Go back 10 years ago and although hundreds of thousands of litres of wine were being shipped in bulk in huge containers all around the world, in an industry worth tens of millions of pounds a year, it was not a part of the sector that you would find discussed at major international conferences, or publicly at all. Now bulk wine is fundamental to the success of the global wine industry illustrated by the stellar line-up of speakers for next year’s inaugural International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show in London.
Whether you work with Diageo or not, it’s hard not to ignore them. In fact the sheer size and scale of the world’s biggest drinks player means it has a direct influence on what drinking trends are being driven around the world. Here Richard Siddle goes back over the last five years to assess the lessons we can all learn from the steps it has taken to address the challenges and maximise the opportunities it has faced in that time.
You can tell when a winemaker stands out in their market when fellow winemakers consistently pick them out as someone they respect, admire or look to advice from. South Africa’s Chris and Andrea Mullineux certainly fall into that category. They are also a winemaking team others want to collaborate with. You can see and taste their wines for yourself at next month’s New Wave South African wine tasting on October 11.
At a lunch tasting at London’s new eatery Oystermen, Victor Smart meets Pongrácz winemaker Elunda Basson and finds out how she is trying to improve people’s perceptions of South Africa’s Méthode Cap Classiques. Basson believes that, unlike proseccos and cavas, the Cap Classiques have the ability to stand toe-to-toe with Champagne.
For the discerning wine drinker and ambitious professional wine buyer then there has only really one story in town over the last two to three years: orange wines. This is not just a fad, but with close to 50% of top on-trend restaurants now listing orange wines they need to be taken seriously. Which is why wine writer, Simon J Woolf, has written a book about the rise of orange wines, The Amber Revolution, and launched a Kickstarter campaign to get it published. Here’s how…
Christina Rasmussen visits British Columbia and discovers that Riesling’s ability to express minerality in its wines is well matched to the unique geological components of the state. The winemakers here are true pioneers with some ‘old vines’ now reaching 40 years old, with plenty of exciting experimentation.
It’s quite an achievement to get a handful of buyers to give up their time to go on a two or three day wine trip, never mind bring close to 100 from all over the world to Vienna during the first couple of weeks in September when the world wakes up from its August holidays. Richard Siddle was on hand to experience the first Vinexpo Explorer which put Austria centre stage and brought producers and buyers together to taste, but most of all do business.
Michelin Star chef Roger Jones thinks that Liberty Wines has got it right when it comes down to what it offers the UK on-trade. Jones picks out the highlights from Liberty’s 20th Autumn Portfolio tasting including eight Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio that really tickled his tastebuds, along with new wines from Blank Canvas and Cullen, amongst others.
To mark the upcoming first tasting of the Pinot Noir Alliance, a collaboration of five producers from Burgundy, Chile, California, New Zealand and Australia’s Yarra Valley, The Buyer has asked leading wine figures to share their love for Pinot Noir. Who better to start with than the man who brought Pinot Noir to the masses and novelist, Rex Pickett, who helped put Pinot Noir on the big screen with what became the now cult movie, Sideways.
Taking Intrepid at face value, Chris Wilson decided to be adventurous at this year’s WOSA tasting, seeking out the rare and unusual wines made from alternative varieties. What he found was eight exceptional wines that, because of their rarity and style, are perfect for the premium on-trade – and have either been road-tested as such in South Africa or are being marketed as such by UK importers.