Over the last two years we have seen the drinks industry come together like never before in this generation to help support and protect as many of its own during these extraordinary and difficult times. The Licensed Trade Charity is one of the central bodies that has been able to provide both financial and emotional support to those in the hospitality sector most in need. Richard Siddle talks to head of marketing, Paula Smith, about the work it does and how members of the trade, as well as suppliers, producers and brand owners can make the most of its extensive range of services.
Jim Gore and Erica Dent do not normally enjoy the limelight. They are usually quietly working away behind the scenes working with their latest group of students taking various levels of WSET exams through their respective independent wine training companies – Gore’s Global Wine Academy and Erica Dent’s Enjoy Discovering Wine. Here they explain their individual approaches to teaching wine courses and why education has become their vocation in life.
The Lisboa wine region has been compared to that of Chile and California in that it is a long, thin coastal zone with fresh wines made close to the cool Atlantic while more heavily-textured, deeper wines are made in the drier more protected inland areas. Picking a dozen of the top, most representative Lisboa wines our drinks editor Peter Dean tastes and rates them according to quality and value and assesses their potential for the on-trade.
Gonzague Lurton embodies the idea of a new generation of winemaker taking over the reins in Bordeaux. As part of the highly respected Lurton Bordeaux winemaking family he has been able to learn from his winemaker father, Lucien Lurton, and all those who went before them. But he has always had an ambition to put his own stamp on winemaking in Bordeaux, an opportunity his family’s legacy has allowed him to do at Château Durfort-Vivens, part of the 1855 classification. Here he talks to City AM’s wine columnist, Libby Zietsman-Brodie, about his own wine philosophy and goals.
Mentzendorff’s long term UK multi-channel sales and distribution approach has really come to the fore over the last 18 months as it has been able to work with its customers across the premium on and off-trade and specialist routes to market. Here Andrew Hawes, managing director of the UK business, looks back on what has been such a fast moving, turbulent time in its history, and reflects on the steps it has taken to keep one step ahead of the supply chain and sourcing issues to ensure it had the most relevant range available for its wide customer base.
The sniffing, spitting and sipping for the People’s Choice Spirits Awards judging sessions have all been done and we can now reveal the finalists for the 2022 event. Here Janet Harrison, founder of the People’s Choice Drinks Awards, explains how she is looking forward to holding the first standalone spirits awards in January, and the plans for the wine awards that are now open for entries.
Think of Ricasoli and you think of Chianti Classico. This Tuscan estate is almost synonymous with the region and the wine – being by far the largest estate in Chianti Classico and having an historical association that dates back through over 800 years of winemaking. Under the helm of the 32nd Barone Francesco Ricasoli, however, the estate has been progressing forwards in leaps and bounds with a major soil study, replanting programme and introduction of three Gran Selezione crus producing wines that are arguably the best Chiantis money can buy. Peter Dean tastes and rates the new 2018 vintage of these three wines – Roncicone, Colledilà and CeniPrimo – as well as the estate’s flagship wine, the 2018 Castello di Brolio which, for the first time ever, is being made with 100% pure Sangiovese.
The clock is ticking for those producers, importers and brand owners that want to put their wines to the test in the 2022 London Wine Competition – the only global wine awards to judge on quality, value for money and packaging and design. Entires are open for all three London Competitions for wines, beers and spirits with the chance to get a discounted fee for anyone entering by December 10. Here’s how to enter and the Top Gold Medal wines from the 2021 London Wine Competition.
“We need to break out the defibrillator on our digital skills,” is how Simon Huntington describes the need for the drinks industry, across all channels, to really take digital marketing seriously and understand it is now a vital part of how any company should now be operating. But what exactly is digital marketing and what do you need to concentrate on to get it right? Here Huntington sets out his vision for effective drinks digital marketing.
“If you think Ribera is all about power and extraction, then think again, because it absolutely is not.” So said Tim Atkin MW at the launch of his Top 100 Ribera Del Duero wines which went some way to prove why this is a region on the move and one that wine buyers would be wise to keep an eye on. Village and vineyard specific wines are becoming more common, and there is a new breed of winemaker keen on making contemporary wines that express the high altitude terroir of the region. David Kermode was our man at the Top 100 tasting and the lunch to launch the event – picking 10 of Atkin’s wines to reflect the quality and variety on show.