Uncorkings for 5/24/2010

Top industry stories of last week.

At the UK’s International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC), a number of newer wine-producing regions in Asia surprised by taking top honors. In particular, China was awarded two silvers and a bronze for wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay grapes, while Japan took an impressive six silvers and 25 bronze medals. Commented competition director Frances Horder in a recent press release, "What this year's results highlight more than ever is that great wine can be made anywhere in the world so wineries need to make a greater effort to stand out from the pack.”

The world’s largest Bordeaux store opened in Paris, containing more than 12,000 bottles.

According to a New York Daily News article, a French study found that moderate wine drinkers are likely to have healthy hearts, minds and body weights compared to non-drinkers.

Second Growth cigars said it is debuting is the first-ever cigar blended specifically to be paired with wine.

Absolut Vodka, in collaboration with filmmaker Spike Lee, unveiled “Absolut Brooklyn,” a limited-edition vodka flavored with red apple and ginger.

Chain restaurant P.F. Chang's China Bistro launched its new private-label Vineyard 518 line, wines available only at its restaurants. The wines, a Sauvignon Blanc and a Syrah blend, are being produced by Wattle Creek Winery in California. Mary Melton, P.F. Chang's beverage director, says the number 518 means "I will prosper" in Chinese numerology.

Preiss Imports announced the release of BIO Attitude, a certified organic Cognac from producer Léopold Gourmel.

Winemaker Mike Benziger, of Benziger Family Winery in Glen Ellen, was awarded a 2010 Growing Green Award by the Natural Resources Defense Council, which recognizes leaders and innovators in the field of sustainable food.

Foster’s Group has taken the unusual step of appointing a master sommelier to a newly created position of vice-president of luxury sales in the U.S. He will be responsible for the group's portfolio of high-end brands such as Penfolds Grange, Beringer, Chateau St Jean and St. Clement.

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