Buying smartly in Burgundy isn’t the easiest task these days but our contributing editor and chef at large, Roger Jones, thinks he’s found a real winner from Méo-Camuzet. And who would have thought that a winery based in Norfolk would be the latest addition to the Field Morris & Verdin portfolio – rubbing shoulders with the likes of Vega Sicilia, Au Bon Climat and R. Lopez de Heredia? – and not only that but really standing up to the task. For Jones’ FMV tips read on…
Whisper it gently but California has become “sexy” again for UK wine buyers. What’s more it is becoming particularly relevant for importers, distributors, merchants and sommeliers looking for something a little different, a bit more premium, but also with the bang for buck they need to make those wines work in premium restaurants, bars and hotels. Earlier this month The Buyer and the Wine Institute of California came together to hold a debate with leading buyers from across the on-trade. Here are the key highlights from this discussion.
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.
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.
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.
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 […]
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.
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.
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 […]
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.
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. […]
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.
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.
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.
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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.
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.
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?