When we started The Buyer our mission statement was all about how we could play a part in bringing producers and importers together by helping them better understand their respective needs. Well, in the case of Ross Sleet and the South African wine brand, Rascallion Wines, and Jamie Wynne-Griffiths, founder of Propeller, the new breakthrough wine supplier, The Buyer has managed inadvertently to do just that. They both read pieces about each other’s business on the site, liked what they saw, rang each other up and within a matter of weeks are now doing business together. Matchmaker Richard Siddle caught up with them.
There was a big increase in entries from all over the world in the 2021 London Wine Competition from both the classic, established wine producing countries, as well as the less celebrated. Wherever they came from they were all judged in the same way. The quality of the wine, how they tasted, their value for money and what they looked like. Here we shine the light on Portugal which was one of the most successful countries in the 2021 awards with its medal success reflecting a boom in sales in the UK.
The Pays d’Oc IGP vineyard of South France is a cornucopia of vinous delights for wine lovers of all persuasions. It is a vineyard area that each year produces an astounding array of diverse rosé wines using the full palate of permitted grape varieties and styles. World rosé wine expert Elizabeth Gabay MW tastes through a range of the new 2020 vintage of Pays d’Oc IGP Rosé and highlights ones which use single varieties as diverse as Marselan and Petit Verdot, as well as blends.
Kunye is a new wine brand with a very clear mission. To drive better inclusion in the South African wine industry with a scholarship fund that will help South Africans from disadvantaged backgrounds embark on a career in wine – as well as hopefully bring a new inclusive South African brand to a broader international wine consumer. Jessica Broadbent talks to its two founders, Cassidy Dart MW and Inika Minnie about their vision for the brand, including producing what they claim is the first consumer wine book written in Xhosa, and what they can do to help drive real change in wine diversity not just in South Africa but in all the markets where it is sold.
The Armit Italian portfolio tasting has always been a key date in the diary of serious wine buyers. Ever since John Armit set up in the company in the late 1980s, Italy has been Armit’s strongest suit. This year the company engineered an unprecedented access to the portfolio with buyers tasting up to 80 wines at home, including wines from its marquee producers such as Tenuta San Guido and Bruno Giacosa. In the first part of a tasting special Peter Dean picks 10 white wines that hit that sweet spot between accessibility and class, and focuses on wines that deliver outstanding value, at a time when the on-trade in particular needs to be buying more scrupulously than ever.
Fifteen leading chief executives offering three pieces of actionable advice each. As pitches for a new online business conference that’s pretty much hitting the nail on the head. But this is what you can expect at the new Three Things Summit taking place next week aimed at helping the hospitality sector plan for what is still such an uncertain future. Here Richard Siddle talks to Martin Williams, chief executive of Rare Restaurants, that includes Gaucho and M Restaurants, about what to expect.
Lanzarote wines have a great future ahead of them, argues Justin Keay, who says that the vogue for wines from volcanic soils, plus the improving quality of the wines from the island is spelling good news for the growing number of wineries. In the past eight years the number of DO wineries on Lanzarote has almost doubled, with most of the winemakers at the top producers only in their 20s and 30s. Keay hones in on indigenous varieties Listan Negro and Malvasia Volcanica, and picks out four wines which are worth putting on your buying radar.
In his career as a drinks buyer Ivan Dixon, be it during all the years he decided what went on the shelves at Harvey Nichols, or more recently what brands ended up as part of Enotria&Coe’s portfolio, has nosed, swilled, spat, tasted and drunk thousands of wines and spirits. In fact there is probably not one premium spirit brand on sale in the UK that has not passed across his desk at some stage in its life. So for him to agree to not just be a brand ambassador for a new spirits brand, but invest in it too means the launch of a new brand from Kenya – Procera gin – named after the country’s indigenous Juniperus Procera juniper berry, really needs some investigating.
Following last year’s triumphant annual tasting in London, Austrian Wine knew it had a job on its hands to replicate the success of its ‘real life’ event under Lockdown conditions. Austrian Tasting UK: The Stay-at-home Edition, as it was billed, was also hugely impressive as David Kermode discovered. Over 6,000 samples were sent globally, every winemaker had a chat room, there were seminars from key industry figures and more.
Raul Diaz continues his series of picking a classic, but simple recipe to go with the world’s most famous and widely planted grape varieties. This time round he turns to Chardonnay, much maligned by wine purists for many years, that has now bounced back to become one of the benchmark grape varieties and styles in the world. But what do you pair with it? For Diaz there is nothing better, particularly on a nice sunny day, to grill some sardines and serve with Chilean-style salsa – Pebre. Read and enjoy…