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HOT: New Veuve-only bar at Malmaison

Published:  23 July, 2008

Veuve Clicquot has opened a new Champagne bar in the lobby of Malmaison hotel in Charterhouse Square, London. Only Veuve Clicquot, in all its varieties, including La Grande Dame, will be available.
According to Roz Colthart, marketing director for Malmaison: We've formed a great relationship with Veuve Clicquot over the past couple of years and undertaken several promotions that appeal to our customers.' Andrew Notcutt, brand manager for Veuve Clicquot, reckoned: As a contemporary, elegant brand, we wanted to build a relationship with a company with a similar mindset.'
The bar is open 11am-midnight Monday to Saturday, and 11am-10pm on Sunday.

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HOT: Demetre opens on ill-fated site

Published:  23 July, 2008

Former Putney Bridge owner Anthony Demetre is to launch
a brasserie restaurant in the building that once housed Bruno Loubet's Bruno Soho venture. The new restaurant, opening in April, will be sited where Loubet left after a split with his partners. It is also the location of other now-defunct ventures, such as Claudio Pulze's Frith Street.
You've got to cater for the masses,' said Demetre. That doesn't mean cheap food or shoddy service - just value for money. I hated the chi-chi reputation [of] Putney Bridge.'
Called Arbutus, after the trees that Soho Square once had in abundance, the restaurant will combine Spanish, French and Indian food and list Mouton Rothschild by the glass. Once a bottle of such expensive claret is open, a bell will be rung to inform the whole restaurant.

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HOT: New date for Italians

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Italian Foods in London exhibition, a presentation of around 110 Italian food companies (but no wine representatives), organised by the Italian Trade Commission, has been moved to Thursday 30 March, from 29 March as previously stated. It will
take place at Lord's cricket ground from 10am to 6pm.

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Job losss at Constellation

Published:  23 July, 2008

Constellation Brands is streamlining' its UK operations, primarily through personnel reductions', and it has also announced the retirement of the chief executive of Constellation Wines, Stephen Millar (right).
Constellation Europe, based in Esher, Surrey, was unable to give further details of the extent of the planned job losses or whether Matthew Clark, its UK on-trade and wholesale arm are also included.

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HOT: Ramsay supports Taste

Published:  23 July, 2008

Taste of London, the successful food show open to trade and public, is back for a fourth year in Regent's Park. Around 40 restaurants will be represented, including Gordon Ramsay's Savoy Grill and Connaught restaurants and Michelin-starred Tom Aikens and Bjrn van der Horst from The Greenhouse. The event will run 15-18 June.

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Cognac generic body to be split up

Published:  23 July, 2008

Big changes are planned for the organisation of the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC).
Despite local press reports, the BNIC is not being wound up, but a plan has been devised by French agriculture minister Dominique Bussereau to split it up into three comits de gestion (management boards).
Furthermore, growers will have to decide in advance what to do with their crop - be it for Cognac production, Pineau des Charentes, table wine or for table grapes.
At the moment, the BNIC has committees covering areas such as viticulture and growers, as well as a decision-making committee that is made up of growers and producers - in a 50/50 split.

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Goodbye Australia, hello Scandinavia

Published:  23 July, 2008

Climate change may herald the end of warmer wine-growing regions in countries like Australia and see the emergence of new viticultural areas such as Scandinavia, predicted influential Australian viticulturalist Dr Richard Smart.
Speaking at last week's Cool Climate Symposium in Christchurch, New Zealand, Smart said that global warming would be the single most important issue for the generation entering the wine industry today.

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Cockspur goes Barmy

Published:  23 July, 2008

Bajan rum producer Cockspur has signed a sponsorship deal with the Barmy Army, the England cricket team's unofficial supporters' club.
The company's name and logo will appear on the club's official songbooks (Barmy Harmonies) and will also feature at the numerous charity cricket matches that the Barmy Army organises.
Global brand director David Smith said: The Barmy Army gets so many offers of sponsorship, we had to prove our credentials.'

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HOT: De Kuyper taste test

Published:  23 July, 2008

The cocktail liqueur range De Kuyper is putting its name to a new UK cocktail competition this month. The De Kuyper Mix Factor has a prize of 2,000 and a chance for winning barmen to take part in the International De Kuyper Cup in Holland. According to Lindsey Tier, De Kuyper group brand manager at First Drinks Brands: We believe the time is right to support the development of cocktails in mainstream outlets.' Entries should be submitted via www.in-the-spirit.co.uk or by calling 08707 740 707.

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Vintry Ball tickets

Published:  23 July, 2008

Tickets are still available for the Wine and Spirit Trades' two biggest fundraising events of the year.
First up comes the Vintry Ball, held at The Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, on Thursday 9 March. The evening has always been one of the highlights of the wine trade's calendar - a fun and sociable night out, where guests can enjoy dancing to the Big Man and his Band, a fine dinner and a tombola with a prize for every raffle ticket (worth more than 10), plus the chance to win your weight in Lanson Champagne.

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Unwins' debt revealed

Published:  23 July, 2008

Defunct off-licence chain Unwins was carrying debts totalling a massive 42 million before it was forced out of business, administrator KPMG has revealed. Diageo alone is owed 2.1 million.
Creditors to the business - including banks, Revenue & Customs (owed 7.9 million), employees and suppliers -
are to vote on a number of proposals put forward by the administrator. KPMG's report also revealed that Thresher Group paid 4.5 million for the 175 stores it bought in December 2005.

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Seven new South African producers for HwCg

Published:  23 July, 2008

HwCg has signed up the giant Orange River Wine Cellars (ORWC), which accounts for 6% of South Africa's total production, as a new supplier, as well as six new boutique wineries for its specialist division.
ORWC is run on a cooperative basis and controls 4,624 hectares and five wineries, all of which are based in or around Stellenbosch.
Two major brand launches from HwCg and ORWC are planned for 2006, with the first launched at the LIWSF
and the second at the South Africa generic tasting at the
end of 2006.
The additions to the specialist division - which services
small independent retailers, wholesalers and the on-trade - are Stellenzicht, Hill & Dale, Neethlingshof, Uitkyk, Flat Roof Manor and Tukulu.
Richard Berrington, sales director for HwCg Specialist, said: We are keen to see South Africa take a greater share of our total sales, not only with the brands we are developing for the grocers, but also with these top-end wineries.'

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Diageo in rude health

Published:  23 July, 2008

For a couple of years at least, momentum among the world's global drinks companies appeared to be with Pernod Ricard and, to a lesser extent, Constellation. Was the biggest of them all, Diageo, running out of steam because growth via takeover was virtually impossible? The answer is an emphatic no, judging by Diageo's half-year results to 31 December.

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Champagne imports break UK records

Published:  23 July, 2008

Champagne shipments to the UK - the largest market for Champagne outside France - reached an all-time record of 36,765,884 bottles in 2005 - 5.19% above the 2004 figure, which was itself a record, and more than 4.5 million bottles ahead of the volume shipped in 1999 (which is now only the fourth-highest figure for the UK), according to the latest Comit Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC) figures released last week.

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Paris tasting recreated

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Judgment of Paris - the 1976 wine tasting that shocked the wine world - is being recreated, 30 years on.
The original event, organised by writer Steven Spurrier, did wonders for the California wine industry when a panel of French wine experts held a blind tasting and declared that the wines from the other side of the Atlantic were as good as, if not better than, the wines from their homeland.
This year's event will take place in two venues: Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, the home of the Rothschild family; and Copia, the Napa Valley-based centre for food, wine
and the arts.
The same wines tasted in 1976 will be tasted again, including the winning 1973 Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon and 1970 Chteau Haut-Brion.

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HOT: Wahhab plans steak and Bollywood mix

Published:  23 July, 2008
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Project Cabernet Franc

Published:  23 July, 2008

Interloire, the marketing board for Loire Valley wines from Anjou-Saumur and Touraine, has announced the latest in
a package of measures aimed at raising the profile of Cabernet Franc. Speaking at the 20th Salon des Vins de Loire last week, Suzanne Roussy of Interloire said that, for the first time, Les Rendez-Vous de Fontevraud 2006 will broaden its scope to encompass a sensorial evaluation of Cabernet Franc in addition to Chenin Blanc.

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Hervet leaves Bouchard

Published:  23 July, 2008

Bernard Hervet, the long-standing managing director of top Burgundy producer Bouchard Pre & Fils and William Fvre, is leaving the company with immediate effect.
No reason has been given for his departure after 18 years with the company. Hervet has been replaced by Stphane Follin-Arbelet.
In a statement, the company said: A Burgundian by birth, Stphane Follin-Arbelet joined Bouchard Pre & Fils in 1995, after pursuing scientific and business studies. He knows the great wines of the region very well and has played an important part in the renaissance of Bouchard Pre & Fils and William Fvre over the past 11 years.'
Hervet was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

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Test-purchasing failure rate down at Christmas

Published:  23 July, 2008

The results for the Home Office's Christmas Alcohol Misuse Enforcement Campaign (AMEC) showed a marked improvement regarding sales to underage drinkers. Around
29% of on-licences and 19% of off-licences were found to be selling alcohol to minors. The failure for supermarkets fell the furthest, from 50% in last summer's campaign to 17%.
WSTA chief executive Jeremy Beadles welcomed the result. We recognise that there is still a long way to go before we achieve our aim of seeking to eliminate underage sales by the end of 2006,' he said, but this is good start.'

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Keo moves to Ehrmanns

Published:  23 July, 2008

Ehrmanns is pleased to announce a new distribution agreement with Keo for its range of Cypriot wines in the United Kingdom and Ireland, effective from 6 March.
The new distribution arrangement ends Keo's long association with Constellation Europe and, prior to that, Grants of St James's Wines.
Ehrmanns' commercial director Nick Day commented: After working with the brand for many years at Grants of St James's Wines, I'm well acquainted with the range and customer base. We will be concentrating our efforts on sales and marketing for a range that includes Othello, Aphrodite, Thisbe, St Panteleimon and Commandaria St John.'

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