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Are you being served?

Published:  23 July, 2008

Forty-two per cent of wines on restaurant wine lists are priced at more than 50 a bottle, according to research unveiled by Wine Intelligence (WI) at the inaugural Wine+ exhibition two weeks ago.

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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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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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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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Innovative Oz

Published:  23 July, 2008

WHERE: Lawrence Hall, Royal Horticultural Halls, London SW1
WHEN: Wednesday, 31 January 2007 from 10am-4.30pm and Thursday, 1 February 2007 from 9.30am-5pm
CONTACT: Melissa Worthington at Wine Australia on 020 7887 5259

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The Interview: Richard Walton-Allen, Head Chef, Harvey Nichols, Leeds

Published:  23 July, 2008

Harvey Nichols' first store outside London was opened in the historic Victoria Quarter of Leeds in 1996. The store has five floors with a stylish 85-cover caf and bar on the fourth floor. Three days a week, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, it is open for dinner until 10pm. Close to the dining area is the wine shop run by Michael Dilworth. He and head chef Richard Walton-Allen work closely together on the restaurant's wine list, which is taken from the group's master list and compiled by Harvey Nick's overall head wine buyer, Rob Graves. Richard, a 36-year-old Yorkshireman, was part of the opening brigade at Sir Terence Conran's huge 300-cover Quaglino's restaurant in London's St James's. He also worked at the esoteric Swedish restaurant Anna's Place in north London and in Melbourne, Australia. He has been head chef at Harvey Nichols in Leeds for eight years.
Major drinks suppliers: Playford Ros, Bibendum, Percy Fox, Enotria, Cellar Trends, Coe Vintners

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Renewed zeal

Published:  23 July, 2008

WHERE: Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood, London NW1
WHEN: Monday, 15 January 2007 from 11am-5pm and Tuesday, 16 January 2007 from 10am-5pm
CONTACT: Alison Power at New Zealand Winegrowers on 020 7973 8079

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Full speed ahead

Published:  23 July, 2008

In the UK wine market, where suppliers have been lashed by flat sales - and some countries have started to sink, New Zealand continues to ride a wave of success. But sea changes are already underway for 2007, as the States look set to overtake the UK as New Zealand's primary export destination - despite the Kiwis sending more wine to Britain than ever before.

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Height of fame

Published:  23 July, 2008

Grapes grown at altitude taste different. As you go higher, temperatures drop and the fruit is exposed to more ultraviolet (UV) light. Higher UV leads to higher levels of anthocyanins (and therefore darker-coloured wines) as well as enhanced production of protective compounds - most notably the phytoalexin resveratrol.

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WOW celebrates Christmas

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Women of Wine (WoW) Christmas party was held at the Met Hennessy HQ in London's Mayfair last month.

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Argento engages the commuter

Published:  23 July, 2008

Argento has appointed The Drinks Sampling Company (DSC) to take on the sampling campaign of its Malbec and Chardonnay wines over the next six months.

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New year, new show

Published:  23 July, 2008

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Sweet & sour

Published:  23 July, 2008

Say no to oak - help put the fruit back in wine.' This sign, posted up behind the tasting bar at Trimbach, is a neat summation of the charms of Alsace. Wines with great poise, a good structure of acidity and, of course, some of the best food wines you'll ever taste. Why, then, does it appear to be an underappreciated wine region, one that never grabs the headlines?

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The Interview: Gianpiero Colucci, Manager, Spaghetti House, Marble Arch branch

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Marble Arch branch is the most recent Spaghetti House restaurant to open (in mid-2005) and the first trialling a more modern look. Spaghetti House has nine venues in London, the first of which opened in 1955.
A native of Bari in Puglia, Gianpiero Colucci worked at Pescatori in London and at the Cranbourn Street branch of Spaghetti House before becoming one of the chain's youngest restaurant managers. This branch was a finalist in the Best Italian Restaurant category of The Pizza Pasta & Italian Food Industry Awards 2006 (www.papa.org.uk).
Suppliers include Berkmann, Vinum
and Alivini.

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My sweet love

Published:  23 July, 2008

The most baffling thing about Sauternes is how its producers survive. It's not just the unpredictability of Botrytis cinerea; in 2004 the yield at Chteau Climens was less than four hectolitres per hectare (4hl/ha). At Chteau Suduiraut in the same year they left three-quarters of the grapes behind. The opening price of the wine, what there was of it, was 32 at Climens, 22-26 at Suduiraut. Both prices were less than the cost of production.

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The Interview - Angela Hayward and Paul Raymonde, directors, AP Vino

Published:  23 July, 2008

Angela Hayward and Paul Raymonde met in 2002, and discovered that they shared a passion for Italian wines. The couple launched AP Vino in 2004 with input from Angela's stepfather, Fausto Pesci, who worked for many years as a restaurateur, Italian wine consultant, and major importer of Italian wine into Spain and Germany. Last month, AP Vino launched a consumer website, D'Vino, which is also home to The Wine Club of Italy, a scheme that offers mixed cases of wines complete with full tasting notes. AP Vino's portfolio lists 58 wines from 12 producers. Exclusive agencies include La Scolca in Gavi (selected wines), Il Carpino in Friuli, Tenuta di Riseccoli in Greve, and Pinino in Montalcino. A former property developer in Italy, Raymonde is also a well-known cartoonist, whose works have appeared in Punch and Private Eye, among other publications.

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Chile 2010

Published:  23 July, 2008

Talking to dozens of winemakers on a recent trip to New Zealand, a common topic of discussion was Sauvignon Blanc and what a double-edged sword it has become for the Kiwi industry. Sure, being known as the place that does brilliant Sauvignon' is a coup that gives a small wine country enormous global visibility, but it is also a potential glass ceiling that could stifle other aspects of the New Zealand industry.

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New Zealand Winegrowers elect new chairman

Published:  23 July, 2008

Stuart Smith, a grape grower and winery owner in Marlborough, has been elected chairman of New Zealand Winegrowers (NZW), the national trade body. Smith will represent the industry in dealings with government and media for a one-year term. The position complements his role as chair of the national grape growers council.

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Stratford's goes cool

Published:  23 July, 2008

Paul Stratford, managing director of Stratford's Wine Agencies, has decided to focus the attention of the business on searching for new wines from cooler climates.

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