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    Lilla OConnor
    Tasting: Spirit

    Tasting the new St-Rémy: finished in Sauternes and dark rum casks

    Brandy finished in casks that have contained Sauternes and also dark Barbados rum, are the two latest additions to St-Rémy’s Cask Finish Collection which is an attempt to court the younger spirits drinker, but also to allow master blender Cécile Roudaut the opportunity to be creative and just a little daring, writes Victor Smart. So how do they taste and what do you pair them with?

    Spicy aubergine is a great partner for Pinot Gris

    Raul Diaz’s Food & Wine Recipes: Pinot Gris and spiced aubergines

    If your mind is turning to Friday night and the weekend ahead well here’s some food and wine inspiration for you from Raul Diaz and his monthly wine and food recipe on The Buyer. This month he is turning his attention to Pinot Gris, this increasingly popular planted grape variety that Diaz believes is ideal for food pairing thanks to its “amazing honeyed personality with lush fruits and spicy accents”. HIs perfect choice to pair with Pinot Gris is a plate of spiced aubergine. Here’s how to pull it together.

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    Entry countdown for standalone People’s Choice Spirits Awards

    The clock is ticking down for entries into what will be the first standalone People’s Choice Spirits Awards that is being run as an event its own right for the 2022 awards. Here Janet Harrison, founder of the People’s Choice Drinks Awards, explains the latest developments with both the spirits and wine competitions and the introduction of a new Independent Bar awards in partnership with Master of Malt.

    Tasting: Wine
    Spanish Garnacha Long Read

    Spanish Wine Academy taps into the buzz around Spanish Garnacha

    For a variety of reasons Grenache has had a reputation of being a grape that’s only good as a blending partner – on its own it has traditionally been seen as a grape that makes high alcohol, structureless, fruit-forward wines, prone to oxidation. But how times have changed. Single-varietal Grenache could not be more on-trend as winemakers across the world use modern, more sympathetic winemaking styles that best suit the grape. A masterclass from the Spanish Wine Academy earlier this year, that focused on Spanish Garnacha, predicted even greater popularity for this category and to prove the point sampled seven very different styles of how winemakers in Spain are approaching the grape. Peter Dean reports.

    People People: Producer
    brixton gin couple

    Andrew Murray-Watson on creating a gin he hopes Brixton can be proud of

    “Brixton is a million things to a million people. That’s what makes it special.” So says Andrew Murray-Watson and Calandra Smith, the partners and team behind Brixton’s very own gin brand. Appropriately named Brixton Gin. It is also a brave call to be the ones to try and encapsulate all that Brixton stands for in your own gin brand. But Murray-Watson is as well placed as anyone to give it a go having lived in Brixton since 2004 and started his own deli and drinks shop, Guzzl, in 2017. Here he talks to Richard Siddle about what why he thinks Brixton Gin truly captures the spirit of this unique part of London.

    Tasting: Wine
    Hatch Mansfield

    David Kermode sent to the Tower for Hatch Mansfield tasting

    Hatch Mansfield chairman Patrick McGrath MW describes the present challenges facing the drinks industry as a ‘shit show’. With stock stuck in ports all around the world, the climate affecting yields and more, it was impressive that the importer’s autumn showcase was a well-tempered affair full of blisteringly good wines. Held at the Tower of London, David Kermode, aka Mr Vinosaurus also managed to keep his cool at the tasting and picks a Top 10 of wines that really turned his head.

    Tasting: Wine
    Cloudy Bay 2021

    How Cloudy Bay 2021 stacks up in its new era of winemaking

    Another year another new vintage – Cloudy Bay 2021 was launched in the UK yesterday, sadly by Zoom again, with technical director Jim White stepping in for winemaker Daniel Sorrell who has handled the previous run of releases. With newly-appointed senior winemaker Nikolai St George joining last September from 2021’s New Zealand winery of the year, Giesen Wines, there are clearly changes underway. How much of that is down to the new hierarchy is too soon to tell but White does reveal that Te Koko is undergoing an overhaul and the style of Cloudy Bay 2021 is different to the 2020. There is also the considerable issues of a 30% drop in yield and getting the wine onto a ship – anytime, anywhere would be nice. Peter Dean reports.

    Robin Chin will be sharing his experience of building up drinks brands

    Aquilini’s Robert Chin on creating successful brands

    Ahead of this week’s One Step Beyond webinar on October 13 Richard Siddle talks to Robert Chin, chief executive of leading US and Canadian drinks company, Aquilini Beverage Group, about how, in just over two years, he has transformed it from being largely a bulk supplier of alcoholic drinks to a leading drinks brands producer in its own right with a number of fast growing lines across North America. Here he looks at what he thinks it takes to be a successful drinks brand.

    one step beyond logo 4

    One Step Beyond Oct 13: What to expect from consumer webinar

    There is so much talk about the so-called changes that consumers have been through during the pandemic, but what are they in reality and how relevant are they for the drinks, retail and hospitality sectors? That is what the third in our series of One Step Beyond webinars, organised in partnership with Sophie Jump, will look to tackle with experts from the fields of consumers behaviour, innovation, technology as well as leading figures in the drinks industry. Here’s what to expect and how to sign up to the free webinar being held on October 13.