• Browsing Category

    Opinion

    Key influencers from inside and outside the trade

    Opinion
    older people

    Daniel Hooper: Does the UK wine industry have an old people problem?

    The older we get the more likely it is we are going to turn to a corkscrew and a bottle of wine to enjoy at the end of a day. Or at least that is what the current and previous generations have done. But what about the next generations? Are millennials and Gen Xs and Zs going to follow their parents into the wine category? The jury is well and truly out on that warn, warns Daniel Hooper, co-founder and chief creative officer at YesMore Creative, the specialist drinks marketing agency.

    CONTINUE READING
    Opinion
    kendall jenner tequila

    Is getting B Corp status a real commitment or passing fad?

    Are B Corp certifications a sign of genuine commitment to environmental and ethical causes, or are they just the latest corporate fad – an empty promise designed to draw in customers with words but not backed up by any real change? As we look to mark Earth Day 2023 that’s the challenge Dan Hooper, co-founder of the Yesmore Creative marketing agency, has for the drinks industry and the business, brands and celebrities that are now all chasing each other to get B Corp status.

    CONTINUE READING
    Opinion
    Low & No Long Read

    Drinks inventor David Gluckman: how I’d crack Low & No boom

    As the Low & No alcohol category continues to grow, drinks inventor David Gluckman – the man who was part of the team that invented Baileys – examines what is happening with Seedlip and the many new entrants to the market that have followed suit. Is the customer being ripped off? And will the bottom fall out of the market? In a fascinating insight, Gluckman thinks both are very real possibilities and suggests some complete (and rather exciting) new directions for Low & No to take. One that the giant manufacturers of soft drinks and mixers would do well to have a think about…

    CONTINUE READING
    Opinion
    star wine list winner core by clare smith

    Celebrating the 2023 Star Wine List UK Awards with The Buyer

    A quiet Monday afternoon at the end of February was transformed yesterday into a full on celebration featuring some of the UK’s top sommelier and restaurant talent who all came together at the Winemakers Club in London to relax, put their daily pressures to one side and raise their glasses and celebrate the finalists and winners in the 2023 Star Wine List of the Year UK with The Buyer. 

    CONTINUE READING
    Opinion
    london spirits judges

    Why brands should enter London Wine, Beer & Spirits Competitions

    The final countdown has started for entries into the 2023 London Wine, London Beer and London Spirits Competitions. Three separate events with a common goal. To identify, reward and then promote the wines, beers and spirits that consumers are most likely want to go out and buy. An awards programme that judges products on what they taste like, their quality, their value for money and what they look like. The winning combination for any successful drinks product. Here’s how to enter the 2023 competitions and who the drinks professionals are that are going to judge them.

    CONTINUE READING
    Opinion
    AI real vs computer

    How AI is blurring real world from a computer generated one

    When it comes to creating content, tasting notes, marketing copy and images or illustrations to be used by businesses across the drinks, retail and hospitality sectors there is a now an increasingly blurred world between what has been created by a human and what has automatically been generated by an artificial intelligence platform. There are now even AI tools out there that are specifically targeted at the wine and drinks industry and many more are expected to follow. For this month’s column Dan Hooper, co-founder of YesMore Creative, analyses just what is the future for AI in our working lives.

    CONTINUE READING
    Insight Opinion
    Venâncio da Costa Lima

    Top UK importers debate the potential for Setúbal Moscatel

    “If you go to the town of Setúbal it’s everywhere, and it’s in every thing. It’s in the soap. You name it. They know they have something special.” That’s how wine consultant and broadcaster, Joe Wadsack, explains just how important Moscatel, the fortified, sweet wine is to Portugal’s Setúbal wine region, located just south of Lisbon. In part two of our debate with leading wine importers, merchants and sommeliers on the opportunities for Setúbal in the UK we turn the spotlight on what Moscatel can potentially offer.

    CONTINUE READING
    Opinion
    women in wine

    Lisse Garnett: What does it mean to be a ‘woman in wine’?

    When wine writer Lisse Garnett was invited to address an audience of sommeliers in Argentina about what it means to be a woman in wine, she reflected on her own journey and the battles she has had to overcome and still has to face – not only from the opposite sex but from women too. In a deeply personal, and often shocking, piece Garnett asks if female solidarity moves mountains… why are we so rubbish at it?

    CONTINUE READING
    Opinion
    oldenburg mountains

    Why Oldenburg is one of South Africa’s top premium producers

    Despite its name, Oldenburg is actually one of South Africa’s new generation of wine producers having been in place from 2003, when it was taken over by Western Cape entrepreneur, Adrian Vanderspuy, who set the ground work for what has become one of the country’s fast emerging producers. Richard Siddle talks to head winemaker, Nic van Aarde, about how he is helping lead the direction of its range of premium wines that look to best reflect the stunning Banghoek Valley in Stellenbosch where the majority of its replanted vines are.

    CONTINUE READING
    Opinion
    Logistics

    How to weather the supply storm: Flint’s logistics manager

    As buying co-ordinator and logistics manager for Flint Wines, Edward Beresford-Jones knows first-hand how hard the challenges of the past three years have been. In this thoughtful opinion piece he explores where the key challenges have been, how they have arisen and then looks at possible solutions – alternative shipping methods, consolidated buying and possibly changing freight forwarders and/ or partners.

    CONTINUE READING
    Opinion
    penfolds shenzen supermarket

    Nimbility’s Ian Ford: the impact of Chinese tariffs on Australian wine

    It is two years since China imposed huge tariffs on Australian wines effectively ending what had been a boom period for Australian producers across the country. To mark the occasion Ian Ford, co-founder of Nimbility, the specialist Asian marketing, branding and trading agency, analyses just what impact the tariffs have had and says if you look hard enough there are still “abundant” volumes of Australian wine – particularly Penfolds – still on sale in China. But how can that be? Ford unravels the Australian, Chinese conundrum.

    CONTINUE READING
    Opinion
    Feteasca Neagră

    Caroline Gilby on Feteasca Neagră Romania’s flagship grape

    Feteasca Neagră has had mixed fortunes in the past but its future as Romania’s leading grape variety looks assured, argues Caroline Gilby MW. Previewing a special upcoming masterclass into the unique qualities of the grape, Gilby demonstrates how Feteasca Neagră is showing exciting quality and a sense of place as winemakers have learned how to work with it.

    CONTINUE READING
    Opinion
    beavertown cans

    Is grow-big-and-sell-fast dream still possible for craft beer?

    For every success there is in the craft beer market, there is a major multinational brewer out there watching that brand and its people very closely. The last decade has seen a number of high profile “craft” companies sell out to bigger players, or at least give them a slice of their pie, be it Brewdog, Camden Town or more recently Beavertown Brewery and its lucrative deal with Heineken. Drinks marketer, Dan Hooper, co-founder of the YesMore agency, questions whether tough trading conditions means we have seen the last of the big craft sell-offs for some time.

    CONTINUE READING
    Opinion
    chinese natural wine drinkers

    Nimbility’s Nichole Mao on natural wine’s future in China

    Go to virtually any major city in the world and there will be a thriving, if small, natural wine scene going on. But what about China? Has natural wine been able to make its mark in such a vast, fragmented country where it’s hard for even multinational wine brands to make their mark? Nichole Mao, partner at Nimbility, the Asian-based drinks brand development agency, investigates the natural wine scene in China to see what sort of grip, if any, it has taken on the still growing overall wine market.

    CONTINUE READING
    Opinion
    hofmeister lead schweiger man

    Richard Siddle and Hofmeister’s quest for quality Bavarian beer

    Some of the best and most evocative journalist stories come straight from the front line when intrepid reporters are willing to embed themselves in the military and head straight into a battle zone in order to tell it as it really is. Well, here’s a drinks journalist alternative to all that derring-do. Richard Siddle reports back from the heart of Bavaria where he has returned from a trade mission, embedded as part of the Hofmeister  team, to see for himself what the brewing heartland of Bavaria is really like and go behind the scenes at the traditional Bavarian brewery responsible for making the new revamped, multi award-winning Hofmeister Helles lager.  

    CONTINUE READING
    Opinion
    Rosé

    Liz Gabay MW: why Rosé needs to be taken more seriously

    Rosé is a wine category that is much-maligned, according to world expert Elizabeth Gabay MW, who says that even erudite critics fall into the trap of labelling it ‘sexy’ or ‘seductive’. Many buyers don’t taste but make decisions based on colour alone, while the on-trade is missing a massive opportunity by only listing one or two choices compared to a long list of reds and whites. Gabay has made it her mission to set the record straight by applying the same set of critical criteria as she would to any other wine. On the eve of the publication of her new book, which takes an unprecedented approach to the pink wine across Provence, Bandol, the Rhône valley and Languedoc-Roussillon, she opens out to The Buyer about why she is ‘still banging on about rosé’.

    CONTINUE READING
    Opinion
    edf Long Read

    Buyer Rewind: Anne Krebiehl MW on German wine’s exciting future

    For the past two decades German wine has been on a roll with the country housing one of Europe’s most vibrant, creative and progressive wine industries. And yet the wines of Germany are some of the most misunderstood on the planet. In an in-depth and wide-ranging interview German wine expert Anne Krebiehl MW explains about the full trajectory of the German wine industry – early success, then doldrums, its current state of health and its direction – and why now is the right time for re-evaluation. She explains why there is currently an unprecedented density of quality production and a new generation of winemakers who are re-defining what German wine can be in the 21st century. Grape varieties have changed as have wine styles – with grace and elegance favoured over power – all the result of a new-found, more self-confident identity that was almost obliterated by two world wars and the disastrous legal framework of the 1970s. A Buyer Rewind feature – re-posted from its 2020 ‘publication’.

    CONTINUE READING
    Opinion
    tequila main

    YesMore’s Dan Hooper: Is the US tequila boom coming to the UK?

    “UK demand for tequila has recently grown at around 8%, but even more interesting is the growth for premium (21% growth) and super-premium (13% growth) brands. A lot of brands, ambassadors and bartenders have worked hard on tequila’s image in recent years to get to this point – and it’s clearly working. But what might lead to a bigger tipping point?” That’s the question that Dan Hooper, co-founder of the YesMore drinks marketing agency, looks to answer as he examines just what it is that has made tequila both the go to drink for A list movie stars and the great drinking public.

    CONTINUE READING
    Opinion

    Mead: oldest alcoholic drink is muscling back into popularity

    In the US the growth of mead as a category is starting to resemble the craft beer market, with one of the world’s simplest and oldest alcoholic drinks diversifying into a wide range of styles. In the UK, mead is also undergoing a revolution with a new bar opening in London that aims to show the breadth and complexity of this honey-based drink by serving seven meads on draught and 20 different in can. We take a look at how mead is transforming itself with one foot in its legendary past and the other striving towards a thoroughly modern reinvention.

    CONTINUE READING
    Opinion
    couple bored

    Mangrove’s Nick Gillett on the vagaries of drinks consolidation

    “It’s no longer all about the product – this is what my customers want, this is where I’ll grow brands, be different and be proud to be a retailer; rather buyers are challenged to get a return per square metre of shelf, and with the opportunity of substantial listing fees, the choice on which brands are stocked is a pure commercial choice.” That’s just one of the consequences of what Nick Gillett, managing director of leading spirits distributor, Mangrove Global, sees as the result of increasing consolidation across the drinks industry that is allowing big drinks producers and major retailers to get bigger, but at what cost to the sector’s imagination and innovation?

    CONTINUE READING