It’s quite an achievement to get a handful of buyers to give up their time to go on a two or three day wine trip, never mind bring close to 100 from all over the world to Vienna during the first couple of weeks in September when the world wakes up from its August holidays. Richard Siddle was on hand to experience the first Vinexpo Explorer which put Austria centre stage and brought producers and buyers together to taste, but most of all do business.
Michelin Star chef Roger Jones thinks that Liberty Wines has got it right when it comes down to what it offers the UK on-trade. Jones picks out the highlights from Liberty’s 20th Autumn Portfolio tasting including eight Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio that really tickled his tastebuds, along with new wines from Blank Canvas and Cullen, amongst others.
To mark the upcoming first tasting of the Pinot Noir Alliance, a collaboration of five producers from Burgundy, Chile, California, New Zealand and Australia’s Yarra Valley, The Buyer has asked leading wine figures to share their love for Pinot Noir. Who better to start with than the man who brought Pinot Noir to the masses and novelist, Rex Pickett, who helped put Pinot Noir on the big screen with what became the now cult movie, Sideways.
Taking Intrepid at face value, Chris Wilson decided to be adventurous at this year’s WOSA tasting, seeking out the rare and unusual wines made from alternative varieties. What he found was eight exceptional wines that, because of their rarity and style, are perfect for the premium on-trade – and have either been road-tested as such in South Africa or are being marketed as such by UK importers.
Outside of the natural wine debate is there a more contentious issue than the one that surrounds the type of closure you have in your bottle of wine? To assess what leading on-trade buyers and sommeliers now think about closures we teamed up with Vinventions, one of the biggest suppliers of all types of closure from cork to screwcap, to make the issue of closures the latest topic in our Buyer Debate series.
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.