What happens when a famous producer of sought-after, fine reds turns to making skin-fermented whites? Anne Krebiehl MW meets Gernot & Heike Heinrich in Austria’s Burgenland whose conversion to biodynamics 12 years ago set off a series of changes. First, they became much more aware of their terroir and its potential and then they started falling in love with skin-fermented white wines – a combination that has changed their entire approach to winemaking and made them feel like starting over again.
Walk into any high end bar and you can be pretty much guaranteed the bar staff can tell you anything you want to know about the 100s of bottles of spirits they have on their back bar. How they are made, where they are made and which combinations work best together. But ask them about wine and the conversation is likely to be a little shorter. Which is why wine consultant, Harry Crowther, is staring a new wine training course to help even the best bar staff get more knowledgeable and excited about wine.
Another week another new gin brand launches onto the already-crowded market. But Palmers Dry Gin is different – this is the ‘own brand’ of Langley, a distillery that makes over 350 different gins and which David Kermode describes as the ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ of gin-making. Kermode travels to Birmingham and meets master distiller Rob Dorsett, the man charged with masterminding the blend and coming up with the USPs of this new gin brand.
Former leading restaurateur and now wine critic and publisher, Neville Blech, has decades of experience of working with, supplying and writing about wine in restaurants that he encapsulates each year in his guide, Wine Behind The Label. He has now taken all that knowledge, including reviews of over 25,000 wines, to create a new wine app – Value For Money Wines Pro – that offers every day wine drinkers the chance to assess a wine for its quality and the value for money it is being listed at in a restaurant or wine merchants.
Regardless of what type of industry you are in the challenge for any business is to be able say, or at least, claim what they are famous for. The key values, attributes or achievements your company, be it a drinks producer, distributor, retailer or restaurant have that mean your customers want to spend money or do business with you. Here leading hotelier, Geoff Andrews of WorldHotels, explains why good, genuine, relevant storytelling is vital to every one of its hotels’ success.
There must be times working for a major wine merchants when you feel you’ve left the core job you started out with well behind you and turned into all singing, dancing events organiser such are the opportunities now to get involved in sourcing and providing wine from everything from rock concerts, major sporting events, to finding the right wines for an around the world cruise. Welcome to the world of Olivia Marsh, catering and hospitality sales manager at Corney & Barrow.
So often a country’s future wine potential can be held back by misconceptions and prejudices about what wines it has produced in the past. For Hungary that can often be simply convincing buyers, both trade and consumers alike, to look beyond Tokaj. But, as Peter McCombie MW explains, if you are prepared to do so there are a whole host of styles, regions and grape varieties ideal for UK restaurants and bars.
The Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships claims to be the only one of its kind in the world which puts every type of fizz to the test. It’s also the only judging event where all wines entered are tasted blind by the same three judges. Founder Tom Stevenson and co-judges Essi Avellan MW and Dr Tom Jordan. Helping them as order of ceremonies is Champagne expert himself, Simon Stockton. Here’s his ringside account of how the judging takes place…
Andre’ Mannini, operations director for the M Restaurant Group, explains why he hopes its new ‘M-indful Days’ initiative will help its staff better manage their own stress and any potential mental health issues whilst working in what is the demanding environment of a high-end premium dining restaurant, whilst also giving them some time away from those daily pressures for the benefit of the team and their customers.
Italy is blessed with both a bewildering array of indigenous grape varieties suitable for wine production and a vast number of local climates and soil types to provide specific terroirs’, each capable of influencing the taste and quality of the wines. But should it focus more on those unique grapes or, instead go for a region, terroir-first strategy? Gordon Stuteley of GS Wines sets out the arguments for each approach as he prepares for a tasting that hopes to address that exact issue in London on July 4.