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The week that was

Published:  12 January, 2018

In case you missed some of the headlines this week on, here’s our Friday round up of the top online news, analysis, opinion pieces, interviews and features.

Top stories: There was plenty of news about shaking up both trade and consumer this week. This ranged from Matthew Clark’s Stir It Up cocktail competition, part of a package designed to help on-trade operators deliver great cocktails while boosting sales, to Wines of Germany’s new focus on “younger, more engaged wine drinkers” in the 35-44 age group, which will see the targeting of food and music festivals to spread the word about the joys of Riesling and more.

Elsewhere, early January continued to deliver predictions for 2018, with Wine Intelligence’s contribution suggesting that the pain of Brexit and challenges of climate change will at least be eased by the continued rise and rise of sparking wine consumption.

And no surprises that after the vintage shortfalls of 2017 Europe’s big three producing countries – France, Italy and Spain – will inevitably see price rises. But Harpers own Wine Stars Awards judging suggested that Australia is coming back, led by the classics, with a wealth of wines shining on the day, and some good value to be found in the category. 

   • Wines of Germany shifts focus to ‘younger’ wine drinkers

   • Matthew Clark sets out to stir up cocktail sales

   • Top 5 wine predictions for 2018

   • British wine trade figures receive top French accolade

   • Majestic reports strong Christmas sales

   • Halewood reports 100% leap in net profits

   • Regionalised price increases set to squeeze Europe’s big three thanks to woeful harvest

   • Strong showing for Oz at Harpers Wine Stars Awards as classics lead way

Analysis and Insights: Pubs are still be closing at an alarming rate, but there is some succour for the beer industry as craft brewers continue to engage with punters and the new eating out dynamic where provenance and individuality are highly prized.

Meanwhile the new General Data Protection Regulation, described as “the Data Protection Act on steroids”, and which comes complete with draconian fines for those that fall foul of the new legislation, is explained in full.

And Harpers asks if agents are worth their salt, investigating the added value that the best can (and should) deliver.

   • The craft challenge

   • The new data deal

   • UK Agents: are you being served?

People and Opinion: Our columnist Guy Woodward launches into 2018 with a wry selection of personal wishes and bugbears, including a plea for less sheep-stomach-fermented Slovenian Sangiovese and a resolution to make and drink more cocktails.

Our Meet the Buyer series continues with two of the best indies in the business, as the brains behind Highbury Vintners and Grape & Grind reveal what attracted them into the trade and where they believe the industry will go from here.

   • Guy Woodward: My 10 new year’s resolutions

   • Meet the Buyers: Sean Sweeney, Director, Highbury Vintners

   • Meet the Buyers: Darren Willis, owner, Grape & Grind