• Browsing Tag

    David Kermode
    People People: Producer
    mirabeau stephen cronk good

    Stephen Cronk: how our dream of Provence came true at Mirabeau

    Stephen Cronk’s dream to make wine in Provence took a long time to come true. Eleven years and a whole different career in telecoms passed by before eventually he, and his wife Jeany, plucked up the courage to actually make happen what they had spent over a decade craving to do. But it was a time well spent as it gave the Cronks the time, the experience and the knowledge to start and then grow what has gone on to become the global success of Mirabeau. A business based on the concept of creating a Provence wine brand that embodies the nature and viticultural values of the region, but also captures the iconic imagery and lifestyle of the south of France. As they introduce the first wine grown on their own estate – La Réserve – Stephen Cronk sits down with Richard Siddle for the first part of a two part interview on how the Cronks’ Mirabeau dream came true.

    CONTINUE READING
    People: Supplier
    Steve Daniel

    Steve Daniel thrills at discovering Greek wines beyond Santorini

    Trying to cope with the symptoms of Long COVID and the restrictions on international travel have made life tough for Steve Daniel, Hallgarten’s head of buying. In a candid interview he explains how he has managed, adding two new estates to his Greek wine portfolio, both from islands he has not sourced wine from before – Ios and Kefalonia, which the smart money predicts will be the ‘new Santorini’. So what is it about Greek wine that has continually fascinated him? From championing it back in his Oddbins days to the present, where the world has finally woken up it seems to what the country has to offer.

    CONTINUE READING
    Insight
    The debate

    The Buyer Debate 2: What is the future for Centre-Loire red wines?

    In part one of our report on The Buyer’s debate with key importers, sommeliers and retailers on the opportunities for Beaujolais white wine and Centre-Loire red wines, in partnership with Inter Beaujolais and Centre-Loire Wines, we analysed what the buyers thought specifically of Beaujolais’ less well known white wines. Here we turn the spotlight on the Centre-Loire and look at the styles, the producers, and the price points that our panel feel have the best opportunity to do well in the specialist retail and premium on-trade.

    CONTINUE READING
    Awards
    iwsc cider judges

    How IWSC launched the first 100% fermented juice awards

    Any drinks competition is only as good as the quality of products that are entered. That stands to reason. But they also need to be pushing themselves forward to truly represent the drinks being made that are of increasing interest to the consumer. Which is why the International Wine & Spirit Competition teamed up with Cider is Wine to hold its first tasting and awards judging for 100% juice, not-from-concentrate ciders, perries and fruit wines. Here Christelle Guibert, the IWSC’s chief executive officer, and Alistair Morrell, chief executive of Cider is Wine explain why they were blown away by the results.

    CONTINUE READING
    Opinion
    Biodynamics Long Read

    Mike Turner on the ‘witchcraft’ practices of biodynamics

    Biodynamic farming is being damned by a group of Italian scientists who have started a petition, claiming that the practice is witchcraft. A leading senator backing the scientists has declared (somewhat unbelievably) “we risk giving legal recognition to flat-earthers who preach magic and witchcraft.” The aim of this petition, which has surpassed a staggering 31,000 signatories, is to overturn a bill which would put biodynamic farming on the same standing as organic farming, thereby allowing biodynamic practitioners to receive state aid. So puzzled about this state of affairs was wine consultant and restaurateur Mike Turner, that he decided to delve into the matter and ask some fundamental questions about all types of farming, talk to South African winemaker of the year Johan Reyneke, and generally put some positive PR out there for biodynamic farming.

    CONTINUE READING
    People People: On-Trade
    There is nothing quite like a nice cold glass of Provence rosé to enjoy whatever kind of day you have had

    Vagabond’s Freddie Cobb on how it works with Vins de Provence

    “Rosé is the only wine where customers buy with their eyes. All rosés are customer-facing in our stores. On our Vagabond machines, the guests are able to see the different shades of pink, and there is a definite sweet spot that Provence rosés hit.” That’s the way wine buyer and winemaker, Freddie Cobb, says Vagabond Wines displays and sells Provence rosé in its bars – to great success. Here he looks at why and how Provence has not only made such a difference with rosé it now leads and drive the rest of the category. But, he stresses, Provence is also a lot more about rosé and that’s why its future is so exciting.

    CONTINUE READING
    Tasting: Wine
    Batisse lancelot 2

    David Kermode: Diverse Grower Champagnes of Les Riceys

    There is a real underdog quality to the Champagne growers of Les Riceys. Once the preferred tipple of Louis XIV, the wines in this Eastern French commune are now overshadowed by the great Champagne Houses of the North – which only serves to make them more diverse, idiosyncratic and with a point to prove. David Kermode introduces us to five producers of these Grower Champagnes: Champagne Batisse-Lancelot, Pascal Manchin, Péhu-Guiardel, Arnaud Tabourin and Vincent Philpaux, who have collectively formed an Alliance to better promote their wines to the outside world.

    CONTINUE READING
    People People: Supplier
    katherine jones main

    ThinK Wine’s Katherine Jones: how to best use influencers

    The conundrum facing many drinks brands is whether or not to use social media influencers in your marketing – and if you do, who are the most, well, influential to use for your products? It’s not a problem, however, for Katherine Jones. Not only does she run her own successful influencer marketing business – generating over £20m in sales for brands in only four years – she is using her influencers to help promote her new low sugar, vegan Prosecco brand, ThinK Wine, as she explains to Richard Siddle.

    CONTINUE READING
    Tasting: Wine
    IMG_8761

    How Wine Australia helped make Riesling flavour of the month

    Wine Australia has used its Connect website to focus on Riesling throughout the month of July. Our contributing editor, chef and New World wine specialist, Roger Jones, tastes his way through six top Clare Valley Rieslings, with food-pairing suggestions for each. He also explains the thinking behind a new series of videos made for Wine Australia that showcases the versatility of Australian Riesling, especially when it comes to matching them with food.

    CONTINUE READING
    Insight
    buyers table main

    Buyer Debate on Beaujolais whites & Centre-Loire reds

    If you were looking to hold a buyers’ debate and tasting of Beaujolais and Centre-Loire wines your immediate assumption would be looking at red wines for Beaujolais and whites for the Centre-Loire. Not this time round. For both regions are also producing a diverse range of quality wines that you would not normally associate coming from those appellations. To help explore and assess just what sort of white wines are being made in Beaujolais and red wines in the Centre-Loire, The Buyer teamed up with Inter Beaujolais and Centre-Loire Wines to bring together a leading panel of buyers, wine importers, sommeliers and restaurateurs to taste a selection of wines and then analyse just how suited they might be for different channels of the UK market in our “The Secret Gems of Beaujolais & Centre-Loire debate’. In part one of our report we explore what the two regions can offer for reds and whites and then delve more deeply into diversity and quality of Beaujolais white wines. Part two of our analysis, later in the week, will focus on the red wines from the Centre-Loire.

    CONTINUE READING
    Tasting: Wine
    Roussillon

    Justin Keay: why Roussillon wines deserve more prominence

    The Roussillon region of South West France, is a vinous treasure trove with many exciting wines to discover, argues Justin Keay. As a region it was only officially uncoupled from the Languedoc five years ago, and its identity as a producer of quality table wine has only really taken place in the past 20 years. But its roots as North Catalonia, with its rich historical and cultural past run much deeper. So too do the wide variety of winemaking styles, benefitting as they do from a patchwork of micro-terroirs and a multitude of different soil types. At a press and trade tasting, Keay explores the wines of 12 different producers and recommends which wines need to be on your radar.

    CONTINUE READING
    Conference
    Steve Ingham from Michael Page recruitment will be sharing his insights on how businesses can get the most out of their talent

    One Step Beyond: Steve Ingham on putting people 1st in business

    Ask any business leader what the most important aspect of their company is to get right and ‘our people’ will often be first or very high on their agenda. Yet the attrition rates for staff continue to go up and the reality is somewhat different on a day-to-day basis. How companies can really put their people first will be a key aspect of next week’s One Step Beyond webinar, co-hosted by The Buyer and Sophie Jump, as we hear directly from Steve Ingham, chief executive of PageGroup one of the biggest and most respected recruitment consultancies in the world.

    CONTINUE READING
    Tasting: Wine
    Hors Catégorie

    Peter Dean on Hors Catégorie cycling & winemaking

    With the Tour de France riders passing over the Hors Catégorie climb of Mount Ventoux this week, our drinks editor and cycling nut Peter Dean looks at the psychology of why you would willingly cycle up a mountain that is ‘beyond category’ and why Castelnau has chosen this as the concept for its top Champagne. C.M. 1993 – as it is called – is the third in an adventurous series of prestige cuvées that is inspired by cycling to the highest level, and allowing the winemaker to break all the rules.

    CONTINUE READING
    People People: Supplier
    distill ventures diversity scheme Long Read

    Distill Ventures backs D&I with $5m entrepreneurs funding

    To help increase diversity within the drinks industry, Distill Ventures, the brand development and start up investment arm of Diageo, is launching what it is calling a new ‘Pre-Accelerator Programme’ dedicated to early stage founders from underrepresented groups that often are overlooked for corporate funding and private investment. It is pledging to invest $5 million in drinks entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds over the next 12 months. Here Distill Ventures’ portfolio director, Ara Carvallo, explains how the scheme is going to work and how it is part of its overall commitment to drive diversity and inclusion.

    CONTINUE READING
    Opinion
    Dr Janice Wang Qian

    How restaurants can up profits by applying neuroscience to lists

    Offering customers exactly what they want is a key aim of everyone in hospitality. But, in order to achieve that, we need to understand more fully how the brain works in its connection to the perception of flavour and eating behaviour argues Dr Qian Janice Wang who uses wine as the medium through which to study the human mind. Restaurateur, wine consultant and importer, Mike Turner, had an audience with Janice at the Somms’ Edition of the Spanish Wine Academy initiative operated by Ramon Bilbao. Here he learnt why people will pay more if they eat with heavier cutlery and why even the most hardened wine critic can still be fooled by fake rosé.

    CONTINUE READING
    Tasting: Wine
    Accolade Fine Wines

    Roger Jones on Accolade’s new prestige wine portfolio

    The flagship wines from House of Arras, Houghton, Grant Burge, St Hallett and Hardys made up the tantalising selection of prestige wines from Accolade Fine Wines, that were showcased at its second Pre-Release Introduction tasting. Part of Accolade’s Global Vintage Release Programme for 2021, the tasting allows key buyers and selected press to assess and confirm their allocation ahead of the release of the wines later in the year. Roger Jones, our retired Michelin Star Chef and Aussie wine lover tastes through the full portfolio.

    CONTINUE READING
    Insight
    were open

    One Step Beyond Webinar July 12: The post-pandemic consumer

    We might have had our fill of 90 minute events come the end of the Euro 2020 football champions next month, but here’s news of an alternative way of spending 90 minutes with the second One Step Beyond webinar, co-hosted by The Buyer and Sophie Jump, to be held on July 12 that will once again share the insights and expertise of leading figures in consumer behaviour, technology and innovation, both in and outside the drinks, retail and hospitality sector. Here’s what to expect from those 90 minutes.

    CONTINUE READING
    People
    amanda barnes book image Long Read

    Amanda Barnes captures South American wines in her new book

    “The South America Wine Guide is the culmination of my decade or so living there and is the sort of book I would have loved to have had when I arrived.” This is how Amanda Barnes describes her new book that encapsulates all her experiences of living and working in a continent where she has seen huge advances in winemaking, not just in the main Argentine and Chilean wine producing countries, but across the continent and into Peru, Bolivia and beyond. Here she shares a few of those experiences and how she went about creating a book that is already being seen as the definitive guide for South America.

    CONTINUE READING
    Tasting: Wine
    lanchester trinchero napa cellars

    California’s Somm Session with Trinchero & Napa Cellars

    It’s not just the excuse to transport yourself to the iconic world of Californian wine that has made the California Wine Institute Somm Sessions such a success over the long months of lockdowns, it has been the consistent high quality of the wines, winemakers, producers and sommeliers involved in the events. The recent Trinchero Family Estates tasting, in association with Lanchester Wines, was a case in point. The chance, as David Kermode explains, to see just how far Californian wines have come in recent years and why sommeliers are increasingly turning to them as ideal gastronomic wines.

    CONTINUE READING
    Tasting: Wine
    Tastin' France French Rosé & French Organic

    The pick of the wines from ‘Tastin’ France: Rosé & Organic’

    Picking top 10 wine lists is never an easy task, especially when there are 146 wines to taste from 25 producers at an event covering Provence, Champagne, Beaujolais, Languedoc, Rhône and the South West. But that was the brief for Justin Keay who went to discover new Organic wines from France and new Rosés at ‘Tastin’ France French Rosé & French Organic’ – the latest tasting organised by Business France, an organisation that showcases solid, often family-based wine producers with a good following at home but lacking name recognition abroad and wanting to grow their market. There were many new grape varieties that even Keay hadn’t tried before, unexpected blends and cuvées that were delightful ‘curve balls’.

    CONTINUE READING