Look who’s cooking
Celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito prepares lobster at a photo shoot for Martini & Rossi Vermouth. DiSpirito has signed on as the spokesperson for Martini & Rossi Vermouth for a two-year multi-media program.
Coffeemaker exchange
Starbucks Coffee Co.’s Wastlake Park location in Seattle hosted its first Brewer Exchange Day in March, inviting consumers to trade-in their home coffeemakers – regardless of brand – in exchange for a special gift. The gifts could be used toward the purchase of a new Starbucks home espresso machine or coffeemaker during the Annual Brewing Sale, as well as any merchandise sold in a Starbucks store. Recycle America Alliance accepted the home brewers brought in by consumers, recycling nearly all of the materials.
Elvis rocks the wine charts
Hayward, Calif.-based Graceland Cellars, whose parent company is Signature Wines, launched its first vintages of Jailhouse Red Merlot, The King Cabernet Sauvignon and Blue Suede Chardonnay last year and is preparing for the debut of the Broadway production based on Elvis’ tunes and CBS’s biographical miniseries in May. Graceland Cellars plans to add new labels and products to the line to support its retail distribution in 40 states.
Finally legal
The two brothers famous for brewing Hefeweizen finally reached legal age, or at least their brewery did. Widmer Brothers Brewery in Portland, Ore., turned 21 on April 2, and brothers Kurt and Rob plan to mark their anniversary with a major celebration later this year. Widmer Brothers beer is available in 45 states nationwide.
Dean of Spirits
Actor George Wendt, best known as “Norm,” the lovable barfly on the television show Cheers, helped launch The Spirits Academy (spiritsacademy.com) – the first interactive, online training and educational Web site for spirits enthusiasts and bartenders. Wendt was an obvious choice to serve as Dean of the Spirits Academy. In his role, he will help educate the beverage trade and consumers on the history and production of distilled spirits. The site, sponsored by Jim Beam Brands Co., will offer a broad selection of course topics ranging from proper tasting etiquette to in-depth explanations on how each distilled spirit is produced.
Television debut
Rosa’s Original Horchata, a ready-to-drink version of the traditional Mexican horchata beverage, made its television debut on the Food Network’s Unwrapped. The “South of the Border” episode is a new ethnic twist on a program that typically uncovers behind-the-scenes details on classic American foods.
Sports Emmy Awards
Amino Vital, a New York City-based sports supplements company, is a sponsor of the 2005 Sports Emmy Awards, which will take place in New York in May. Organized by the National Television Academy, the Sports Emmy Awards are the most prestigious honors bestowed upon American television sports programming.