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Champagne in danger of self-destructing, warns expert

Published:  05 January, 2010

Champagne could lose its status as an aspirational drink through "dangerous" price promotions in supermarkets, according to a leading business expert from the region.

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Wines in the press - January 1-4

Published:  05 January, 2010

The Financial Times

Jancis Robinson MW tells us some of her hopes for in 2010 in the world of wine.

Firstly, she says she would like to see better storage for the fine wine market with reliably constant cool temperatures and reasonable humidity, such as Octavian at Corsham. Where she says its underground storage is more energy conscious than expensively controlled above-ground warehouses.

Robinson also hopes that people responsible for shipping and storing wine would take their responsibilities seriously because wine can be fatally damaged if kept too hot or too cold. She sites Berry Bros as aiming to be the first London wine merchant with a verified global Fine Wine Cold Chain that will be working with the firm eProvenance that has measured temperatures in their cellars and shipments.

Her personal wish for 2010 is to drink more Riesling, because she says "it's relatively low in alcohol, high in flavour, develops beautifully in bottle, expresses terroir and goes very happily with so many of the foods we eat now." 

 

The Guardian

Victoria Moore is advising how to choose wine in a supermarket without having had the benefit of tasting them first.

She says: "There is no failsafe way." But puts forward a few rules which she applies when selecting unknown wine.

Her first rule is to never risk buying a bottle with a bird, insect or animal on the label, which she says will keep the consumer, "mercifully clear" of Yellow Tail Cabernet Sauvignon, Little Penguin wines and many others. 

Another piece of advice Moore gives is to be wary of bottles bearing words "Imported by Constellation Europe Ltd" on the back label. She says this is because their wines include the "execrable" Banrock Station, Stowells and Hardys. But she makes an exception for Flagstone Noon Gun Dry White 2009 (£6.99, Tesco).

Avoid bottles sold at "half-price." Moore concludes, "the lure of such wines is only ever supposed to be their promotion excitement. It's never good when taste is secondary, or even tertiary."

 

The Independent

Anthony Rose is looking ahead and predicting some of 2010's wine trends. He says: "To look forward in wine - reculer pour mieux sauter, as the French would have it - is the way".

One of the big events this year Rose predicts is likely to be the sale of Bordeaux 2009 vintage this spring, on the back of reliable suggestions coming from the region that 2009 could rank alongside the great 2005 vintage.

In the New World, Rose says: "Nothing can rain on New Zealand's Sauvignon Blanc parade." He adds Burgundy and Rhône lovers looking for value will do well to turn their attention to New Zealand's Pinot Noirs and its aromatic Syrahs from Hawkes Bay.

Rose also predicts Australia's regions will come into sharper focus this year, Chile's Pacific-influenced, aromatic white wines will remain hard to beat for good value and Argentina's strong suit will continue with Malbec as, "one of the world's brightest and most accessible reds". 

He says rosé will remain at least as popular as it's become, with more than one in 10 bottles of wine sold now is pink. "Yes", says Rose. "The future is looking distinctly rosé".

 

The Times

"People love a bargain, especially in a credit crunch," says Jane MacQuitty. She advises that if anyone's still flush with funds after Christmas they should contact Montrachet (020-7821 1337), a small fine wine merchant with a gem of a Bordeaux and Burgundy list.

MacQuitty recommends Château Quinault l'Enclos 1999 (down £8 to £24.91), which she says is an average Bordeaux vintage but good on the Right Bank.

She adds, the same price brings you a terrific red Burgundy, Domaine J. Confuron-Cotetidot 2003 Vosne-Romanée, "again it's from a lesser year, but from the grandest red wine village of the Côte d'Or".

 

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Win tickets to Legally Blonde, The Musical

Published:  05 January, 2010

Get rid of those new year blues by a night out at the theatre - the West End Gala premiere of the new musical Legally Blonde.

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Scottish university helps market European producers

Published:  05 January, 2010

A Scottish university has come together with European producers to help raise the profile of their wines.

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English drinkers pour double at home

Published:  04 January, 2010

New figures have revealed that English people drinking spirits at home are pouring double the amount they would get in a pub if they ordered a single shot.

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Diageo takes biggest hit in First Quench collapse

Published:  04 January, 2010

The drinks giant Diageo has taken the hardest hit after the First Quench collapse, as figures filed by administrators KPMG reveal it was owed more than £1.9m in unpaid debts.

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Neil Bruce of WaverleyTBS and his leaders for 2010

Published:  03 January, 2010


In the last of our series on who key industry figures see as the leaders in the drinks industry for 2010 and the biggest influencers in their career we turn to Neil Bruce, wine director, of WaverleyTBS.

 

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Michael Cox's challenges and leaders for 2010

Published:  02 January, 2010

Michael Cox, UK director, Wines of Chile on the challenges facing the sector in 2010 and his leaders for the sector

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Michael Cox of Wines of Chile's leaders for 2010

Published:  31 December, 2009

Michael Cox, UK director, Wines of Chile on the challenges facing the drinks industry in 2010 and the leaders best placed to help the sector move forward

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WaverleyTBS's Neil Bruce's leaders for 2010

Published:  31 December, 2009

 

Neil Bruce, wine director, WaverleyTBS on who he sees are the main drinks figures and issues for 2010.

 

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Paul Stratford's leaders for 2010

Published:  30 December, 2009

Paul Stratford, managing director, Stratford's Wine Agencies continues our series looking at who key trade figures see as the industry leaders and biggest influencers in their career

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Paul Stratford's leaders for 2010

Published:  30 December, 2009

Paul Stratford, managing director, Statford's Wine Agencies
is our latest industry leader to say what he thinks are the biggest issues facing us in 2010 and who are the people best placed to lead the sector through them.

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Ged Welch Thierry's managing director's leaders and mentors

Published:  29 December, 2009

As part of our Christmas season of articles from industry leaders here we ask
Ged Welch, managing director, Thierry's to say who he regards as the key figures in the drinks trade.

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Ged Welch Thierry's managing director's leaders and mentors

Published:  29 December, 2009

As part of our Christmas season of articles from industry leaders here we ask
Ged Welch, managing director, Thierry's to say who he regards as the key figures in the drinks trade.

 

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Jancis Robinson: my leaders and mentors

Published:  27 December, 2009

As we celebrate Christmas we invite key figure in the trade to give their view on who they see as the leading voices for the drinks industry. Today we turn to Jancis Robinson MW, wine writer, Financial Times and jancisrobinson.com

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Jancis Robinson: my leaders and mentors

Published:  27 December, 2009


As we celebrate Christmas we invite key figure in the trade to give their view on who they see as the leading voices for the drinks industry. Today we turn to Jancis Robinson MW, wine writer, Financial Times and jancisrobinson.com

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Jeremy Beadles WSTA: my leaders and mentors

Published:  27 December, 2009

As we celebrate Christmas we also look to the year with a series of articles from key figures in the trade. First up is Jeremy Beadles, chief executive, Wine & Spirit Trade Association.

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Letter calls for minimum alcohol price

Published:  24 December, 2009

Public health chiefs have called on Scottish politicians to support the minimum price for alcohol.

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Winners and losers in 2009

Published:  23 December, 2009

First Cape, Lindemans and Blossom Hills were some of the best branded wine performers of 2009 while Hardys and Gallo saw sales fall compared to the previous year, according to The Grocer's Top Products Survey.

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Brintex announce new board members for LIWF and Distil

Published:  23 December, 2009

Brintex has announced two new appointments to the London International Wine Fair (LIWF) and Distil Advisory Board.

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