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Rackham gets trolleyed

Published:  23 July, 2008

We've had disco, flares, Abba and Blue Nun; now Surrey-based spirits specialist James Rackham is looking to revive another '70s staple: the drinks trolley.

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Oeneo goes supercritical

Published:  23 July, 2008

Oeneo - the French-owned closure company formerly known as Sabat - has opened a plant capable of mass-producing Diam, the world's only taint-free' cork-based closure.

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Diageo looks to push whisk(e)y portfolio

Published:  23 July, 2008

With the Bushmills brand now fully incorporated into its portfolio after the acquisition from Pernod Ricard, Diageo used its first ever whisk(e)y briefing to reaffirm its position as the world's leading whisk(e)y producer.

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Jilly's a celebrity, keep her in there!

Published:  23 July, 2008

TV presenter Jilly Goolden ventured into the Australian jungle at the weekend - as part of ITV1's I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! show.

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Australian supply will not be in balance until 2010

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation has warned that the current oversupply problems facing the wine industry Down Under may not ease until 2009/10, extending previous forecasts by two to three years.

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Hardys hits 5M-case mark

Published:  23 July, 2008

Constellation Europe's Australian wine brand Hardys has become the first wine brand to sell more than five million 9-litre cases in the UK market in a year.
According to AC Nielsen MAT data for the on- and off-trade, the Hardys brand, which includes such names as Stamp, Nottage Hill, Crest, VR and numerous super-premium labels, sold 5.031 million cases in the year ending 3 September.

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Westcombe joins Ellis

Published:  23 July, 2008

Helena Westcombe, a sales director at Hayman Barwell Jones (HBJ) for 10 years, has joined London wine merchant Ellis of Richmond.
Westcombe, who has also worked at Percy Fox and Champagne Lanson, will be helping to expand sales in
the London area.
Stokes Fine Wines has appointed Charles Thompson, who worked for John E Fells for five years. Thompson will be responsible for developing regional wholesale distribution.

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New super-premium Jacob's Creek

Published:  23 July, 2008

A new super-premium range of Jacob's Creek - Shiraz/Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Chardonnay and Riesling - has been unveiled by Orlando Wyndham, Pernod Ricard's Australian wine division.

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The Interview:Raymond Blanc, Chef/proprietor, Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons

Published:  23 July, 2008

When was your introduction to great wine?
I was 17. I had no real cash, working part time here and there, and was earning about 50 a month. But I was walking past a restaurant in my little town of Besanon and it was about 12 o'clock. At this time something happens in a Frenchman's stomach. I smelled aromas coming out of this restaurant, Le Pocker d'As, which is still there today. I could smell this complexity of flavours and so I had to go in. I asked the sommelier what the chef was cooking. He said roasted veal kidneys in a Rhne wine reduction, and so I ordered a half-bottle of Cte Rtie from Guigal. It was the first time I'd paid so much money for a wine!

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Hospital cases

Published:  23 July, 2008

The significance of the 145th Hospices de Beaune auction on Saturday and Sunday 19-20 November was wider than that of its historic role as a predictor of the price trend for the most recent vintage. As in Bordeaux, so in Burgundy, 2005 is being hailed as an exceptionally high-quality vintage, while this year the auction was being conducted by Christie's and opened to private buyers for the first time. The auction prices - which have been an accurate predictor of the general trend in 12 of the past 13 years - were therefore anticipated even more keenly than usual.

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Ctes du Rhne quiz night

Published:  23 July, 2008

Harpers took the runners-up spot in the annual Ctes du Rhne quiz night in London last week. Each team member demonstrated an unlikely (and unhealthy) amount of knowledge on subjects as diverse as Giant Haystacks, Pocahontas and tiddlywinks.

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Out with the old

Published:  23 July, 2008

It has been quite a year for Scotch whisky. The category has been bogged down with issues such as tax stamps and legal definitions - both drawing attention away from the more important aspect of what's in the bottle, not on it. But a quick look around the category highlights many examples of creative thinking, and new takes on a classic product.

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Sweet little MStery

Published:  23 July, 2008

In his book A Wine Journey Along the Russian River, Steve Heimoff refers to a comparative tasting of Alexander Valley and Napa Valley Cabernets, to which members of the Court of Master Sommeliers - among the royalty of the wine-tasting world' - were invited. Everyone in the wine trade knows about MWs, but what is this other mysterious organisation, which allows successful exam candidates to put the letters MS after their names but doesn't even have any offices to call its own?

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FESTIVE FIZZ

Published:  23 July, 2008

Selfridges will be stocking the Champagne Taittinger Cool-Air tube this Christmas. The tube, which has been created specially for Taittinger's Brut Rserve NV Cuve, keeps chilled bottles cool for up to four hours. The Cool-Air tube was developed by packaging company Robinson and is made of recycled cardboard. The Taittinger pack retails for 33.50.

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Les Grands Chais de France buys LaCheteau

Published:  23 July, 2008

Les Grands Chais de France has further strengthened its presence in the Loire with the purchase of the LaCheteau vineyards and ngociant business in Anjou for an undisclosed sum.

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Barring partners

Published:  23 July, 2008

An increasing number of Champagne companies no longer want to be merely one of a number of bottles behind the bar and are choosing instead to sponsor a whole bar or at least affiliate their brand with a particular organisation. But why are they doing this, and what does each party get out of it?

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The Interview: Helen Everitt-Matthias, Co-owner, Le Champignon Sauvage

Published:  23 July, 2008

Your recent redesign of the restaurant should help the push for three stars.
I don't know about that. Why, because we have more space, should Michelin prefer it? Some people say you need more flunkeys in the dining room or lavish decoration to make them happy. Certainly buying next door has given us the room between tables that you don't often get these days. Or if you do have the land mass, then the tables are turned.

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Violence mars Beaujolais Nouveau celebrations

Published:  23 July, 2008

More than 30 people were injured when this year's Beaujolais Nouveau festivities in Grenoble turned sour.
The incident is believed to be unconnected to recent riots in Parisian suburbs, during which thousands of vehicles were set ablaze. The violence in Grenoble started on Friday, where between 2,000 and 3,000 students had been celebrating the launch of this year's Beaujolais Nouveau.

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KJ is the Masters

Published:  23 July, 2008

Kendall-Jackson has moved into sports sponsorship with a tie-up with golden oldies' tennis tournament The Masters. The company's Vintner's Reserve is an associate sponsor and the official wine of the tournament, which is to be held at London's Royal Albert Hall from 29 November to 4 December.

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Leading Thinkers Seminar

Published:  23 July, 2008

Many UK consumers are very open-minded about trying new wines, but getting them to choose yours over someone else's is a more difficult matter. And even when they do choose your brand, it will become just one of a dozen or so regular' wines that are purchased, often on special offer.

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