The number one Champagne brand in France, number three in the world, it has been all change at Nicolas Feuillatte in recent times, as it evolves its style and focuses its UK effort on targeting buyers. Already a huge presence in off sales, the giant growers co-operative now wants a slice of the on trade pie. Champagne lover David Kermode, aka Mr Vinosaurus, was at Somerset House for the UK launch for The Buyer.
Nebbiolo has been an integral part of the history of the Piemonte region in north west Italy ever since the Romans were picking the grapes. As part of our countdown to the second Nebbiolo Day tasting taking place in London on March 5 we talk to one of the producers taking part, Paolo Rovellotti, whose family have been making wines in the region for over 400 years. He explains why Nebbiolo is very much part of his and the region’s DNA.
When it comes to Hungarian wine February is all about celebrating Furmint and Wines of Hungary’s Furmint February promotion as the flag bearer for the country’s wine and, in particular, its journey into the UK market. But there are clearly so many more wine styles and varieties to discover. Here we talk to Hungary’s award winning and champion sommelier Szik Matyás about why he thinks Hungarian wines can be such a success on wine lists across the premium on-trade.
Despite getting some bad press for the wines being ‘samey’ Peter Dean attended a Ribera del Duero tasting and discovered a refreshingly varied set of wines. Most of the wines on show were 100% Tempranillo, had robust acidity, concentrated fruit and freshness – but the variety in different styles is huge as a result of altitude, soil (of which there are 30 types) and winemaking style.
The beauty of working in such a unique restaurant as China Tang is that it attracts everyone from A list film stars, political leaders, the Royal family, through to loyal guests of the Dorchester Hotel above it. Which, in turn, gives head of wine Igor Sotric such an open playing field on which to source and sell interesting wines from all over the world. Here he explains what wines sell best and why iconic producers such as California’s Orin Swift are as much in demand as the classic names from Bordeaux and Burgundy.
When you’ve been in business for almost two hundred years, it’s safe so say you have had to move with the times. Richmond-based Ellis Wines chose London’s Vintners’ Hall for its 2019 annual portfolio tasting, with a focus on the ‘experiential’, including ‘wine trails’ and a fusion of old world classics and newer innovations. There were more than 300 wines to try, as David Kermode, aka Mr Vinosaurus, reports for The Buyer.
With a gin garden, a beer gallery and a fine wine zone, Enotria&Coe certainly knows how to get noticed. Its 2019 portfolio tasting involved a take-over of London’s Saatchi Gallery. The Buyer’s own culture vulture Chris Wilson was there, to select his own ‘works of art’ from the wine selection, including a potential by-the-glass classic as well as assessing the overall range of one of the UK’s most important national distributors at what has become one of the benchmark trade tastings of the year.
There is so much talk and excitement amongst wine buyers, sommeliers and cutting edge importers about emerging wine regions and countries. But which ones are really suitable for the cut throat UK market? Ahead of tasting of Japanese wines in Bristol later this month, wine consultant, Sarah Abbott MW, explains the assessment process she goes through to work out how well placed a particular country is to work with and why she thinks Japanese wines and their producers are more than ready to make their mark in the UK and other key export markets around the world.
Last month we were able to take an in-depth look at just how seriously Bibendum PLB takes training, learning and development within the group, not only for its own staff, but particularly when offering added value services to its customers. Here we take a look on the other side of the fence and talk to Johanna Wimmer, head of training and development at The Ivy Collection, about the challenges it faces in training its own staff and how it works closely with Bibendum to offer specialised drinks and wine training and education.
Wanderlust Wine is looking for top, entrepreneurial talent to join this fast growing business and take a lead role in helping it to develop and promote its range into the premium on-trade.
Since it was purchased in 2014 by Domaine Faiveley, Chablis estate Billaud-Simon has not had a full crop to play with; a variety of hail and frost at the worst times imaginable had severely limited production. Thankfully 2017 was a different story and, although yields were down, it was the first decent harvest the new owners had had, the quality also exceptionally good. Erwan Faiveley was in London with winemaker Olivier Bailly to show off the wines and talk about where else he has his sights set on for extending the Faiveley empire.
Ask most wine buyers what would make their lives easier and somewhere near the top of their wish list would be able to work with fewer suppliers who could meet more of their needs. Which is very much what Famille Helfrich, the independent merchant and on-trade division of the Les Grands Chais de France group, wants to offer. It’s a message that Chris Davies and his team will be getting across to restaurant buyers, sommeliers and wine merchants at the company’s first standalone trade tasting later this month. Here he explains what else is going on at the group, including more wines from around the world and an exclusive new on-trade wine range from Calvet.
Where does Chile stand on the premium end of the market? Is there much call for these wines on top restaurant lists? Roger Jones attends the Sommelier Chile Challenge, organised by Wines of Chile, which sought to answer these questions – serving 51 wines from Chile blind alongside five ringers from other countries just to give the wines from Chile a benchmark in quality.
As we look ahead to next month’s second Nebbiolo Day tasting The Buyer will be profiling and talking to some of the key producers taking part in the event to find out how they are each working with this key grape variety that is attracting such interest around the world. We start with Franco Massolino, who with his Massolino Vigna Rionda wines is the fourth generation winemaker to make wines in the estate.
When Kim Wilson and Joy Edmondson left their established roles at one of the country’s leading wine importers they hoped to make their own mark on the UK wine industry. They did not expect that five years later they would already by shipping 1 million 9 litre cases and with a expected turnover this year of £18m. The Buyer talks to co-founders, Kim Wilson and Joy Edmondson, about how they are looking to bring producers and customers together with their multi-channel distribution strategy.
New York is often cited as one of the most exciting and dynamic markets for wines with producers the world over hoping to get their wines noticed by the city’s legion of hip sommeliers. But it is a lot less known for the wines made in New York State and it has only been recently that New York’s top restaurants have woken up to what they have on their door step and started listing them. Which makes them potentially very interesting to sommeliers and buyers in the UK looking to catch the next wave of interesting wines from the US, some of whom were able to find out for themselves in The Buyer’s latest trade debate.
Large generic tastings like Wine Australia’s annual trade tasting for 2019, have the challenge every year of taking new angles and showing something new. At this year’s event Chris Wilson found a fascinating masterclass focused on the recent studies in the variability of key grape and wine flavour compounds, and how these can impact on Australian wine styles and rationality. Could one actually sniff one’s way round a tasting? He certainly gave it his best shot…
With so much uncertainty surrounding future wine buying and sourcing there is even more pressure on buyers to pin down their wine supply for the rest of 2019, which is why bulk wine deals and an on-going move over to private label are two of the main driving forces within the UK and global wine industry. All of which will be top of the agenda at the second International Bulk Wine & Spirits Show being held in London in March. Here’s what you can expect…
As Enotria&Coe unveils its new portfolio for the year ahead at its annual showcase tasting today, we take a closer look at what the company is doing to help drive its already impressive spirits range in the second half of our interview with the business’s two new managing directors for the on-trade, Ants Rixon and Sam Thackeray. They also look at how it is preparing for Brexit and the work being done to keep on top of new wine and spirits trends for the year ahead.
Time is running out if you are looking to enter the London Wine Competition 2019, which was launched last year to reward wines that are really connecting with consumers not just through the quality of the wine, but also how they stand out on shelf, what they look, and do they offer good value for money. The final date for submissions is February 20 and here is how you can put your wines to the test.