Smartphone-powered car service Uber has installed a breathalyzer kiosk in Toronto that hails cars for drunk drivers. As reported by FWx, Uber Safe provides users with a disposable straw to use the device and determine their ability to drive. The kiosk offers those found over the legal limit a free ride home from Uber. For now, the service is limited to Toronto, but it may expand to other cities.
For the second consecutive year, (RED), an organization devoted to fighting AIDS founded in 2006 by U2 front man Bono and activist Bobby Shriver, will partner with chefs, restaurants, food trucks and bars for its EAT (RED) DRINK (RED) SAVE LIVES campaign. The program will occur throughout June, featuring a variety of promotions that includes a dinner with New York City’s top chefs like Mario Batali, Paul Qui and April Bloomfield. Donations will benefit the Global Fund to Fight AIDS. To learn more about the event, visit eatreddrinkred.org or follow the hashtag #86AIDS on social media.
In the Trade
On April 6, the Long Island Wine Council announced the appointment of Ali Tuthill as marketing director. Tuthill, formerly the director of marketing and brand management for PUMA North America, will spearhead the region’s major re-branding effort.
According to a report by Drinks Business, Bacardi has begun to lay off about 10% of its North American staff. The world’s No. 4 spirits company and largest family-owned producer, Bacardi employs approximately 600 workers in North America. Bacardi will cut around 80 jobs across its sales, marketing, IT and finance divisions.
On April 9, Constellation Brands reported a 24% increase in net sales in its end-of-year assessment, thanks in large part to its Mexican beer business. While net sales in wine and spirits increased just under 2%, its beer division grew 12%. Constellation acquired Grupo Modelo beer brands Corona and Modelo Especial from AB InBev for $4.75 billion in June 2013, and sales have surged since the purchase. According to The Wall Street Journal, the company plans to spend more than $1 billion to expand its Mexican brewery operations, among other projects.
On the Scene
Wine Enthusiast has long known that Texas is an exciting, burgeoning wine region, but it’s a secret no more. CBS recently tapped Executive Editor Susan Kostrzewa to lead a segment on the Longhorn State’s booming wine scene. Learn more about the wines coming out of Texas by watching the video here >>>
Our first Editor Speak column is live! See what California Editor Virginie Boone has to say about the important role of sommeliers, and follow along as our editor’s sound off on trends and news in the world of wine and beyond. Follow #EditorSpeak on Twitter for the latest columns from @WineEnthusiast >>>
Digital Managing Editor Marina Vataj visited Chicago last week for the launch of Wine Enthusiast’s Wine & Film series, inspired by the magazine’s May Film Issue, now on newsstands. WE teamed with The Music Box Theater in Chicago’s Southport neighborhood and Palm Bay Importers to present screenings of celebrated wine films (Sideways, Somm, A Year in Champagne, among others), followed by a private wine party. This week’s pours included the Alta Luna series, Cinzano Prosecco and Ferrari Brut. Follow #ReelWines to get the scoop >>>