Given the choice on-trade wine buyers would love to travel the world and source wines directly themselves. But few have the time to do so. Fortunately they are able to turn to those businesses that can in a market where companies of the scale of Lanchester Wines are able to source, ship, develop, bottle and deliver exclusive wines just for you. Richard Siddle travelled to Durham to find out how it works.
For the past four years Wine Australia has been running its Tasting Blind Club in which a wide variety of on and off-trade specialists meet every month to see if they deduce correctly a flight of high quality and unusual examples of Australian wine. The Tasting Blind Club winner for 2016-17 is wine educator Julia Lambeth, owner of the South London Wine School. We decided to ask her what is her knack? and how can other professionals improve their blind tasting skills?
Mike Turner puts aside his prejudices against Bag-in-Box wine and gets wowed by the bling-tastic and premium quality boxed wine from Platinum, a winery in Italy’s Abruzzo region. Not only does Mike think the wine delivers, but the concept has been devised to allow casual dining and food-focus chains to maximise its profit margins.
For all the gold medals and plaudits that English wines receive at international wine competitions it does not alway warrant them any more space more on premium on-trade wine lists. They still have to go up against the quality, and most of all price points, that wine buyers can get from rest of the world. To assess what buyers think of English wine and to compare different styles with their international peers, The Vintner hosted a special tasting and debate with The Buyer.
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.