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Trade stalwart Colin Gurteen dies

Published:  11 January, 2010

The trade is mourning the loss of Colin Gurteen, a well-known wine eductator and pioneer of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.

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Trade defends itself against MPs' attack

Published:  08 January, 2010

MPs have attacked the drinks industry's lack of action in curbing problem drinking and demanded tougher regulation on the trade, including a 50p-a-unit minimum price.

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Whisky roofs collapse under weight of snow

Published:  08 January, 2010

Two Chivas Regal sites in Speyside have been damaged after roofs collapsed on its warehouses under the weight of heavy snow.

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Torres appoints new head of Chile operation

Published:  08 January, 2010

Miguel Torres Jr of the Torres family in Spain has been appointed executive president of the company's Chilean subsidiary, based in Curicó.

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Thresher closures boost Spar wine sales

Published:  08 January, 2010


The collapse of First Quench has seen a 6% rise in alcohol sales at convenience chain Spar, according to the group's managing director Jerry Marwood.

 

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Drinks indusry dismisses MPs claims it is "dependent" on heavy drinkers

Published:  08 January, 2010

The drinks industry has refuted allegations from a government select committee that it is "dependent" on heavy drinkers and holds too much sway over government alcohol policy.

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Drinks industry dismisses MPs claims it is "dependent" on heavy drinkers

Published:  08 January, 2010

The drinks industry has refuted allegations from a government select committee that it is "dependent" on heavy drinkers and holds too much sway over government alcohol policy.

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Constellation's European sales rise

Published:  07 January, 2010

Constellation Brands has been boosted by a 12% increase in branded wine sales in Europe.

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Portman Group concerned over TV product placement

Published:  07 January, 2010

Drinks industry watchdog, the Portman Group is concerned over Government negotiations to relax product placement rules.

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Sales hit by snow

Published:  07 January, 2010

The drinks trade is counting the cost of the snow and ice as transport grinds to a halt and consumers stay at home.

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Wakefield releases first 100% carbon neutral wine

Published:  06 January, 2010

An Australian producer has released the first 100% certified carbon neutral brand of wines.

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Vintage harvest for English wine

Published:  06 January, 2010

English winemakers are predicting 2009 could be one of the best vintages in recent years.

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Majestic sales jump nearly 12% over Christmas

Published:  06 January, 2010


Majestic has enjoyed a bumper festive sales period with a sales jump of nearly 12% in the nine weeks to January 4.

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Guy Anderson strengthens position in France

Published:  06 January, 2010

Guy Anderson Wines is strengthening its position in France having been appointed off-trade agent for Loire producer Ackerman and Burgundy specialist François Martenot.

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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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