The Tasting Panel magazine

JULY 2011

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INDUSTRY SPOTLIGhT Appointments Greg Akins. Greg Akins has been appointed President and Chief Operating Offi cer of California distributor Wine Warehouse. Akins joined Wine Warehouse in 1989 as a sales rep in San Diego and since 2002 has been serving as Executive VP and COO of the company’s Northern California operations. “We look forward to Greg taking a larger leadership role in the continuation of the company’s growth and success,” says James P. Myerson, Chairman and Chief Executive Offi cer of Wine Warehouse. As of this month, Scott Blazek is the new Senior Vice President, Sales for Heineken USA. He will join the company’s management team and report to President and Chief Executive Offi cer, Dolf van den Brink. Scott Blazek. His previous four-year tenure was as Regional Vice President, Central Region at Heineken USA. In that role, he was responsible for leading a team of 80 sales and marketing professionals across Heineken’s second largest region in the U.S. Charles Andrews. Banfi Vintners has appointed wholesale industry veteran Charles Andrews to the newly created posi- tion of General Manager, oversee- ing sales, marketing and public relations. He will report directly to Banfi ’s Executive Committee, con- sisting of Co-CEOs James Mariani and Cristina Mariani-May, and COO Marc Goodrich. Andrews comes to Banfi from Republic National Distributing Company. Shannon Eastman has been pro- moted to the position of On Sale National Account Director at Luxco. Eastman, with the company since 2007, was formerly TX and OK State Manager. Based in Dallas, she will work to develop beverage programs with chains based in TX, OK, KS, LA, GA, TN, CO, NM, AR, MS, AL, KY and NE. 12 / the tasting panel / july 201 1 Observe This! Y ou can upload your own videos and photos on a bottle of vodka. From the ingenious owners of MEDEA Vodka—the fi rst digital “message on a bottle” brand- ers—the new MEDEA Observe is a retailer’s dream for gift ideas. The world’s fi rst interactive 2.4-inch AMLCD display on a bottle comes pre-loaded, but your customers can customize it using a standard USB. It’s recharge- able and has 1Gb of memory. MEDEA Observe will retail for approximately $299.99 and houses an award-winning, super smooth vodka distilled in Schiedam, Holland, the world’s fi rst center of distillation excellence. For more information, please visit or contact your Southern Wine & Spirits sales rep. Apple of Our Eye A BSOLUT Orient Apple is the new fl avor from ABSOLUT that offers the fresh fruity taste of apples combined with tangy ginger. The 80-proof fl avored vodka is available in 750-ml., one-liter and 50-ml. sizes. The suggested retail price is $20/750 ml. Halby Goes Mega Importers and wine and spirits producer Halby Marketing Inc. of Sonoma, CA has appointed Megawine, Inc. of Van Nuys, CA as its strategic partner for distribu- tion and sales for California. “Megawine shares our vision, passion and commit- ment to excellence,” says Thomas Halby, President. PHOTO: DOUG YOUNG

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