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AFW extends Sommelier of the Year Competition

Published:  14 December, 2009

The Academy of Food & Wine has extended the deadline for the 2010 UK Sommelier of the Year competition to December 31.

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New premium wines from Cellier des Dauphins

Published:  14 December, 2009

Rhône producer Cellier des Dauphins, has developed three new premium wines for the UK market.

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Drinkaware gets £15m funding

Published:  14 December, 2009

The drinks industry has pledged £5 million a year for the next three years to continue the funding for Drinkaware.

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Wine firms consult over merger

Published:  14 December, 2009

A merger between Constellation Brands and Australian Vintage could be a step nearer following reports that both companies have asked for informal clearance for the deal.

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LIWF given new look for 2010

Published:  11 December, 2009

The 2010 London International Wine Fair (LIWF) will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a new look and easier traffic flow.

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Oxford Wine Company grows

Published:  11 December, 2009

The Oxford Wine Company is expanding with the purchase of Bona Wines, a Gloucestershire-based wholesale company.

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Yellow Tail boss in blackmail case

Published:  11 December, 2009

An Australian court has commenced proceedings against a 67-year-old man accused of blackmailing John Casella - the owner of Yellow Tail producer Casella Wines - for more than A$5 million.

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La Tour D'Argent raises €1.5 million in wine sale

Published:  10 December, 2009

The sale of part of the legendary La Tour D'Argent's cellar in Paris raised €1.54 million following a two-day auction.

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Jancis Robinson website gets cellar management upgrade

Published:  10 December, 2009


Jancis Robinson's website is being upgraded to enable its near 40,000 tasting notes to be compatible with CellarTracker and VinCellar cellar management systems.

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Australia launches green scheme

Published:  10 December, 2009

Australian winemakers have launched a national and international voluntary certification scheme that aims to highlight their green credientials.

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Rise in Scotch whisky exports

Published:  10 December, 2009

The amount of Scotch whisky exported this year has jumped by more than 10 million bottles despite the recession.

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Darling confirms VAT hike

Published:  09 December, 2009

There was little Christmas cheer for the drinks trade in this year's pre-Budget report.

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Alcohol abuse commission launched in Scotland

Published:  09 December, 2009

The Scottish Labour party, which opposed the SNP's failed bill to enforce minimum alcohol pricing in Scotland, has set up a commission to tackle alcohol abuse.

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Scotch exports beat the recession

Published:  09 December, 2009

Exports of Scotch whisky grew by 1.5% in the first nine months of 2009 despite the recession.

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Darling confirms rise in VAT

Published:  09 December, 2009

Chancellor Alistair Darling has confirmed that value added tax will return to 17.5% in January, but claims there will be no further direct rise on alcoholic drinks duty tax.

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New Zealand sweet wines permitted in UK

Published:  09 December, 2009

The generic trade body, New Zealand Wine Growers has welcomed a ruling that will allow the import of sweet wines into the UK.

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Christmas campaigns unveiled for Tia Maria and Glenfiddich

Published:  09 December, 2009

First Drinks brands unveils plans for a £1 million Christmas TV campaign for Tia Maria and will target top end glossy magazines and newspaper supplements with Glenfiddich.

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Panel of MWs to judge Argentina Wine Awards

Published:  08 December, 2009

For the first time in the three year history of the Argentina Wine Awards it has been announced the 2010 international judging panel will comprise entirely of Masters of Wine.

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Pernod Ricard announces new UK appointments

Published:  08 December, 2009

Pernod Ricard has announced the appointment of three spirit and wine/Champagne Channel directors to its UK arm.

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Wines in the Press- December 4-6

Published:  08 December, 2009

Observer

On presenting his annual wine awards, Tim Atkin MW says the good news is, "that not since 1990 has the world enjoyed such a consistently promising vintage as it did in 2009." He adds, "we may have to wait a while to drink the top red wines, but the 2009 whites are already starting to filter on to the market from the southern hemisphere."

But he questions if there will there be any buyers for these wines, however great? He says Champagne and Chianti are just two regions to have been hit by falling demand and informs us there will be a lot of bargains around next year.

Atkin advises people to trade up in 2010. "Remember that wine's sweet spot in the UK lies somewhere between £5.99 and £9.99. Below that, it's hard to find interesting bottles. But with £10 in your hand, you can still drink exciting wines," he says.

To view his winners for 2010 go to www.guardian.co.uk

 

The Telegraph

Jonathon Ray says this time last year he was in New Zealand, having managed to persuade his wife and sons into foregoing and English Xmas.

"Inevitably, we drank plenty of Kiwi Sauvignon and Pinot, and drank jolly well too." Although Ray admits he did miss his Christmas glasses of Claret and has vowed to make amends this year.

He gives his festive recommendations from New Zealand, Bordeaux and beyond and says, "every bottle is ideal for Christmas lunch, dinner or for sharing with friends."

Ray begins with Sainsbury's Prosecco Frizzante NV, Italy (£4.99, Sainsbury's) and Griffith Park Rosé NV, Australia (£6.98, Asda) which he says are "perfect bubbles-on-a-budget."

 

The Independent

 "After the impressive autumn Waitrose tasting," Anthony Rose decided to splash out on a few on offer bottles of the Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Champagne 2002 and Vincent Paris Cornas 2007.

But he explains when going online the Vincent Paris Cornas was "conspicuous by its absence", and after he made some enquiries was told it would appear on the last day of the offer.

Rose says as a consumer he shares the frustrations of readers who go looking for recommended offers only to find that the wine is sold out or otherwise unavailable. "With so many special offers around this Christmas, there will be some bargains worth having, but you do often have to get in there early - and even then you may find yourself frustrated," he says.

 

The SundayTelegraph

Susy Atkins thinks fortified wines are worth getting to grips with, as "port, sherry and madeira make fabulous presents, and are complex, delectable wines to sip in the winter months".

 She says that this year she is recommending two highly contrasting dry styles of sherry, Tio Pepe "to keep in the fridge and bring out chilled with salty snacks, seafood and cured ham" and amontillado "to serve at room temperature with clear soups like consommé and toasted nuts, or to sip while picking at a chunk of parmesan". 

Also she suggests not to miss matching sweet madeira with desserts, too.

 

The Financial Times

 It is much easier to find value under £5 than for whites, says Jancis Robinson MW on advising her top red festive recommendations. In her opinion the best tip for red wine value is to head for the 2007 Rhônes and she says to take advantage of red Bordeaux deals.

 Robinson thinks the Borsao, Gran Tesoro 2008, Campo de Borja over-delivers and is excellent value at (£3.99, Tesco)

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