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Rosé sparklings are star of new products at Vinexpo

Published:  21 June, 2009

Rosé sparkling wines and lower sugar Champagnes are some of the many new product launches expected to take centre stage at this week's 15th Vinexpo exhibition that opened in Bordeaux on Sunday, June 21.

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Vinexpo opens with record numbers

Published:  21 June, 2009


A record number of countries have descended on Bordeaux this week for the 15th Vinexpo exhibition, which was officially opened by the French Agricultural and Fisheries minister, Michel Barnier, on Sunday, June 21.

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London's first distillery for 189 years

Published:  19 June, 2009

A new barley Vodka and London dry Gin is to be launched in the first new London copper-pot distillery for 189 years.

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Blason de Bourgogne relaunches with first ad campaign

Published:  18 June, 2009


HwCg is re-launching its Blason de Bourgogne brand under the slogan "We Are Blason" with a new look, more premium varieties and a major consumer advertising campaign.

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Chang Beer's new carry-out pack rolled out to Oddbins

Published:  18 June, 2009

Chang, the award-winning beer from Thailand, is being rolled out in a new 6-bottle carry-out pack that will be available in all 138 Oddbins stores across the UK.

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Bourbon gets help in US Congress

Published:  18 June, 2009

Two Kentucky members of the US Congress have formed a caucus group to represent the interests of the Bourbon industry.

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English wine flourishes

Published:  17 June, 2009

English wine production is thriving with a 45% increase in vine planting over a four-year period, according to the latest figures.

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£3.65m marketing drive for Smirnoff flavours

Published:  17 June, 2009

Diageo GB has announced it plans to drive sales of its new Smirnoff flavoured vodkas with a £3.65m marketing campaign.

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London's under-age drinking is on the rise

Published:  17 June, 2009

London's 11-15 year olds are causing serious concern after a new report reveals they are drinking the equivalent of 180,000 bottles of lager every week.

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Fresh crackdown on binge-drinking teens

Published:  17 June, 2009

UK towns and cities blighted by summer teenage binge drinking are to share in a £1.4m government cash pot to clamp down on the problem.

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Burgundy in UK 'catastrophe'

Published:  17 June, 2009

Burgundy is facing a "catastrophe" in the UK market, according to BIVB president Pierre-Henry Gagey.

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Glenrothes reveals two premium vintages

Published:  16 June, 2009

The Glenrothes 1988 Vintage and The Glenrothes 1998 Vintage are both being released simultaneously by Bros & Rudd Spirits Ltd to cater for increased consumer demand for super premium whiskies, particularly from the Far East.

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Fine wine market continues to boom

Published:  16 June, 2009

The latest Christie's fine wine auction in London achieved sales of more than £1.3 million, as the market continues to perform well despite the recession.

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Taboo breaks out nails promotion

Published:  16 June, 2009

First Drinks' Taboo spirits brand is linking up with nail care company Nails Inc in a bid to target female drinkers in the on-trade this summer.

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Stirrings thickens up Diageo portfolio

Published:  16 June, 2009

Diageo has bought out the US cocktail mixer producer Stirrings. The UK company acquired a 20% stake in Stirrings two years ago.

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Zamaretto sponsors Southern League

Published:  15 June, 2009

Football's Southern League is to be renamed the Zamaretto League following a deal with the amaretto's owner InterContinental Brands.

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Wine recovery in 2011 says research firm

Published:  15 June, 2009

The recovery in UK wines sales could take until 2011 according to a new report form market research company Mintel.

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Majestic sees profits slide

Published:  15 June, 2009

Majestic Wine has been hit by a downturn in trade at its French business, Wine & Beer World, as a result of the pound's slide against the euro.

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Young sommelier of the year announced

Published:  15 June, 2009

Yohann Jousselin, head sommelier at the Hotel du Vin, Winchester has become the UK's young sommelier of the year.

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Wines in the press - June 12 - 14

Published:  15 June, 2009

Guardian

 

Victoria Moore is talking about wines in alternative packaging.

 

She reports that Tesco says its bag-in-box sales have risen 3.7% in the last year, and that a new Tetra Pak range of value wines launched less than six months ago has caught on so well it's already selling at the rate of 15,000 a week.

 

But my problem with all this, Moore says, is that the emphasis is too much on packaging and not enough on what goes into it.

 

Back in March, Moore tells us, she heard that La Différence was putting its, "excellent range," in bag-in-box.

 

"I've been waiting - and waiting for someone to list it, she says. "But so far none of our supermarkets has bought the format".

If the quality and choice of the wine inside most alternative packaging wasn't so abysmal, we'd all buy more of it, says Andy Gale, Tesco's beers, wines and spirits technical packaging manager.

 

"There's an acceptance for wine in Tetra Pak, so we'll look at doing more - moving out of value and using it for wine at higher prices."

 

Moore says, he hopes the move will be, "iconic", in the same way it was when we started putting more wines under screwcap.

 

Financial Times

Jancis Robinson is talking about Germany's 2008s, and saying that those who picked too early have produced extremely tart, sometimes rather thin wines.

 

"It is certainly true that there are very few late-picked sweet wines," she reports. "Among the hundreds of German 2008s I have so far tasted I have come across less than a handful of Beerenauslesen and Trockenbeerenauslesen, and most of the Auslesen I have tasted have tasted more like Auslese Lite than 2007's intensely rich beauties (as in Sauternes)".

 

Robinson says, as Julia Keller of the Rheinhessen region puts it, "2008 was a bit like 2004 - nice but you had to wait so long, until November, to pick. We were still picking our Hubacker vineyard on November 20. In 2007, on the other hand, everything was perfect. Both years had good weather during the vintage but we had to work so much harder in 2008".

 


Robinson adds that she will certainly be buying some 2008s, despite the disobliging exchange rate. "The weather may have presented challenges but Germany's best producers are more skilled and more determined than they have ever been. The best are lovely, expressive, truly refreshing wines that will mature relatively early and will make delicious aperitifs - so much better value than most Champagne."


Observer

 

Tim Atkin asks, what are we supposed to make of rosé blends?

 

"My position is that I couldn't care less how rosé is made as long as it tastes good," he says.

 

So why the fuss? He asks. "Well, the European Commission had the temerity to suggest that it should be legal to make pink wines by blending red and white wines. It looked as if the changes were going to go through, but the Agriculture Commissioner, Mariann Fischer Boel, backed down at the last minute earlier this week."

 

Atkin argues that the confusing thing about the U-turn is that producers in Champagne are already allowed to blend red and white wines, as are wineries in the New World. Despite this, he says, winemakers in Provence argued that extending the rule to cover the rest of Europe would have seen the market swamped with inferior rosé, damaging its "nobility".

 

My response to this piece of protectionism is threefold, he states. "One: if pink Champagne, by far the most expensive rosé around, is made this way, how can it be dismissed as a lesser technique? Two: making rosé entirely from red grapes, as the (non-Champenois) French insist everyone else should do, is no guarantee of quality. After all, half of the pink wine sold here comes from California and most of it is cheap, sweet and confected. Three: if the New World is doing it, the horse has already bolted towards open countryside."

Times

 

Jane MacQuitty says that when Pinot Grigio blasted on to the scene in the late 1990s, it made welcome change from fat, sweet, oaky, alcoholic Chardonnay and rapidly became the darling of the white wine world.

 

But back then, MacQuitty tells us, most Pinot Grigio was dull, thin, acidic. "But now something wonderful has happened," she says. "Italian wine producers have suddenly started to treat the grape seriously. Pinot Grigio has found itself planted out in superior single vineyard sites, yields have been cut and fuller-bodied, fuller-flavoured wines are the result".

 

MacQuitty recommends - Alois Lageder's 2008, Riff Pinot Grigio (Asda, down to £4.98).

 

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