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    Howard Ripley
    Opinion
    bacchus tasting

    Richard Bampfield MW: just what do we expect from British Bacchus?

    If you asked a 100 UK wine experts to write down one grape variety that best demonstrates what English wine can do, then you would be guaranteed a wide range of answers. Probably the most divisive and Marmite of all varieties grown in the UK is Bacchus, with seemingly as many distractors as there are admirers. To try and get to know and understand what styles of English wine Bacchus is helping to produce, Richard Bampfield MW and Laura Clay put on what they believe was the biggest Bacchus-only tasting in London last week. Here Bampfield explains how the tasting was organised and what lessons and conclusions could be drawn from all the Bacchus wines on show.

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    Insight
    Bibendum has kept the faith and loyalty of the trade and its customers and suppliers

    How C&C and Michael Saunders have put Bibendum back on track

    For all those who have been either directly, or indirectly, involved in how the C&C Group has helped transform the fortunes of Bibendum and Matthew Clark over the last year would not be surprised to hear chief executive, Stephen Glancey, describe the last 12 months as “being very intense for all involved”. But he would also be quick to point to the work done by the respective teams and, in particular, the role of the senior executives who returned to the two companies to help spearhead the turnaround. Michael Saunders at Bibendum and Steve Thompson at Matthew Clark. Here in the first of a two part analysis, Richard Siddle looks at what steps were taken to get Bibendum back on track, much to the relief of their suppliers and customers.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Zinfandel

    10 Best California Zinfandel you need to have on your buying list

    While the younger generation of sommeliers are understandably getting excited about the Californian New Wave, it is easy to overlook one of the stalwarts of the West Coast wine scene – Zinfandel. This is a grape with a much-debated and controversial past and a bad reputation as either an over-extracted fruit bomb or a sweet blush. But the good red Zinfandel continues to be made by ‘old timers’ such as Ravenswood and Ridge and more recent converts like Broc Cellars whose take on Zin weighs in at a ‘lightweight’ 12.5% ABV. Peter Dean picks out 10 California Zinfandel you should be considering for your list.

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    Suppliers
    bellavita logo

    Bellavita Expo

    Bellavita Expo Bellavita Expo is the biggest trade show promoting Mediterranean food and beverage in the UK. The new format of the show, with the collaboration of Vinitaly, opens its doors to all Mediterranean countries with Spain, Croatia and Slovenia already booked to join the show alongside Italy.  Furthermore, there will be a strong focus […]

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    Opinion Tasting: Wine
    IMG_7246 Long Read

    Did Taste Champagne sparkle? Chris Wilson presents his ‘Report Card’

    Once a staple of the tasting calendar, the Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne annual London tasting has been something of a moveable feast in recent years, as the CIVC has experimented with new locations and formats. After last year’s event at the London Wine Fair fell a bit flat, it was time to think again. Stepping into the gap, a communications guru and a new, more commercial, approach for Taste Champagne London 2019. So did it fizz? Chris Wilson went along for The Buyer to deliver his report card.

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    Opinion
    Clem Yates MW set out why private label just is so important for major wine buyers

    Buyer Rewind: How MWs play their part in commercial wine

    If you are looking forward to your summer holiday and putting your feet up for a while, then spare a thought for all the Masters of Wine students around the world who have just gone through the final series of exams for the wine industry’s equivalent of the Olympics. Only it is a lot easier to win a gold medal than it is to get the highly coveted MW letters after your name. Here we wind the clock back a year to last June when Richard Siddle analysed just what it means to be an MW in the pressurised world of the wine industry. It is one thing having the knowledge, but how good are you applying it to the hard commercial realities of doing business and buying and selling wine.

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    Suppliers
    iwsc logo square

    International Wine & Spirit Competition

    International Wine & Spirit Competition  Established in 1969, the IWSC was the first competition of its kind, set up to seek out, reward and promote the world’s best wines, spirits and liqueurs. Now in its 50th year, the IWSC’s relentless pursuit of excellence underpins every aspect of the competition today. The IWSC is set apart […]

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    People People: Producer
    Jackie Fast
Rebel Pi
2018

    REBEL Pi’s Jackie Fast: how to open up new export markets

    Business entrepreneur Jackie Fast has a strong track record on working with major brands to get their key messages across and open up new markets for their products. Particularly in her days running an international sponsorship business. She is now looking to apply those same skills to her own new brand. REBEL Pi. A premium Canadian ice wine made from Roussanne. Here she explains the steps any brand, or business, should look to take when looking to open up new markets.

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    Suppliers
    sud de france logo use

    Sud de France: Sommelier Competition

    SUD DE FRANCE SOMMELIER COMPETITION The Languedoc Roussillon vineyard is the largest producing region in the world and arguably one of the most exciting and innovative in France. over the last few years, the industry in this part of southern France has been evolving profoundly thanks to new regulations and young and dynamic wine makers. […]

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    Insight
    Central-Loire Long Read

    How well do you know the wines and wine region of Central-Loire?

    Apart from producing some of the finest wines in the world, the Loire Valley is a wine region that is hugely complex, diverse and actually quite confusing! Following the course of France’s longest river, the Loire as a wine region covers five major regions, 95 appellations with countless communes, grape varieties, styles of wines and soil types. Of all the regions Central-Loire is arguably the least clearly delineated. It is set apart from Loire Valley wines in more ways than one, includes Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé amongst its more revered seven appellations, and yet the ‘lesser ones’ fly right under the radar of most UK wine buyers even though they produce good, full-flavoured, terroir-specific wines that offer incredibly good value for money. Peter Dean visited Central-Loire and tries to make sense of this wine region that lies at the very heart of France.

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    Insight
    wbwe asia 2

    How world’s wine fairs are best placed to spot the next big thing

    Every time you think there is not enough room in the world’s wine calendar for another major event, another one pops up, usually in a new city or different part of the world. In the last couple of years alone we have seen new shows appear in Paris, New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, Singapore or Shanghai, to name just a few. But how do these exhibition organisers decide where to go? Well, it seems they need to get two things right. The size and growth opportunity within the local market, be it the host city, or country as a whole, and how attractive that region is to international producers and, therefore, potential exhibitors. So if you want to predict where the next new markets for wine are going to come from then follow where the world’s biggest wine shows are opening up new fairs, says Richard Siddle.

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    Insight
    french debate general 3

    Buyer French Debate: Rise of Crémant & other sparkling wines

    In part one of The Buyer’s debate, alongside Business France, between leading importers, merchants, restaurants and wine producers from most regions of France, we focused on the rise in and importance of organic wines. The tasting and discussion also looked at how different styles of sparkling wine are now really coming to the fore, and how Crémant, in particular, is presenting a real premium alternative, ideal for promoting and driving in the premium on-trade.

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    Jobs
    freixenet copestick robin

    Freixenet Copestick Job: Online and Hospitality manager

    Freixenet Copestick looks to expand its business with new Online and Hospitality Manager role. Freixenet Copestick Limited is the largest supplier of sparkling wine in the UK. We have recently moved into new offices in Newbury, Berkshire. The company has two of the fastest growing brands in the UK and is regarded as one of […]

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    Opinion
    Tokaji

    How Tokaji still offers such incredible value for money

    Sales of sweet wine began dipping about 20 years ago, just at the wrong time for the wines of Tokaj. This famed wine producing region of Hungary used to provide wines to grace the tables of the kings and queens of Europe, reputedly a favourite of the Sun King himself, Louis XIV. Next year will mark 100 years since the damaging Treaty of Trianon, followed by a 20th century of political strife, but the wines themselves are increasingly consistent and top class. Seeing first hand the labour, time, and effort that go into each bottle, Mike Turner believes that these wines deserve a place on wine lists across the country and current prices are a steal for such a quality product.

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    Jobs
    freixenet copestick sign

    Freixenet Copestick Job: Supply Chain Executive

    Freixenet Copestick is looking for a new Supply Chain Executive to join its growing team. Freixenet Copestick Limited is the largest supplier of sparkling wine in the UK. We have recently moved into new offices in Newbury, Berkshire. The company has two of the fastest growing brands in the UK and is regarded as one […]

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    Opinion
    Giles Cooke MW believes in Grenache so much he went and got the T-shirt

    Giles Cooke: Australia needs to re-think climate change strategy

    As Australia looks back on one of the hottest summers in its history, Giles Cooke MW says it should be a clarion call to all of the country’s wine industry to seriously wake up to the climate change challenge. Whilst he and other smaller winemakers are busy introducing more climate-friendly, robust grape varieties, like Nero d’Avolo at Thistledown Wines he set up with Alliance Wine’s Fergal Tynan MW in the Riverland, most of the major producers are burying their heads in the sands and carrying on regardless with water guzzling varieties like Chardonnay and Shiraz. The time, he says, for action and change has come.

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    Opinion
    Languedoc

    Appellations seek their own identity within Languedoc as quality rises

    The Languedoc means many things to different people. One of the world’s largest wine regions, with 23 different appellations and 19 PGIs, the Languedoc has been questioning its own identity of late. Two years ago it was changing its name to Occitanie, but that hasn’t taken root, instead some of the appellations such as Sommières are going the opposite direction and lobbying hard to remove the word Languedoc completely – in much the same way that Coteaux du Languedoc changed itself to AOC Terrasses Du Larzac, and managed to start increasing its prices. Victor Smart, travelled the region and discovered success stories and improving quality, with the Far East picking up on Languedoc’s strengths, and a heavy emphasis on more sustainable viticulture.

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    People: Producer
    El Rayo

    El Rayo targets spirits drinkers with its tequila-and-tonic

    When Peckham-based duo Tom Bishop and Jack Vereker decided to launch their new tequila El Rayo in May it was to occupy the middle ground of the market. The UK is the fifth largest importer of tequila and yet they believe the drink is either positioned as a quick way to get drunk or else so aloof as to feel unobtainable. El Rayo’s positioning is to be an alternative to gin, based on a belief that with gin market saturation will come drinkers looking for new experiences. Bettina Hepburn caught up with them to find out whether they can seriously challenge the G&T with their T&T?

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    People People: On-Trade
    gerard-basset-latest

    Gerard Basset Memorial Tribute: The Buyer looks back on his life

    Yesterday’s memorial for Gerard Basset was a fitting tribute to one of the most legendary figures in the world of wine. It was a day of great sadness, but also an outpouring of admiration, memories and tributes to one of the most respected, influential and clearly loved wine figures in the world, with over 600 people flying in from all over the world to pay their respects. He was also one of the most decorated and unique in being able to have MW, MS, MBA and even an OBE after his name. Here, in our own personal tribute, we share the interview we did with him in the late summer of 2017 that at the time marked 10 years since he and his wife, Nina, opened Hotel TerraVina. We also looked back over such a memorable life that touched and influenced so many people. Here’s to you Gerard…You’ll Never Walk Alone.

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    Insight
    london wine comp judges 19

    London Wine Competition: act now to get super early pricing

    If you are looking to enter the London Wine Competition 2020 then you can make big savings by putting your wines in now and take advantage of super early bird rates. But you will need to act quickly as the deadline for these rates runs out on June 20. The LWC is now into its third year and looks to reward wines that everyday wine drinkers can relate to as they are assessed not just on their quality, but what they look like, how much they cost, and what value they offer. Here’s how to enter the 2020 competition.

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