You can have the highest scoring, most awarded wine list in the country, but if you don’t have the sales team with the skills to build relationships and understand which wines are best suited to which restaurants and bars then it’s going to gather dust in your warehouse. Here we talk to Maria Proshuta, part of the London on-trade sales team for Corney & Barrow, about the skills she thinks you need to sell wine to the on-trade.
The clock is ticking for beers, wines and spirits producers to enter the 2022 London Drinks Competitions and take advantage of special pricing that ends on October 15. There will still be time to enter the competitions up to the end of February but at the full entry fee for each of the three awards. The London Wine, Beer, and Spirits competitions pride themselves on judging every product entered for its quality, price, value for money and what they look like with their packaging and design. Here’s how you can enter the 2022 awards.
Found in Cocchi’s archives, the recipe for Cocchi Barolo Chinato tipo Esportazione was brought back to life in a limited edition to celebrate the great Italian company’s 130th anniversary. Such a special Barolo Chinato deserved a special send-off which it got at Hide in London’s Mayfair – mixologist Oskar Kinberg had devised a series of bespoke cocktails to celebrate Cocchi’s vermouths and Americano while chef Ollie Dabbous was at the controls in the kitchen – devising the menu and in particular a warm ‘acorn’ cake with smoked caramel and liqueur to pair with the Chinato. Victor Smart reports.
There are no tyre kickers and time wasters at the World Bulk Wine Exhibition. This is not a trade show where you can merrily wander around and expect a producer to give you a taste of their full range. No, the WBWE is all about doing business. Samples are offered for buyers to taste that might result in orders of hundreds of thousands of litres of wine. As the show’s chief executive, Otilia Romero de Condés, says the WBWE has three main objectives for its delegates: business, networking and results. Here she explains what we can expect from this November’s show.
In just over 40 years Joseph Helfrich has turned Les Grands Chais de France from a 5,000 franc loan into one of the world’s most important wine producing groups – currently worth €1.14bn and accounting for over a fifth of all France’s wine exports. Famille Helfrich is the group’s exclusive on-trade and independent retail arm that is showing over 200 of its wines at two UK tastings. The London event is next Tuesday while the Manchester one just happened with Mike Turner suitably impressed with what was on offer – especially a wine from Gascogne that is £3.68 DPD.
If you had a spare few hundred pounds and wanted to invest in some bottles of whisky then Nick Morgan is the man to call. With over 30 years experience of working in the whisky industry – the last 20 plus years at Diageo – he has now branched out on his own to offer his whisky, brand and strategic insights in a new consultancy role. He has also looked to capture his whisky know-how in a new book – simply called Everything You Need to Know About Whisky. Here he explains how it came together.
Compared to the finest crus of Burgundy by some of the world’s leading wine critics, Querciabella’s Batàr is no ordinary white wine from Tuscany. Celebrating its 30th year with the 2018 vintage, this is a Pinot Bianco/ Chardonnay blend that has an almost uncanny ability to age. To prove the point and to launch the new vintage, winemaker Manfred Ing lined up a once-in-a-lifetime vertical for David Kermode, including the very first vintage – 1998 – that Kermode describes as a ‘miracle’.
“Barley forward, Téireoir-driven whisky” is not your usual descriptor you come across on a bottle of premium whisky, but it also stands more as a mission statement, or a way of life for the whisky team at Waterford, one of the mostly highly regarded of the growing number of elite Irish distillers that are shaking up not only the Irish spirits market but premium whisky as a whole. Richard Siddle talks to its charismatic head distiller, Ned Gahan, about exactly what it means by “téireoir-driven whisky”.
As most UK-based importers expand their portfolios this year, one company is defiantly swimming against the tide by only offering on and off-trade customers one estate per country or region represented. The approach by Cardiff-based Fine Wines Direct UK means that it can import in bulk, offering customers competitive prices and good stock availability. For the wine producers it also means that their wines do not have to compete against other wines from the same region. But what of the selection and the wines themselves? Justin Keay tasted through part of the range which includes Pesquera, Marqués des Cáceres, Carrau, Allan Scott, Thorn-Clarke and Escorihuela Gascon.
For all the innovation there might be on back bars and on retailers shelves things have stayed pretty much the same in the way wines, spirits and beers are judged and awarded medals. With blind tastings and products assessed on quality being the way to go. That was until the end of 2017 when the London Drinks Competitions were introduced – with separate awards for London Wine, London Spirits and London Beers – by the Beverage Trade Network which announced it was going to awards its medals based on the quality of the drinks, its value for money and what it looks like in terms of packaging and design. Four years on we talk to the competitions founder Sid Patel about how and why he came up with the awards and his plans for keeping them different from the competition.