As Albariño from Rías Baixas becomes increasingly scarce with rising demand from the UK and other key international markets, Amanda Barnes explores why Uruguay is poised to help fill the gap with its own unique style of this sought after variety . You can also find out for yourself what Uruguay has to offer at a breakthrough Uruguayan wine tasting in London on March 6. Barnes also highlights some of the key producers to keep an eye on.
In order to demonstrate how premium wines work with a range of different cuisines, Enotria&Coe has launched Cork & Fork a series of one-day immersive events where four sets of buyers rotate around four restaurants to learn more about food pairing and the wines themselves. Cork & Fork is one part of an ambitious programme of events this year that Enotria&Coe is running to help market key areas of the portfolio, particularly its Italian and Spanish producers, and to focus on producers’ shift toward lighter styles and more moderate alcohol levels. The Buyer’s Victor Smart joined the first gastronomic jaunt in London’s West End.
There will be many individuals in the drinks industry who might have lost an afternoon or two in the Groucho Club – or other similar private institutions in the heart of London. But Giles James has a very good reason for hanging out amongst the great and good of the film, media and acting worlds as he is responsible for deciding which wines they enjoy whilst they do their mixing and mingling. A role he has now able to make even more his own under the recent new ownership of the Artfarm group that is quickly making its name as one of the most influential custodians of premium drinking and dining institutions across the country. He talks to Richard Siddle about what really goes on behind the scenes at the Groucho – at least when it comes to drinking wine.
Although it is still early days for Hallgarten & Novum under the new ownership of Coterie Holdings, what was glaringly obvious at last week’s two-day portfolio tasting was how many new wine estates have been welcomed into the fold, and how many new wines were being shown for the first time. Vietti, Pelissero, Sylvain Debord and Ropiteau Frères were some of the new European producers while Leewuinkuil, Brown Brothers and Darren Rathbone’s three Australian wineries (including Yering Station) were some of the New World producers out of the 26 new agencies. The Buyer’s Peter Dean talked to the ‘new kids on the block’, tasted the wines and also highlighted some other new cuvées that caught his eye.
As we count down to the final of the Star Wine List of the Year UK with The Buyer we turn our attention to the New Zealand category and talk to Chris Stroud, market manager for Europe for New Zealand Winegrowers about why it has supported the event from its first year. He explains how important the premium on-trade is to the New Zealand wine category and how the awards can help play an important role in shining the light on the diversity and quality of New Zealand wines.
Join Wines of Hungary UK on February 27 for the sixth edition of the Furmint February trade tasting in the UK and a chance to take a deep dive into what Hungary’s most exciting white grape has to offer in all its forms: whether as a sparkling wine, a fresh, fruit-driven, or complex, age-worthy dry wine, or, of course, as one of the world’s greatest sweet wines. The event includes a sold out masterclass with Caroline Gilby MW who shares her thoughts on this ubiquitous grape variety.
French wine trade tasting, VIN 2024, returned to London earlier this month hosted as usual by Business France. Exhibitors included 39 producers seeking distribution and four importers looking to attract a host of sommeliers, retail buyers and consultants to the quality of the wines on show. We sent The Buyer’s Mike Turner along to understand why this means so much for the producers involved, and which producers really shone through on the day.
The need for all drinks businesses, particularly those of a certain size, to be putting in place appropriate and effective steps to make them more sustainable is greater than ever. But the help, support and advice to help them do so is a more tricky area, with lots of companies claiming they can help, but not a clear path forward for which routes a particular wine, beer or spirits company should take. The new Sustainability in Drinks exhibition and conference to be held in the UK in October hopes to provide some of those answers. One of its founders, Janet Harrison, explains what it hopes to achieve.
The wines of Boekenhoutskloof are some of South Africa’s finest and best value on the market. From the same team responsible for the phenomenon that is The Chocolate Block and also top-end Côte-Rôtie lookalike Porseleinberg, the Boekenhoutskloof Semillon, Syrah and two Cabernet Sauvignons from Marc Kent and his team are good when young but sensational with age – wines that once bought will be on repeat allocation. Abbie Bennington caught up with Kent at London’s Spring restaurant to hear how the spring-like conditions at harvest have helped turn in wines that are as magnificent as those made in 2015 and 2017.
No matter how good a country’s wines are and how prepared its producers are to do business in any given market, they will only succeed if busy buyers are prepared to give their time and attention to taste, analyse and potentially put some wines on their list. If that was the target of the Borsa Vini Italiani Dublin tasting then it was a great success, at least in terms of getting a large proportion of the country’s senior buyers to attend. One of Ireland’s senior and most respected wine writers, Martin Moran MW, was also there for The Buyer to assess the opportunities for the Borsa Vini producers in Ireland.