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Imbuko Wines triumphs at Fairtrade Wine Awards

Published:  20 November, 2009

Imbuko Wines from South Africa won the Overall Fairtrade Wine of the Year, sponsored by Harpers Wine & Spirit, at yesterday's Fairtrade Wine Competition in London.

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Scotch whisky body backs responsible drinking

Published:  20 November, 2009

Scotch whisky adverts and point of sale material are to carry a responsible drinking message which will be seen across the EU.

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Distillery slams new whisky laws

Published:  20 November, 2009

New laws governing the production of malt whisky in Scotland will make the industry less competitive and less environmentally friendly, according to Loch Lomond Distillery.

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Morrisons slashes price of Champagne

Published:  19 November, 2009

Morrisons is cutting the cost of some Champagnes to below half price, including Bollinger at £17.95.

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MacQuitty slams Which? Champagne survey

Published:  19 November, 2009

Jane MacQuitty, The Times wine critic, has strongly criticised the standard of a Which? magazine Champagne tasting that voted a Sainsbury's non-vintage own label brand as its runners-up.

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Drinkaware hits back at new study

Published:  19 November, 2009

The independent charity, Drinkaware has hit back at recent research that claims alcohol can lower heart disease in men by almost a third.

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Don't miss - whisky tastings at Tsuru

Published:  18 November, 2009

Tsuru, a Japanese restaurant behind the Tate Modern is to host a tasting of Japanese whisky on Tuesday November 24. Jen Dickson, an expert in Japanese whisky will guide guests through a range of whiskies from world-renowned producers Nikka and Suntory.

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Luca Gardini wins Best European Sommelier

Published:  18 November, 2009

Luca Gardini from Ristorante Cracco, Milan is the winner of The Best European Sommelier Competition 2009- organised by the Worldwide Sommelier Association.

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The Bunch bears more fruit

Published:  18 November, 2009

Lea & Sandeman has become the sixth member to join the The Bunch group of independent wine merchants.

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Jacobs Creek launches consumer focus campaign

Published:  18 November, 2009

Pernod Ricard UK is launching a new, high impact festive campaign for Jacob's Creek which aims to engage with consumers by connecting through shared values.

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Day joins La Riojana

Published:  17 November, 2009

Former sales director of Ehrmanns Nick Day, has been appointed sales director for UK and Europe for the Argentine Fairtrade based co-operative La Riojana.

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Majestic toast higher profits

Published:  17 November, 2009

The decision to cut its minimum order to six bottles has paid off for Majestic Wine as first half results show pre-tax profits are up 9% to £6.1m in the six months to the end of September.

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Wines in the Press- November 11-13

Published:  17 November, 2009

The Guardian

Victoria Moore says that every autumn she draws her father a list of the best inexpensive wines to have knocking around.

She was particularly pleased with this season's which began with Fontaine du Roy 2008 Costières de Nîmes (Waitrose, £5.99) which she says is "a supremely good-value red blend that proves 'real' - as opposed to bland - focus group-style, wine is still possible at this price".

Moore says "Dad may be a Yorkshireman but I'm also lobbying for him to indulge, just once, in the utterly gorgeous, headily scented," Vincent Paris 'Granit 30' 2007 Cornas (£23.99, two Waitrose branches only).

 

The Observer

Tim Atkin MW is commenting on what he calls the "rise and rise" of Angelo Gaja, who he says has done more than anyone to transform the fortunes of Barbaresco and Barolo.

Gaja's wines aren't cheap, says Atkin. His favourite from a tasting of his recently released 2006s, is the "perfumed, densely layered,"  Langhe Nebbiolo 2006, Sorì Tildin, which he reports costs  £192 per bottle.

Atkin says  "Gaja would defend his prices by pointing to the fact that in lesser vintages such as 2002 he makes no red wine. He would also claim, rightly in my view, that these are up there with the greatest wines in the world."

 

The Times

"It's cut-price heaven for high-street wine shoppers this Christmas," says Jane McQuitty. "I have never seen so many juicy deals and discounts on such a wide range of wines."

MacQuitty is looking at drinkable less expensive wines and says her star buy is the "stunning" Chilean 2008 Errazuriz Estate Shiraz, which she claims is a gift at £4.99.

McQuitty says France has fought back with a vengeance in this winter's top 100, which she explains is a miracle given the dire euro exchange rate. She adds, "predictably, the French dominate the upper price brackets of under £12 and under £25, but what is really impressive is their fielding of 13 white and red winners in both the under-£6 and under-£8."

The only French region to have "fielded some truly terrible wines" in '09 is Champagne, she says. "Forget about all those supposedly enticing half-price vintage Champagne stories in the press; the reality is that apart from the two good bubblies that win through here, none of you should be seduced into parting with good money for such dross. Just because a wine is dirt cheap does not mean that it's a bargain."

 

The Sunday Telegraph

Susy Atkins says "wine + date = potential disaster". She explains the difficulty is overdoing it in the obvious sense, or overdoing it in the sense of coming across as too keen, or  as someone with bad taste, or worse, both.

She says Champagne screams celebration, joyous bliss or love and marriage and pink is too "frivolous and quaffy, a wine for a girls' catch-up evening, not a date". 

Atkins recommends the best styles to choose that both taste fabulous and give out exactly the right impression. 

She says "Viognier is hip and heavenly, with a gorgeous aroma of honeysuckle and peach, and ripe, but dry, fresh finish. Definitely sexy. Pinot noir is the red equivalent - velvet-smooth, elegant, juicy and light, all at the same time, and with a classy reputation to boot."

Atkins adds she would choose a reasonably priced Pinot  from Chile, or a pricier label from New Zealand or Burgundy. "Don't go mad, though - being seen to spend a lot is another sure sign you're overdoing it".

 

The Telegraph

Jonathon Ray is discussing how South Africa has come a long way since its isolation, when he claims most of the country's wines were tired and dreary, with the reds often tasting of burnt rubber and the whites of acid drops. But since then, he reports there has been a dramatic increase in quality.

South Africa is currently the world's ninth largest wine producer with more than 600 wineries and 6,000 wines. It is the fastest growing wine-supplying country in Britain, with a 12.1 per cent share of the market, Ray reports.

He explains much of this is driven by the big brands such as Arniston Bay and Kumala, but the top end has played its part, too, he says, with fabulous wines to be enjoyed from the likes of Thelema, Tokara, Hamilton Russell, Vergelegen, Meinert, Iona, Raats Family, Meerlust, Kanonkop, Boschendal, Boekenhoutskloof, Jordan, Morgenster and Rustenberg.

Ray says South Africa now competes in every category, with "crisp Sauvignons and creamy Chardonnays; honeyed Chenin Blancs and silky Pinots. "Even Pinotage, notorious as something of an acquired taste, is producing some wonderful fruit-driven wines.

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Book highlights industry action on harmful drinking

Published:  16 November, 2009

International beer, wine and spirits companies say a new book demonstrates their commitment to reducing harmful drinking.

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Majestic toasts half-year success

Published:  16 November, 2009

Majestic's new strategy of allowing customers to buy six bottles instead of full cases has paid off, according to the wine retailer's latest figures.

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Skinner 'recommends untried wines'

Published:  16 November, 2009

Australian wine critic Matt Skinner is facing criticism for recommending wines that have yet to be bottled.

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Waitrose´s Howard-Sneyd warns of "catastrophic" future

Published:  13 November, 2009

The future of wine retailing in the UK is at a crossroads and if it follows the wrong path it could be "catastrophic" for the industry, warned Waitrose´s Justin Howard-Sneyd speaking at today´s Wine Future 09 in Rioja.

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Deadline day for First Quench bids

Published:  13 November, 2009

Bakery chain Greggs is thought to be among the bidders for parts of the First Quench estate in time for today's deadline for initial expressions of interest.

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Parker defends grenache tasting to angry Rioja producers

Published:  13 November, 2009

Robert Parker has defended his decision to host a mass grenache masterclass tasting at the Wine Future 09 conference in Rioja after fierce criticism from local producers.

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Wine labels as confusing as Chinese, says Robert Joseph

Published:  13 November, 2009


Wine labels and brands are as confusing to consumers as a menu written in Chinese, according to the writer and producer Robert Joseph.

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