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Wine Australia calls on independents to back Regional Heroes campaign

Published:  05 November, 2009


Wine Australia is inviting independent merchants to take part in a four-week promotional campaign to help push its Regional Hero initiative.

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Sainsbury's starts Christmas price war

Published:  05 November, 2009

The Christmas promotional war has started early with Sainsbury's slashing the price of its wines in a promotion that sees Charles Lafitte NV Champagne reduced from £29.99 to just £11.24.

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James Forbes joins Stevens Garnier

Published:  05 November, 2009

Former Wines of Argentina UK director James Forbes has been appointed as buying and marketing director at Stevens Garnier.

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Pernod Ricard launches gifting campaign

Published:  04 November, 2009

Pernod Ricard is launching a print and online festive campaign with leading UK retailers focussing on gifting and cocktail making.

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Alcohol bill could push Scots into England

Published:  04 November, 2009

The Scottish Government's Alcohol Bill, due this month, could push huge numbers of shoppers into England to buy booze, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

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Disaronno ties-up with Karen Millen in £2m festive campaign

Published:  02 November, 2009

First Drinks has unveiled plans to launch a £2million Christmas TV campaign for Disaronno and a heavyweight PR programme which will see the brand tie-up with high street fashion designer, Karen Millen.

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Constellation in joint-venture talks with Australian Vintage

Published:  02 November, 2009

Constallation Brands is in discussion with Australian Vintage Ltd about merging part of its Australian and UK wine operations.

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Pernod Ricard targets slight profit growth

Published:  02 November, 2009

Pernod Ricard is targeting a slight rise of organic growth in profits from recurring operations of between 1 and 3 per cent for 2009/2010 and indicates it is seeing signs of recovery from the economic downturn.

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Wines in the press - October 30-November 1

Published:  02 November, 2009

The Guardian

You may well stumble across a bargain if you avoid star names in the grape world says Victoria Moore.

"If you avoid glittering names that attract high premiums - Chablis, Pouilly Fumé, Ribera del Duero, Barolo, Chianti and so on - or grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon that are wielded like trophies and charged for accordingly, you very often get a better deal," she adds.


Moore recommends Domaine Yves Cuilleron Syrah Vin de Pays des Collines Rhôdaniennes 2007 (The Wine Society, £11.95). "As the name suggests, it comes from the Rhône Valley and smells utterly, soaringly magnificent, minerallic and pure. It may not be a cheap bottle, but as a humble vin de pays it costs far less than you'd pay for a similar wine from one of the Rhône's highfalutin apellations, and the quality is still there."


The Sunday Telegraph

"Bonfire night is a great time, I think, for a warming, powerful drink," says Susy Atkin. "But - let's be clear about this - not if you are the person lighting the bonfire or setting off the fireworks. No. Those folk should be on caffeine only before marching away with the matches."


Atkins suggests if it's a chilly and dark evening not to "pour anything delicate".

She recommends, a "beefy red", ripe and intense, preferably with hints of spice and black pepper possibly a premium Malbec from Argentina, or Carmenère from Chile. Both of which she says, "would fit the bill". She adds, hot mulled wine is also a good idea, "but make sure you use a decent bottle of red, go easy on the pungent cloves and never let it boil fully, or else the alcohol will steam away into the night".

The Financial Times

Jancis Robinson MW is talking to a "the most important father and son in wine", of whom she says "you have probably never heard".


Client Bruno Eynard of Château Lagrange in St-Julien says Jacques Boissenot, 71, and his 40-year-old son Eric "make the greatest wines of the world".


They are the Médoc's leading consultants, reports Robinson and responsible for the great majority of the region's famous classed growths, and all the first growths. Yet, she adds "they never court publicity and rarely receive it, so entrenched are they in this, the greatest concentration of fine red wine estates in the world".


She says, the Boissenots operate from a "modest house" in Lamarque and "like Michel Rolland they also run a laboratory whose two employees conduct the analyses of all those tanks, vats and barrels full of purple liquid".


Robinson asked what was the sign of success for them? "We're not the only actors, it's a team thing. Eric Boissenot replied, "perhaps we're more important than some others - you can never attribute a wine to one person. But the fact that we see so many properties means that we have more of a vision than someone who knows only their property."


The Telegraph


Jonathon Ray is talks to actress Emma Thompson about her love of wine. He says "Thompson knows more about wine than she admits. In fact, I had heard that she was hoping to become a Master of Wine.

Thompson agrees: "Yes, I was thinking of attempting the Master of Wine course, but having done an intermediate course at Berry Bros, I realised how technical a subject wine can be. It was a bit like learning my lines and to be honest it took some of the romance out of it."


Ray says, Thompson buys wine regularly from just three merchants: Berry Bros & Rudd, Genesis Wines and Argyll Vintners in Dunoon, Scotland, where she has a house.

"Argyll Vintners has to be my favourite place on earth," Thompson explains. "It's a wine shop which also, bizarrely, sells wool."

She adds, "Such independents deserve to be supported and I flatly refuse to buy any wine from supermarkets. They might have very good buyers but it's just not fair how much power over us the supermarkets have."

Thompson married fellow actor Greg Wise in a low-key wedding in Dunoon in 2003 and says, "All the money I would otherwise have spent I invested in wine," she says. "Among many other treats we bought a case of stunning 1982 Chateau Léoville-Lascases and some gorgeous 2000 Meursault. We managed to entertain 20 friends for an entire week and whenever we opened a bottle the whole party would let out a collective sigh of joy. It all passed in a very agreeable haze and I'll never forget it. What I remember of it."

 

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Absolut announces artistic partnership with Spike Jonze

Published:  30 October, 2009

Absolut Vodka has announced it will celebrate 30 years of its artistic creativity by launching an Absolut Art award and a new creative partnership with US filmaker Spike Jonze.

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Job losses start at First Quench

Published:  30 October, 2009

Eighty-one staff at First Quench Retailing's head office have been made redundant, with administrators warning further job losses and store closures are likely.

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Thresher owner goes into administration

Published:  29 October, 2009

First Quench Retailing, owners of Thresher and Wine Rack, has confimed it is going into administration.

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Stone's Original ginger wine launches festive promotional push

Published:  29 October, 2009

Constellation Europe is launching a national promotion in the run up to Christmas for Stone's Original green ginger wine.

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Threshers owner 'discussing administration'

Published:  29 October, 2009

First Quench is facing a new crisis after reports emerged that the off-licence chain could be on the verge of going into administration.

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New national park threatens growth of vineyards

Published:  28 October, 2009

The future growth of Sussex vineyards may be under threat due to a national park that will be created in early 2010.

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Christmas push for Gordon's gin

Published:  27 October, 2009

Diageo GB is investing more than £750,000 in Gordon's in the run-up to Christmas.

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Wines in the press - October 23 - 25

Published:  27 October, 2009

The Guardian

 

Victoria Moore was approached by a friend who asked is it "wrong to feel that it's wrong to drink rosé in winter?"

 

Moore says she thinks rosé wine tastes good all year round, "I'm not the only one who thinks so - sales continue to surge." She adds at the last count rosé equated to 11% of all wine bought in supermarkets and off-licences.

 

Although Moore does admit to choosing a "darker and more jewel-like rosé," such as from Languedoc or Argentina, the colder it gets".

 

She says she confessed this to a technician at the Centre de Recherche et d'Experimentation sur le Vin Rosé in  the south of France and was told climate seems to affect people's choice of rosé so much that French winemakers "deliberately make different colours to send not just to different countries but to different parts of France". 

 

The Observer

 

"At a time when we're supposed to be reducing our carbon footprints, an increasing number of producers are packaging their wines in disgracefully heavy bottles," says Tim Atkin MW. He says it's "mainly, but not exclusively, a Latin thing." With Spain, Italy and Argentina being the major culprits.

 

In an attempt to arrest this, Atkin says he's taken the decision not to recommend anything that comes in a heavyweight bottle with the exception of Champagne and sparkling wine.

 

He says, "if you're looking to make your own small impact on the world you can buy from carbon-neutral wineries such as Grove Mill in New Zealand or Cullen in Australia; switch to wines packaged in bag-in-box, plastic, Tetra Pak or lightweight glass."

 

The Times

 

Jane MacQuitty says "with fine-wine merchants struggling to keep afloat, thank heavens for The Wine Society". She says they may not be the "cool drinker's idea of a good wine merchant, but there's no denying its ability and worth".

 

MacQuitty mentions its 90,000 members and the wines bought early, or en primeur, in every good vintage.

 

She says, "a portion of the wines is released immediately, so members can lay them down, while others are kept in the society's temperature-controlled cellars and released only when ready to drink." MacQuitty adds that members can also store fully insured wines in the society's cellars for £7.92 a year (other merchants charge £15 or more).

 

She says "you will find the society's prices to be keen without being rock bottom" .

 

thewinesociety.com/join),

 

The Telegraph

 

Susy Atkin says at the moment she seems to be drawn to apple drinks of all sorts; "from apple juice for breakfast to 'proper' cider at a pub lunch, to apple-juicy white wines with light suppers, and even calvados (dinner parties only)".

 

Atkins puts it down to a "seasonal fling" bought on by the autumnal weather.

 

She says, certain grape varieties taste distinctly appley in particular Chenin Blanc. Atkins says "South African Chenin mingles lime, guava and tangy green apple in a joyous, fruity burst". She also thinks Riesling, especially the German style, "has a delicate apple and white-blossom appeal. Atkins adds "even Cava has a certain appley zip at its sparkling, er, core".

 

Financial Times

After a recent trip to Russia Jancis Robinson MW says "Russian wine production is remarkably like wine production everywhere else and what I saw was almost disappointingly familiar." Robinson says most of the transformation has been in the infrastructure, with new winery equipment and new wineries being installed after Mikhail Gorbachev's anti-alcohol campaign left vast tracts of eastern European vineyards "surplus to requirements". She explains that in the former Soviet Union, grapes were grown from Moldova to Tajikistan and transformed into wine with maximum efficiency but minimum attention to quality. Now she says apparently it's state policy to restore the total area of Russian vineyard to its pre-Gorbachev 1984 level of more than 400,000 hectares. Currently the total is only 65,000 hectares. But, she says without wine laws, the Russian wine scene is likely to continue to be undisciplined.


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Marlborough Sauvignon for £3.92

Published:  26 October, 2009

Tesco has launched a promotion offering Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc for £3.92 a bottle.

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Maxxium unveils port support

Published:  26 October, 2009

Maxxium UK has developed an on-trade marketing kit to boost sales of port during meals.

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Brand investment boost for Fortune

Published:  24 October, 2009

Fortune Brands is increasing marketing investment in its key spirits brands in a bid to boost sales during the economic slump.

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