The warning signs were everywhere at last night’s London launch of new Isle of Harris Gin. Not only were the G&Ts of industrial strength but drinks consultant Douglas Blyde was at the controls to show us how to make the perfect Martini. That was before the assembled throng were then encouraged to enter a Martini-making competition. Despite how messy it got there was one thing that shone through like a lighthouse beam and it was the spectacular umami of sugar kelp – the gin’s key botanical.
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Back bars are now full of every possible type of craft beer or spirits. In many cases they are sold more on how quirky and peculiar they are than any credentials for being a quality, premium drink. Richard Siddle assesses what is it about those crafty, but quirky beers and spirits that stand out and shine, and those that are here today and gone tomorrow.
The Official #Champagne Experience Day 2017 had to compete with a number of challenging factors this year: a new venue, a busy tastings calendar, Twitter rage and figures that showed that Champagne sales to the UK, the region’s largest export market by far, were down both in value and volume. Peter Dean casts his verdict and highlights 5 things worth noting.
Laura Catena has a gift. The gift to make in-depth talk of soil microbes and rock formations captivating. She really does have a unique way of seeing the world of word. A view gleaned from her training in medicine as a doctor, a discipline that has driven her to take up the family mantle to raise the bar for Argentinian wine, and most of all understand where it has come from so it can set the right course of action for the future.
With a ‘fashion’ launch in Paris that featured Japanese rockabillies dancing to Johnny Cash and now a high profile launch at London’s Galvin at Windows, Christina Rasmussen listens to the thinking behind the launch of HeavenSake, a new Franco-Japanese luxury sake brand. Aimed squarely at the luxury market and club crowd, this sake has been developed by famed Champagne cellar master Régis Camus and Japanese sake producers Dassai and Urakasumi.
Any wine list worth its salt needs to have a good representation from New Zealand such is the UK consumer’s appetite for its wines. But it may not be as easy for buyers to get their hands on the wines they want as the rest of the world catches up with what New Zealand has to offer. David Babich of Babich Wines explains how the country’s wine producers are having to change their ways to keep up with global demand.
On a recent trip to California, blogger and wine importer Mike Turner got an insight into how the Green State has become one of the leading exponents of, what it calls, Sustainable Winegrowing. It is like Organic viticulture but it has other facets such as corporate social responsibility and renewable energy woven into the programme. Mike also learned how Barn Owl posts can reap a massive return on investment and then there was the case of Pierre the randy ram…..
Steven Spurrier and his famous Judgement of Paris certainly helped put Californian wines on the world map. But some 40 plus years later it is the work of James Hocking and the exclusively Californian wine merchants, The Vineyard Cellars, along with other Californian specialists, that ensures the modern California is being celebrated and promoted every day of the week. We caught up with Hocking to find out more about his love affair with Californian wine.
Christina Rasmussen caught up with Dermot Sugrue, the English sparkling winemaker who is, arguably, one of the most influential figures in English wine. Aside from being the winemaker of Wiston Estate Winery and Sugrue Pierre, Dermot also makes wine for many other domaines including Jenkyn Place and was the head winemaker at Nyetimber. Before a tasting of the latest vintages with full tasting notes, Dermot provides an insight into his techniques and philosophy. All of the photos were taken by Christina.