Dec 17, 2018

This and That

Brandon Wise

December 19th, 2018

Brandon Wise / Scott McDermott

Photo by Scott McDermott

Brandon Wise, 37, Vice President of Beverage Operations, Sage Restaurant Group, was named to the Wine Enthusiast’s Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers of 2018.

Wise has been with the Sage Restaurant Group since 2014, and during that time, he’s opened more than 20 bars, restaurants and cafés. His tasks span everything from brand development and consultation on the layout and design of the bars, to creation of award-winning beverage programs. He’s also involved in training each bar team, which extends to more than 60 hotels, bars and restaurants throughout the country. This year, he rolled out a policy to minimize the use of plastic straws and encourage greater consideration of the organization’s environmental footprint.

Source: Wine Enthusiast  


mary meltonMary Melton, Beverage Director, P.F. Chang’s, named to Wine Business Monthly’s list of Wine Industry Leaders of 2018.

As a key wine buyer, she is responsible for P.F. Chang’s beverage program across its 211 U.S. restaurants. She manages the creation of beverage menus, the wine program, drink innovation and development, as well as wine education and bartender training. P.F. Chang’s, through Melton’s leadership, was the first to bring Asian food and premium wine together on a broad basis. Source: Wine Business Monthly


imi agency and coreIMI Agency joins with CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees) to create a Halloween “BearCrow” for their hometown contest in Woodstock, Georgia and wins

2018 Best of Woodstock Award in the category of Non-Profit Organization.

The whole IMI team in the Woodstock office, outside of Atlanta, helped in the project. From the ideation and framework, to the clothing, stuffing and sewing, the BearCrow finally came to life holding a little injured CORE Bear in its hands. Waiting in line an hour to register for the event, Lisa Mooney said, “The guy showed me spot #97, which was right in front of Ice Martini Bar, in the central restaurant area of downtown Woodstock. I do believe we got the prime spot for our hope to spread the word about CORE.” Hopefully, the efforts will bring a lot of attention and awareness of CORE to this hip and trendy town.


american beverage institute

The American Beverage Institute (ABI) will be hosting our annual members meeting on February 25th in San Diego, California.

One topic of discussion, among many others, will be the growing impact of marijuana legalization on the alcohol industry. To give some insight into these developments, ABI has invited Aaron Smith, co-founder and Executive Director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, to share some thoughts on the issue. 
If you haven’t done so already, use the password “abiconference” to register for the meeting.



The 2018 Harvest Could Be One for the Record Book

“A very even bloom was followed by a rapid veraison this year and, to date, our ripening period has been void of extreme heat, which will allow for some extended hang time and great phenolic maturity in the fruit,” said Paul Goldberg, Director of Operations at Bettinelli Vineyards and President of the NVG, in a recent statement. He also said that the 2018 growing season has been marked with steady, moderate weather patterns that mean uniformity in ripeness for grapes across the valley. And this proved to be true, according to winemakers in both Napa and Sonoma Counties.



FFC Cannabis wineThe Grower’s Series, by Francis Ford Coppola, Marks One of the First Cannabis Product Launches Rooted in a Wine Family

Release of new luxury lifestyle brand brings 100 percent organic, sun-grown flower to cannabis-curious California residents.
November 01, 2018   NAPA, Calif.

The Grower’s Series by Francis Ford Coppola launches a cannabis lifestyle brand with a limited edition collection featuring three unique, 100-percent organic cannabis flower strains that are hand-selected to offer distinct and memorable experiences. The six-time Academy Award-winning director and entrepreneur has more than 40 years of agricultural expertise through a thriving wine business, and he created his newest company to separately give life to a progressive vision for pioneering the highest quality, sun-grown cannabis products through sustainable farming.

“Wine and cannabis are two ancient and bounteous gifts of Mother Nature, linked by great care, terroir and temperateness. The expertise for making one applies to the other,” says Francis Ford Coppola. “As with growing grapes, location matters, and The Grower’s Series reflects California agricultural expertise, creating a true blend of art and science.”