You know you are in the heart of winter when your mind turns to pulling together a nice, hearty meat pie, so for all you pie lovers out there here is a treat for you – a new pie recipe that comes all the way from Chile. That’s thanks to Chilean Raul Diaz who continues his monthly food and wine pairings with his take on a classic Chilean dish – the Pastel de Choclo. Otherwise known as corn pie. A pie that Diaz believes is the perfect accompaniment to a quality Cabernet Sauvignon.
Today’s spotlight in the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships turns to its National Champion award winners that picks out the best wine out of all those entered in any particular country. It is the award that producers looking for local bragging rights want to win and identifies those players that are leading the way in their respective countries. The CSWWC is announcing different sets of results each day this week in partnership with The Buyer.
When Italian wine ‘Bible’ Gambero Rosso announced Gianni Doglia as its winemaker of the year for 2022, there were many in the wine trade who were delighted that this visionary winemaker from Piemonte was finally getting the critical acclaim he has deserved. Doglia’s wines, including the game-changing Moscato D’Asti Casa Di Bianca, have won the prestigious Tre Bicchieri awards in the past, but being made Italy’s winemaker of the year also takes into account his commitment to sustainability as both a founding member of The Green Experience and as a follower of Italy’s SQNPI protocol. For wine expert Mike Turner it was an added bonus – Doglia was the person who converted him from drinking ‘snakebite’ into appreciating great wine, and is now a personal friend.
The Regional Champion awards in the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships have been given to the best performing sparkling wine and Champagnes in four of the world’s leading wine producing countries: the United States; Spain; France; and Italy. They are the latest awards to be presented as part of the week long celebrations by the CSWWC team and follow the Best in Class medals announced on Monday, writes Richard Siddle
Judging for the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships is a little bit more committed than turning up for a day shift of tasting. It involves taking four lead judges, a reserve judge and a full administration, logistics and PR support team to Champneys in Kent and going into a strict isolation for two full weeks. There are concessions, however, with full access to the health and spa treatments and heated outside pool. Here Roger Jones, ambassador for CSWWC and reserve judge for 2021 awards, takes us behind the scenes to share what it is like being in a 14-day bubble for judges.
It’s been two years since the Alliance of Crus Bourgeois du Médoc has staged a tasting event, last week’s London tasting being the first anywhere since Covid. In that time it has implemented a new 3-tier quality classification, got Latour’s ex assistant winemaker as its new president, and is set to host Good Wines Only, a tasting-music festival with 6,000 Parisians invited – to help prove that Bordeaux can be fun as well as simply traditional.
Tim Adams is not the only Australian wine producer to be chomping at the bit. Stuck in Australia, unable to travel for months on end, but keener than ever to do business and open up new markets around the world. He is particularly keen to widen his existing business in the UK, a market he loves and knows well, particularly for the new Mr. Mick wine brand that has done so well in Australia and other key export markets around the world. Here he is joined by his business development director, Andrew De Zolt, as they talk about their international plans and in particular the opportunities for its Mr. Mick brand.
The London Competitions have been designed to only reward those drinks brands that show they truly understand their target customers, and the price category they are operating in. It’s why the separate London Wine, London Beer and London Spirits Competitions have been set up to assess products in three key ways: their quality; their value for money; and their packaging and design. Here’s how you can take part in the 2022 awards.
The Buyer has once again teamed up with the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships – the only global event dedicated to the two categories – to announce the winners for the 2021 event. Throughout the week we will be revealing the different medal and trophy winners starting today with the Best in Class certificates that represent the stand out Gold medal winning entries in their category. Over the course of the next few days we will also be announcing Regional Trophy winners, National Trophy awards and World Champion and Special Trophy winners.
Mirabeau Gin started with a Eureka moment in a car park after de-alcoholising a low abv rosé, and it has gone on to become one of the fastest-growing premium gins on the planet. Now the focus is on expanding into the premium on-trade with ex-Seedlip COO Emma Wykes leading the charge. Co-owner, Stephen Cronk, explains how his Provence-based rosé winery has managed to find a gap in the market and why the world actually does need another gin… just don’t call it ‘pink’ OK.
Last week’s sherry extravaganza Copa Jerez 2021 culminated in the final of the international sherry-pairing competition, with Belgium’s chef/ sommelier duo from Paul de Pierre winning the coveted top prize. The standard and inventiveness of this ninth edition of the biannual event was staggering, writes David Kermode, who also attended the event’s conference on key future developments in the world of sherry, visited estates, gala dinners and tasted… well, quite a lot of sherry actually.
Despite the part Covid-19 lockdown in Amsterdam, wine buyers and producers from around the world will be chomping at the bit to get back to doing business face to face – albeit behind a protective mask – next week at the World Bulk Wine Exhibition. None more so than Mark Roberts, director of sales at Lanchester Wines and Andrew Porton, co-founder of The Wine Fusion, who will also be taking part in the extensive conference programme. Here they examine the pressures, challenges and opportunities facing buyers looking to source wines for 2022.
Part One of our special Campania report covered the thoughts of leading importers, merchants and sommeliers on the wines of southern Italy in general, and then specifically the white and red wines of Campania and why they are so different. Here we focus specifically in on the range of wines from our debate partners and independent local producer, Donna Elvira Wines, to highlight what our buyers think of the potential of Greco, Fiano, Falanghina, and Aglianico .
When a former Michelin Star chef weeps with joy over a sparkling wine lunch he is served, and when he is also a Champagne and sparkling wine judge, then you know you have to sit up and take notice. Such was the case with Roger Jones and Ca’ del Bosco Cuvée Prestige Edizione 44, which was launched over a 3 Michelin Star lunch from Helene Darroze at The Connaught. Not only was this new release of the legendary Franciacorta on song, but so were two older vintages, a late disgorged version plus the unexpected delights of a premium, still 2016 Ca’ del Bosco Chardonnay and a Bordeaux blend red called Maurizio Zanella 2018, after the estate’s charismatic owner, who hosted this extraordinary event.
“We are all united by our stories and change can only happen when we are aware of the efforts of others and see women in leadership roles.” Those are the words of Deborah Brenner, who has more than lived up to this pledge with the work she has done founding Women of the Vine & Spirits which has gone on to become a global platform and networking organisation to promote and drive better diversity and inclusion in the wine, beer and spirits industry. Here she explains how a book she wrote 15 years ago championing greater diversity and inclusion is just as relevant and important today.
Cairanne and Lirac, like Ventoux, are two appellations in the Rhône that are getting recognised for the increasing quality of their wines and the value for money they afford, compared to their more illustrious neighbours. In order to sample some of the best Cairanne and Lirac wines available in the UK, and to prove how they work with food and younger drinkers, Helena Nicklin of the Three Drinkers was enlisted to give them a spotlight at London’s trendy Gods Own Junkyard. Victor Smart reports.
Campania may not have the profile and prestige as other wine regions in Italy but it can match, if not better, many of them when it comes to packing a punch in terms of wine, food and tourist appeal. For this stretch of south west Italy is famous for its stunning Amalfi coastline, bursting with pride for its amazing cuisine, and the beating heart of Naples that encapsulates the excitement of the region. But how well known are its wines amongst leading UK wine buyers? To find out The Buyer teamed up with local and fiercely independent wine producer, Donna Elvira Wines, to invite a panel of leading wine buyers, importers, wine merchants and sommeliers to talk through the region’s potential and taste wines that hopefully capture what Campania is all about.
Top Bordeaux oenologist Hubert de Boüard was in London with daughter Coralie to demonstrate how far the wines of their Lalande de Pomerol project, Château La Fleur de Boüard, have come over the past couple of decades. The region has always been one of Bordeaux’s best-kept secrets, offering wines that can compete on the world stage at substantially less money that its illustrious neighbours Saint-Émilion and Pomerol. Peter Dean tasted two flights of flagship wine La Fleur de Boüard and Le Plus, and wondered if these could be the wines that could finally explain Bordeaux to a generation of younger drinkers?
The Craft Drink Co does what it says on the tin. A business set up to help promote and sell craft drinks, primarily across the west, south and central England. Founded by Richard Chamberlain it now has around 160 craft drinks products in its portfolio across all the major drinks categories, from soft drinks, beers, ciders, wines, to spirits, and is looking to widen its net into the north of the country. Here he talks to Richard Siddle about what makes one craft drink stand out from another.
With nine DOCs, each with their own unique climate and soil conditions, it is important to taste across a wide range of wines from Lisboa in order to fully understand its potential in the UK. Which is why in Part 2 of The Buyer report, in partnership with CVR Lisboa, we share the insights from our sommelier and importer panel as they taste and discuss wines that demonstrate the diversity of what Lisboa can offer and how it is using both international and indigenous grape varieties in an increasing number of blends.