, Meira came to Melbourne six years ago to learn more about food, wine and service. Since here she has worked at some of Victoria’s finest restaurants – Brooks, Grossi Florentino, The Lake House and The Town Mouse. Meira is now an independent sommelier, one of the co-founders of the hospitality conference ‘GROW Assembly’ and was named The Age Good Food Guide Sommelier of the Year for 2016.

Morgan began in the hospitality industry to fund his studies. He graduated from food runner to assistant sommelier at Richmond’s Pearl restaurant in Melbourne and went on to work for The Lucas Group as a beverage manager, first at Chin Chin, then at Baby Pizzeria, and finally Kisume, where he was on the opening wine team as Head Sommelier. He currently pulls corks on the wine team at Coda. Morgan has been contributing to The Australian Life pages for the past two years and in September 2017 was named Emerging Wine Writer of the Year at the Louis Roederer International Wine Writing Awards as well as winning the Best Featured Articles or Wine Column category at the Wine Communicators of Australia awards in November 2017.

The Tasting Bench is proudly sponsored by

If you would like to receive information about our upcoming tastings, please email Melissa Parker at melissa@hipmedia.com.au

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Richland Pinot Noir 2017

Banks Road Estate 2015

RRP: $11 Region: King Valley Distributor: Calabria Wines Points: 93 Judge’s comments: “Intense, ripe and good concentration, silky and fine, a good wine.” Ralph Kyte-Powell. “Great perfumed length and an accomplished integration of tannin and acid.” Morgan Dunn. “Fruit driven on the palate but not too ripe, balanced and with good acid.” Meira Harel. “A fruity, structured wine showing lovely mineral and earth characters with a long elegant finish.” Sharon Wild

RRP: $28 Region: Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria Distributor: Domaine Wine Shippers Points: 91 Judge’s comments: “Crunchy red fruit on nose and palate, well balanced and elegant structure with fresh, clean finish. A very moreish wine.” Sharon Wild

Bouchard La Vignee Pinot Noir 2016

Domaine de la Pousse D’Or Santanay Clos Tavannes 2013

Coombe Farm Estate Pinot Noir 2017

RRP: $30 Region: Burgundy Distributor: Domaine Wine Shippers Points: 90 Judge’s comments: “I really like the nose on this wine. It’s vibrant and the fruit is expressive. Great tannins, crunchy acid, cleansing.” Meira Harel

RRP: $118 Region: Burgundy Distributor: Domaine Wine Shippers Points: 89 Judge’s comments: “Dense opulent dark fruit on the palate, soft and mellow in style.” Morgan Dunn

RRP: $37 Region: Yarra Valley Distributor: McWilliam’s Wines Group Points: 89 Judge’s comments: “Strawberry and red florals yet meaty and savoury on the palate. Good food wine with that level of acid.” Meira Harel

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Taylor Made Wild Ferment Pinot Noir 2017 RRP: $25 Region: Adelaide Hills Distributor: Taylors Wines Points: 91 Judge’s comments: “Nice little wine. Layered with herbal notes on the nose and palate, lots of cherry fruit with a bit of sweetness. A very friendly wine.” Meira Harel

Babich Family Estate Black Label Pinot Noir 2017

Villa Ponciago Beaujolais Village Gamay 2018

Framingham Noboby’s Hero Pinot Noir 2017

RRP: $38 Region: Marlborough Distributor: Domaine Wine Shippers Points: 89 Judge’s comments: “Fruit forward and succulent, clean, floral, light and fresh.” Ralph Kyte-Powell

RRP: $28 Region: Beaujolais Distributor: Domaine Wine Shippers Points: 88.5 Judge’s comments: “Pretty, light, juicy and jammy – everything you could want from a Gamay.” Morgan Dunn

RRP: $25 Region: Marlborough Distributor: McWilliam’s Wines Group Points: 88 Judge’s comments: “Fragrant, fruity, juicy and intense.” Ralph Kyte-Powell

Mud House Pinot Noir 2017

Bream Creek Estate Reserve Pinot Noir 2015

Heartland Foreign Correspondent Dolcetto and Langrein 2018

RRP: $59 Region: Tasmania Distributor: Fesq and Co Points: 87 Judge’s comments: “Lifted plum fruit nose, well balanced, long fruit and spice finish.” Sharon Wild

RRP: $25 Region: Langhorne Creek Distributor: Heartland Wines Points: 87 Judge’s comments: “Tangy and likeable. Juicy and clean.” Ralph Kyte-Powell

De Bortoli Woodfired Sparkling Shiraz NV

Grant Burge Sparkling Shiraz Cabernet NV

Leconfield NC Syn Rouge NV

RRP: $19.99 Region: Heathcote Distributor: De Bortoli Wines Points: 85 Judge’s comments: “Classical, berries and spice, round and complete, long and velvety with good structure and balance.” Ralph Kyte-Powell

RRP: $29.99 Region: Barossa Distributor: Accolade Wines Points: 85 Judge’s comments: “Interesting nose with Christmas spices, finish is sweet.” Meira Harel

RRP: $24.99 Region: Central Otago Distributor: Accolade Wines Points: 88 Judge’s comments: “Intriguing nose, good texture, balanced acid with long finish. It’s an interesting wine with personality.” Meira Harel

RRP: $18 Region: Coonawarra Distributor: Veraison Wines, NSW and Westwood Wines, Vic. See www.leconfieldwines.com/distributors/ australia for other states. Points: 85 Judge’s comments: “This is a surprise. Lovely balance, roundness of fruit, acid and length.” Morgan Dunn

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rtender 2018 Worlds Best Ba rzo Ma do lan Or




Stylist Jeff Lack


BOMBAY SAPPHIRE AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA Bombay Sapphire has collaborated with the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) to launch the first Melbourne Bombay Sapphire Gin Garden for summer. The official launch took place at the prestigious NGV Gala held to celebrate the opening of the world first exhibition, Escher X nendo / Between Two Worlds. The Gala was attended by over 1200 guests including, Natalie Portman, Troye Sivane, Poppy Delevigne, Olympia Valance, Mavournee Hazel, The Hon. Daniel Andrews MP, Julie Bishop and Lydia Schiavello. Bartenders mixed 3,500 Bombay Sapphire cocktails for the guests while they enjoyed food created by internationally acclaimed Australian chef, Andrew McConnell. The Bombay Sapphire Gin Garden can be experienced in the transformed NGV Garden Restaurant where visual themes have been put to play in a nod to Escher and nendo including reflection and refraction of light. Melburnians and visitors can experience the Bombay Sapphire Gin Garden at NGV Friday Nights, running until Friday 5 April. Set against the backdrop of the NGV Garden, the open-air bar will offer Bombay Sapphire cocktails, alongside DJs delivering summer tunes to kickstart the afterhours access to Escher X nendo I Between Two Worlds. Tickets available at www.ngv.vic.gov.au/ program-series/friday-nights/ 66|drinks trade

Winter certainly arrived in Bondi when Johnnie Walker celebrated its ingenious collaboration with HBO Game of Thrones at Icebergs Dining Room and Bar. It was certainly a coveted invite with one hundred guests attending to sample the White Walker. Icebergs was transformed into an atmosphere inspired by the north side of the wall complete with ice sculptures and installations. Media, VIPs, influencers and industry experts including Tim Dormer, Nathan Tito, Luc Wiesman, Jeff Lack and Dion Horstmans enjoyed five whisky-paired food courses inspired by Game of Thrones including smoked blood sausage and oxtail crisps. White Walker was served to guests straight from the depths of the freezer.

er Tim Dorm

DISARRONO WEARS TRUSSARDI AT SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE Disaronno Wears Trussardi, the 6th collaboration between the iconic Italian liqueur and leading names in Italian fashion, was officially launched in Australia at the Sydney Opera House. The event saw Australia’s first cocktail runway show, featuring bespoke cocktails created by talented mixologists from QT Hotels from around the country. Guests enjoyed the Disaronno based cocktails inspired by the city where they were first imagined.

GREY GOOSE ARBORY LIVE IN MELBOURNE Super-premium spirit brand Grey Goose vodka served up specialty cocktails including the Grey Goose Le Grand Fizz, L’Violette Martini, and Espresso Martinis, when it partnered with Arbory Afloat’s and its Arbory Live ten-week unique music and creative experience. It gave Melbournians a good reason to get on board during the month of December. Guests were collected from points right along the Yarra to join in on the entertainment and celebrations which culminated in the ultimate experience on New Year’s Eve. Grey Goose Vodka retails for $75 per bottle nationally.

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Drinks Trade - January-February 2019  

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