The world of oligarchs and super yachts might sound a glamorous industry to serve, but it presents its own particular challenges as wine suppliers Ed and Jess Dunnett of Antibes-based Onshore Cellars discovered when they set up their own specialist business to bring wonderful wines from around the world to match the jet set lifestyles of the rich and sometimes famous.
Oz Clarke, wine expert and ambassador of Hungarian wine, sees a bright future for wines of Hungary on the international stage. Part of the reason, he thinks, is because young people don’t want to drink the international grape varieties their parents drink – they are returning to the type of ancient varietals that Central European countries excel in. Chris Wilson caught up with Clarke over brunch and tasted the 10 Hungarian wines he thinks you should have on your radar.
Since 2012 life for winemakers in Turkey has become increasingly difficult with the industry unable to promote or market itself. Muslim staff can refuse to taste the wine, traditional winemaking skills are hard to find and then there is the climate and the challenges of working with indigenous grape varieties. On top of that consultant winemaker Daniel O’Connell appointed a woman as one of his senior winemakers which, in itself, posed complications with a largely older, male workforce. But, as Justin Keay discovers first hand on a recent visit, many of the wines are now world class.
Is Taittinger’s Comtes de Champagne 2007 too cheap compared to the other Champagne houses’ top cuvées? Is it too understated? Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, president of the eponymous family-owned Champagne house, thinks it may well be. A billionaire told him recently that he no longer serves it because it looks like you cannot afford the best. Those in the know, however, like Victor Smart clearly know otherwise.
Where would we be without Prosecco. As the rest of the wine category is flat or in declining sales, Prosecco continues to defy the odds recording year after year of double digit growth. Yet there are many restaurants and sommeliers who actively go out of their way not to list it. Sarah Abbott MW believes they are wrong to ignore a whole category on the basis of some cheap wines, but should, instead, embrace and delight in a category that still has so much potential.
To celebrate 50 years of Napa Valley producer Trefethen Family Vineyards, Janet and Lorenzo Trefethen decided to put on a retrospective tasting in London showing predominantly Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from their first ever vintages until the present day. Chris Wilson was at the tasting and was bowled over by how important personal relationships are when it comes to ‘selling’ wine in all its different ‘guises.
Why do some wines sell better than others? Why are people willing to pay more for one wine over another? The answer may lie not in the quality of the wine or how much a person even knows about it, it will most certainly rest in how well you are selling it. Joe Fattorini explains why we all need to start using the skills of psychology, advertising and marketing if we really want to sell more and better wine.
Too often seen as an easy-going afternoon summer drink, Vinho Verde is a serious and complex wine – both red and white – that is perfect for food matching of many kinds. So says Mike Turner, who reaffirms his love with the Northern Portuguese wine a year after his Damascene moment – although he didn’t quite expect to have to put his money where his (motor) mouth is when the Vinho Verde publicity team gave him a call…
Victor Smart dines with Jeremy MacKenzie, winemaker at Isabel Estates, in the inner sanctum of Berry Bros & Rudd’s St James’s Street HQ. With a surprising lack of tales of derring-do, the extreme sport-loving MacKenzie concentrates rather on the new 2015 vintages of Isabel’s Chardonnay and Pinot Noir as well as taste back vintages that indicate where these new wines might be headed.
With so many premium Champagnes to choose from how do you pick out the ones that are right for your outlet and your customer? The level of competition is only getting harder even for Champagne Gosset, the oldest Champagne house in the region that dates back to 1584, and its UK importers, Louis Latour Agencies. Here Will Oatley, Louis Latour’s UK managing director, explains the steps it is taking to keep Gosset very much front of mind with top sommeliers and its target customers.