Friday, October 31, 2008

From Springwise

"The impatient and hungry tech-heads of London have been given a new treat with the launch of Inamo, a pan-Asian restaurant that has canned the traditional printed menu in favour of an interactive ordering system. An illustrated menu is projected onto the diners’ touch-sensitive table, which also lets customers personalize the décor of the booth by selecting sounds and animated, projected table ‘cloths’. While waiting for their meal—the pan-Asian menu was created by head chef Anthony Sousa Tam, previously of Nobu, Ubon and Hakkasan—diners can use the touch-table to watch a live feed of their chefs at work, or to find information on what’s happening in the neighbourhood. Should the evening be going well, courting couples can use the system to book a taxi home, or if the evening descends into kill-me-now silence, rescue is at hand in the form of the system’s built-in games.

The restaurant’s inspiration came from the founders’ frustrations at inattentive waiters when dining elsewhere. However, this doesn’t mean Inamo is devoid of the human touch: food is brought to the table by staff members, who are also on hand to answer diners’ questions. The restaurant's designers also wisely avoided a tech-inspired décor, instead creating a look that's fresh and attractive, with technology offered not as the main course, but as an integrated enhancement.

With Adour’s interactive wine bar, and uWink’s entertainment kiosks at tables, food and beverage venues are bringing a digital dimension to their offer. For more on how the offline world—also known as the real world, meatspace or atom-arena—is adjusting to and mirroring the increasingly dominant online world, check out’s briefing on OFF=ON.


We went here last week as an agency... does that make us ahead of the trend? It's great fun. Just don't go for the sushi. Everything else is brilliant.

Another great post from Luxist:

"British fashion star Alexander McQueen has designed a limited edition "couture" bottle of Chivas Regal 18-Year-Old Gold Signature Scotch for the holidays. McQueen's design features royal blue leather detailing and comes topped with a hand-enameled blue, red and gold cap.

"This is a piece of art which reflects the luxury and craftsmanship values of what haute couture is all about," McQueen tells Vogue UK. "You can see my signature 'stamp' with the blue leather 'dress' and the Union Jack colors. I have created a rare collector's item that those with an eye for design will want to keep."

Only 2,000 individually numbered bottles are being produced and will be available exclusively from deluxe UK department store Selfridges, for about $500."

From Luxist

"If regular Cointreau is just a bit too orange-heavy for you to drink by itself you might want to taste Cointreau Noir. The tagline for the drink is "nothing to add," highlighting the fact that Cointreau on its own is a ubiquitous mixer.

The new Cointreau Noir is a blend of Cointreau liqueur and Remy Martin cognac meant to be sipped neat over ice or straight. The bottle is almost identical to the regular Cointreau bottle's squared shape except this bottle has a bright copper coating and a bold black label. But it's what inside that commands attention. The pairing of Cointreau and Remy Martin has resulted in mellowing out Cointreau's sweet orange flavor and adding soft vanilla and nut notes, as well as a golden amber color It's a natural for pairing with fall desserts like pumpkin, apple or pecan pie. It also turns a cup of coffee into a deliciously decadent drink Were I headed to an outdoor fall event, this would be a wonderful warmer to keep in my flask. It can be found for around $63.99 for a 750ml bottle."

Interesting to see Remy sneaking in here.

From Luxist

"They say that when blending whisky it's all about the sniffer. Small wonder then that a new book by master whiskey blender Richard Patterson and Gavin D Smith features Patterson on the cover with his nose headed glassward and goes by the title "Goodness Nose." Cute, right? What's even cuter, although perhaps veering into the strange is that a six-foot high nose, based on Patterson's more modest proboscis has been spotted around Edinburgh as part the promotion for the book. The Edinburgh News reports that the nose has been spotted in the city's Multrees Walk, the Royal Mile and Princes Street Gardens. I'm hoping pictures surface soon, this I've got to see."

I am particularly interested in this... because of our Le Nez de Courvoisier project which is all about the array of aromas in our cognac.

From Luxist

"Rye whiskey doesn't have a reputation for being a particularly modern tipple but Beam is trying to help that profile along with the introduction of (rī)1 Whiskey, the company's first ultra-premium rye whiskey. The (rī)1 (pronounced "rye one") has the slightly peppery edge to it that draws people to rye whiskey. When served with water, the fuirt and spice notes become more apparent. Of course rye whiskey has a natural home in Manhattans and Old Fashioneds but the they have also created a new cocktail, the Rising Sun, that uses lemon juice and orange juice. I haven't had a chance to taste what's inside yet but at least the bottle doesn't make you feel like you're drinking grandpa's booze. It sells for $46-$48 and future (rī)2 and (rī)3 editions are planned."

Great looking bottle. A neat idea. And a great addition to the Beam portfolio.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Diageo has lined up a new marketing campaign in the US for its Jose Cuervo Tequila brand.

The campaign, entitled 'Live Notoriously Well', will be led by 30-second and 15-second television adverts for the brand. The tongue-in-cheek ads follow a man's quest to become a living legend, guided by the 'Book of Living Notoriously'.

While no financial details were given, Diageo did say that the push would also include out-of-home, online, print and radio advertising, public relations programmes and experiential marketing.

"Jose Cuervo is the ultimate authority on Living Notoriously Well," said Gerry Reid, managing director of Jose Cuervo International. "The campaign will energise the brand among our target consumers and reflect who they are and what they aspire to be. Jose Cuervo will assist them in reaching those aspirations through a metaphorical guide to approaching life."

The TV ads will air on cable networks including ESPN, Spike TV, Discovery Channel, Comedy Central, Turner Sports-TNT, FX and TBS.

Nice idea from Frank.

Via The Dieline

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A popular Swedish brand that's on sale in Waitrose and coming to a pub near you.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

We launched what we affectionally call "Le Nez" in the USA several months ago. It's a way of using the rich array of aromas in Courvoisier's cognac as a really engaging programme for our sales force and cognac fans to explain what makes Courvoisier so special. The sense of smell is underused in the world of marketing and is proving to be an extrmely effective way of demystifying the complex world of cognac. (For some interesting research into the power of smell see the Sense of Smell Institute website)

For each marque our skilled group of cognac artisans at Jarnac have identified the 3 key aromas that are most prevalent. Our cognac experts are able to explain the cause of each individual smell, which is a great way of training our sales force and cognac enthusiasts alike about what makes Courvoisier so rich and aromatic.

We have worked with Presensia and Givaudan to create the exact aromas that our nosing team identified... it has been a fascinating project that we are incredibly passionate about.

It's brilliant to see the idea getting such a great write up from the likes of Robert Plotkin on the Bar Media blog.

"Brandy is the most prestigious spirit on the shelf. Few products immediately conjure aspirational images of prosperity and sophistication, or so ably illustrate the concept of affordable luxury as do as these traditional heavyweights. Their appeal transcends age and demographics, and although belt-tightening has reduced our discretionary income, cognacs and brandies offer people a lot of indulgence for the buck.

The House of Courvoisier has developed an extraordinary educational program geared to help people in the industry develop their senses of smell, which in turn, leads to heightened senses of taste. The program is called Le Nez ("the nose") de Courvoisier and involves working with various bottled scents to learn how to readily identify those same aromas in their cognac, or more specifically Courvoisier XO Imperial and Courvoisier Exclusif.

Recently released Exclusif is a distinctively different style of cognac created for use in cocktails, a role that it performs exceptionally well. One reason is the highly aromatic composition of its blend, which includes eaux de vie from the small, exclusive growing regions of Fins Bois and Borderies. The Le Nez program (pronounced luh nay) helps you distinguish the various aromas in Exclusif's bouquet, such as dried plums, ginger cookies and roasted coffee beans.

At the upper reaches of their portfolio is Courvoisier XO Imperial, a prestigious cognac assembled with eaux de vie ranging in age between 20 and 35 years derived largely from the Grande Champagne region, with lesser amounts from Petite Champagne and Borderies. Its savory bouquet is rich with the aromas of crème brûlée, candied oranges and iris flowers.

The Le Nez de Courvoisier program is a brilliant approach to enhancing the appreciation of not only cognac, but all premium distilled spirits. The program is under the direction of Courvoisier Brand Ambassador, Stephanie Mills. For more information, contact your local Jim Beam representative, or Beam Global Spirits & Wine in Deerfield, IL at 847.948.8888.

It presents an invaluable opportunity to sharpen your skills and senses all in one fell swoop. --RP"

Well done to all the Le Nez team - let's keep the momentum up drive the idea forward. If anyone wants to know more or wants one of our Le Nez de Courvoisier kits, let us know.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Anyone wanting to learn how to do luxury booze marketing could probably take a leaf out of this book from LVMH.

From Luxist:

"French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH is best known for its marquee property Louis Vuitton, but the company has also amassed the world's most amazing collection of top-class wine and spirits brands under its Moët Hennessy group. The incomparable portfolio is celebrated in a suitably lavish new book called Distinctive Vintages ($200, right) just out from Flammarion.

Moët Hennessy owns too many luxury brands to list, but to name a few: Hennessy Cognac; Moët & Chandon, luxe Dom Pérignon, Krug and Veuve Clicquot champagnes; Belvedere and Chopin vodkas; Glenmorangie and deliciously smoky Ardbeg single malt Scotch whiskies; and the famed Chateau d'Yquem wine, synonymous with the finest money can buy.

The book focuses on the collection of fine French wines and spirits, personified in three regions that are "as noble as they are prestigious": Cognac, the ancestral birthplace of Hennessy; Champagne, home Dom Pérignon and its confreres; and Bordeaux, graced by the magical Château d'Yquem. It offers both a practical guide to the three regions as well as an explanation of the different vintages and results produced by the famed houses."

From Luxist:

"A new James Bond movie is set to open and let the tie-ins begin. Smirnoff Vodka has announced a partnership with the new movie, Quantum of Solace, which is set to open in November. Starting in October a Smirnoff Black limited-edition stainless steel cocktail shaker that holds a 70cl bottle of Smirnoff Black vodka will pop up in duty-free shops at airports worldwide. Smirnoff isn't new to Bond movies, the brand first appeared in Dr No in 1962. The Quantum of Solace and The Black Martini are the newest Smirnoff cocktails, although I think ordering a Quantum of Solace might be a bit of a mouthful when out at the bars."

From Luxist:

"As my colleague Deidre Woollard reported earlier, the product tie-ins to the upcoming James Bond flick, Quantum of Solace, are beginning to hit the market.

The latest is from famed French champagne house Bollinger, founded in 1829. Bollinger has been featured in Bond films as 007's favorite celebratory tipple since Moonraker back in 1979.

Conceived by French designer Eric Berthès, the lockable steel bullet-shaped case engraved "Bollinger 007" holds a magnum of Bollinger's Grande Année 1999 champagne.

Packaged in a wooden box, the whole weighs over 50 pounds and costs about $5,800; only 207 numbered Bullets will be produced."

Via Born Rich

From Luxist

"Here at Luxist we've mentioned Louis XIII Cognac a bunch of times but the pricey brand has recently unveiled a new artistic collaboration with designer Christophe Pillet to create limited-edition collection of items including a crystal glass, a silver illuminated serving platter, a crystal candleholder and a display case. When patrons of certain high-end restaurants throughout the world order Louis XIII, it will be served alongside Pillet's collection as an enhancement to the presentation. They may also be made available for purchase through some fine retailers. Louis XIII is made from grapes grown in the most fertile region of Cognac, which are then distilled, blended, and aged up to 40 to 100 years and bottled in hand-blown Baccarat crystal."

From Luxist

"I saw the video of Dan Aykyroyd talking about Crystal Head vodka a week or so ago but I wasn't sure it was a real thing but turns out it is Aykroyd's newest venture in the world of liquor. Aykroyd's wines are currently the top selling celebrity brand in Canada and he recently announced they would be available in the U.S.

The selling point for Crystal Head vodka is is that it is quadrupled distilled and filtered three times through charcoal followed by triple filtration over Herkimer crystals. It also comes in that nifty skull bottle designed by John Alexander and manufactured by master artisans in Milano's Bruni Glass Company. The Infinium Spirits division of Wilson Daniels is marketing Crystal Head Vodka in the U.S. and it will be available initially in California, Texas, Nevada, Louisiana and Florida. It retails for $49.95.

As for the legend of the crystal skulls, I tend to side with the comprehensive article in Archaeology Magazine that came out earlier this year when the crystal skull craze began over the latest Indiana Jones movie."

Good news from Luxist:

"To celebrate its 150th anniversary, Canadian Club has released a special limited edition 30 Year Reserve whisky, that boasts a "luscious oak character and a velvety texture with unsurpassed natural smoothness."

Having sampled it, we second that description. The company is releasing 3,000 bottles at $200 apiece, the first Canadian distiller to offer a product of this age and refinement.

Canadian Club obviously sounds very Canadian, but it actually got its start in Detroit, founded by grocer-turned-distiller Hiram Walker, who dubbed his whisky Walker's Club. When Prohibition reared its ugly head, Walker relocated his operation across the Detroit River to Ontario, where he soon established his own community, Walkerville.

Canadian Club has recently experienced something of resurgence thanks to the hit show Mad Men, wherein it's everyone's favorite character Don Draper's drink of choice."

The part about CC being Don Darper's favourite drink is fascinating... Damn Right.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Words and image from Chris Osburn from the Londonist:

"Oh Sherry, there’s no reason to be all alone anymore! “Culinary alchemist” Heston Blumenthal (of Fat Duck fame), with scientist Professor Don Mottram of Reading University, has discovered a group of compounds known as diketopiperazines (try saying that drunk without offending someone) in Sherry. Apparently, these diketopiperazines are thought to accentuate the taste and flavour of “umami-rich” foods. In case you haven’t caught the blurps, umami is a newly discovered fifth tasting sense beyond sweet, sour, bitter and salty.

Huh? All ya need to know is that Sherry is yummy and goes well with a variety of meats, fish, cheese and more. According Mr Blumenthal, “Here we have scientific evidence to suggest what foodies across the globe have always known: that Sherry is a perfect wine to accompany food. And quite simply, Sherry gives these kinds of food an extra dimension of pleasure.” More about diketopiperazines et al at

So what’s this gotta do with London? Well, Heston and pals unveiled their findings at Shoreditch House last night and kindly invited Londonist along to sample the findings. We think Blumenthal might be onto something with this new fangled science as we learned last night that Scotch eggs (with a layer of caramelized pork) go swimmingly with Pale Cream Sherry and that Eccles cake (with Stilton and Sherry butter of course) and Cream Sherry is a winning combo. And a simple salad of peach, rocket, Balsamic vinegar and almonds with a little Amontillado is about as good as it gets! We also learned that we really really (really!) need to make it out to Fat Duck some time for a bite (or maybe a Sherry tasting expedition to Jerez?). Shoreditch House is a pretty happening spot to drink too."


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