Veuve Cliquot Conducts 50-Year Experiment

Plus other news and notes in the world of wine, beer and spirits.


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As part of a 50-year aging experiment, Veuve Clicquot submerged a selection of its Champagnes 40 meters into the Baltic Sea. The Cellar in the Sea project is located near the Åland shipwreck, where four years ago, 47 bottles of Veuve Clicquot from 1839 and 1841 were discovered. The company’s cellar masters will monitor the non-vintage Yellow Label, Vintage Rosé 2004 and demi-sec wines against their duplicates in the Reims-based chalk cellars, as well as share samples with universities in the Oenological Universities of Reims and Bordeaux, which will undergo technical analyses to determine the effects of underwater aging. Veuve Cliquot will also retrieve samples regularly to conduct comparative tastings of the wines.

Les Dames d’Escoffier International, an international organization of women culinary leaders, announced the 2014 winners of its M.F.K. Fisher Awards. Named after famed writer Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, the awards recognize excellence in culinary writing, reflecting the organization’s mission to achieve excellence in the food, fine beverage and hospitality professions. The grand-prize was awarded to Nina Mukerjee Furstenau, a journalism teacher at the University of Missouri in Columbia. The winner for the Media (Magazine/Newspaper) and Internet categories were Stacey Shultz of St. Louis and Carol Penn-Romine of Burbank, California, respectively.

Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. has appointed John Trainer as executive vice president, general manager of its American Liberty Wine & Spirits, effective July 1. Trainer comes to Southern from Pernod Ricard USA, where he currently serves as vice president, general manager for the control markets division.

California craft brewery Lagunitas’ new Chicago facility will be open by the end of the month, according to the company. The new 300,000 square foot brewery, bar and restaurant, located in a former steel factory in the city’s Douglas Park neighborhood, will have 120 fermenters capable of producing 1.5 million barrels of beer annually.  

Shannon Ridge Family of Wines has appointed Salvatore Spena to the newly-created position of Northeast Regional Sales Manager, effective immediately. In his new role, Spena will be responsible for 12 northeastern states. Prior to joining Shannon Ridge Family of Wines, Sal was general manager at Robert's Steakhouse of New York, with over 20 years wine sales and restaurant experience.

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