By James Atkinson
Sydney?s Chambers Cellars will soon become the fifth retailer to partner with Wineosphere, the innovative new iPhone application that promises ?the ultimate wine app experience? for consumers.
Wineosphere brings together more than 22,000 independent wine reviews, information on where wines can be purchased and price comparisons, social sharing, exclusive deals and many other features.
Wineosphere has also partnered with Sydney banner group Porter?s Liquor, with an in-store guide to assist shoppers to search for wine by variety, food or reviews, as well as a Porter?s store finder.
Kemenys, WineStar and United Cellars have also come on board for online ordering with special deals for Wineosphere users.
Wineosphere business development manager Laura McManus told TheShout that Chambers Cellars is the latest retailer to confirm it will support the app, with other partners to be announced in the near future.
She said the tool enables bricks and mortar retailers to communicate digitally with their consumers, whose in-store purchases are made easier using the Wineosphere tools.
?It also enables interaction with the consumer in-store. If they?re standing there with the app open, you?ve got something to talk about,? she said.
Wineosphere and Porter?s are also trialling revolutionary iBeacon technology, which provides that whenever the app?s users enter a Porter?s store, a handy guide pops up to help quickly find a great wine and offer exclusive deals.?
Wineosphere is available to download free from the App Store now.?
By Suzan Ryan, editor?bars&clubs
Sydney?s Gazebo restaurant and bar in Elizabeth Bay, part of The Keystone Group, reopened on Friday October 10, following an extensive transformation and hot on the heels of the refit and reopening of sister venue, Manly Wine, the previous week.
The extensive refurbishment retains subtly stylistic nods to the 1960s, when the building was constructed, but the new?Gazebo is now more open plan and street facing than previously, with a lacquered wood semi-circular courtyard bar surrounded with individual two-person table-and-lamp perch benches encouraging guest flow and retention in the outside area.
Inside, leather booths and dark wooden fixtures provide the stay-awhile comfort essential to an effective dining room. While the design is open plan and casual the fittings and extras ? such as a chandelier and grand piano???are luxurious. [continues below]
The outside bar serves Gazebo?s signature Chilcano de Pisco cocktail on tap, with Negronis and Martinis, draught and craft beers and ciders completing the casual-meets-luxe offering on the drinks side. Keystone sommelier Sarah Limacher has selected a succinct list of top Australian and international wines, while head chef Jason Dean (ex Pier and Gastro Park) retains an emphasis on community dining via contemporary dishes and share plates.?[continues below]
Says The Keystone Group's chief property and corporate development officer, John Duncan: ?After eight successful years we are very excited to relaunch The Gazebo into this new chapter and to see its maturation into a sophisticated restaurant and great bar?.
Gazebo, 2 Elizabeth Bay Road, Elizabeth Bay, is open Monday to Thursday: 3pm ? 12am, and Friday ? Sunday: 12pm ? 12am.
ABAC finds against Jelly Shots and Asahi, absolves Dan Murphy's
By Amy Looker, editor National Liquor News
The ABAC Adjudication Panel has recently handed down judgments on various complaints lodged against advertisements featured across online, outdoor and television mediums.
The Panel dismissed two complaints against a Dan Murphy?s outdoor advertising campaign promoting whisky as a Father?s Day gift. The billboards featured the slogans ?When words fail give whisky? and ?Over 350 whiskies - Give Dad what he really wants?.
The first complainant expressed concern that the first billboard ?promotes alcohol as the ideal gift (presumably for Father?s Day) and in doing so makes alcohol seem a good gift choice for a child to give? and ?does nothing to encourage healthy communication within families?. Another complainant was concerned that the second billboard was ?irresponsible as it promotes alcohol to children and unhealthy lifestyle choices?.
ABAC dismissed both complaints having found that they did not specifically target minors and that the style, tone and message of the billboards were entirely adult in nature.
However, ABAC upheld two additional complaints, one concerning Jelly Time Jelly Shots outdoor and digital campaign, which it found did hold strong or evident appeal to minors, along with the depiction of minors within the advertising campaign.
Minor amendment resolves Asahi complaint
A complaint against Asahi Premium Beverages' ?Is He Asahi?? TVC campaign was also upheld as it was found to represent ?sexual success as a result of consuming alcohol; and the gentleman in the advertisement is clearly shown to be the ?successful? male in an adult night environment with the consumption of Asahi in close proximity?.
ABAC found that under the standards contained in the Code, the general proposition is that alcohol marketing must not suggest that alcohol products cause or contribute to success in life.
Asahi Premium Beverages beer & cider marketing manager Michael Vousden told TheShout the determination related to the version of the Asahi TVC that was being broadcast at the time of the complaint.
"The old version of the TVC has since been replaced by a new version that has received ABAC approval. This approved version is the one currently being broadcast," he said.
"The changes between the two versions were extremely minor relating to scene selections and the product being within the camera frame during these scenes. Most viewers would not even notice the difference between the two edits."
"Asahi Premium Beverages takes the responsible promotion of alcohol very seriously," said Vousden.?
ABAC reviewed its code in June in a bid to clarify advertising and marketing guidelines across the industry.?
By James Atkinson
Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group (ALH) has acquired its third Northern Territory hotel this year and has undertaken to cleanse the venue of adult entertainment.
ALH spokesman David Curry told TheShout the acquisition of Darwin?s Parap Tavern from NT Pubco Pty Ltd, will be settled today.
It follows ALH?s purchase earlier this year of two other Darwin venues, Palmerston Tavern and Airport Tavern, from Barreau Hotel Group.
Parap Tavern has been a favourite with the locals for its Friday afternoon strip shows, which ALH?s Curry confirmed are set for the chop.
?We don?t operate strippers or topless entertainment at any of our pubs,? he said.
Curry said the new venues ?meet the criteria of good pubs in good locations? for ALH.
By Triana O?Keefe, editor Australian Hotelier
The NSW Government has launched a new advertising campaign targeting problem gambling.
The campaign ? ?you?re stronger than you think? ? is designed to encourage problem gamblers to seek help and kick their habit.
Minister for Gaming Troy Grant said problem gamblers can?often?feel helpless when the damage starts to mount up on their lives.
?The $1.5 million ?You?re stronger than you think? campaign takes a positive, motivational approach, reminding people that they have recovered from setbacks in the past and can do so again.?
The campaign will feature radio advertising, online videos, blogs and advertising on venue-based ATM screens and receipts.
According to Federal Government research, the social cost of problem gambling is estimated to be $4.7 billion a year. The research also states that the actions of one problem gambler negatively impacts the lives of between five and 10 others, meaning there are up to five million Australians who could be affected by problem gambling each year.
With only around 15 per cent of problem gamblers seeking help, the campaign aims to promote courage, strength and respect to motivate people to take advantage of the NSW Government?s range of free Gambling Help services as early as possible and overcome entrenched fears and stigma.
By James Atkinson
Vine Double Bay launched this week as another addition to the Sydney suburb?s burgeoning drinking and dining alternatives.?
Owned by Gavin Douchkov and Manny Karson and with Sydney hospitality veteran Mikee Collins as general manager, Vine Double Bay is located in the old Zigolini?s site on Short Street. A modern and sophisticated menu is complemented by a 50-strong wine list, international craft beers and cocktails inspired by vine-grown fruit and vegetables.
?Double Bay already has a number of great bars, cafes and restaurants and we are confident that Vine Double Bay will be a welcome addition to the area,? said Collins. ?The venue will offer approachable food and wine along with great service and a relaxed atmosphere.??
?The venue is modern, open and filled with natural light ? making it perfect for afternoon drinks, dinner with friends or a long lunch.??
The kitchen team is led by Chef Drew Bolton, whose experience includes Thomas Keller?s renowned French Laundry in California?s Napa Valley, Darley?s at Lillianfells in the Blue Mountains and Peter Gilmore?s Quay.?
Vine Double Bay will be open for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday and lunch Thursday to Sunday.?
By James Atkinson
Coles Liquor has declared its intention to triple its private label sales over the next five years following a restructure that has resulted in the departures of several key buying figures.
It?s understood that somewhere between ten and 15 employees left Coles Liquor following the overhaul in September that saw the broader Coles business shed about 400 jobs from its Melbourne headquarters.
The Exclusive Liquor Brands (ELB) division established 12 months ago has been axed and its functions subsumed into the liquor division?s merchandising and marketing teams.
ELB general manager Grant Ramage and liquor buying head Tim Carroll were the highest profile departures.
The company has since advertised for a new head of sourcing and appears no less committed to its private label strategy.
?Coles Liquor are on a journey to expand the market share and have a senior leadership opportunity for a head of sourcing to drive the private label brand strategy and the exclusive liquor offering with key focus to double the private label sales for the business over a three year period,? the October 2 advertisement says.?
?Managing the private label portfolio across all brands, the head of sourcing will build our private label offerings across all the Coles Liquor brands to meet the right range requirements.?
A Coles spokesperson said the merchandising restructure will enable the team to have a greater focus on its brands, ?whether they are private label or independently branded products?.
By James Atkinson
The return of McWilliam?s Wines to 100 per cent family ownership paves the way for the company to begin exporting its full portfolio of brands, comprising Evans?& Tate, Brand?s Laira and Mount Pleasant, according to CEO Rob Blackwell.
At a recent shareholder meeting, the McWilliam?s families unanimously agreed to acquire the 10 per cent stake in the company owned by E&J Gallo Winery, which distributed the McWilliam?s brand in the key markets of China and USA.
?We?ve taken back distribution in those two key markets, but we?re still with Gallo under new agreements in Canada and select Asian territories,? Blackwell told TheShout.
?We?ve made these decisions because we see export as being a significant platform for our growth over the next ten years.??
?For us to be able to launch our four key brands across the world is going to be a game changer for McWilliam?s. There?s much stronger volume and much stronger margin opportunities in export markets.?
Blackwell said the increased emphasis on the regionality of the brands in the McWilliam?s portfolio and its premium offerings was starting to bear fruit in the domestic market.
?In a flat wine market in Australia, Evans & Tate and Brand?s Laira grew 30 per cent in FY14, so we?re pretty excited about that.?
By Suzan Ryan, editor?bars&clubs
Jason Soto, Dominic Xavier, Joshua Crawford and Andrew Bennett will fly to New York on November 18 to compete in the international final of the Bulldog Gin 'Defying Conformity' Cocktail Competition following their win in the Australian final of the competition last week.
Bulldog Gin, a super-premium London dry gin, challenged Australian bartenders to create a bold cocktail that demonstrated the defiant spirit of the brand. The promotion, which closed September 29, attracted more than 60 bartenders.?
Individual judging of the cocktails, which attracted 70 per cent of the overall score, was based on gin presence, balance of flavour, overall taste, presentation and garnish, creativity, the name of cocktail and its representation of ?defying conformity?.?
All entries were posted on the Bulldog Gin Facebook?page with the remaining 30 per cent of the overall score based on the number of Facebook Likes for each entry.?
?As the gin category is currently experiencing growth, with premium gin leading the way, this promotion introduced some fantastic new gin-based cocktails for consumers to enjoy and highlighted the versatility of this iconic brand,? said Bulldog Gin?s Australia & NZ marketing director, Nicole Stanners.
The four winners receive return flights to New York, accommodation, $600 spending money and VIP entry to Bulldog Gin?s Winston Churchill 140th birthday celebration, where the winner?s cocktails will be showcased.
The winners are:
Jason Soto, Assembly Bar, NSW ? winning cocktail ?VOGUE?
Dominic Xavier, Cobbler Bar, Queensland ? winning cocktail ?Straight Talking?
Joshua Crawford, The Lui Bar, Victoria ? winning cocktail ?Savoury Salute Martini??
Andrew Bennett, The Classroom, Western Australia ? winning cocktail ?Churchill?s Calling?
By Triana O'Keefe, editor?Australian Hotelier
Redcape Hotel Group has lodged development plans with Ryde Council for a major redevelopment of Sydney's Eastwood Hotel.
RHG proposes to subdivide the current site to transform the venue - which is currently one of the state's top performing gaming venues - into a multi-faceted food, beverage and entertainment hotel with an additional 150-head capacity?and 46 additional car park spaces.
RHG chief operating officer, Dan Brady said: ?Our venues are positioned at the heart of the local communities and the Eastwood development allows us to expand on the longstanding community focused presence we have in the area.?
The development of the Eastwood site is currently before Council.