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    Justin Keay
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    How Vintner hopes to make buying wine online as easy as possible

    On the face of it there is not a massive difference between the new Vintner and old The Vintner business. Other than losing a ‘the’ along the way. But scratch below the surface and it is actually an entirely different company that has been transformed from a traditional on and off-trade wine supplier, to a full blown business to consumer e-commerce operator. Richard Siddle sits down with Julia Beran and Hamish Kirwan, who have made the move possible, about their plans to make wine easy for consumers to buy online.

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    Opinion
    Dirty Dozen tasting

    Dirty Dozen the sequel: one of the must-attend tastings returns

    The Dirty Dozen are twelve small, specialist importers who see themselves as complementary to one another and not competition in what they offer the trade. It has been two years since we last saw Astrum, Carte Blanche, Clark Foyster, FortyFive10, H2Vin, Howard Ripley, Maltby & Greek, Swig, Wine Treasury, Ucopia and Yapp all together under one roof but here they were, back for another tasting of epic proportions. David Kermode, aka Mr Vinosaurus, was our man with the tasting glass.

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    Tasting: Spirit
    St-Rémy

    Tasting the new St-Rémy: finished in Sauternes and dark rum casks

    Brandy finished in casks that have contained Sauternes and also dark Barbados rum, are the two latest additions to St-Rémy’s Cask Finish Collection which is an attempt to court the younger spirits drinker, but also to allow master blender Cécile Roudaut the opportunity to be creative and just a little daring, writes Victor Smart. So how do they taste and what do you pair them with?

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    People
    Spicy aubergine is a great partner for Pinot Gris

    Raul Diaz’s Food & Wine Recipes: Pinot Gris and spiced aubergines

    If your mind is turning to Friday night and the weekend ahead well here’s some food and wine inspiration for you from Raul Diaz and his monthly wine and food recipe on The Buyer. This month he is turning his attention to Pinot Gris, this increasingly popular planted grape variety that Diaz believes is ideal for food pairing thanks to its “amazing honeyed personality with lush fruits and spicy accents”. HIs perfect choice to pair with Pinot Gris is a plate of spiced aubergine. Here’s how to pull it together.

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    Awards
    Screenshot 2021-10-14 at 09.20.53

    Entry countdown for standalone People’s Choice Spirits Awards

    The clock is ticking down for entries into what will be the first standalone People’s Choice Spirits Awards that is being run as an event its own right for the 2022 awards. Here Janet Harrison, founder of the People’s Choice Drinks Awards, explains the latest developments with both the spirits and wine competitions and the introduction of a new Independent Bar awards in partnership with Master of Malt.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Spanish Garnacha Long Read

    Spanish Wine Academy taps into the buzz around Spanish Garnacha

    For a variety of reasons Grenache has had a reputation of being a grape that’s only good as a blending partner – on its own it has traditionally been seen as a grape that makes high alcohol, structureless, fruit-forward wines, prone to oxidation. But how times have changed. Single-varietal Grenache could not be more on-trend as winemakers across the world use modern, more sympathetic winemaking styles that best suit the grape. A masterclass from the Spanish Wine Academy earlier this year, that focused on Spanish Garnacha, predicted even greater popularity for this category and to prove the point sampled seven very different styles of how winemakers in Spain are approaching the grape. Peter Dean reports.

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    People People: Producer
    brixton gin couple

    Andrew Murray-Watson on what makes Brixton Gin different

    “Brixton is a million things to a million people. That’s what makes it special.” So says Andrew Murray-Watson and Calandra Smith, the partners and team behind Brixton’s very own gin brand. Appropriately named Brixton Gin. It is also a brave call to be the ones to try and encapsulate all that Brixton stands for in your own gin brand. But Murray-Watson is as well placed as anyone to give it a go having lived in Brixton since 2004 and started his own deli and drinks shop, Guzzl, in 2017. Here he talks to Richard Siddle about what why he thinks Brixton Gin truly captures the spirit of this unique part of London.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Hatch Mansfield

    David Kermode sent to the Tower for Hatch Mansfield tasting

    Hatch Mansfield chairman Patrick McGrath MW describes the present challenges facing the drinks industry as a ‘shit show’. With stock stuck in ports all around the world, the climate affecting yields and more, it was impressive that the importer’s autumn showcase was a well-tempered affair full of blisteringly good wines. Held at the Tower of London, David Kermode, aka Mr Vinosaurus also managed to keep his cool at the tasting and picks a Top 10 of wines that really turned his head.

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    Tasting: Wine
    Cloudy Bay 2021

    How Cloudy Bay 2021 stacks up in its new era of winemaking

    Another year another new vintage – Cloudy Bay 2021 was launched in the UK yesterday, sadly by Zoom again, with technical director Jim White stepping in for winemaker Daniel Sorrell who has handled the previous run of releases. With newly-appointed senior winemaker Nikolai St George joining last September from 2021’s New Zealand winery of the year, Giesen Wines, there are clearly changes underway. How much of that is down to the new hierarchy is too soon to tell but White does reveal that Te Koko is undergoing an overhaul and the style of Cloudy Bay 2021 is different to the 2020. There is also the considerable issues of a 30% drop in yield and getting the wine onto a ship – anytime, anywhere would be nice. Peter Dean reports.

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