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Cognac exports surge ahead

Published:  23 July, 2008

Exports of Cognac in 2006 were the third highest on record. According to figures released by the Bureau National Interprofessionel du Cognac (BNIC), 152 million bottles of Cognac were exported worldwide, representing an increase of 7.2% by volume and 11% in value compared with 2005. These volumes have only been bettered by sales in 1989 and 1990.

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The Interview: Jeremy Cowen, Head sommelier, Galvin Bistrot de Luxe, London W1

Published:  23 July, 2008

Jeremy grew up on the Wirral, trying his first wine, a 1967 Chateau d'Yquem, when he was 11, and joining The Wine Society at the age of 14. After failing to complete an engineering degree, he began a career in wine at Oddbins in 1999. He left in 2002 to join an outside catering firm in Cheshire, moving a year later to the Establishment, a restaurant he helped open in Manchester, devising a list of 400 wines. However, he struggled to sell wines to the locals and the following year started at the London Carriage Works in Liverpool, spending just two months there before moving to the Galvin brothers' Bistrot de Luxe, at the start of 2006. Suppliers at Galvin include Le Cave de Pyrene, Vine Trail, Taittinger and Billecart-Salmon.

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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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Packaging complaints upheld

Published:  23 July, 2008

A total of eight complaints were made about drinks packaging in the UK in 2006, according to responsible drinking organisation The Portman Group, with gift packs like the one pictured right making up the majority.

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New name and logo for The Benevolent

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Wine and Spirit Trades' Benevolent Society has changed its name and updated its image to attract more members and increase fundraising efforts.

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IWSC changes judging timetable

Published:  23 July, 2008

The timetable for judging entries in the International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) is to be changed after a number of requests from New World producers.

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WSTA condemns 7% licence fee hike

Published:  23 July, 2008

Plans to increase all licence fees by 7% for the next three years have been slammed by the Wine & Spirit Trade Assocation (WSTA). The increase, as recommended by the Licensing Fees Review Panel, would be introduced in the period 2007/8 and would then be reviewed in 2009/10.

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Wine tourism for backpackers

Published:  23 July, 2008

New Zealand may have a new adventure tourism experience to rival bungee jumping and white-water rafting if one enterprising winemaker has his way.

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McGuigan to quit marketing role

Published:  23 July, 2008

Lisa McGuigan will step down from her role as global marketing director for McGuigan Simeon Wines next Friday (9 February) to concentrate on managing the growth of the Tempus Two brand.

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London sweeps the board in Tatler restaurant awards

Published:  23 July, 2008

London's restaurants took every prize at the Tatler/Champagne Louis Roederer restaurant awards last week, with The Wolseley named restaurant of the year.

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Pernod Ricard reports excellent' results

Published:  23 July, 2008

France's Pernod Ricard has increased its full-year sales target after exceeding both its own and analysts' forecasts in the half-year to the end of December, in which its organic sales rose 9.7%, sending the shares to a record level in Paris.

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Holding patterns

Published:  23 July, 2008

Inventory is ignorance! Now there's a mantra from supply-chain seminary, if there were such a place. It's actually just an abridged truism from the field of logistics: warehouses full of products represent a hedge against uncertainty. You stockpile because you don't have - or can't have - a comprehensive understanding of your suppliers or your customers. Indeed, most companies accept that as given.

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Back in the mix

Published:  23 July, 2008

Gin is currently one of the most active and interesting of all the spirit categories. Worldwide it sells over 50 million cases - right up in the international spirits market, making it a major force. But if we listen to the pundits, we could easily be convinced that gin's days are numbered, with all the signs indicating declining sales worldwide. There is no disputing that, in the past five years, the category has experienced a 6% fall in terms of volume; at the same time, the great gin renaissance shows no signs of slowing down. How can both these contradictory trends be true?

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Plans for UK generic rum campaign

Published:  23 July, 2008

A group of rum producers are planning to front a generic campaign in the UK - with every bottle bearing the stamp Authentic Caribbean Rum'.

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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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Winemakers reject Bordeaux reforms

Published:  23 July, 2008

Government proposals to introduce a new category within the AOC system have been rejected unequivocally by winemakers in Bordeaux.

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Volunteers collect world wines for charity

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Vinos Sin Fronteras (wine without borders) project has sent two volunteers to more than 15 countries to collect donations in the form of bottles of wine in aid of charity.

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Beefeater keen to shed cheap' look

Published:  23 July, 2008

A new marketing campaign and bottle design highlighting Beefeater gin's London roots has been launched by Chivas Brothers, at a cost believed to be in excess of 10 million.

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Going back to their roots

Published:  23 July, 2008

For more than five decades, Bardolino, as a region, has been tagged as one of the poor relations of Italian winemaking, famous only for making low-quality but pleasant easy-drinkers that non-involved consumers might choose to glug with their pasta or pizza.

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Talking Tokaji

Published:  23 July, 2008

As Tibor Kovcs of Htszl once said: Tokaji is world famous, but only in Hungary.' There's little doubt it has all the right ingredients - long history and tradition (Tokaj claims to be the oldest delimited wine region in the world), unique winemaking, memorable scenery and terroir. And it also has several passionate and charismatic evangelists for its wines, as well as a number of high-profile foreign investors. But the reality is that the wine industry in Tokaj as we see it today is only 15 years old and, like most teenagers, it has yet to fully make its mark on the world.

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