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Keeping it convivial with Diana Hunter

Published:  08 February, 2017

The acquisition of Bibendum-PLB for £60 million by Conviviality last May, perfectly poised to coincide with the London Wine Fair, caused a tsunami-scale reaction across the trade. 


Indies: Calm before the storm?

Published:  07 February, 2017

Christmas appears to have arrived on time and with good cheer for many independent merchants, with an early survey of businesses suggesting that sales were generally comfortably up on last year's festive period. 


R&D raising the bar on cork versus screwcap

Published:  01 February, 2017

As we take our first steps into 2017, the industry brings with it the old battle of cork versus screwcap as the two closures continue their struggle for supremacy. 


Lebanon: The lure of the east

Published:  31 January, 2017

If the people of a winemaking region impart an element of the local terroir then Lebanon surely offers up one of the most entrancing possible blends of culture, climate and place as a backdrop to its wines. 


Beyond spirits: Premium mixers and adult soft drinks

Published:  30 January, 2017

Premium mixers caught up with premium spirits in 2016. Where to next? 


Educating your premier crew

Published:  27 January, 2017

London may be the wine capital of the world, with arguably the best selection of wines available to buy in every bar, restaurant, shop and supermarket, up and down the country, yet the majority of staff that work in these places know little or nothing about what they're supposed to be selling.


New Zealand Pinot Noir comes of age

Published:  24 January, 2017

At home in the cooler regions of Wairarapa, Nelson, Marlborough, Waipara and Central Otago, Pinot Noir is New Zealand's most important red variety, representing 70% of all red plantings and 15.4% of New Zealand's total vineyard. 


Australia Day Tasting: What to expect from the UK's dominant wine category

Published:  18 January, 2017

January can be bleak for the trade, with the mix of diminished consumer spend, attempts to cut back on the booze and the ever-glorious weather conspiring against the will to go out and enjoy.


The teetotal trend: Beyond Dry January

Published:  16 January, 2017

As we've mentioned elsewhere in Harpers this month, we could be on the verge of the driest January on record. And no, we're not talking about the weather.


Performance review: An early look at the multiples' Christmas trading

Published:  12 January, 2017

In retail head offices across the country, buyers will be analysing this year's trading, investigating highs and lows, and providing the traditional Christmas post-mortems.


Craft challenge

Published:  11 January, 2017

Gone are the days when all the consumer had to choose between was a can on the supermarket shelf or cask ale from the pub. This has everything to do with the craft beer movement, which – fuelled by the flexibility and creativity afforded to small brewers, an explosion of flavours in hops from the New World and the proliferation of alternative formats – has taken not just the beer but the entire drinks industry by storm in recent years.


Bordeaux: Not so sweet for sweet wine

Published:  10 January, 2017

No one doubts that the future for historic winery Chateau d'Yquem and for sweet Bordeaux's renowned 11 premier cru producers - and even the second crus in Sauternes and Barsac - looks good.


Virtues of independence

Published:  22 December, 2016

The independent sector continues to carve its own footprint, increasingly punching above its weight


On-trade: A year of change

Published:  21 December, 2016

2016 has had its highlights and, despite challanges along the way, the restaurant sector is in decent shape


Logistics: Coping with the cuts

Published:  21 December, 2016

The ability to cut supply chain costs while at the same time maintaining a high-quality distribution service has become a holy grail for many wine merchants and retailers.


A taste for fizz

Published:  19 December, 2016

Champagne and Britain are inextricably linked. As the region's longest-standing, largest export market, hovering steadily around the 33 million bottle mark every year, it is surprising that the sound of popping corks does not drown out all other noise.


Taking education to the front line

Published:  19 December, 2016

The current on-trade staffing shortage is being exacerbated by a lack of appropriate training. Harpers spoke to Matthew Cocks about Jascots' WineEd initiative designed to help plug the gap


Top Tipples of 2016: The 12-month countdown

Published:  12 December, 2016

As the British electorate showed us in June - followed by Americans in November - 2016 has been the year to rip up the rulebook.


Is staff recruitment a ticking time bomb?

Published:  09 December, 2016

According to Paul Jenkins, purchasing director at D&D hospitality group, recruiting and retaining staff isn't just a perennial problem - it's getting worse.


Meeting the Brexit challenge

Published:  05 December, 2016

The UK referendum decision on European Union membership surprised many, but while the parliamentary and legal bodies work through the most appropriate process to enact legislation, the wine and spirit trade can use the time to plan for change.