Empson USA to Host Portfolio Tastings in Key US Markets, Chicago, Dallas, and Washington DC

Empson USA is gearing up to host a Portfolio Tasting, kicking off its next fifty years in three key US markets, Chicago, Dallas, and Washington DC during the first week of May. Numerous Empson producers from both the Old and New World are flying in to offer attendees the opportunity to taste wines from Italy, Spain, Chile, New Zealand, and the USA, proving their deep, long-standing relationships with the leading importer.

Trade professionals will taste the latest vintages from historic Empson partners, such as Poderi Einaudi, Costanti, Fuligni, Marcarini, Boscarelli, Gaudio Bricco Mondalino, Monte Antico, who have been with Empson for over forty years as well as Torres from Spain, and domestic growers, such as McPrice Myers, Mac and Billy Cellars, Paul O’Brien, and Oregon Territory. Guests will also have the chance to taste Empson’s 2023 additions to its portfolio: Dal Cero in Valpolicella, Tenuta Montecchiesi, Heimark Vineyard, and Poggioargentiera.

The roadshow will start in Chicago on May 8, proceed to Dallas on May 10, and will end in Washington DC on May 11. Participating brands include:

  • Italy: Arillo in Terrabianca, Bortoluzzi, Boscarelli, Bucci, Canella, Carpineta Fontalpino, Cignale, Citrange, Costanti, Corte Giacobbe, Dal Cero in Valpolicella, Einaudi, Fantini, Ferghettina, Feuduccio, Franz Haas, Fuligni, Gaudio Bricco Mondalino, Hauner, Ischia Sapori, Jankara, Lagaria, Le Casematte, Marcarini, Marchesi Pancrazi, Matané, Molo 8, Monte Antico, Musita, Pietradolce, Poggioargentiera, Reversanti, Romano Levi, Santadi, Shardana, Supremus, Tenuta Montecchiesi, Toscolo, Vigneti del Vulture, Vigneti Zabu, Wild Sardinia
  • Spain: Torres (Sangre de Toro, Viña Esmeralda, Viña Sol, Ohla!)
  • Chile: Viña Falernia
  • New Zealand: Pegasus Bay, Seven Terraces
  • USA: McPrice Myers, Mac and Billy Cellars, Oregon Territory, Paul O’Brien, Heimark Vineyard

Empson USA, whose headquarters are located in Alexandria, Virginia, will host its guests at their final event in Washington DC at ‘The Square’, a soon-to-open 25,000 square-foot space conceived as a collaborative culinary marketplace, and will feature foods prepared by the Culinary Team of The Square. The Square will feature 15 of DC’s best chefs including Richie Brandenburg and Ruben Garcia, Cashion’s Rendezvous (Ann Cashion & John Fulchino), Yaocho (Bidell Chef John Mooney), Kiyomi Sushi by Uchi (Chef Masaaki “Uchi” Uchino from Nakazawa), Taqueria Xochi (Teresa Padilla & Geraldine Mendoza), Flora Pizzeria (Pluma’s Tom Wellings & Camila Arango), Cebicheria Chalaca (Chef Carlo Delgato & Glendon Hartley.)

Members of the trade can RSVP to the Empson USA portfolio tastings at the following links: ChicagoDallasWashington DC.

For further information about the Empson USA portfolio visit http://www.empsonusa.com

For further information about ‘The Square’, contact Julia Cottafavi at the Good Neighbor julia@goodneighbor.co

About Empson USA | http://www.empsonusa.com        
Family-owned since its foundation in 1991, Empson USA is an enterprising fine wine importer with a dynamic portfolio of distinctive estates from Italy, Spain, Chile, New Zealand, and the USA. Our mission is to discover and represent carefully selected top-tier brands worldwide, and to share the “Art of Fine Wine” with our customers and partners in the US market.

Arillo in Terrabianca, Bortoluzzi, Boscarelli, Bucci, Canella, Carpineta Fontalpino, Cignale, Citrange, Corte Giacobbe, Costanti, Dal Cero in Valpolicella, Einaudi, Fantini, Ferghettina, Feuduccio, Franz Haas, Fuligni, Gaudio Bricco Mondalino, Hauner, Heimark Vineyard, Ischia Sapori, Jankara, Lagaria, Le Casematte, Mac and Billy Cellars, Marcarini, Marchesi Pancrazi, Matané, McPrice Myers, Molo 8, Monte Antico, Musita, Oregon Territory, Paul O’Brien, Pegasus Bay, Pietradolce, Poggioargentiera, Reversanti, Romano Levi, Santadi, Seven Terraces, Shardana, Supremus, Tenuta Montecchiesi, Torres (Sangre de Toro, Viña Esmeralda, Viña Sol, and Ohla!), Toscolo, Vigneti del Vulture, Vigneti Zabu, Viña Falernia, Wild Sardinia

“The Charming Taste of Europe” to Host Multiple Masterclasses about the Late Harvest Wines of Bordeaux throughout the United States

The Charming Taste of Europe continues to support its initiatives in the US by promoting The Late Harvest Bordeaux wines and territory with multiple masterclasses throughout April and May 2023 each taking place in major US cities.

The Union des Vins Doux de Bordeaux is an association of four organizations, ODG des Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieurs, ODG des Premières Côtes de Bordeaux et Cadillac, ODG des Liquoreux de Bordeaux, and ODG des Côtes de Bordeaux Saint Macaire, that ensures the protection of origin and quality standard of the sweet wines produced in 8 appellations of the Bordeaux region: Bordeaux Moelleux, Bordeaux Supérieur, Cadillac, Cérons, Côtes de Bordeaux Saint-Macaire, Loupiac, Premières Côtes de Bordeaux, and Sainte-Croix-Du-Mont.

In the following weeks, the late-harvest wines of Bordeaux will be protagonists of various food and wine events which will highlight their great versatility in the kitchen. Thanks to their unique harvesting and vinification method, these Bordeaux wines provide a perfect balance between freshness and complexity and are suitable for multiple occasions such as relaxed events and elegant receptions. In addition to their liveliness, the wines are a beautiful accompaniment to dishes both salty and rich, and they perfectly complement Asian, Latin American, and classic American BBQ recipes.

The tour will begin in New York on April 24th at the Harlem Wine Gallery with food pairing by Contento Restaurant NYC. Spoken person Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW will lead participants through a tasting that highlights the beautiful wines from Bordeaux and how they complement the elevated Peruvian dishes served.

Following New York, the tour will continue in Chicago on Wednesday 26th at Birch Road Lincoln Park, a clubhouse pioneered by the BYOB neighborhood concept and a haven for wine and spirits enthusiasts. Christy Fuhrman will lead and guide attendees through multiple food and wine pairings. After Chicago, Union des Vins doux de Bordeaux will continue at the Commonwealth Wine School in Boston on April 28th with a special class that will feature the Wines of Bordeaux accompanied by a sushi pairing with items such as Spicy Tuna, Negi Hamachi, and Truffle Shiitake.

On May 2nd at the Acqualina Resort in Miami, there will be a masterclass led by Dr. Gershwin Narraidoo, who will guide participants through Japanese fusion pairings alongside the beautiful wines from Bordeaux. The tour will conclude on May 3rd with Vinya Table in Miami led by Alessandra Esteves with Cuban and Mexican-style dishes.

In addition to the tour, the Union des Vins doux de Bordeaux will sponsor the Texsom awards lunch on May 1st at the Irving Convention Center in Miami, featuring various White Wines. During the lunch, there will be 120-150 attendees including judges, production teams, retailers, sommeliers, and others. A total of 6 to 8 wines will be shown accompanied by spicy Asian, Mexican, or BBQ dishes.

Started in 2021, The Charming Taste of Europe is a three-year campaign promoted by the Vini d’ Abruzzo consortium and the Union of Sweet Bordeaux Wines, along with fruit producers in Greece’s Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Kavala (Kavala COOP) and Agricultural Cooperative of Rachi Pieria (“Agios Loukas”), co-financed by the European Union. This campaign focuses on raising awareness of these high-quality products in the American and Canadian markets.

The Charming Taste of Europe aims to educate participants on the beauty of the Bordeaux region by calling attention to its rich history and luscious, golden wines through educated wine professionals.

About the Charming Taste of Europe:
Europe, a place with timeless charm, is the birthplace of some of the highest-quality products in the world. The Charming Taste of Europe is a special project that introduces exquisite specialties to the United States and Canada, such as Italian and French wines, and fresh fruits from Greece, that showcase Europe’s charm, beauty, culture, history, art, heritage, and unmistakable tastes.

The mission of the Charming Taste of Europe, co-funded by the European Union, is to increase awareness of the merits and quality standards of select European wines and fresh fruits with promotional activities in the competitive markets of the U.S. and Canada. The Charming Taste of Europe is promoted by the Consortium for the Protection of Wines of Abruzzo, the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Kavala (Kavala COOP), the Agricultural Cooperative of Rachi Pieria “Agios Loukas” and the Union of Sweet Bordeaux Wines. These European agricultural products, famous around the world for their outstanding qualities, will continue to be promoted with initiatives and events for consumers, journalists, and trade professionals. For more information visit charmingtasteofeurope.eu

To Follow The Charming Taste of Europe Campaign:
Website: charmingtasteofeurope.eu
Facebook: @CharmingTasteofEU
Instagram: @charmeu_usa
YouTube: The Charming Taste of Europe
Hashtags: #thecharmingtasteofeu and #charmeu

Wines of Georgia Invites you to Become a Certified Georgian Wine Expert

The Wines of Georgia wine certification is a partnership between the Napa Valley Wine Academy wine school (NVWA) and Wines of Georgia that brings a first-of-its-kind free online wine course with exams/certificates, and an educational reference guide/presentation on Georgia for use by wine trade, press, and educators.

This free three-hour course will provide:

  • Thorough knowledge of the wines of the Republic of Georgia, at an intermediate level
  • Education on history, terroir factors, grape varieties, wine laws, wine regions, and styles of the region
  • Compelling reasons for the trade to buy/drink/write about these wines

You’ll walk away knowing key facts, history, and category details about Georgia and its wine-producing regions, and key varieties such as:

  • Georgia’s historical background as the “Cradle of Wine” and nexus of ancient wine winemaking
  • The cultural importance of wine and winemaking to Georgia’s people
  • Culinary and wine traditions of Georgia
  • The importance of Qvevri wine making to Georgian culture
  • Key indigenous varieties and styles of winemaking unique to Georgia
  • How to sell Georgian wines

Register Here

Calling for New Best of BevFluence Submissions

Calling for New Best of BevFluence Submissions

The Best of BevFluence® is a comprehensive example of the services BevFluence® provides. Where entries are tasted, shared, and fully experienced by Beverage Influencers or BevFluencers. 

In the past, our work supported campaigns of specific categories or locations. Best of BevFluence® is the premier solution for all wine, spirits, cider, and beer producers and is instituted using a publishing schedule. Thus a brand or producer would register now and the content from our BevFluence members will be published following a pre-determined schedule. 

We are announcing the opening of the next quarter in this program focusing on Spring and Summer themed craft beverages:

  • Rosé Wine
  • All White Wine
  • Canned Wine / Alternative packaging
  • Agave Spirits
  • Gin
  • RTDs

Interested in learning more? It all starts with getting registered with our site



Still Confused? The Best of BevFluence® solution is a three-part cocktail. One part competition, one part influencer marketing campaign, and a dash of curated experiences.

Entries from a registered product will get:

  • Tasted and evaluated by a world-renowned panel of experts, the influencer community, and consumers. 
  • Shared with content creators for the influencer marketing campaign which follows our strategic publishing guideline
  • Experienced at unique location blind tastings and influencer community outreach events

 All products will be highlighted at the end of the year Best of BevFluence® 2023 awards and compilation. 


The products will be presented to a combination of industry experts, mixologists, bartenders, creators, bloggers, podcasters, writers, and other media – and across the craft beverage landscape.


While our BevFluencers are tasting, they are also documenting the experience. They’re taking photos, they are making cocktails, they are writing feedback for the brands, and copy for their next social media post. 


While our BevFluencers are tasting, they are also documenting the experience. They’re taking photos, they are making cocktails, they are writing feedback for the brands, and copy for their next social media post. 

Check Out Our Package

By registering your Rosé, White, or Canned Wine, Agave Spirit, Gin, or RTD now, you’ll receive:  

➡️ Entry to Best of BevFluence® 2023 three panels featuring   

  • The experts 
  • The creator’s community 
  • The consumers 

➡️ Complete access to our proprietary BevFluence® platform that holds exclusive communications with partnering influencers, campaign feedback, and influencer content tracking, as well as invitations to select experiences. 
➡️ ➡️ BONUS: Bartender Lab

COST: $195 per entry



BevFluence® provides a unique ecosystem where products are tasted, shared, and fully experienced. BevFluence® provides adult beverage brands with a unique bundle of feedback, award placement, digital marketing, brand awareness, and reporting by tasting, sharing, and fully experiencing drinks from around the world. 

We Impact the Industry

” It was great working with the Bevfluence team and group of influencers. As a small company, we didn’t have the time or resources to search for the right influencers who are passionate about food & bev and have an engaged following. Bevfluence made this very easy, and the group of influencers we worked with were engaged and responsive. Would definitely consider doing another campaign with the Bevfluence team in the future! “

– CC DesRosiers, Proprietor | Troop Beverage Company

“Karen and I thoroughly enjoyed the event and learned a lot from the BevFluence team. We are working on how to move forward with several of the local opportunities that they recommended to us on marketing strategy.”

–  Doug Kingman, OwnerKingman Estate Winery | Fine Colorado Wines

Thanks for inviting us to participate. We enjoyed the campaign quite a bit and were impressed with the posts. And we really enjoyed the Swig and Ramble interview.

Sydney Rainin-Smith, Proprietor of Laughing Glass Cocktails

“As a small company, we didn’t have the time or resources to search for the right influencers who are passionate about food & bev and have an engaged following. Bevfluence made this very easy, and the group of influencers we worked with were engaged and responsive.”

– CC DesRosiers, Proprietor | Troop Beverage Company

Last Call for New Perspectives on Cider, Perry, and Brandy 

The friends and industry professionals we call BevFluencers share their lives across every social media platform (and probably a few under development). 

We look forward to working with our influencer community in the new year as we all dive into the world of Cider, Perry, and Brandy. This campaign will operate during early 2023 and feature apple and pear cider as well as brandy from across the globe. It will also include deep dives into cider making, consumption, styles, cocktail recipes, and food pairings. The products will be presented to a combination of industry experts, mixologists, bartenders, creators, bloggers, writers, and other media – and across the craft beverage landscape. This will generate new perspectives about cider, perry, and brandy from creators who range from cider novices to experts and these perspectives will cascade to their followers.


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Contact Us: info@bevfluence.com

Five Takeaways from CiderCon 2023

The American Cider Association’s CiderCon 2023 took place in Chicago from February 1st through the 3rd and the event offered “a full range of educational sessions covering topics that included cider production, marketing, sales, branding, sensory evaluation, compliance, business strategy, and orcharding”. We attended several of these sessions as well as the trade show, a tasting organized by the New York Cider Association, unofficial cider shares, as well as visiting a couple of local craft beverage establishments. Here are our five takeaways from the conference.

Consistent and Systemic Approach to Tasting Cider
Cideries and reviewers should create a systemic approach to both cider tasting and descriptors as advocated by Richie Brady in A Proposal for a Systematic Approach to Tasting Cider. In other words, the industry should use a consistent method of describing the aromas, flavors, and structure of cider. This consistency involves focusing on the liquid in the glass, preferably in a blind fashion, without any preconceived expectations. Evaluate the Aroma (light, medium, pronounced), Flavor (in terms of major categories — green, stone, citrus, tropic, red, and black fruit and then secondary flavors due to fermentation methods and oak treatments), and Structure (intensity, sweetness, acidity, tannin, length, and complexity). Finally, use descriptors that consumers understand. Barely anyone knows what cassis tastes like so use a more common alternative. An example that Brandy provided is “Lightly sparkling, sweet and vibrant cider with pronounced flavors of stone and tropical fruit, fragrant flowers, sweet vanilla, and caramel. Long and complex finish”.

Fire Blight
Apple and pear orchards are prone to numerous pests and diseases not unlike grapevines — such as a shared threat from powdery mildew and deer. At the conference, I also heard orchardists discuss groundhogs, rabbits, squirrels, and various insects but it was during The 4 Components of Flavor: Orcharding for High-Flavor Fruit seminar presented by Stina Booth that I first heard of Fire Blight. This is a bacterial illness that affects fruit trees and thrives in hot, humid climates, usually appearing in the spring and declining as dryer summer temperatures occur. The bacteria infects trees undetectably in the fall or winter, hiding in branches and unopened buds. Then in the spring, it begins to emerge through openings in the branches and foliage and becomes apparent. Unfortunately, fire blight is very difficult to treat effectively, and overusing certain bacterial sprays can cause the tree to develop resistance to treatment. The best way to fight fire blight is prompt pruning and sanitizing tools. — MinneopaOrchards.com

Chicago Cider Scene
The conference coincided with Chicago Cider Week and two urban cideries hosted several events and were accessible during the conference. The Right Bee Cider Semi-dry Cider was available at a couple of spots at the host Chicago Hilton hotel and was a clean cider sweetened with honey from their own beehives. Their Dry Cider was also poured during an unofficial tasting and as I recall packed plenty of flavors. I was able to visit Eris Brewery and Cider House where the brewery is located in a historic old masonic temple that was renovated in 2018. I started with the Eris Cherish, a cherry cider produced in collaboration with Sleeping Village and the CIVL Foundation where the proceeds go towards providing music venue workers access to mental health awareness. I also turned to another collaboration, this time the Eris Apfelort which is a dry cider aged in used Jeppson’s Malört barrels from CH Distillery. I had read about this wormwood-based digestif and how CH Distillery had purchased this “astringent and notoriously bitter 70-proof liqueur”. The cider is neither and provides apples up front and subtle wormwood and a strong grapefruit finish.

Cider is North American
Just by casually talking to attendees it’s easy to see that cider is produced throughout North America. We met producers and orchardists from north Georgia to Manitoba, across Canada, and from Nova Scotia to San Diego. I stood in line with a startup producer from Orlando and a representative from Bold Rock. I sat at tables with producers from Wisconsin, Oregon, and Tennessee and shared Michigan cider with the same from Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Ohio. The New York Cider Association hosted a tasting showcasing Empire State producers from the “Niagara Frontier to the Finger Lakes to the Catskills to the Hudson Valley to Long Island and to New York City”. During unofficial cider shares, I sampled excellent cider from Washington State to Washington DC. And my favorite cider of the week came from Greenbench Mead & Cider in St. Petersburg, Florida with their Giants in the Sky (Fresh-pressed Kingston Black, St Edmund’s Russet, Pioneer, and Wickson Crab apples, wild-fermented in oak with native yeast.).

Cider is for Everyone
This is the official theme of the American Cider Association but is also a true statement based on industry analysis presented in the Alcohol Beverages and Cider: 2023 and Beyond and More Than a Beverage: Cider Category Performance sessions. Presenters from both sessions showed industry and consumer data beneficial and discouraging for the cider industry. First, the total per capita consumption of ethanol has remained relatively constant for the past 20 years with beer being the largest, albeit, slowly declining sector. The volume of cider sold peaked in 2016 and slowly declined since – losing market share and shelf space to Hard Seltzers and to a lesser extent RTDs. The good news is that the average alcohol consumer is becoming “Omnibibulous” a term created by Bart Watson, the Head Economist of the Brewers Association to describe how consumers are more “able and likely to drink almost anything (alcoholic)”. And this group will continue to grow as younger consumers continue to experiment, and on the other hand, the baby boomers move into more leisurely lifestyles. Other facts based on consumer studies point to avenues where cideries can focus to attract customers. These studies show that 54% of all consumers have made a purchase in-store of a brand they first tried at a restaurant and 1/3 of cider consumers prefer a sweet version. Some ideas to consider.