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Back in the mix

Published:  23 July, 2008

Gin is currently one of the most active and interesting of all the spirit categories. Worldwide it sells over 50 million cases - right up in the international spirits market, making it a major force. But if we listen to the pundits, we could easily be convinced that gin's days are numbered, with all the signs indicating declining sales worldwide. There is no disputing that, in the past five years, the category has experienced a 6% fall in terms of volume; at the same time, the great gin renaissance shows no signs of slowing down. How can both these contradictory trends be true?

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Plans for UK generic rum campaign

Published:  23 July, 2008

A group of rum producers are planning to front a generic campaign in the UK - with every bottle bearing the stamp Authentic Caribbean Rum'.

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How to increase wine list gross profit by 20%

Published:  23 July, 2008

Will Duke, director of on-trade sales at HBJ Wines, told his business clinic session that nothing in his presentation was rocket science', but whatever you do in business, it is about making customers happy.

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Winemakers reject Bordeaux reforms

Published:  23 July, 2008

Government proposals to introduce a new category within the AOC system have been rejected unequivocally by winemakers in Bordeaux.

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Volunteers collect world wines for charity

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Vinos Sin Fronteras (wine without borders) project has sent two volunteers to more than 15 countries to collect donations in the form of bottles of wine in aid of charity.

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Beefeater keen to shed cheap' look

Published:  23 July, 2008

A new marketing campaign and bottle design highlighting Beefeater gin's London roots has been launched by Chivas Brothers, at a cost believed to be in excess of 10 million.

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Going back to their roots

Published:  23 July, 2008

For more than five decades, Bardolino, as a region, has been tagged as one of the poor relations of Italian winemaking, famous only for making low-quality but pleasant easy-drinkers that non-involved consumers might choose to glug with their pasta or pizza.

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Talking Tokaji

Published:  23 July, 2008

As Tibor Kovcs of Htszl once said: Tokaji is world famous, but only in Hungary.' There's little doubt it has all the right ingredients - long history and tradition (Tokaj claims to be the oldest delimited wine region in the world), unique winemaking, memorable scenery and terroir. And it also has several passionate and charismatic evangelists for its wines, as well as a number of high-profile foreign investors. But the reality is that the wine industry in Tokaj as we see it today is only 15 years old and, like most teenagers, it has yet to fully make its mark on the world.

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Licensing Act feedback wanted

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Government has published a consultation document on the guidance to the 2003 Licensing Act, which has been heavily criticised since its inception.

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Rioja allows new whites

Published:  23 July, 2008

Winemakers in Rioja are now able to use a greater number of white grape varieties, thanks to a change in the rules by the Organizacin Interprofesional del Vino de Rioja (OIPVR - the Interprofessional Organisation of the Wines of Rioja).

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TV channel to sell wine 24 hours a day

Published:  23 July, 2008

The team behind the shopping website jungle.com is preparing to launch a new company which will sell wine via a satellite television channel.

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Organic age split

Published:  23 July, 2008

Young people are far more receptive to organic wine, according to the director of Millsime Bio, the organic wine fair held in France last week.

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Kiwi producers proud of diverse climate

Published:  23 July, 2008

New Zealand's unique climatic conditions may protect its wine industry from the threat of global warming, a leading producer said at the country's annual trade tasting last week.

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White Grange' to be bottled with screwcap

Published:  23 July, 2008

Penfolds Yattarna - dubbed white Grange' - will be bottled under screwcap for the 2004 vintage, released in May.

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Scotland wins the World Cup of Sherry

Published:  23 July, 2008

The chef and sommelier at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh have won the International Copa Jerez 2007. Sous chef Kevin Sutherland and sommelier James O'Donnell created a food and Sherry menu, beating teams from the US and Spain in the process. Their winning menu included a dish of sauted Keltic scallops, chestnut puree, apples and smoked bacon lardons with Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanilla. The judging panel included award-winning chef Heston Blumenthal, who praised the duo's original and inspiring' dishes.

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NZ chief predicts growth slowdown

Published:  23 July, 2008

The New Zealand wine industry's major growth phase is over and with that will come consolidation, says the head of the country's 1,300 grape growers and winemakers.

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Finding its niche

Published:  23 July, 2008

Is Uruguay poised to become a major New World player in the UK market? Well, no. Even though the UK has been an important market for Uruguay historically, production is so small compared to other New World suppliers that major' is not a word ever likely to be used in the same sentence as wines of Uruguay'.

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The Interview: Katie O'Brien, General manager, Juniper, Altrincham

Published:  23 July, 2008

Katie grew up on the east coast of Scotland. Her father ran hotels in Elgin and Fochabers, near Inverness, and insisted she do anything but catering. So Katie failed her Highers and went to work at the Golf View hotel in Nairn, which she describes as one long drinking party'. She worked in the bar, and in the kitchen on her days off because she wanted to learn and learn quickly'. She moved to Nunsmere Hall, near Chester, where she met Paul Kitching, then left for Hambleton Hall in 1992, working there for three years and driving up to see Paul on her days off. She helped set up Juniper with Kitching in 1995, before leaving to work for Nico Central in Manchester, returning to head the front-of-house and manage Juniper in 2001.

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What's hot, what's not

Published:  23 July, 2008

Come January we're all prone to speculation about what the new year will bring. It's not that we're bored with our favourite wines, it's more that - as wine lovers - we know there's a great big world of wine out there, and I, for one, want to know about new wine styles. As a wine professional, I also want to know what innovations other people are putting into practice, so to find out, I canvassed opinion from a range of people: suppliers, restaurant wine buyers - both top end and middle market - and pub operators too.

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Competition Commission slams supermarkets

Published:  23 July, 2008

The next phase of the Competition Commission's probe into the grocery industry will focus on competition at the local level, where it most matters to consumers', the chairman, Peter Freeman, said when outlining the watchdog's preliminary thinking'.

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