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    Opinion

    Key influencers from inside and outside the trade

    Opinion
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    Bordeaux en primeur week doesn’t make sense… but all is not lost

    Isn’t it time that Bordeaux changed the way it shows wines at en primeur week? Mike Turner, wine blogger and importer of Bordeaux wines, argues that the whole point of the system has been lost. He also visits Primeurs Panorama which is a tasting of the vintage exactly one year after en primeur week, and argues that it makes a lot more sense to look at 2015 now rather than 2016.

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    Opinion
    Ryan Fuller

    Ryan Fuller: how to not waste money on social media campaigns

    Fed up trying to get your head round social media and the right approach for your business? Well the most important thing to do is not give up, but keep trying, listening, adapting and learning and find the approach the works best for your business. Here Ryan Fuller, of specialist agency, Occupidigital which works with a number of premium spirits brands, set out the key steps to take to make social media work for your business.

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    Opinion
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    Miles Beale: let’s get off the ropes and keep fighting against duty

    The new Chancellor Philip Hammond might enjoy a dry sense of humour, but no-one in the drinks industry was laughing last week when he announced the first universal increase in duty on all alcoholic products since 1992 in his inaugural Budget. The devil, however, was in the detail and we can now expect to see similar inflationary rises for the next four years, according to Mile Beale, chief executive of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association, who calls on the trade not to despair, but to rally round and keep making the case for a fair duty regime.

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    Opinion
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    Richard Siddle: we can’t blame currency for all our problems

    There is not a drinks business in the country that was not affected to some extent by the collapse in the value of sterling following the EU referendum vote. But as every company looks to work out the best strategy for their business going forward continuing to blame currency for all your woes is going to be harder story to sell the further down the line we go.

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    Opinion
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    Katie Canfield’s ringside seat at Premiere Napa Valley auction

    For many in the UK premium on-trade the Napa Valley feels a long way away. Not just in distance, but in the number of wines being listed for their restaurants. But times they are a changing and the introduction of a new online bidding process for the set piece Premiere Napa Valley wine auction is just part of the region’s desire to open up more to international buyers. Katie Canfield was there to see how it worked.

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    Opinion
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    Richard Siddle: bulk wine has a key role to play in on-trade’s future

    Bulk wine even amongst the country’s biggest wine suppliers is an issue some businesses don’t want to talk about. It does not fit with the idea of sourcing unique wines from around the world for the premium on-trade. But as the quality of wine bottled in market is arguably just the same, and it offers considerable savings to boot, more customers are going to start asking questions why they are not being offered a bulk wine solution for some of their wines. Richard Siddle tackles the issue.

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    Opinion
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    The ins and outs of creating a wine list that offers quality and value

    Wine lists. They come in all shapes and sizes, but is there really a right or wrong way to how you put one together? In the first of a new series we invite key influencers in the trade to share their experience and insights. First up is former restaurateur, turned wine merchant and wine consultant, Neville Blech, who has been responsible for constructing numerous lists for different types of operator. But please contact us to share your thoughts.

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    Opinion
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    Around the world by vintage with The Wine Society’s Tim Sykes

    The Wine Society’s Tim Sykes is clearly one of the trade’s busiest and well travelled wine buyers as he takes us on a trip around the world assessing each of the main wine producing countries and region’s 2016 vintages as we go. Pity we can’t pick up his air miles at the same time.

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    Opinion
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    Gabriel Stone’s highs and lows of exporting drinks around the world

    It’s hard to look past the irony of a British government extolling the business benefits of exporting goods overseas as we brace ourselves for Brexit, but how real are the opportunities for UK drink producers looking to expand overseas? Gabriel Stone of the British Bottle Company, which helps drinks companies get footholds around the world, looks at what steps they need to take and the dangerous pitfalls along the way.

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    Opinion
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    Wine Mosaic: saving rare wines in Greece, Turkey and Lebanon

    Justin Keay meets up with Wine Mosaic, a Paris-based organisation whose mandate is saving and promoting rare grape varieties. He also samples 100 wines from Croatia, Turkey, Lebanon, Greece and even France itself – all in the pursuit of discovering new and magnificent wines that all have their provenance rooted in the past.

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