Despite the on-going war with Russia, Ukrainian winemakers are continuing to brave missile attacks and do all they can to work in their vineyards in order to make the quality wine they know have to make in order to provide for their future and ensure its winemaking sector can still prosper against all adversity. Here Victoria Makarova looks at what the current situation is for winemakers and their families and local communities and examines the new opportunities now opening up across Europe – in key markets like Estonia – for its wines.
In the run up to this month’s Furmint February tasting in London, the team from Disznókö was in town to run a portfolio tasting with a difference. As well as a journey through the varied tastes and styles produced by this famed Tokaj house, the event was a chance to pair a selection of surprising dishes with each of these fabulous wines. We sent The Buyer’s Mike Turner along to find out more.
“There are Crémants for your celebrations, easy-drinking wines for relaxed occasions and potent, structured wines for pairing with celebratory meals and, of course, there are the terroir wines sourced from Grand Cru vineyards.” That’s the diversity that Alsace can offer which the IWSC hoped to highlight in a special tasting, held in the region and co-hosted with the Comité Interprofessionnel des Vins d’Alsace (CIVA). Part of the judging team was Natasha Hughes MW who shares her highlights from the event.
Earlier this month, on Waitangi Day no less, New Zealand Wine put on its annual trade tasting at Lindley Hall in London’s Victoria. Attended by a host of UK importers and smattering of brave, well-travelled Kiwi winemakers, the tasting was an opportunity to not only try the new vintages and styles produced in these glorious islands, but also a chance to dive deep into the recent performance of New Zealand wines across the globe. We sent The Buyer’s Mike Turner along to discover more.
Always a key date in the diary, last week saw the annual portfolio tasting of Fells which was held this year at IET Savoy Place, with its tall ceilings and huge windows making it an ideal tasting venue. Ex-restaurateur and wine critic Roger Jones attended for The Buyer and picks out his many highlights from the likes of Wiston Estate, Yangarra, Chateau Musar, Famille Hugel, Guigal, Barone Ricasoli, Symington Family Wines, Familia Torres, Vasse Felix and Seifried from New Zealand.
Last night saw the results of both the People’s Choice Wine Awards and the People’s Choice Spirits Awards announced at a special awards evening held at the Revolution Bar in Manchester. The night saw producers, importers, merchants and brand owners come together for an event that rewards and highlights the best wines and spirits as chosen by both professional drinks trade judges and also regular consumers – showing they have what it takes to be a success in UK bars, restaurants and retailers. The Buyer, which has been trade media partner for the awards since it was launched, was on hand to record all the winners.
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.