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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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Nordic deal for Castle spirits

Published:  24 October, 2009

Castle Brands Spirits has signed a distribution deal with Norwegian-based Arcus for its brands in the Nordic region.

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Foster's places wine brands into JV

Published:  23 October, 2009

Foster's is transfer 13 Australian wine brands into a joint venture with Vok Beverages, best known for its reputation in building RTD brands.

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Retailers in line for multi-million windfall over music in stores

Published:  22 October, 2009

Retail stores that play music in their stores are in line for a major windfall after a legal ruling that could see them claim back £20 million in excessive charges levied over the last four years.

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Consumers drinking at home to save costs

Published:  22 October, 2009


Over half of consumers drink at home at least once a week - a trend fuelled by the economic climate, a new survey has revealed.

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Matthew Clark to offer consumers restaurant wine online

Published:  21 October, 2009


Matthew Clark is to launch a consumer facing website offering over 200 restaurant quality wines usually only available in the on-trade.

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Fine wine company moves into Hong Kong

Published:  20 October, 2009

Online fine wine merchant and shipper Cellar Link is expanding into the Far East with the launch of a branch in Hong Kong.

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Fine wine company moves into Hong Kong

Published:  20 October, 2009

Online fine wine merchant and shipper Cellar Link is expanding into the Far East with the launch of a branch in Hong Kong.

 

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Fine wine company moves into Hong Kong

Published:  20 October, 2009

Online fine wine merchant and shipper Cellar Link is expanding into the Far East with the launch of a branch in Hong Kong.

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Wines in the Press, October 17-18

Published:  20 October, 2009


What the wine critics had to say in last weekend's newspapers

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Wines in the Press, October 17-18

Published:  20 October, 2009


What the wine critics had to say in last weekend's newspapers

OBSERVER

Tim Atkin MW does his level best to deter wannabee vineyard owners from realising their dream of vineyard ownership. While he concedes that it is a "seductive" notion, he claims the reality is "a good deal less romantic". Having a good harvest is just the start of things. "Making wine is the comparatively easy bit," he asserts. "Finding someone to drink it is much much tougher."

 

But if you're still determined to go ahead, he advises budding winemakers to visit a few vineyards, and not necessarily overseas. "Believe me, if you can make wine in England you can do it anywhere." Then, sign up for a winemaking course, rent cellar space and equipment and buy grapes as opposed to owning vines, ideally in an area where growers are keen to offload their crop.

 

"Make half decent wine at a fair price and you have a chance of success," he says. Atkin admits to toying with the idea himself, but declares himself a critic at heart, rather than a winemaker.

 

He recommends the 2007 Bouchard Vin de Pays de l'Aude Pinot Noir (£6.08, Asda), and the "spicy, robust" 2007 Domaine Les Yeuses Les Epices Syrah, Vin de Pays d'Oc. (£6.99 each for two, Majestic).

SUNDAY TIMES
Bob Tyrer mulls over the difficulty of matching wine with chocolate - and the pleasure in getting it right. "I didn't realize just how much magic the right wine and chocolate can bring out in each other," he muses.

 

After a trip to Argentina he recommends Argentinean Malbec as one of the grapes best suited to drinking with chocolate. "Chocolate seems to combine with ripe New World tannins, while the acid in the wine and the fruit in the chocolate play all sorts of magic with the taste buds," he enthuses.

 

He likes Michel Torino Don David (£12.95, Cavas de Gaucho), which he says is "fantastic with strawberry and balsamic vinegar in white chocolate ganache", while, the 2006 Maury Els Pyreneus, (£10.75, Bibendum), a heavy, sweet red "flies to unimagined heights with a little chilli and lime chocolate".

 

FINANCIAL TIMES

Following a recent blind tasting, Jancis Robinson MW is rather disappointed by the 2002 vintage of red Bordeaux, describing them as "ungenerous, with more acidity than average, and in some, but not all, cases some pretty austere tannins".

 

While no wine really dazzled, the St Emilions were the most varied, while of those wines from the Graves, those from the Pessac-Leognan appellation, Chateau Malartic-Lagraviere was particularly popular amongst the tasters for its "unusual succulence". However, Robinson preferred De Fieuzal, which she describes as "another over-performer" from this appellation and vintage, and very much better value. And with prices for this vintage being the most affordable this century, this could be the time to splash out.

 

Robinson says that a handful of wines stood out from the pack as being excellent buys, offering particular value for money. She recommends the Chateau Bernadotte which can be picked up for 7.8 Euros in France and for £12.95 from the Fine Wine Company of Edinburgh. However, she warns that Chateau Fournas-Bernadotte is the second wine of Chateau Bernadotte, and some retailers may confuse the two. "There are certainly bargains to be had from the 2002 vintage, even if there are few heart-stopping thrills," she sums up.

 

THE INDEPENDENT

After a recent tasting of wines from boutique wineries, a first for the trade, Anthony Rose enthuses about their ability to offer small quantities of excellent wines that the big boys just won't touch. And with the increasing efficiency of the internet, it's often just as convenient to buy from these small wineries as from independent wine merchants, he says.

 

He commends SWIG Wines (swig.co.uk), who used the event to showcase growers from both Europe and the new world. Their Yabby Lake Pinot Noir from the Mornington Peninsula at £14.50, was matched by an "exotic" Yabby Lake Chardonnay (£21). Rose was also impressed by Colosanti, a small wine merchant which imports distinctive Italian wines. He particularly admired a "polished, beautifully oaked modern dark cherry and damson-fruity barbera" the 2005 Tenuta Olim Bauda Barbera d'Asti Superiore Nizza (£16.25), and from Le Marche, the "excellent" 2005 Piantate Lunghe Conero DOCG Rossini, at £20.65, "an ultra-stylish red made from the montepulicano grape in Ancona's Monte Conero vineyards".

 

DAILY MAIL
How best to store wine when most homes nowadays don't have cellars is what's concerning Olly Smith this week. While wine is increasingly made for immediate consumption, there are some bottles which are nice to lay down. Smith says the key to storage is maintaining a consistent temperature, ideally around 11C. Attics are useless - too hot in summer, too cold in winter, and avoid direct sunlight.


While you could invest in a wine fridge, wines generally just need to be laid on their side somewhere cool and dark. Alternatively, you could have someone store the wine on your behalf. Smith recommends Berry Bros and Rudd's service, which starts at £10.80 a case.

 

Wines he suggests which are worth laying down include the 2006 Villa Maria Reserve Merlot Gimblett Gravells, (£17, Waitrose), which is "layered and multi-dimensional with rich fruit", and the 2008 Pechstein Riesling, (£25, Leathwaites), which Smith declares a "top tipple that already has plenty of fresh lime zing."

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Drinks industry attacks 90,000 deaths claim

Published:  19 October, 2009


The drinks industry has slammed health officials' claims that 90,000 people will die from alcohol-related diseases in the next 10 years.

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Government climbdown on binge drinking measures

Published:  19 October, 2009

By Shirley Kumar

The government has quietly dropped proposals to give local councils "discretionary" powers to shut down bars in areas blighted by binge drinking.  

 

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UK drinking levels fall again

Published:  19 October, 2009

UK alcohol consumption is falling at the fastest rate for more than 60 years according to HM Revenue & Customs data released by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

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