Bill-themed wines are a hit as the team’s popularity soars

Bill-themed wines are a hit as the team’s popularity soars

There’s a wine that’s flying off the shelves of liquor stores in Western New York and, unsurprisingly, it’s a Buffalo Bills-themed product.

Mano’s Wine has partnered with several professional leagues and some of their franchises to make wine for teams in bottles engraved and hand painted or labeled with team logos and designs. This season, that list of teams now includes the Bills.

In August, the Bills and Mano’s announced that these Bills-themed commemorative wine bottles would be available for purchase. Before long they were in stores such as Colonial Wine & Spirits in Orchard Park – one of the first in the area to start selling them.

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It’s yet another product capitalizing on the popularity of Super Bowl favorite Bills.

Invoice the wine at Colonial Wine & Spirits

Cyndi Leonard fills a rack with Bills wine at Colonial Wine & Spirits in Orchard Park on Tuesday, October 25, 2022. Mano’s makes six different Bills wine products that have been hugely popular both for their taste and their support of Bills Mania. Some of the bottles are hand engraved by Mano’s and others have Bills labels and are priced differently.

Mark Mulville/Buffalo News

“We have this display of bills right in front of the store when you walk in and people come up and say, ‘This is so awesome – great for Christmas, great for the holidays’ and they want to ship it out to family and friends. out of state,” said Cyndi Leonard, who runs Colonial Wine & Spirits. “It’s sell and move. Tons of people are coming in now asking for it.

There are six bottles for sale. Two of them are Cabernets with deeply etched Let’s Go Buffalo and Bills Mafia designs. The others are bottles screen-printed with the Bills logo offering sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon, Bills Mafia sparkling wine, and Mafia juice, which is a sweet rosé. Joining the lineup for Christmas will be two more hand-engraved bottles, one with an ugly sweater theme.

Jeff Young, regional manager of Try-It Distributing Co., which runs promotions and distributes Mano’s products, said the wine has started being sold at a few local liquor stores and is now offered at more many others in Erie and Niagara counties. Some of those stores buy 25 bottles at a time every few weeks, he said. The wine has also been popular at Highmark Stadium, where they’re selling for $200 a pop for their suites and at their tables, Young added.

“We knew we’d do well with it, but I’m really surprised at how good it is,” Young said. “Anything that looks cool and has to do with the Bills will be fine.”

Colonial offers the etched glass bottles for $39.99 and the Bills logo bottles for $19.99.

Most people buy the wines because they’re Bills-themed, but Leonard said it’s a good product, too. Mano’s selects wines from California vineyards and they are shipped to the company’s national headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, where they are bottled.

“They’re not going to open it up and say, ‘Yuck, that tastes terrible,'” Leonard said.

Mano’s has a partnership with the NFL, but this also requires the company to enter into a separate agreement with each team, such as the Bills, to manufacture team-themed merchandise. The company now works with 15 NFL teams, as well as MLB, NHL, NBA, and MLS and NCAA franchises.

“We think Bills Mafia will appreciate Bills collectible and customizable wine,” said Dan Misko, senior vice president of business development for Bills. “We look forward to creating new bottles each season that celebrate our passionate fanbase and the franchise’s great history.”

Invoice the wine at Colonial Wine & Spirits

Mano’s Let’s Go Buffalo wine on sale at Colonial Wine & Spirits in Orchard Park on Tuesday, October 25, 2022.

Mark Mulville/Buffalo News

Mano’s, which has been creating novelty bottles for approximately four decades, also partners with franchises from other professional leagues to commemorate championship and anniversary seasons with special hand-engraved bottles.

“We’ve had requests from Bills fans for these bottles for years. We’re thrilled to bring these fans something they’ll love and collect for years to come,” said Kyle Rensenhouse, CEO of Mano’s Wine.

And Sabers fans looking for their own wine may soon have one too. Mano’s has an agreement with the NHL and hopes to start discussions with the local hockey franchise about creating Sabers wines using the team’s logos, said Young of Try-It, which is Mano’s local distributor.

Skrewball opens branded bars at Highmark Stadium

As part of signing a three-year deal to become the “Official Whiskey of the Buffalo Bills”, Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey has opened branded bars for game days inside the Pepsi Club and Toyota Club at Highmark Stadium. They will then be open for Sunday’s primetime game against the Green Bay Packers.

Skrewball, which is bottled in California, was created by husband and wife duo Steven and Brittany Yeng. He was a Cambodian refugee and polio survivor who created the peanut butter concoction while bartending at his bars in California and partnered with his wife, a chemist and lawyer, to develop Skrewball. The company has recently expanded internationally into Canada and the Caribbean.

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The Buffalo Next team gives you insight into the economic revitalization of the region. Advice by e-mail to [email protected] or contact Associate Business Editor David Robinson at 716-849-4435.

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Shirley M. Pinder