Aussie Addition

Ravenswood Winery has introduced the 2002 Vintage Blend Shiraz from Australia. The blend is dark, dense and spicy with smoky, meaty notes and a long finish, according to the winery. The blend includes fruit from Australia’s premier wine-growing regions, including Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Clare Valley and Wrattonbully. The 2002 Ravenswood Vintners Blend Shiraz is available on store shelves and in restaurants nationally, and retails for $10 per bottle. The Vintners Blend series currently includes Zinfandel, Merlot, Chardonnay and most recently Cabernet Sauvignon, released in September 2003.
IN Brief . . .
Dairy… Snapple Beverage Group, White Plains, N.Y., has introduced Snapple-a-Day Fit for a Low Carb Lifestyle in Berry Banana, Blueberry and Mango Lime flavors. The drink provides 24 vitamins and minerals and 9 net carbs per serving… Coffee/Tea… Pasco Beverage Co., Dade City, Fla., now offers coffee processing resources for ground roast, liquid concentrates, flavored whole bean coffee, and frozen and iced coffees. Using beans from around the world, Pasco also offers custom coffee blending using up to four different bean and roast types… Simply Sublime Foods, Davis, Calif., has introduced low-fat, low-carbohydrate aerosol cappuccino foam in natural and sweetened flavors. Crema Italia Cappuccino Foam is available in an aerosol container and can be sprayed onto any type of coffee or chocolate drink prior to heating… Juice… Izze Beverage Co., Boulder, Colo., recently announced a multi-nation distributor network spanning every region of the country as well as areas in the Caribbean and the South Pacific. Izze is sold in four-packs and in single-serve, 12-ounce glass bottles. A new 16-ounce bottle and an 8-ounce can for institutional sales also are available… Island Oasis Frozen Beverage Co. Inc., Walpole, Mass., has introduced Wildberry-flavored mix. The mix is a blend of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and black currant… Water… Le-Nature’s Inc., Latrobe, Pa., recently announced its line of Ice Waters is available in blue-tinted ultraviolet-protected PET bottles. The eight-sided bottles are available as single-serve 20-ounce, or in 12- and 24-pack loose cases… Euphoria Water Co., Miami, Fla., has expanded its distribution to California, the sixth state in which its products are now available. Euphoria Water is sold at leading retail outlets including 7-Eleven, Albertsons, Bashas, IGA, Save Mart, ARCO am/pm and other locations… Spirits… Allied Domecq Spirits North America, Westport, Conn., and Canadian Club Whisky have announced that super-premium Classic 12 by Canadian Club is available at retail in 15 additional markets across the United States. The suggested retail price for Classic 12 is $19.99 per 750-ml. bottle… Mount Gay Rum, Barbados, has introduced two new flavors and new packaging for its rum. Mount Gay Mango Rum and Mount Gay Vanilla Rum are now available nationally… Bacardi Superior Rum has been awarded LowCarb Living Magazine’s first Total Carb Certification Seal. The seal ensures the accuracy of carbohydrate claims on labels… Alternative drinks… New Leaf Tea, produced by Skae Beverage International LLC, Orangeburg, N.Y., is now available throughout the East Coast beginning this month… Nantucket Nectars, Nantucket, Mass., has introduced three new flavors. Limeade, Pomegranate Pear and Red Plum are now available in 20-packs of 17.5-ounce glass bottles… Beer… The Boston Beer Co., Boston, has announced the return of Samuel Adams Summer Ale, a Belgian-style brew. Available through mid-September, the suggested retail price per six-pack is $6.99 to $7.99.
Berry debut
Van Gogh Vodka has introduced its newest flavor: Four Berry, made with blackberries, raspberries, gooseberries and blueberries from the Zeeland region in southern Holland. Four Berry Vodka will be sold in a white frosted glass bottle with a clear window presenting a color etching of the Medieval architecture of Holland’s Zierikzee Town Hall, various castles, historic buildings and the port of Zierikzee as well as the four berries. Imported by Luctor International LLC, Reno, Nev., Van Gogh’s Four Berry Vodka will be introduced in the United States in August.
Fat burner
Innovative Technologies Corp., Dade City, Fla., recently introduced Carb Crusher with GCA Natural Tea with Lemon. The tea is sold in resealable 12-ounce plastic bottles. GCA is a patent-pending extract from green coffee beans (unroasted) that reduces carbohydrate and calorie absorption without stimulants or causing gastrointestinal discomfort, according to the company. Additionally, GCA is said to inhibit the release of sugar from glycogen stores in the liver and muscles, burning off fat as an energy source.
Riesling offering
Chateau Ste. Michelle will introduce Saint M, a German Riesling made by well-known winemaker Ernst Loosen this summer. The Dr. Loosen estate has more than 200 years of winemaking experience producing only Riesling from old vines in Germany's Mosel and Pfalz regions. The 2003 Saint M Riesling is a fresh, crisp, fruit-driven wine with ripe flavors of peach and apricot, according to the company. Its medium-dry style and touch of minerals are typical of the Pfalz region. Saint M will be available nationally in July, and the suggested retail price is $12 per 750-ml. bottle.
Tantalizing teas
Gordon Industries LLC now offers Intaba Teas of Africa teas in flavors such as Traditional Rooibos Red Tea, Rooibos Honeybush, Rooibos & Fennel, Rooibos & Lemongrass and Traditional Honeybush Tea. The organically grown tea varieties include Traditional, “Bushbabies” Rooibos Honeybush, Rooibos & Fennel and Rooibos & Lemongrass. The caffeine-free tea contains more antioxidants than green tea with no artificial sweeteners and sugar, according to the company. Selling the teas in 1.7-ounce boxes containing 20 tea bags, the company also offers Traditional Honeybush Tea in a 2.12-ounce box.
Joe’s brew
Coastal Light Beer, produced by Paso Robles, Calif.-based Steinhaus Brewing Co. and distributed by Monrovia, Calif.-based Trader Joe’s, is now available in six-packs of 12-ounce dark glass bottles. The beer is brewed in small batches, and contains fewer calories and carbohydrates than other craft-brewed ales and lagers, according to the company. The Trader Joe’s-distributed Lager and Pale Ale each retail for $4.99 per six-pack.
Juicy debut
The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, has introduced Minute Maid Premium Light, an orange juice beverage with half the calories and sugar of traditional orange juice. The light orange drink contains 50 calories and 10 grams of sugar per 8-ounce serving. In addition, Minute Maid Premium Light offers 120 percent of the daily value of vitamin C, and as much calcium and vitamin D as a glass of milk in each serving. It is available nationwide in 64-ounce cartons and 8-ounce multipacks at a price comparable to other Minute Maid Premium orange juice products.
Soy slender
The Hain Celestial Group, Melville, N.Y., has introduced WestSoy Soy Slender Plain Soy Milk in 32-ounce shelf-stable packaging. Enriched with calcium, vitamin D and riboflavin, one serving provides 6.25 grams of soy protein. Additionally, the low-fat Splenda-sweetened beverage has 0 net carbs and only 1 gram of sugar. The soymilk is available in Plain, Vanilla and Chocolate flavors.
Taster’s Voice
Our taster was pleasantly surprised by the flavor of the Rhône Valley red wine we selected for this month. However, after inspecting the bottle for more information about the grapes in the wine and the foods to pair the wine with, she was a little disappointed to find few details. But based on the simple, low-profile flavor of the wine, she thought it would be versatile for pairing and an easy-drinking wine for many occasions. Fine starter Opici Imports recently introduced Côtes du Ventoux Père Anselme Red 2001 as part of a group of four wines from the Rhône Valley debuting in the United States. The 50 percent Grenache Noir, 20 percent Syrah, 20 percent Carignan and 10 percent Mourvèdre blend is recommended served with white meats and summer meals. Each 750-ml. bottle is sold for $8.99. This month’s contender: Candice, chemist Here’s the skinny… Package “It has a small, plain label. Although the bottle is not eye-catching, the colors on the label are inviting. It would be nice if the back label described what the wine is like.” Flavor “The taste is very smooth, which was unexpected because the smell was more acidic. It is lighter than a Cabernet and brownish in color. The taste is closest to a Pinot Noir.” Would you buy it? “I would buy this wine if I were hosting a dinner party. I would also buy the wine as a gift for someone who isn’t a big wine drinker.” Last Call “It’s a nice table wine. For people who are not red wine drinkers, it’s a great wine for starters. It’s versatile and mild for a red wine.”
Energy found
Hansen Beverage Co., Corona, Calif., has formed a partnership with Lost International Inc. that involves licensing the rights to develop, produce and distribute Lost Energy Drink. The energy drink, targeted toward 15- to 25-year-olds, builds on Lost's worldwide notoriety for surfboards, surf/skate apparel and accessories. Lost Energy Drink debuted at the Action Sports Retailers and Surf Expo earlier this year, and was initially launched in Southern California.
Vintner release
Murrieta’s Well Winery, Livermore, Calif., has released the 2001 Zarzuela, a Tempranillo blend from estate-grown grapes. Named for the famed Spanish operettas, Zarzuela is a harmonic blend of Tempranillo, Petite Verdot, Touriga Nacional, and Barbera, with added Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged in American and French oak barrels for approximately 14 months, the wine features ripe flavors of blackberry, currants and anise, according to the company. Only 2,000 cases were produced, and the wine has a suggested retail price of $27 per 750-ml. bottle.
Coffee pods
Community Coffee, Baton Rouge, La., recently introduced a line of premium, single-cup filter products at the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Annual Conference in Atlanta. The Community Coffee single-cup product family features seven varieties of premium coffees, including flavored and decaffeinated blends, in pre-measured ground coffee pods ready for brewing. The pods are compatible with both stand-alone and waterline brewers. Each pod is individually wrapped and nitrogen gas flushed.

New Product Introductions by Category
  No. of Reports No. of SKUs
Category ’03/’04/% change ’03/’04/% change
Wine & Wine Coolers 42/47/12 104/174/67
Beer & Ale 25/30/20 48/47/(2)
Liqueurs & Other Alcohol Drinks 68/50/(26) 161/106/(34)
Alcohol Beverage Substitutes, Low Alcohol 3/1/(67) 14/3/(79)
Bottled Waters 8/16/100 23/38/65
Soft Drinks 25/15/(40) 129/34/(74)
Isotonic, Energy Producing Beverages 22/25/14 45/37/(18)
Health Drinks 11/10/(9) 45/25/(44)
Fruit & Fruit Flavored Drinks 48/35/(27) 180/143/(21)
Vegetable & Vegetable Flavored Drinks 2/1/(50) 7/1/(86)
Baby Beverages 12/6/(50) 20/34/70
Milk, Non-Dairy Milk & Yogurt Drinks 15/27/80 41/71/73
Tea 29/30/3 200/104/(48)
Coffee 20/31/55 87/233/168
Beverage Mixes & Flavorings 25/34/36 100/107/7
Grand Totals: 355/358/1 1204/1157/(4)
Source: Productscan Online ( Current year-to-date introductions as of April 25, 2004. Previous year-to-date introductions as of April 25, 2003.