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More job losses at First Quench

Published:  11 November, 2009

The administrators of First Quench Retailing, which trades as the Threshers, Wine Rack, The Local, Haddows, Bottoms Up and Victoria Wine brands, have announced a further 35 redundancies at head office today.

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WSTA urges duty cut on wine and spirits

Published:  10 November, 2009

The WSTA is urging the government to cut duty on wine and spirits when VAT is restored to its standard 17.5% at the end of December.

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Top award for The Rutland

Published:  10 November, 2009

The Rutland in Edinburgh was awarded a top honour at The Champagne Taittinger Condé Nast Johansens Wine List of the Year Awards 2010, held in London last night (November 9).

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Whisky workers to continue fight

Published:  10 November, 2009

The chief executive of Diageo was met with angry workers at the Johnnie Walker whisky plant in Kimarnock who say they would continue to fight to keep it open.

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Wines in the press - November 6-8

Published:  10 November, 2009

The Guardian

Rioja is rarely said to be "sublime", says Victoria Moore. But the odd thing about Vina Arana Reserva La Rioja Alta 2001, (£16.45, Berry Bros), "is that on first sip it isn't so much Rioja you think of as red Burgundy. It reminded me of one of the most delicious wines I've ever been lucky enough to taste, a 2000 Clos des Lambrays", she adds.

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Spier pulls wine out of supermarkets - Claire Hu

Published:  09 November, 2009

South African producer Spier is pulling out of supermarkets in favour of a push into the on-trade.

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New protective legislation for Scotch whisky

Published:  06 November, 2009

New regulations that will put a stop to the bottling of single malt whiskies outside Scotland will come into force later this month.

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First Quench to close 373 stores

Published:  05 November, 2009

The joint administrators of First Quench Retailing have announced the closure of 373 stores, resulting in 1,738 redundancies across the group.

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Virgin Wines merges with Warehouse Wines

Published:  05 November, 2009

Virgin Wines is merging with Warehouse Wines, an offline wine specialist.

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Wine Australia calls on independents to back Regional Heroes campaign

Published:  05 November, 2009


Wine Australia is inviting independent merchants to take part in a four-week promotional campaign to help push its Regional Hero initiative.

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Sainsbury's starts Christmas price war

Published:  05 November, 2009

The Christmas promotional war has started early with Sainsbury's slashing the price of its wines in a promotion that sees Charles Lafitte NV Champagne reduced from £29.99 to just £11.24.

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James Forbes joins Stevens Garnier

Published:  05 November, 2009

Former Wines of Argentina UK director James Forbes has been appointed as buying and marketing director at Stevens Garnier.

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Pernod Ricard launches gifting campaign

Published:  04 November, 2009

Pernod Ricard is launching a print and online festive campaign with leading UK retailers focussing on gifting and cocktail making.

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Alcohol bill could push Scots into England

Published:  04 November, 2009

The Scottish Government's Alcohol Bill, due this month, could push huge numbers of shoppers into England to buy booze, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

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Disaronno ties-up with Karen Millen in £2m festive campaign

Published:  02 November, 2009

First Drinks has unveiled plans to launch a £2million Christmas TV campaign for Disaronno and a heavyweight PR programme which will see the brand tie-up with high street fashion designer, Karen Millen.

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Constellation in joint-venture talks with Australian Vintage

Published:  02 November, 2009

Constallation Brands is in discussion with Australian Vintage Ltd about merging part of its Australian and UK wine operations.

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Pernod Ricard targets slight profit growth

Published:  02 November, 2009

Pernod Ricard is targeting a slight rise of organic growth in profits from recurring operations of between 1 and 3 per cent for 2009/2010 and indicates it is seeing signs of recovery from the economic downturn.

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Wines in the press - October 30-November 1

Published:  02 November, 2009

The Guardian

You may well stumble across a bargain if you avoid star names in the grape world says Victoria Moore.

"If you avoid glittering names that attract high premiums - Chablis, Pouilly Fumé, Ribera del Duero, Barolo, Chianti and so on - or grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon that are wielded like trophies and charged for accordingly, you very often get a better deal," she adds.


Moore recommends Domaine Yves Cuilleron Syrah Vin de Pays des Collines Rhôdaniennes 2007 (The Wine Society, £11.95). "As the name suggests, it comes from the Rhône Valley and smells utterly, soaringly magnificent, minerallic and pure. It may not be a cheap bottle, but as a humble vin de pays it costs far less than you'd pay for a similar wine from one of the Rhône's highfalutin apellations, and the quality is still there."


The Sunday Telegraph

"Bonfire night is a great time, I think, for a warming, powerful drink," says Susy Atkin. "But - let's be clear about this - not if you are the person lighting the bonfire or setting off the fireworks. No. Those folk should be on caffeine only before marching away with the matches."


Atkins suggests if it's a chilly and dark evening not to "pour anything delicate".

She recommends, a "beefy red", ripe and intense, preferably with hints of spice and black pepper possibly a premium Malbec from Argentina, or Carmenère from Chile. Both of which she says, "would fit the bill". She adds, hot mulled wine is also a good idea, "but make sure you use a decent bottle of red, go easy on the pungent cloves and never let it boil fully, or else the alcohol will steam away into the night".

The Financial Times

Jancis Robinson MW is talking to a "the most important father and son in wine", of whom she says "you have probably never heard".


Client Bruno Eynard of Château Lagrange in St-Julien says Jacques Boissenot, 71, and his 40-year-old son Eric "make the greatest wines of the world".


They are the Médoc's leading consultants, reports Robinson and responsible for the great majority of the region's famous classed growths, and all the first growths. Yet, she adds "they never court publicity and rarely receive it, so entrenched are they in this, the greatest concentration of fine red wine estates in the world".


She says, the Boissenots operate from a "modest house" in Lamarque and "like Michel Rolland they also run a laboratory whose two employees conduct the analyses of all those tanks, vats and barrels full of purple liquid".


Robinson asked what was the sign of success for them? "We're not the only actors, it's a team thing. Eric Boissenot replied, "perhaps we're more important than some others - you can never attribute a wine to one person. But the fact that we see so many properties means that we have more of a vision than someone who knows only their property."


The Telegraph


Jonathon Ray is talks to actress Emma Thompson about her love of wine. He says "Thompson knows more about wine than she admits. In fact, I had heard that she was hoping to become a Master of Wine.

Thompson agrees: "Yes, I was thinking of attempting the Master of Wine course, but having done an intermediate course at Berry Bros, I realised how technical a subject wine can be. It was a bit like learning my lines and to be honest it took some of the romance out of it."


Ray says, Thompson buys wine regularly from just three merchants: Berry Bros & Rudd, Genesis Wines and Argyll Vintners in Dunoon, Scotland, where she has a house.

"Argyll Vintners has to be my favourite place on earth," Thompson explains. "It's a wine shop which also, bizarrely, sells wool."

She adds, "Such independents deserve to be supported and I flatly refuse to buy any wine from supermarkets. They might have very good buyers but it's just not fair how much power over us the supermarkets have."

Thompson married fellow actor Greg Wise in a low-key wedding in Dunoon in 2003 and says, "All the money I would otherwise have spent I invested in wine," she says. "Among many other treats we bought a case of stunning 1982 Chateau Léoville-Lascases and some gorgeous 2000 Meursault. We managed to entertain 20 friends for an entire week and whenever we opened a bottle the whole party would let out a collective sigh of joy. It all passed in a very agreeable haze and I'll never forget it. What I remember of it."

 

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Absolut announces artistic partnership with Spike Jonze

Published:  30 October, 2009

Absolut Vodka has announced it will celebrate 30 years of its artistic creativity by launching an Absolut Art award and a new creative partnership with US filmaker Spike Jonze.

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Job losses start at First Quench

Published:  30 October, 2009

Eighty-one staff at First Quench Retailing's head office have been made redundant, with administrators warning further job losses and store closures are likely.

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