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Mark Fiddes: why some celebs shift brands and others don't

Published:  16 December, 2013

Jean-Claude Van Damme demonstrating Volvo trucks = 60 million hits on You Tube.

Jean-Claude Van Damme demonstrating the world's coldest beer = 120,000 hits.

It just goes to show that the script idea is as important as the personality you buy in advertising. Personally, I prefer to see the Muscles from Brussels wrangling monster metal rather than hearing that his nipples were "so cold they started talking to me". But at least Coors Lite has arrived on the beer map and, in downtown Skopje, distressed denim appears to have made a comeback along with the mulle

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One decadent night ... look what escaped the cellar!

Published:  05 December, 2013

No wine horror stories here.... Just two clarets and a Jimmy... This year has been our year for letting wine escape from our cellar. We have found that we were squirrelling away our wines and not appreciating them as we intended when we purchased them a decade or so ago. While the red wine flowed, so too did the conversation - as if we had caught up just the other day rather than too many years ago. These were the wines that kept the topics rolling in our early Christmas catch up.

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Taste Test: La Roncaia Eclisse Sauvignon BlancPicolit 2011 (Friuli-Venezia, Italy)

Published:  02 December, 2013

I nearly had a Slovenian wine last night....

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Jerry Lockspeiser: why we need to price wines on enjoyment not what they cost

Published:  28 November, 2013

Imagine for a moment that Champagne does not exist. The sparkling wine market is dominated by cava and prosecco with competition from the New World.  Consumers are accustomed to affordable, well made but largely uninspiring sparkling wines.

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Visit to Cantina Zaccagnini in Abruzzo

Published:  28 November, 2013

"It is not difficult to produce a premium wine," says Angelo Ruzzi, export manager for Cantina Zaccagnini, a magnificent wine estate in the Bolognano region of Abruzzo, a very remote area with soaring snow-capped mountains all around. "It is much more difficult to produce a value wine. "

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Visiting Emile Pepe winery in Abruzzo

Published:  28 November, 2013

Exciting visit to Emile Pepe winery in Abruzzo, where antique methods of production rule.

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A tale of two loves

Published:  27 November, 2013

Everyone reach that moment in life that you are looking for something special. It is like searching for the Holy Grail. Does it exist? But what is it? Where do you find it? Below I tell you the story of how two very different loves were found.

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Judging at the International Wine Challenge

Published:  25 November, 2013

An insight into a day at the International Wine Challenge.

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Mark Fiddes on the art of good storytelling when advertising vodka

Published:  22 November, 2013

What does a Long Slow Comfortable Screw Up Against The Wall have in common with Plutonium?

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Think you know Montepulciano from Abruzzo?

Published:  22 November, 2013

The grape is taking on new importance in the Italian wine region of Abruzzo, with a new accent on quality.

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Hospices de Beaune 2013: The Inside Story

Published:  19 November, 2013

Curious about the activities leading up to the successful Hospieces de Beaune auction 2013? For the second year in a row bidding reached a fever pitch, raising more than six million Euros for charity.

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Mike Paul: in search of the true value of a bottle of wine

Published:  18 November, 2013

The BBC Watchdog reporton the questionable value of half price deals in the supermarkets sparked a great deal of interest. Such deals have always stirred emotions, but the ensuing discussion also  highlighted  a concern I have when I hear commentators making definitive statements about the price a particular wine is worth.

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Winesmiths - taking the 'boxmonster' out of the cask

Published:  14 November, 2013

Boxmonster? Goon? Cask? Or do you call it a bag in box? Whichever term you use to describe wine served in this format, the Winesmiths have arrived on the scene with four new cask wines to liven up the shelves.

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Visiting Billecart-Salmon

Published:  08 November, 2013

Antoine Roland-Billecart, a man with the confident good looks of a sports star, and his brother Francois represent the seventh generation of this family. In this visit, I learn the secrets of the family history, view the new cellar, and taste some fabulous wine.

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Published:  07 November, 2013
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Jerry Lockspeiser on why we should not turn our backs on sweet wine drinkers

Published:  07 November, 2013

It is said that what America does today the UK follows a few years later. So it's no surprise that wine styles which have become popular over the pond are beginning to show up here. But sweeter reds? Whatever is the world coming to?

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Conversation with Vega Sicilia's Winemaker, Xavier Ausas Lopez de Castro

Published:  07 November, 2013

Curious to discover the secret of this world class wine? "We do not make wine for critics," says Xavier, patiently showing me around the vineyards and winery. Even before my visit, I discovered in a stellar NYC vintage tasting that one of the (many) secrets was the extensive and rather complex aging process, which sees the wine go through a series of new, used, and large wooden vats. Xavier has given them names, such as the "muscle" phase, the "education" phase, and the "recuperation" phase.

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Focus: Symington Family Estate Port & New Vinum Restaurant

Published:  06 November, 2013

Visiting the newly renovated Graham's 1890 Port Lodge in Vila Nova de Gaia ... 1954 Vintage Port and a taste of the exciting Vinum restaurant.

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Visiting Quinta do Noval in Porto

Published:  06 November, 2013

Like Port? When in Porto, stop by Quinta do Noval for a rich taste of history..

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An Independent View of The Great Sherry Festival

Published:  03 November, 2013

My thoughts, opinions and reaction to The Great Sherry Festival.

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