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    Doug Wregg
    Insight
    Italian restaurant Bancone in Covent Garden is Jason Myers latest restaurant

    How Italy has beaten France to be No 1 on UK’s wine list for first time

    Ask the average sommelier, restaurant or bar group to list the wines they are selling the most of then time and again it is the lighter, fresher, easy drinking approachable red and white wines from Italy that are being increasingly asked for by their customers. So it should really come as no surprise that for the first time ever Italy – officially – has more listings on UK restaurant wine lists than France. At least according to new research released by Sydney-based on-trade specialists, Wine Business Solutions. Helen Arnold caught up with its principal Peter McAtamney to find out why Italy is enjoying such success, which styles of Italian wines are finding more room on wine lists and what it has meant for the wines from France, and other leading countries, that have lost their way in the UK on-trade as a result.

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    Sommelier
    Norway

    Andreas Hogfeldt on how he became Norway’s best young sommelier

    Working within Norway’s restrictive Monopoly system, picking a wine as a substitute for sunny days in the depth of a Norwegian winter, and pairing old bush vine Garnacha with reindeer pizza – these are just some of the many challenges that Andreas Hogfeldt, sommelier at Brasserie Ouest in Oslo, faces on a daily basis. So how does he approach his job? and what did he do that saw him crowned the Best Young Sommelier in Norway?

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    Tasting: Wine
    Nicolas Feuillatte

    Uncorked: David Kermode tastes the new look Nicolas Feuillatte range

    The number one Champagne brand in France, number three in the world, it has been all change at Nicolas Feuillatte in recent times, as it evolves its style and focuses its UK effort on targeting buyers. Already a huge presence in off sales, the giant growers co-operative now wants a slice of the on trade pie. Champagne lover David Kermode, aka Mr Vinosaurus, was at Somerset House for the UK launch for The Buyer.

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    People People: Producer
    rovellotti vineyard

    Nebbiolo Day: Paolo Rovellotti on how Nebbiolo is part of Piemonte’s DNA

    Nebbiolo has been an integral part of the history of the Piemonte region in north west Italy ever since the Romans were picking the grapes. As part of our countdown to the second Nebbiolo Day tasting taking place in London on March 5 we talk to one of the producers taking part, Paolo Rovellotti, whose family have been making wines in the region for over 400 years. He explains why Nebbiolo is very much part of his and the region’s DNA.

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    People People: On-Trade
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    Hungary’s Top Sommelier Szik Matyás on Hungarian wine

    When it comes to Hungarian wine February is all about celebrating Furmint and Wines of Hungary’s Furmint February promotion as the flag bearer for the country’s wine and, in particular, its journey into the UK market. But there are clearly so many more wine styles and varieties to discover. Here we talk to Hungary’s award winning and champion sommelier Szik Matyás about why he thinks Hungarian wines can be such a success on wine lists across the premium on-trade.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Ribera Del Duero

    10 of the best Ribera Del Duero reds picked by Tim Atkin MW

    Despite getting some bad press for the wines being ‘samey’ Peter Dean attended a Ribera del Duero tasting and discovered a refreshingly varied set of wines. Most of the wines on show were 100% Tempranillo, had robust acidity, concentrated fruit and freshness – but the variety in different styles is huge as a result of altitude, soil (of which there are 30 types) and winemaking style.

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    People People: On-Trade
    igor sotric 2

    Igor Sotric on the clear canvas he gets to enjoy at China Tang

    The beauty of working in such a unique restaurant as China Tang is that it attracts everyone from A list film stars, political leaders, the Royal family, through to loyal guests of the Dorchester Hotel above it. Which, in turn, gives head of wine Igor Sotric such an open playing field on which to source and sell interesting wines from all over the world. Here he explains what wines sell best and why iconic producers such as California’s Orin Swift are as much in demand as the classic names from Bordeaux and Burgundy.

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    Tasting Tasting: Wine
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    David Kermode: enjoys the Ellis Wines’ ‘experience’

    When you’ve been in business for almost two hundred years, it’s safe so say you have had to move with the times. Richmond-based Ellis Wines chose London’s Vintners’ Hall for its 2019 annual portfolio tasting, with a focus on the ‘experiential’, including ‘wine trails’ and a fusion of old world classics and newer innovations. There were more than 300 wines to try, as David Kermode, aka Mr Vinosaurus, reports for The Buyer.

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    Tasting Tasting: Wine
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    Wine meets art: Enotria&Coe’s portfolio tasting at the Saatchi

    With a gin garden, a beer gallery and a fine wine zone, Enotria&Coe certainly knows how to get noticed. Its 2019 portfolio tasting involved a take-over of London’s Saatchi Gallery. The Buyer’s own culture vulture Chris Wilson was there, to select his own ‘works of art’ from the wine selection, including a potential by-the-glass classic as well as assessing the overall range of one of the UK’s most important national distributors at what has become one of the benchmark trade tastings of the year.

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    People People: Supplier
    Sarah Abbott MW believes there is great potential for Koshu alongside other  Japanese wines and is hosting a standalone   tasting on Japanese wines, including Koshu on February 28 Long Read

    Sarah Abbott MW on emerging countries & wines of Japan

    There is so much talk and excitement amongst wine buyers, sommeliers and cutting edge importers about emerging wine regions and countries. But which ones are really suitable for the cut throat UK market? Ahead of tasting of Japanese wines in Bristol later this month, wine consultant, Sarah Abbott MW, explains the assessment process she goes through to work out how well placed a particular country is to work with and why she thinks Japanese wines and their producers are more than ready to make their mark in the UK and other key export markets around the world.

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