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Sotheby's wine sales above estimates

Published:  01 March, 2013

Sotheby's latest Finest and Rarest Wines auction surpassed expectations as investors and wealthy individuals battled it out for bottles of Châteaux Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion.

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Top chefs auction themselves off to raise £400k for leukaemia charity

Published:  01 March, 2013

Twenty of the country's top chefs including Marcus Wareing, Angela Hartnett and Mark Hix have raised nearly £400k for charity by cooking dinner for 200 guests and auctioning themselves off to the highest bidders.

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Wines of Argentina's new urban-style consumer event sells out within 24 hours

Published:  01 March, 2013

A new type of wine event organised by Wines of Argentina and aimed at urban professionals sold out within hours after being featured by an online London guide.

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A new type of wine event organised by Wines of Argentina and aimed at urban professionals sold out within hours after being featured by an online London guide.

 

Cambalache will feature Buenos Aires street food, live graffiti artists, slang lessons and music and wine matching - as well as 150 wines from 28 Argentinian wineries. It is billed as "one night in Argentina" and "not your typical trestle-table, tweed and tedium, slurping and spitting event."

 

The event will take place at MC Motors in Dalston, East London, a former industrial site more often used for fashion photo shoots. Tickets cost £35.

 

Cambalache, which was originally planned for 18 April, sold out within hours after city guide The Nudge wrote about it last Wednesday. Wines of Argentina then added a second day (17 April) which sold out by the following lunch time.

 

In total 650 tickets have been sold across both nights and 50 have been held back to be released when the event is featured by other London guides.

 

"It's been quite eye opening," Andrew Maidment, UK director of Wines of Argentina, told Harpers. "I expected all the tickets to sell but not this quickly. The appetite for wine and food type experiences is obviously extremely high - as long as you sell it to people in a way they understand and it doesn't feel slightly boring or daunting for them to attend.

 

Maidment said the success would govern future Wines of Argentina events as it looks to continue to attract new consumers. "We've shown we can attract a new audience that actually I don't think many other people are attracting. We'd be stupid not to continue that. But I hope that others will start to try to target the same people. It's good for the industry that to break new ground.

 

"I can see the names and email addresses of people who've bought tickets. Most of them are young professionals in great companies - it's exactly who we want to target."

 

The event also costs Wines of Argentina less to stage than a traditional tasting, Maidment added.

 

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Pop up restaurants and food outlets widen Real Wine Fair offer

Published:  01 March, 2013

The Real Wine Fair between March 17-18 at London's Tobacco Dock will offer visitors the chance to sample a wide range of artistan food products and eat in pop up bars and restaurants as well as taste and buy hundreds of natural wines.

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Christina Pickard continues her blog of life in the wine world Down Under

Published:  01 March, 2013

The first thing one notices immediately after arrival in any one of Australia's major cities is how bloody expensive everything is. Those of you who haven't made the trek to Australia within the last five years or so haven't got a clue what I'm going on about. Five years ago it was cheap here. Brits with their all-powerful pound lived quite well in Aus. Those were the good ol' days.

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British advertisers slam calls to ban alcohol commercials

Published:  01 March, 2013

British advertisers representative ISBA has slammed proposals made by the Alcohol Health Alliance to ban all advertising and sponsorship by alcohol brands as "wholly ineffective" and "contrary to a free society."

The Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA), which represents more than 70 health organisations and universities, made the call today amongst a raft of proposals aimed at curbing excessive drinking.

The proposals calls in the Health First paper, published by the University of Stirling, include:

  • A minimum price of at least 50p per unit
  • At least one third of every alcohol product label should be given over to an evidence-based health warning specified by an independent regulator
  • All alcohol advertising and sponsorship should be prohibited. In the short term, alcohol advertising should only be permitted in newspapers and other adult press. Its content should be limited to factual information about brand, provenance and product strength.

"While we welcome sensible discussion on the serious issue of tackling binge drink culture, slapping a ban on alcohol ads is a lazy and naive reaction that will sadly not stop alcohol abuse, nor prevent underage drinking," said Ian Twinn, ISBA's director of public affairs.

"This latest pressure-group clarion call is, at best, misguided - especially when alcohol consumption amongst the young has actually halved since the start of the century. The AHA's proposals should play no part in a free society."

ISBA also drew attention to the CAP and BCAP rules which have already banned alcohol advertising when a high proportion of children are likely to be tuning in.

 

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Patriarche Wine Agencies changes hands

Published:  01 March, 2013

Patriarche Wine Agencies has been bought by Champagne de Castelnau from Burgundy house Patriarche Père et Fils.

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Call for Japanese restaurants to support Koshu

Published:  01 March, 2013

Koshu of Japan UK director Lynne Sherriff MW has called for Japanese restaurants to do more to promote Japanese white wine in the UK.

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Gallo launches 5.5% abv Summer White

Published:  01 March, 2013

California giant Gallo has become the latest winery to move into the lower-alcohol market with launch of 5.5% abv Summer White.

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Hi-Spirits appoints Scottish on-trade rep

Published:  01 March, 2013

Distributor Hi-Spirits has appointed cocktail expert and former bar manager Chris Deacon as field sales executive in Scotland.

Text Distributor Hi-Spirits has appointed cocktail expert and former bar manager Chris Deacon as field sales executive in Scotland.

 

Deacon's brief is to build sales of spirit brands including Buffalo Trace bourbon, Antica sambuca and Fireball cinnamon liqueur. He will work with bar operators to win new listings, develop cocktails and signature serves for High-Spirits' brands.

 

Deacon previous worked as bar manager at Tigerlily in Edinburgh where he oversaw the development of the bar areas during a £180,000 refurbishment and created its cocktail menu. He has also managed bars in Australia and New Zealand, as well as Edinburgh venues Tempus and Voodoo Rooms.

 

Deacon regularly competes in cocktail competitions and made the finals of global cocktail competition World Class in Moscow.

 

"My operational experience gives me a strong understanding of the support bartenders need from a spirits supplier," he said.

 

Jeremy Hill, chairman of Hi-Spirits, said: "We're delighted to welcome Chris to the business. His passion for high quality spirits drinks and service, combined with his knowledge of the Scottish bar scene, will be huge assets for Hi-Spirits as we continue to expand our distribution."

 

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How to get your wine back when a customer enters administration

Published:  01 March, 2013

Wine law specialist Andrew Park on how suppliers can maximise their chances of success.

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In the first of a series of articles, wine law specialist Andrew Park looks at wine trade specific problems that arise when enforcing retention of title claims, and how suppliers can maximise their chances of success.

 

Any supplier of wine on credit terms must keep a very careful eye on the solvency of its customers. A Retention of Title (ROT) clause can be a very effective protection for a wine supplier if a customer becomes insolvent. In its simplest form, an ROT clause says that wine supplied on credit terms will remain the property of the supplier until it has been paid for.

 

But in the legal world, nothing is ever quite as simple as that. In a series of articles, wine law specialist Andrew Park will look at wine trade specific problems that arise when enforcing ROT in practice, and how suppliers can maximise their chances of success.

 

Not just wine - ROT can apply to any goods supplied on credit

 

Although these articles focus on wine, the legal position regarding ROT is the same for all kinds of drinks or other goods supplied on credit terms.


No clause - no chance

Unless you (a) have a well-drafted ROT clause, and (b) ensure it is incorporated as a term of the sale contract, you will have no chance whatsoever of recovering any of the wine supplied. Conditions (a) and (b) are the absolute basic, essential pre-conditions. They are easy to fulfil, but it is surprising how often neither is satisfied, or ever even considered. Unless you're certain that your contractual arrangements meet both conditions, you need a legal review of them without delay.

 

Notification of the ROT claim

 

It's essential to give both the customer and the Administrators, if they're appointed, written notice of the ROT claim. You should also consider whether it's necessary to give written notice terminating the customer's rights to possess and re-sell the wine.

 

The latter could be critical. In Bulbinder Singh Sandhu v Jet Star Retail Limited (High Court, 2010) the claimant (S) had supplied goods to a re-seller (JSR). The contract contained an ROT clause. JSR went into administration. The Administrator (A) sold the remaining stock supplied by S, which had not been paid for. S sued A for its value. He lost. It was agreed that JSR had the right to re-sell stock supplied by S. The ROT clause did not expressly terminate that right if JSR ever went into administration. S had not given notice terminating it. JSR therefore still had the right to re-sell, despite A's appointment. S could only claim in the administration as an unsecured creditor. (In most cases that's another way of saying that the supplier can expect to recover very little, and often nothing at all.)


Distribution or supply agreement


If you had an ongoing distribution or supply agreement with the customer, you should also consider whether to give notice of termination of that agreement- it might not happen automatically. I suggest you do not do this without first taking legal advice on its implications. (A future article will deal with the position where the customer collects payments from the end-customer - this can be particularly tricky and must be handled with extreme care.)

 

Next time we'll look at how to establish where ROT stock is held.

 

Andrew Park is a solicitor and director of APP Wine Law, a dedicated UK wine trade law firm, specialising in UK/EU wine agency, distribution, brand development and joint venture work. Visit to access free briefing notes and other resources on many topics relevant to those in the wine trade.

 

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Naked Wines ranks in Sunday Times Top 100

Published:  01 March, 2013

Online retailer Naked Wines has been ranked in the Sunday Times Top 100 list as the 14th Best Small Company to Work For in the UK in 2013.

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Andrew Catchpole: review of this week's SITT tastings in London and Manchester

Published:  28 February, 2013

The buzz at the Spring 2013 round of Specialist Importers Trade Tastings (SITT) in London and Manchester confirmed the trade's appetite for more focused events, reflecting the ever-increasing popularity of tailored tastings aimed at the independent sector of the market.

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Naked Wines awarded 14th Best Small Company to Work For

Published:  28 February, 2013

Online retailer Naked Wines has been ranked in the Sunday Times Top 100 list as the 14th Best Small Company to Work For in the UK 2013.

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New lighter style addition for Gallo Family Vineyards

Published:  28 February, 2013

Gallo Family Vineyards is hoping to appeal to consumers who enjoy lighter and fruitier wine styles with a new range addition.

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Glenmorangie launches interactive Cask Masters campaign

Published:  28 February, 2013

Glenmorangie has launched Glenmorangie Cask Masters, an interactive whisky campaign that involves the brand's fans in the decision-making process behind a new limited edition.

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Independents flock to Manchester, London and Singapore SITT tastings

Published:  28 February, 2013

Large numbers of independent on and off-trade buyers attended this week's SITT tastings in Manchester, London and Singapore.

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WSET appoints two new trustees

Published:  27 February, 2013

Andrew Hawes, the managing director of Mentzendorff, and global drinks consultant Jonathan Driver have been appointed as WSET trustees.

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Phileas Fogg celebrated at new Mayfair bar

Published:  27 February, 2013

A bar recreating the home of Jules Verne's famous adventurer Phileas Fogg will be opening its doors this summer.

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Video and review of Enotria annual tasting

Published:  27 February, 2013

Enotria's annual trade tasting on Tuesday took the theme of 'discovery' and so it was off to the Saatchi Gallery in King's Road, London. Here you can watch our interview featuring chief executive, Alison Levett, about what went on (click here) and our review of the tasting, by Jenny Mackenzie.

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