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Diageo makes female executive chart

Published:  10 March, 2010

Diageo is the only drinks company to be named in a list of the top 50 companies for women executives.

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Wines of Chile sets up UK quake appeal

Published:  10 March, 2010

Wines of Chile has established a UK appeal to raise money for victims of the country's earthquake.

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D&D takes on French agencies

Published:  09 March, 2010

D&D Wines International has been appointed as the principal off-trade agent for Jeanjean Languedoc and RIGAL.

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Spanish agencies for PLB

Published:  09 March, 2010

PLB has added two Spanish producers to its portfolio: Navarra's Bodegas Ochoa and Rioja's Miguel Merino.

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Wines in the Press- March 4-7

Published:  09 March, 2010

The Guardian

Victoria Moore says the more interested in wine she gets, the more she's prepared to spend on it.
Sometimes and undemanding £5 wine suits, others she'll happily part with £10 or £15 for a bit more sophistication and finesse.

Tesco wine buyer Graham Nash says it's often fear, not excitement, that persuades people to part with a few more quid than normal. He calls this "the distress purchase - they want to make sure the wine's all right and can't think of any way other than spending a bit more".


Moore says, this is not misguided as couple of extra pounds in this price bracket provides a disproportionate boost to the amount you're spending on the wine itself (as opposed to the bottle, cork, duty). Unfortunately, in the other directions people go scooting towards well-known brands and regions for safety which is far from guaranteed to do them any favours.

 

The Times

In his new column, Tim Atkin MW, writes about the recent fake French Pinot Noir fraud, where a dozen Frenchmen were found guilty of selling incorrectly labelled wine to the E & J Gallo Winery.


Atkin says it's not the only recent scandal involving France's largest wine region. Nearly half a million bottles of counterfeit Fitou were rumbled in China last week, this time the fraudsters were Chinese, not French.


Allegations of nefarious goings on are numerous, but proof is hard to find, adds Atkin. Examples include the 1970 vintage in Rioja, which some estimate was sold at least twice over and cheap Italian Pinot Grigio, that was cut with everything from Trebbiano to tap water.


"So can you trust the wine in your glass? Yes, most of the time. The wine business is highly regulated, but even without the threat of legal sanction, most winemakers are honest. Wines generally come from the place, or places, that appear on the label and are made from the advertised grape varieties, too."


Financial Times


Jancis Robinson MW says, the words "Japan, wine exporter" have an unlikely ring, but the new organization, Koshu of Japan, is keen to shine an international spotlight on it's native variety.


The national government and local authorities are supporting this new initiative, a drive set in motion only last year by the single-minded Yamanashi wine producer Shigekazu Misawa of Grace Winery. "It is my dream to see Koshu wine recognised for the qualities I know it can have," he says.


Robinson says: "What appeals to me about Koshu is its very lack of brashness, its delicacy, purity, limpidity, and the way it goes so well with the calmer regions of the Japanese gastronomic landscape."


Telegraph


Only a generation or two back there was scant knowledge of white wine in this country, says Susy Atkins.


Apart from keen wine buffs, to most a glass of white was just that - not specifically a Chardonnay, Riesling or Sauvignon. "It's good to think that most people choose more wisely today, knowing, at least roughly, what the key grapes taste like," she adds.


Yet there is still a tendency towards the obvious, states Atkins, and asks, "what about more unusual whites?" She gives an example as wine from the Rhone Valley, which Atkins says she rarely sees on supermarket shelves.


The Marsanne and Roussanne grapes can deliver nutty notes, peach and a hint of ginger, she says and Viognier adds a scented apricot quality. It's the independent merchants that have the real gems, such as Yapp Brothers, in Mere, Wiltshire, adds Atkins. "So put down that Pinot Grigio and give them a ring".


Independent

Amarone della Valpolicella, has just been granted its DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata y Garantita) status.


Patricia Guy, an Italian wine expert living in Verona, questions whether quality is being cut and compromised. She says a genuine Amarone should smell of the drying process, of cherries and of spice that turns to incense as it ages.


Rose says, recent success has enabled producers to invest in improving the health and quality of a wine that was in danger of becoming old-fashioned. Modern Amarone is often made in a style that takes its place alongside powerful New World reds like Argentinian Malbec, Californian Zinfandel and Australian Shiraz.


He says a good introduction is Sainsbury's spicy, Taste the Difference Amarone 2006, (£14.69), but for greater flavour and intensity try the Masi Costasera Amarone Classico 2005, (£21.99, Tesco).

 

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Six arrests in wine investment probe

Published:  08 March, 2010

Scotland Yard has made six arrests in connection with a suspected fine wine investment scam.

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Laithwaites donates to Chile appeal

Published:  08 March, 2010

Laithwaites is donating 5% of sales on all Chilean wines during March to the Chilean Embassy Earthquake Appeal.

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Diageo and Coca-Cola in joint on-trade drive

Published:  08 March, 2010

Diageo and Coca-Cola Enterprises are to launch a joint campaign to build sales of quality, long mixed drinks in the on-trade.

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Parker gives top marks to Symington's 07 vintages

Published:  05 March, 2010

Graham's Vintage Port 2007 has been awarded 97 points and described as "a candidate for wine of the vintage" by Robert Parker and his Wine Advocate.

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Thresher franchisees win legal battle

Published:  05 March, 2010

Former Thresher franchisees have won the legal battle to be allowed to trade as independents.

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Increased fines for under-age sales

Published:  04 March, 2010

Government figures have revealed that fines for selling alcohol to children have become much steeper in recent years.

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Blow for minimum pricing plans

Published:  04 March, 2010

Plans to introduce minimum pricing on alcohol in Scotland suffered a setback after the European Court of Justice ruled that similar measures on tobacco were illegal.

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Eileen Halewood dies

Published:  04 March, 2010

The funeral took place last Friday of Eileen Halewood, co-shareholder and founder of Halewood Vintners Ltd, now Halewood International Holdings Plc.

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Chile earthquake damage less than feared

Published:  04 March, 2010

Chile has lost 125 million litres of wine due to damage caused in the earthquake last Saturday, it has emerged.

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Tesco and Morrisons licences reviewed

Published:  04 March, 2010

Tesco and Morrisons face licence reviews in Scotland after a publican accused them of breaching the law with "irresponsible drinks promotions".

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Montana makes TV debut

Published:  03 March, 2010

Montana is embarking on its first TV advertising campaign in the UK.

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VAT call for loss-leading drinks sales

Published:  03 March, 2010

The government has rejected a call for supermarkets to be barred from claiming back VAT on loss-leading alcohol sales.

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On-trade exclusives from Grignon

Published:  03 March, 2010

Languedoc producer LGI-Alain Grignon Wines has launched a range of wines in the UK aimed specifically at the on-trade.

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Appeal set up for Chile victims

Published:  02 March, 2010

The Chilean ambassador has set up an appeal to help victims of the earthquake which struck the country on Saturday.

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Wines in the Press, February 27-28

Published:  02 March, 2010

Here's what the national wine scribes had to say over the last weekend of February in this week's WINES IN THE PRESS

THE TIMES

Jane Macquitty recommends the "big, bold, oaky Boardeaux- apeing southern French red" the 2005 Domaine Tranquillite, Vin de Pays d'Oc, Bernard Magrez (£7.99, Majestic, or two for £4.99 each); the 2007 Marsannay Blanc, Louis Latour (£12.99 from Majestic or two for £9.99), which she concedes may not be the best '07 Burgundy she's tasted, "but there's easily a tenner's worth of fine, waxy, marzipan fruit here" nonetheless. She's also keen on the 2009 Gruner Veltliner, Terraces, Domane Wachau (down £2 to £5.99, Waitrose), which she urges her readers to snap up while they can.

 

THE DAILY MAIL

Olly Smith loves the sheer variety of Italian wines and the wealth of grape varieties. "Rich reds, crisp whites, sweet wines, fizz, you name it, Italy can do it - and with fierce pride in the quality of regional diversity," he says. He's won over by Ombra Prosecco (£9.99 or £7.99 as part of a mixed case from Oddbins). "Brilliant bubbly with a fruity refreshing character that makes it perfect as an aperitif," he enthuses.

 

He suggests it would be the perfect match with some top quality buffalo mozzarella cheese. While Pinot Grigio can be "overwhelmingly neutral", Smith says the finest examples come from the north, particularly Alto Adige, which can be "a world away from the water-like offerings that are all too often sloshed into our glasses".

 

He suggests trying Tesco's Finest Finao (£5.99 Tesco), which is "soft, white with a subtle aromatic twist....keep it on stand by in the fridge for a fun, refreshing welcome home."

 

Smith also recommends the 2008 Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio/Chardonnay (£14.31, Bibendum) which is also from Alto Adige. "Sensationally refreshing and pure white wine," he says. "Think crisp pear fruit with citrus brightness and pristine fresheness. Superb."

 

THE GUARDIAN
Victoria Moore can't wait for spring to arrive, so in anticipation of warmer weather has already uncorked a bottle of Provencal rosé. In this spirit of welcoming new beginnings, she concurs with Macquitty and also recommends Oddbins cut price Gruner Veltliner - "an Austrian white wine that I would recommend even at the full price", and enthuses about Averys Selection 2007 Alsace (£7.49, Averys).  "A white wine with a bit of everything - it reminds me of a soft of chef's salad. There's pinot blanc, sylvaner, pinot gris, gewurtztraminer, Muscat and chasselas too."

 

A white with more impact, she says, is Ca dei Frati Lugana 2008 (around £23.49, Roberson, Harvey Nichols, Highbury Vintners), from the shores of Lake Garda. "Who would have thought that Lugana could be so thrillingly good?" asks Moore.

 

THE OBSERVER

This week Tim Atkin MW recommends the 2006 Cotes du Rhone Domaine Pierre Usseglio (£10, Lay & Wheeler), which is sourced from vineyards on the edge of Chateauneuf du Pape. "This blend of Grenache and 20% Mourvedre is brooding and slightly raisiny with notes of dark chocolate," he says. He also admires the 2007 Crozes-Hermitage, Domaine des Lises (£15.95, Berry Bros), describing it as a "svelte, sexy cool-climate Syrah, showing aromas of violets, raspberries and white pepper."

 

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