When Mike Turner was invited to a Vinho Verde tasting with a Sarah Ahmed MW masterclass, he thought that this would be very much an in-out affair, associating the category with very little diversification. How wrong could a man be? Having had his eyes well and truly opened to the many quality wines on show, he also predicts that many buyers and sommeliers will soon have their eyes focussed on North West Portugal.
Does the world need another gin? If so how do you make it stand out from the rest? James Oag-Cooper, co-founder of Foxhole Spirits believes it has the answer in a collaboration with English wine producer, Bolney Wine Estats that uses its waste to distill in to what it believes is a unique gin. He presents his case for another gin brand to Helen Arnold.
Armed with the new 2013 vintages of The Pioneer Shiraz and The Visionary Cabernet Sauvignon, plus the latest releases of its St Andrews range, Mitchell Taylor was in London to prove a few points about the world-class standard of his wines – released as Wakefield Wines in the UK. Peter Dean attended the tasting at London’s South American Temper restaurant and put the company philosophy to the test – that these are wines that are intended to really sing when drunk with food.
Finding great quality at a price that customers find affordable is one of the sommeliers’ key challenges when it comes to Burgundy. This conundrum has become more acute as prices have risen and volumes have fallen. One of the keys to upping the value-per-cost ratio is to explore the appellations that are not in the core of the Côte de Beaune such as Saint-Romain, Saint-Aubin, Saint-Véran and Saint-Bris, or the Subtle Saints as Vins de Bourgogne refers to them. With master sommelier Xavier Rousset at the helm, Christina Rasmussen went along to a Bourgogne Wines Club sommelier masterclass whose aim was to unlock the secrets of these four appellations.
The Buyer has been set up to help drinks producers and leading on-trade buyers better understand their needs and where possible work closer together. This is best demonstrated by The Buyer’s Case initiative where we link up with a wine producer or importer and ask leading buyers to taste, assess and offer professional feedback on their wines. Here we turn to the Languedoc-Roussillon and present wines from leading producer, Cave de Vignerons de Saint-Chinian to leading on-trade decision makers.
France might be the best selling country in the UK on-trade, but that does not mean it could not sell. To help better understand the opportunities and challenges facing French wine in the premium on-trade, The Buyer linked up with Les Vignobles Foncalieu and leading buyers from the different types of operator, including high end restaurants, independent wine merchants and national wholesalers all working the French category in the north west of the country.
New Zealand’s enormous success in the UK off-trade, where its Sauvignon Blanc has created a category of its own, has not always been reflected in how many of its wines are on premium on-trade wine lists. The Buyer teamed up with Villa Maria, and its UK partners, Hatch Mansfield, to ask a panel of leading UK buyers to set out the challenges and opportunities for New Zealand in the premium on-trade
The Buyer’s Case is a new initiative that gives producers the chance to show specific drinks to key buyers in target channels of the on-trade. For our first Buyer’s Case we teamed up with Les Vignerons Foncalieu and selected key buyers in its main distribution areas in the UK on-trade to show their wines. Here are the results.
The Buyer teamed up with Virginia Wine and some of its key producers to help them better understand the needs of the UK premium on-trade and how buyers might relate to their wines with both a business roundtable debate with key players and a study tour of leading London restaurants, wine bars and merchants to see the kind of offers they have and where their wines might fit in.