Harry Crowther is ideally placed to know what sort of general wine training works for restaurant and bar staff as he has had to manage and provide training for a wide range of teams during his own time working in senior roles in hospitality. He has now developed his own wine training company and programme – Grain to Grape – that is designed to give staff the confidence to understand and sell the wine lists in their outlet, increase average spend per head and have a direct impact on an operator’s bottom line.
Penfolds has never sat still. Since the mid Nineteenth Century they have moved from the Magill Estate vineyards, from the viticultural region, the domain, the state and now, with the release of Penfolds California, they have left Australia. The bedrock of Penfolds House Style has always been pushing boundaries with an open mind and a top-down approach, but is making a Wine of the World that is £545 a bottle and involves shipping Aussie Shiraz 1000s of miles to Napa a step too far? Peter Dean talks to Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago, gets the lowdown and tastes the wines.
The Hospices de Nuits charity auction may not currently have the same status as the Hospices de Beaune, but for fifth generation Burgundy winemaker, Laurent Delaunay, it offers huge potential and opportunity for buyers to access some of the highest quality wines being made in this coveted wine region. Here he explains why he is hoping to promote not just the auction, which takes place on March 14 to a wider international audience, but give potential buyers the chance to buy his own pre-selected cuvées from the auction and age the wine in his Burgundy cellars.
The main theme for this year’s International Women’s Day on March 8 is #ChooseToChallenge and to “help forge a gender equal world” by celebrating women’s achievements, which is very much the spirit The Buyer hopes to capture with a series of profiles of leading female wine producers and winemakers starting here today with Madeleine Premmereur who is now playing her part in helping Château Barbebelle, in Aix-en-Provence be one of the world’s most respected rosé producers.
The One Step Beyond initiative, introduced last year in a joint partnership between The Buyer and Sophie Jump, is back. Its aim is to give the drinks, retail and hospitality sectors insights into the latest trends in technology and innovation and how they impact on consumer behaviour and expectations. This is your chance to keep up to speed through quarterly online webinars starting on April 14. Here’s what to expect.
“Everybody has a role to play – step by step, day by day. Don’t let the haters get to you, just keep on going. Keep on supporting people, keep on asking people how they are. Keep on sharing, and keep pushing the message out there.” This was the inspirational parting message from Kirsten MacLeod in her illuminating talk on diversity and what the drinks industry can do more to promote and tackle it that she gave to the Circle of Wine Writers last month.
The cooling influence of the Southern Oceans on the New World Chardonnay of Australia and New Zealand – this was the subject of last week’s fascinating tasting pitting three wines from each country. Natasha Hughes MW and Ronan Sayburn MS introduced wines from Black Estate, Bannockburn, Kooyong, Villa Maria, Neudorf and Ghost Rock while New World wine expert Roger Jones tasted all six wines and gave his verdict.
Paul Mabray, chief executive
There was much to learn, contemplate and take away from the Wine Future 2021 conference. The most overriding conclusion being how effective and efficient hosting a global event online now is. This was probably the most ambitious virtual event there has been to date in wine, featuring over 90 speakers across four days of content. As always with events with such grand intentions it is often hard to really pin point and go into great detail of any of the topics covered, but what Wine Future importantly did is raise key issues – such as climate change, environment, economic impact of covid and diversity – and give them a platform which allowed as many people around the world to take part. Here Richard Siddle shares what he most got out of Wine Future 2021.
To help celebrate its 150th anniversary, Flemish brewery Duvel Moortgat decided to pay homage to its ‘devilish’ past by releasing a new beer that carries the ‘number of the Beast.’ Duvel 666 is a gently-bitter brew that came about after last year’s collaboration with Belgian microbrewery IJ, and is aimed at a younger demographic and those who are daunted by high strength Belgian beers. Peter Dean got the full story.