Just ahead of the final leg of this summer’s Rock or Bust World Tour, rockers AC/DC plan to launch a new Tequila brand. The collaboration with Fabrica de Tequilas Finos is named Thunderstruck Tequila, and should hit retail shelves sometime next month. Made from organically-produced, 100% Blue Weber agave, it will be available in silver, reposado and añejo, selling between $30 and $40. AC/DC has previously released Rock Or Bust beer, Back in Black wine, and a Platinum Shiraz from old vine Barossa grapes. They join rock
stalwarts Kiss, Iron Maiden, Whitesnake, Slayer and Motörhead, all with heavy metal brews and booze. Looking for a larger format? Try Motörhead’s Sacrifice Shiraz, now available in bag-in-box packaging shaped to look like an amp.
Bottoms Up! Sunday Morning Bloody Marys Are Now Legal In New York
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders have signed an agreement that will allow sales of booze at bars and restaurants on Sunday mornings beginning at 10 am, two hours earlier than previously. In addition, bars and restaurants outside New York City may apply for permits to begin serving at 8 am.
“Fans of brunch, soccer, football, holidays, and all things Sunday-funday can now raise a glass to thank the governor, Senate, and Assembly for their agreement,” says Restaurant Association President Melissa Fleischut. The deal includes other tweaks to New York’s arcane alcohol laws. Wineries may sell growlers, and customers can take home partially finished bottles of wine. Liquor stores may also now sell gift wrapping and gift bags.
“We’ve worked hard to cut red tape, lower costs and roll back burdensome regulations” said Cuomo. “This agreement to overhaul this state’s archaic blue laws will build upon these ongoing efforts…and help this industry grow even stronger.”
From Blue Laws To Blue Wine
You’re no doubt familiar with the entire rainbow of wines—red, pink, white and even orange. But are you ready for blue wine? Six young Spanish entrepreneurs think you are, and their alternatively-hued wine—which targets millennial drinkers—is about to hit European markets.
Created in Spain’s Basque region, Gik is a sweet wine made from a blend of red and white grapes and colored neon blue with grape skins and indigo. A non-caloric sweetener is added as well. Already sold in Spain, Gik will soon expand retail sales throughout Western Europe. After that, the promoters are eyeing the U.S. market. Hopefully with a name change.
Limited Edition Tour De France Labels Make Their Way To Cono Sur
Concha y Toro’s Cono Sur has launched a series of limited edition labels for its Bicicleta range to celebrate its partnership with the Tour de France. There are seven versions of the label, each uniquely colored to match the different wines in the portfolio. Cono Sur’s partnership with the Tour de France pairs nicely with its staff, who are known for patrolling the vineyards by bike.
Meanwhile, In the Trade
Cava DO Launches Single Estate Classification
The CRDO del Cava (Cava Regulatory Board) has launched a new classification of Cava, “Cava del Paraje”. This new classification is considered a premium category for single estate Cavas, produced according to strict criteria, and specific to the DO of Cava. It notably differs from Spain’s Grandes Pagos de Espana certification, which comprises 29 single estate wineries across Spain. Cava del Paraje wines must be made from grapes grown in vineyards that are at least 10 years old, and hand-harvested with limited yields. Only Brut wines qualify. Fermentation must be done at the estate and fermented in bottle for a minimum of 36 months.
Mendocino County Designates The Country’s First Cannabis Appellations
Seeing “Mendocino” on a cannabis product may soon be akin to seeing “Napa” on a bottle of wine. The pot-growing county is being divided into cannabis appellations in an effort spearheaded by a group called the Mendocino Appellations Project. The movement springs from legislation passed last October that redefined cannabis cultivation as agriculture. The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act charges the Department of Food and Agriculture with creating state licensing requirements and addressing environmental concerns. The act also makes it a crime for medical marijuana to be marketed, labeled, or sold as grown in a California county when it was not. The protective rules closely resemble those put in place to protect California’s wine regions.
The current proposed regions are Spyrock-Bell Springs, Covelo-Dos Rios, Long Valley-Branscomb-Leggett, Willits, Comptche, Ukiah Valley, North Mendocino Coast, South Mendocino Coast, Anderson Valley South Mendocino, Potter Valley, and Mountainhouse South Mendocino County.
Sauvignon Blanc Is Now the Number Two Grape in Sonoma
Moving further south, the latest vintage tally shows Sauvignon Blanc has moved into the number two spot in Sonoma County. With aromatic profiles that range from mildly floral to aggressively vegetal, Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc has become the region’s second-most planted varietal. It’s a love it or hate it grape, but for admirers, the praise seems unlimited. Says British wine writer Oz Clarke “Sauvignon Blanc is the most useful variety in the world. To me, that is. Not to everybody, I admit. But I love it and I need it.”
On The Scene
Here are some upcoming wine events that are likely to sell out in advance, so move fast!
July 9–10. The New York City premier of Pinknic will bring a weekend of rosé and music to Governor’s Island. Still and sparkling rosé selections from Château d’Esclans, Moët & Chandon and Chandon are offered, with live entertainment. Full details are here: www.pinknic.com
July 10–14. Oregon’s Linfield College hosts the International Terroir Congress. Some 150 scientists will gather to discuss climate change, soil studies and other cutting edge viticulture and wine research. Professor Greg Jones, the acknowledged leading authority on the impact of climate change on vineyards, will be the emcee. Also attending are geologists Scott Burns and Kevin Pogue, wine authority David Schildknecht, and Earl Jones, founder of Abacela. To register visit www.terroircongress.org