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Brandies: unleashing a spirit of adventure

Published:  04 October, 2019

Grape spirits really don’t get a fair deal in UK bars, where even Cognac and Armagnac rarely receive the shelf space or cocktail list presence their global reputations deserve. Grapes are grown and distilled in dozens of other places around the world, but those brandies are largely overlooked as well.

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Sustainability: a transatlantic conversation with California Wines

Published:  13 August, 2019

Harpers and California Wine Institute hosted an insightful and far-reaching seminar at London’s Design Museum, delivering the core message that the wine world is well-placed to better engage consumers in supporting the true costs of advancing sustainability. Andrew Catchpole reports

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Think Gin debate: Innovation vs Integrity

Published:  15 July, 2019

Gin is at a crossroads and needs to tread carefully to retain its authentic credentials. Andrew Catchpole listens in on the debate at Harpers Think Gin event. 

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March of the mixers

Published:  01 July, 2019

The premium mixers category is becoming a crowded market, but is there just too much going on in the way of flavour, asks Kate Hawkings.

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Spirited away

Published:  05 June, 2019

UK drinks have undergone a bona fide revolution in the past 10 years. It’s no coincidence that, since 2007, UK food and drink exports have increased by nearly two-thirds, with exports now worth £22.5 billion (Defra).

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Ten years of Tio Pepe En Rama

Published:  02 May, 2019

A decade ago, González Byass UK managed to shake up a moribund sherry category with Tio Pepe En Rama. Jo Gilbert dissects its success

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Risky business in Rioja

Published:  15 April, 2019

Rioja’s new single-vineyard classification signals the region’s desire to go after greater premium market share. The big question is, will it succeed? 

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Surveying France

Published:  12 February, 2019

Harpers partnered with Wines Direct to bring you this original survey, comparing UK consumer attitudes and purchasing habits with regard to French wines between 2014 and 2019.

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Awaking Armagnac's potential

Published:  04 February, 2019

An old timbered barn in the heart of the rustic, misty Bas Armagnac region is perhaps the last place you’d expect to find a pop-up cocktail bar, let alone one that could pass muster in the hipper quarters of New York or London. But shakers are shaking, drinks being dispensed, with the artfully tattooed bar guru Luis Inchaurraga of Madrid Mixology mixing up a host of fabulous Armagnac-based drinks.

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Can the trade afford not to go vegan?

Published:  21 December, 2018

As the halo effect from health and sustainability grows, pulling in everyone from full-time vegans to flexitarians, consumers are increasingly looking for the “V” symbol on wines. Jo Gilbert asks, can the wine trade afford not to be vegan?

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Reviving Tequila

Published:  12 December, 2018

Thanks to its renewed reputation as a drink to be taken seriously, Lisa Riley looks at tequila’s potential in the UK as an upmarket and fashionable spirit.

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Early Champagne harvest for promising vintage

Published:  21 August, 2018

Comité Champagne has revealed that the champagne harvest for 2018 is to start today (21 August) following an exceptional wine growing year and good weather.

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Vodka: return of the king

Published:  23 July, 2018

Vodka may have been eclipsed in recent years by the gin boom. But Britain’s bartenders are rediscovering its charms. 

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Drink in the pink

Published:  20 June, 2018

As the trend for pink spirits continues, Nigel Huddleston takes a look at the plethora of products flooding the market

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The resurgence of the port industry

Published:  01 June, 2018

At first glance, it appears to be a case of “same old story” when analysing port’s prospects in the UK. According to CGA Strategy, in the 12 months to February 24, 2018, port sales (by volume, 9-litre cases) decreased by more than 11%, falling 9.8% in value. Nielsen data concurs: retail sales declined by more than 2%, remaining static in MAT TY 142,687 % CHG VS value at £77 million (MAT to March 3, 2018).

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Big name Champagnes fare best as Brexit hits smaller players

Published:  01 June, 2018

Brexit-related inflation is hitting drinkers of cheaper and less well-known Champagnes hardest in the UK as sales of entry-level bottles continue to fall, while bigger name brands and more expensive cuvées are faring better.

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Prosecco phenomenon now lifting all sparkling sales

Published:  25 May, 2018

Rather than cannibalising other sparkling wine sales, Prosecco has been so successful in attracting consumers into the category that it is now acting as a “gateway” to other styles of fizz.

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2016 Ports debut at London preview

Published:  18 May, 2018

Purity, precision and terroir were very much the buzz words at the 2016 Vintage Port Preview Tasting in London on May 17, where Symington Family Estates, The Fladgate Partnership and Quinta do Noval collaborated to show wines from the recently and unanimously declared 2016 vintage.

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Fairtrade on the rise

Published:  08 May, 2018

The Co-op’s new conversion of its major own-label range will boost the UK’s Fairtrade wine volumes by 20%. Jo Gilbert explores a category on the rise.

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Sherry taking the flor

Published:  04 May, 2018

A new approach is needed in the battle to revitalise sherry’s image, argues James Lawrence

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