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    Wine Luthier on how it creates diagrams of different wines’ taste

    We might use the same words to describe how a particular wine tastes like, but how do we know we are actually experiencing the same taste sensations when we drink that particular wine? Wine Luthier, is a new technology tool, that claims to be able to visualise the taste of any wine and help create a diagram of what that wine tastes like and then use computer science and algorithms to help winemakers, and wine buyers make wines that they scientifically know certain consumers will like based on their individual and collective taste profiles. Wine Luthier’s founder, Diego Fernández Pons, explains how it works.

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    How Frederick’s helps producers target customers and markets

    The Buyer continues its series looking at wine suppliers and importers that are finding their own added value way to introduce new wines and producers to different channels of the wine market by asking Guy Smith and Stuart Bowman-Hood to put their heads above the parapet to explain how their producer first approach works at Frederick’s Wine Company in securing key, long term, contracts with major retailers, and on-trade operators.

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    Miles MacInnes on how Jascots is bouncing back from the brink

    It’s been a rollercoaster 15 months for any drinks business, but few have been hit, pulled, stretched, and then literally brought back from the dead like Jascots Wine Merchants. A business that pre-Covid-19 had a successful business model as a 100% dedicated on-trade supplier. A strategy that was ripped up from under its feet once the pandemic struck. Managing partner, Miles MacInnes, explains in candid detail just how close it came to going to the wall, and how it has been transformed in a matter of months under the ownership of Freixenet Copestick.

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    C&C Wines: what is “London’s best kept secret” all about?

    It’s a very nice compliment to be known as the London’s “best kept secret” by some of your customers, but it also suggests you might be missing out on more business from restaurants and bars if more knew what you can do. Here Christopher and Jon Carson open up on just what it is about Carson & Carnevale that some in the trade don’t want you to know about. It could, for example, be the fact it can offer minimum six bottle orders, six days a week in London. Richard Siddle finds out the full behind the scenes story…

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    PIedmont is where Michael Palij MW first fell in love with Italy

    How Winetraders brings producers & buyers together

    Michael Palij MW has been like a caged tiger for the last year chomping at the bit to get out and visit the producers across Europe that have grown to become personal friends during their time working together through Winetraders, the wine importer and distribution business he set up in 1997. The company is most associated with Italy, and Palij is widely respected as a leading voice on the country’s wine, but, as he explains to Richard Siddle, Winetraders is now taking its footprint around the world.

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    Luca Quagliano on home delivering premium NIO Cocktails

    We have become used over the last year to have just about anything delivered to our doors. But a carefully crafted classic cocktail made by a top Italian mixologist? Well, why not thanks to the team behind NIO Cocktails that are not only pushing premium drinks through our letter box but have come up with unique packaging that makes it possible. Richard Siddle finds out how from founder Luca Quagliano

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    Beyond Wines’ Liquid Diamond Instagram friendly brand

    When Beyond Wines launched last summer they did so with the promise that they would break the mould of a typical wine supplier. A few months on and Alex Green and Matthew Johnson are living up to that pledge. They have hired a new brand manager from the fashion industry and have developed, from scratch, and launched a new wine brand, Liquid Diamond, that has been designed specifically to appeal to the Instagram generation of wine drinkers, and uses emojis as taste descriptors on the label. Richard Siddle catches up with their story.

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    Rascallion Wines & Propeller: united by new importer model

    When we started The Buyer our mission statement was all about how we could play a part in bringing producers and importers together by helping them better understand their respective needs. Well, in the case of Ross Sleet and the South African wine brand, Rascallion Wines, and Jamie Wynne-Griffiths, founder of Propeller, the new breakthrough wine supplier, The Buyer has managed inadvertently to do just that. They both read pieces about each other’s business on the site, liked what they saw, rang each other up and within a matter of weeks are now doing business together. Matchmaker Richard Siddle caught up with them.

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    Ivan Dixon: I liked Procera Gin so much…I joined the company

    In his career as a drinks buyer Ivan Dixon, be it during all the years he decided what went on the shelves at Harvey Nichols, or more recently what brands ended up as part of Enotria&Coe’s portfolio, has nosed, swilled, spat, tasted and drunk thousands of wines and spirits. In fact there is probably not one premium spirit brand on sale in the UK that has not passed across his desk at some stage in its life. So for him to agree to not just be a brand ambassador for a new spirits brand, but invest in it too means the launch of a new brand from Kenya – Procera gin – named after the country’s indigenous Juniperus Procera juniper berry, really needs some investigating.

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    Corney & Barrow’s Rebecca Palmer: demands of a wine buyer

    The fact so many of Corney & Barrow’s senior management team that have been with the business for some time has been a major plus during Covid-19 such has been the need to radically change the way it does business. Richard Siddle talks to Rebecca Palmer, associate director and head of commercial buying for the wine merchants, about what has been by far the most eventful 12 months in her 15 years with the business and how the team’s collective experience has been invaluable in first re-assessing what it needed to do and then, with all hands to the helm, go out and achieve it. It is also an opportunity for her to reflect on how her wine buying role has changed in her career and what she now sees as the key attributes and skills needed to be an effective, quality driven, but also highly commercially focused wine buyer in the UK wine industry.

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    How Bibendum helps customers escape lockdown stronger

    The best restaurants and bars don’t just pick their drinks supplier by the quality of their beers, wines and spirits. That’s a given. It is now increasingly all the extra added value support, insights and consultancy service that national suppliers in particular can provide that sets one operator apart from another. It’s where Bibendum has worked hand in hand with its customers to help them come out of lockdown in as strong a position as possible, as its senior management team explains to Richard Siddle in part two of The Buyer’s analysis of Bibendum’s lockdown performance.

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    How good customer relations are the DNA of Fine Wines Direct UK

    “We know where we have come from – and that’s serving the on-trade,” is how Nigel O’Sullivan, founder and managing director of Fine Wines Direct UK, sums up the last 12 months that has seen this almost exclusive Welsh on-trade distributor diversify into retail and e-commerce for the first time. For whatever new business it has been able to achieve, the company’s heart, soul and DNA lies in the on-trade. Here Richard Siddle catches up with O’Sullivan and sales director Bastien Martinole, to look back on 2020, but assess where Fine Wines Direct UK goes from here. 

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    Jerry Lockspeiser: on inspiring himself and others by running

    Are you reading this sitting at home, on a bank holiday, toying with the idea of going for a run, getting outside and doing some exercise, but lacking the motivation, the inspiration to do so? Well, here’s a warning for you. Read this and you will have your running shoes on before you have finished it as Jerry Lockspeiser explains why running has become so important in his life that he has co-written a book that shares the experiences of a rich tapestry of people and what running has meant to them…and their lives. Please read on…it’ll be good for you.

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    Millie Milliken on what the Drinks Community can do for you

    Covid-19 has had both a collective and individual impact on everyone working in the drinks, retail and hospitality industries. Whatever your role very few people, if any, have come out of the last 12 months unaffected by the slings and arrows that the pandemic has thrown at us. Throughout The Drinks Trust has stood firm providing front line support for those who needed it most. It has now set up The Drinks Community to act as an online support platform open to anyone in the industry to share experiences, advice and act as a networking service to help us all for the long term. The site’s community manager, Millie Milliken explains how it works.

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    Wines In India hopes to help producers break into the UK

    A new agency specialising in Indian wines – appropriately called ‘Wines in India’ – has been launched in the UK with the hope it can shine a concerted light on what is a growing and increasingly dynamic wine scene. Sumita Sarma takes a look behind the scenes and highlights the six top ranking Indian wine producers that have been brought together as part of this new exclusive range.

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    James Thomas on taking low & no to next level with Symmetry

    If you have been to South Africa then one of the most striking differences is the vast array of flowers, fauna and the distinctive fynbos that you can’t find in any country. Local drinks company Geometric Drinks hopes to capture the unique flavours, spices and aromas to be found in all that wildlife in its range of products that includes the Symmetry collection of natural botanical distillates that have been turned into three tonic essences. Here James Thomas of UK wine importer, Tiger Vines, explains why he is so pleased to be able to bring the brand to the UK.

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    CurrencyWave’s Jamie Holmes: dos and dont’s of a FX strategy

    Behind all the swilling, tasting and spitting that goes on in the wine industry, what really makes the sector tick is the size of the respective harvests in each of the main wine producing countries, combined with the exchange rate that dictates the price and value of those wines to any potential buyer around the world. It means any successful wine businesses also needs a carefully thought out foreign exchange currency strategy that keeps them ahead of the market. Here Jamie Holmes, director of CurrencyWave, that specialises in “smarter global payments” explains just what an effective currency strategy might look like.

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    The Copper Crew on creating a premium wine can brand

    We have seen many businesses emerge under the shadow of Covid-19, but few can have had the impact the team behind the new wine in a can brand, The Copper Crew, have had – particularly when you consider they have never actually been in the same room together and they have started, and established their business all through Zoom, with two of the three founders in the UK and one in South Africa. But it has not stopped their Copper Crew cans picking up awards and being chosen as some of the best cans in the market by leading national wine writers – including Jancis Robinson MW. Richard Siddle talks to the three entrepreneurs who make up The Copper Crew.

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    How Davy’s Wine Merchants is using audio to lift its wine sales

    In the last year it seems every wine producer, and their importer, has discovered Instagram Live and made it their primary way of talking to their potential consumers, but for Davy’s Wine Merchants it has turned to audio to help bring its producers closer to its customers. Davy’s marketing executive, Lawrence Francis, explains how it has been able to lift sales off the back of its new ‘Winemaker Audio Series’ and how his own experience running his ‘Interpreting Wine’ podcast has helped understand what the most effective way of using audio to sell wine is.

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    Erica Parisi

    Armit Wines’ Erica Parisi: we’re ready for on-trade’s re-launch

    Talking to Erica Parisi earlier this month was the interview equivalent of a ray of sunshine appearing from behind a dark cloud, as she shared both the thrill and anticipation of starting her new role as senior account manager at Armit Wines, but also the passion and genuine enthusiasm she has working in the wine industry. Richard Siddle tries to capture just some of her infectious excitement.   

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