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Wine Rack managers gather at Vinopolis

Published:  03 December, 2009

Wine Rack managers are gathering at Vinopolis today (Thursday) for their first formal meeting with their new owners.

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Raiders target Sussex vineyard

Published:  03 December, 2009

Burglars have stolen £32,000 of wine from a Sussex vineyard.

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Simon Thorpe quits Constellation

Published:  02 December, 2009

Simon Thorpe MW is quitting Constellation Europe to become managing director of Australian fine wine importer Negociants UK.

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Further Champagne discounts at Morrisons

Published:  02 December, 2009

Morrisons is making further cuts to the prices of leading Champagne brands.

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Stolen wine warning

Published:  30 November, 2009

The trade is being warned to be on the lookout for stolen wine after the theft of 57 cases en route to Berry Bros & Rudd.

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More FQR stores close - but Wine Rack lives on

Published:  30 November, 2009

A further 391 First Quench stores are to close - but there is good news about the future of the Wine Rack brand.

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Searcys to open six Champagne bars in 2010

Published:  27 November, 2009

Searcys is looking to roll out its Champagne bar concept across the country with six new sites planned for next year.

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IWC opens early for entries

Published:  27 November, 2009

The International Wine Challenge is calling for entries for next year's competition.

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£7m Christmas push for First Drinks

Published:  26 November, 2009

First Drinks is backing its brands with £7 million in advertising and promotions in the run-up to Christmas.

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Drinks leaders speak out on alcohol policy: Claire Hu

Published:  26 November, 2009

Leading drinks company bosses today urged the trade to have a say on alcohol harm reduction policy, before ineffective and costly legislation is imposed on the industry.

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Virgin Wines launches 12 days of Christmas promotion

Published:  26 November, 2009


Virgin Wines is following Amazon by running a special "12 days of Christmas" promotional campaign offering customers different deals on each consecutive day from November 30.

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WSTA attacks Scottish government alcohol bill

Published:  26 November, 2009


 The Scottish government stands accused today of punishing Scottish consumers and businesses with its proposed Alcohol Bill published today, whilst doing little to tackle the root causes of alcohol misuse.

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Geodis sets up dedicated UK wine division

Published:  25 November, 2009


Geodis Calberson is looking to extend its distribution service to the UK drinks industry with a dedicated Geodis Wine Logistics division.

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Lidl leads the way on Champagne deals

Published:  25 November, 2009

 

A Champagne price war looks set to break out pre-Christmas, with Lidl the first supermarket to make a sub-£10 offer.

 

The German discount chain ha

 

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Vintage fizz deal from Clark

Published:  25 November, 2009

On-trade customers are being given the chance to buy Vintage Champagne for the price of Non-Vintage in a deal being offered by Matthew Clark.

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Wines in the Press - November 21-23

Published:  24 November, 2009

Sunday Times

A fear of heights put paid to Bob Tryer's youthful dreams of becoming a paratrooper. So he finds the experience of descending a near-vertical vineyard in the Mosel in a "flimsy, rackety, terrifying" monorail somewhat trying.

But it was almost worth it, he says, to sample Clemens Busch's new-wave German Rieslings.

The Buschs are based in the vinously unfashionable village of Pünderich in the Mosel but produce what Tryer considers to be inspired wines through hard work and "a touch of bio-dynamic mystery".

"His bottles are not cheap, but the aromas of sandalwood and flashes of fennel make these rare, dry, pure, minerally wines something quite out of the ordinary in Britain," says Tryer, who recommends Dr Loosen Urziger Würzgarten 2008 (£12.49) from Waitrose.

The Times

Thinking no one will notice if you empty that dusty old bottle of brandy into your Christmas pudding? Think again, says Jane MacQuitty, who warns "cheapskates" that spirits, including brandies and liqueurs, all discolour with time and lose their flavour.

Rather than a "cheap, fiery, oaky French brandy, with its varnishy flavours that taste even worse once it has been set alight", she suggests Torres 10 Year Old Gran Reserva (Waitrose, £12.99), which has a "heavy yet smooth, raisiny taste" and coconut finish from ageing in American oak.

Or maybe a French cognac such as H by Hine, "with its fine, spicy, floral, silky style (Tanners, £22.80; Waitrose, down to £18.99 from December 2).

Observer

Atkin is heralding the resurrection of Oddbins after what he thinks is its best press tasting for seven years.

He says the company has purged itself of the "backlog of rubbish" from Castel, and replaced them with some "first-rate purchases" among its 400 new wines.

He finds the return of small parcels, from which Oddbins takes its name, and a willingness to list more ambitious and unusual bottles particularly encouraging. And customers are responding, say Atkins, with the average bottle price now up to a "very respectable £7.67".

He recommends trying the "pear and apple fruity" Godello Alma de Blanco Moneterrei 2008 (£8.99), and "fresh, subtle, Burgundian-style" Cono Sur 20 Barrels Chardonnay, Casablanca 2007 (£13.99).

Financial Times

On the upside, a washout 2008 vintage in the Rhône means less savage tannins leave Jancis Robinson's teeth less "disgustingly black" after a tasting. But she's left with little else to wax lyrical about.

The "decidedly muted" wines - a result of a rainy 2008 in both the north and south - even left Robinson thinking some southern producers "just rolled over and let the shortcomings of the vintage wash over them and their wines".

Highlights come from biodynamic producer Chapoutier, who might have found the "magic formula for making unusually dense, healthy, vibrant wines in 2008", says Robinson, while Michel Tardieu of Tardieu-Laurent, based in the Lubéron, made an "uncannily supple" and "completely atypical red Hermitage", which she found lovely.

Her conclusion from the 2008 tasting? Sensible buyers will "stock up on the exceptional 2007s while they wait for the eagerly anticipated 2009s".

Guardian

Victoria Moore is delighting in what she reckons is the best sub-£5 wine she's tasted all year: the "easygoing" Languedocan Les Crouzes Old Vines Carignan Alain Grignon Wines 2008 (£4.99, The Co-op).

But what's tickling her most about this "unboring multitasker" is that it's made from Carignan - a grape she describes as funny and underated, but unfortunately often the base for bad wines made in the south of France from high-yielding, under-ripe fruit.

She says Gringon's wine is different. "It doesn't have the dirt and dust of an old-school Vin de Pays - instead, it treads a middle way. It's a lucid, modern wine with character", with 40-year-old vines helping to add "depth and detail".

Another good one, she thinks, is La Différence Carignan 2008 Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes (£5.48, Tesco). "Also a modern incarnation, with an open structure and a spreading, brambly taste reminiscent of primitivo."

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US wine market up 2.1% - Mintel

Published:  24 November, 2009

Market research organisation Mintel has predicted the US wine market will increase by 2.1% by the end of 2009.

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New whisky rules introduced today

Published:  23 November, 2009

Scotch single-malt whisky must be bottled in Scotland, while terms such as 'pure malt' and 'vatted malt' are now a thing of the past, thanks to a number of new laws introduced today (Mon 23) by the UK government.

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Irish wine chief wants 20% tax cut

Published:  23 November, 2009

The Irish Wine Association has called on the country's government to cut excise duty by 20% after official figures showed a 10.9% drop in sales in the year-to-date.

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Pink fizz targets Clothes Show visitors

Published:  23 November, 2009

Foster's EMEA is to use the Clothes Show Live consumer fair in a bid to build awareness for its Pink sparkling rosé wine brand among young women.

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