The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2016

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Page 52 of 116

52  /  the tasting panel  / september 2016 WHAT WE'RE DRINKING M any wine and spirits companies have "hero" products in their portfolios that capture a desired target market or demographic. According to August Sebastiani, President of 3 Badge Beverage Corporation, The White Knight range fulfills that destiny. "We developed The White Knight to celebrate white wine beyond Chardonnay," says Sebastiani, pointing to the brand's recent repackaging. "The goal was to introduce customers to unusual white wines we discovered through our tastings. The consumers picking The White Knight, in turn, skew female. We shifted from the original branding approach—the white knight chess piece—to a hero rescuing the world from the tyranny of Chardonnay." A Prosecco DOC Spumante Brut from Italy is the latest addition to The White Knight's arsenal, as a wine that can bridge the gap between elegant prestige and approachable versatility. It also has helped elevate the brand's profile off-premise. The Treviso, Veneto, appellation sparkling wine presented an opportunity to take a stand in a sizable category where frontrunners have not yet been clearly established. "We learned through consumers that Prosecco works just as well as an aperitif prior to a casual dinner party as it does for birthdays and New Year's Eve," continues Sebastiani. "As this is our first foray into importing for The White Knight, it has given us an international cachet that opens doors in the retail [off-premise] trade and with our distributor partners." The White Knight's keg program, devised about 18 months ago, has added major horsepower to the brand on-premise. In addition to the value proposition for accounts with a by-the-glass program, Viognier and Pinot Grigio kegs also guaran- tee quality and satisfaction for their guests. "Accounts don't have to wonder about the quality of each glass for guests ordering it," he says. "We have seen what growlers have done for the craft beer industry, and we would love to see [our kegs] take off in the same way. The San Francisco seafood institution Scoma's was our first keg account, and it was gratifying to find that out by accident when my family recently went to dinner there." "The kegs have taken a few points off our wine cost every month," notes Nick McGreevy, Scoma's General Manager, "but we also like the environmental aspect, with fewer bottles and corks going into the trash. Whether a pour is the first one out of the keg or the very last after two weeks, the wine will taste fresh, crisp and delicious. When I was presented the Viognier, I loved the mouthfeel and the sweeter finish." While wine aficionados look for the "legs" of a wine after giving the glass a good swirl, Sebastiani has found partnering up with the Wine, Women and Shoes organization over the past two years has given the brand an additional leg. "[Philanthropy] not only helps us move the needle with the brand in retail and hand-sell environments, but also raises awareness for great causes," Sebatiani points out. "We have poured at roughly a dozen events benefitting local YMCAs, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, Voices for Children and others." Although the knights in this realm arrive in wine glasses rather than armor, these recent successes reflect the accounts' and customers' joy in being introduced to life beyond Chardonnay. Rescuing Your Palate from the Ordinary says recent introduce wines we discovered The consumers picking turn, skew female. original branding knight chess piece—to world from the tyranny A Prosecco DOC Italy is Italy is Italy the latest addition Knight's arsenal, gap between approachable versatility. elevate the brand's Treviso, Veneto, appellation presented an opportunity sizable category yet been clearly We learned through Prosecco works just prior to a casual dinner birthdays and New Sebastiani. "As this importing for The an international the retail [off-premise] distributor partners." The White Knight's about 18 months horsepower to the In addition to the wines The in turn, original knight world A Prosecco Italy Knight's the gap approachable elevate Treviso, presented a sizable not yet "We Prosecco prior birthdays Sebastiani. importing us an in the distributor The THE WHITE KNIGHT CHARGES FORWARD WITH A NEW LOOK, SUCCESSFUL ON-PREMISE KEG PROGRAM AND AN INSPIRED PHILANTHROPIC PARTNERSHIP by Elyse Glickman Palate

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