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Pushing Britain’s prestige fizz potential

Published:  05 January, 2024

The launch of a smartly-packaged £395 English sparkling wine may show quite some chutzpah, but as James Lawrence reports, it’s not alone in helping nudge the category into triple figure pricing.


Shaking it up with disruptive branding

Published:  30 June, 2023

Rowena Curlewis, head of design agency Denomination, extols the virtues of disruptive branding in a crowded wine and spirits world.


Brittany’s new wave of wines

Published:  10 March, 2023

Barnaby Eales uncovers some exceptional contemporary wines in an unexpected corner of France.


Chiaretto eyes Provence's crown

Published:  24 February, 2023

Chiaretto for Christmas? Sadly, despite more and more people drinking pink all year round, Italy’s bestselling Rosado Chiaretto di Bardolino didn’t grace many British dinner tables last December and won’t at Easter. A quick Google suggests some retailers stock it – Fortnums has two – but most main supermarkets and even The Wine Society draw a blank, suggesting the limited inroads it has made here. Which is frankly rather surprising, given the history of this wine, and the increasing popularity of the rather similar Provence rosé.


Talking Torbato: Sardinia's rising star

Published:  09 November, 2022

Wine Talk’s Sarah McCleery meets a new grape with ‘star performer’ credentials while travelling in Sardinia


Blind Ambition Review – rags-to-riches story is important lesson for wine industry

Published:  19 August, 2022

Blind Ambition is a documentary film that follows the journeys of four Zimbabwean migrants who separately discover wine in South Africa before joining forces to compete at the World Blind Tasting Championships in Burgundy.


Wet stones and other WSET befuddlements

Published:  20 May, 2022

As a Senior Reporter for Harpers, I am required to know a thing or two about wine. This was made clear when I was appointed three months ago, after three years of working as a general news reporter for numerous titles.


The comfort of Another Round

Published:  23 February, 2022

From the second you taste that first sip of alcohol, whether it be a frothy pint during freshers week or a glass of wine at a family dinner, a lifelong balancing act has begun.


Long Read: Daring to dream of a Golden Era of hospitality

Published:  16 September, 2021

Hugh Jones fell into the drinks industry 14 years ago while trying to become a rock star and never left, learning his trade at Majestic Wine, Pernod Ricard, and Mentzendorff. After a locked-down winter teaching strangers how to make cocktails over Zoom, he is now sales manager at Colwith Farm Distillery.


South Africa's high hopes

Published:  01 April, 2021

If Bordeaux declares another 'vintage of the century' in 2021, then eyes will undoubtedly roll.


Covid and Phylloxera – lessons for the wine trade

Published:  11 March, 2021

Sam Hellyer, head of wine and spirits at Chiswick Auctions, counts 10 years at Oddbins as part of a varied résumé where he headed up the Fine Wine branch in Oxford.


The dry truth of drought in Burgundy

Published:  14 January, 2021

As if 2020 wasn’t bad enough, France faced a drought so bad that water restrictions were put in place. Nowhere was the lack of water felt more keenly than in Burgundy, where irrigation is illegal.


Long read: From hospitality to homelessness

Published:  03 December, 2020

With 30-40% of people made homeless this year estimated to be former hospitality workers, the situation has become dire for many. Hugh Jones, who also lost his job this year as a result of the pandemic, investigates the depth of the problem, and how the trade can help.


Raicilla: The new face of agave

Published:  23 September, 2020

From an almost complete unknown beyond the Americas, raicilla is now making inroads overseas, including markets such as the UK. David Furer reports on the new kid on the spirits block.


Long Read: Moonshine and fruit wine – a postcard from post-Covid Latvia

Published:  03 September, 2020

Pernod Ricard, Mentzendorff and Lucky Saint alum Hugh Jones upped sticks recently and headed to Baltic capital Riga where he found an emerging drinks industry with parallels to the UK's own. 


On ‘Clean’ wine – ambiguity among the vines

Published:  20 August, 2020

Wine is an odd consumable. It’s a drug, it isn’t legally required to list ingredients, and it’s often described with vague, ambiguous terms. In the wake of the natural wine movement and the age of ‘wellness’, it was just a matter of time until a brand tried to hoodwink us. Quickest to the mark were Cameron Diaz and Katherine Power with ‘clean wine’, Avaline.


Lebanon’s deeply troubled wine sector

Published:  06 August, 2020

South Africa’s wine sector has rightly been the focus of much attention over the past weeks as export markets are urged to support its producers by encouraging consumers to buy their wines.


Joe Fattorini: Zoom Rhetorica

Published:  29 June, 2020

Aristotle would have been great on a Zoom call. And he’d have spent the last few months bickering his wine merchant for old wooden cases too.


Mile High Club feels the chill

Published:  05 June, 2020

The aviation sector has long been one of the global economy's most vital employers. It's not simply the millions of personnel contracted by airlines; the International Air Transport Association (IATA) observes that the industry is at the core of a value chain that supports some 65.5 million jobs worldwide.


Climate change creeps up in Burgundy

Published:  01 May, 2020

Rising temperatures coupled with sensitive Pinot Noir spell change for the Burgundian hierarchy, as James Lawrence reports.