A premium wine importer can have the best wine list in the land, with quality and value from all major wine producing countries, but that all fades into insignificance if its supply chain and logistics service is not equally as good – if not better. Now it’s pretty fair to say Corney & Barrow is widely respected for getting its wine range right, here associate director, Mark Baskett, explains how the business gets the delivery side of the company right in his role as supply chain manager – in charge of London and the South East, supported by Allison Few, commercial manager and associate director, based in East Kilbride, who manages the supply chain operations for the North and Scotland.
Gastronomic versatility is the name of the game when it comes to sweet Tokaji. As part of Wines of Hungary UK’s campaign to drive trade and consumer awareness about this fact, Caroline Gilby MW looks at the many diverse ways that restaurants in the UK are finding new and innovative ways to show off this sweet Hungarian wine to its best effect.
Whisper it gently but there is a wine revolution going on in Italy. A revolution that has the potential to radically change and elevate the perception of Calabria and, in particular the traditional winemaking DOC of Cirò that has recently gained DOCG status. A revolution that Andrew Johnson, managing director of premium wine importers, Woodwinters, is firmly behind as he explains in this in-depth report on why anyone interested in Italian wines needs to better understand what is happening in this exciting wine region.
In an era where the fervour for terroir-driven wines shows no signs of waning, the site-sensitive Nerello Mascalese, cultivated on the ever-changing terroir surrounding Europe’s largest active volcano, Mount Etna, continues to captivate wine enthusiasts. With its somewhat challenging pronunciation and intricate terroirs, selling Nerello Mascalese to average consumers doesn’t appear to be a straightforward task. During a recent visit to Sicily for the ‘Etna Day 2023’ event, Leona De Pasquale spoke with Maurizio Lunetta, the director of the Consorzio Tutela Vini Etna DOC, to find out how it’s done.
The scores from the IWSC’s Austrian wine jury are in with an impressive 17 gold medals, 136 silver medals and 229 bronze awarded in what was the first time the competition has travelled to Austria to do the judging as part of a wider immersion into Austrian wine. It was also the latest country to join the list of those the IWSC is now judging in situ. David Kermode, part of the judging team, takes us behind the scenes.
Côtes du Rhône winemakers were enthusing about the ‘epic’ 2023 vintage at a recent London tasting of Rhône wines. The event was an opportunity to catch up with latest trends, see how wines at named village level are a great opportunity to pick up a bargain, and to hear how the appeal of the Gigondas appellation will be enhanced by the addition of the new Gigondas Blanc category from the 2023 vintage onwards. Heather Dougherty was there for The Buyer to pick out her favourite wines plus talk to Ann Vermeersch of Le Plan-Vermeersch and Vincent Boyer of Domaine de la Bastide to catch up with the challenges they face as Rhône winemakers.
Cava is on something of a roll right now, with sales in 2022 of over 249 million bottles, equating to growth of 4.6% year-on-year. It’s also become Spain’s most internationally successful wine export with nearly 70% of production being sold outside the country. The UK is now Cava’s fourth largest export market, behind Germany, US and Belgium. Here Heather Dougherty analyses the steps the Cava region is taking to not only maintain and grow its sales but also look at how it can continue to premiumise the image of Cava and focus even more on the quality wines being produced.
Although it was a long and bumpy road getting to the Cru Bourgeois 2020 Classification, it has successfully provided wine buyers with a benchmark for accessing Bordeaux wines with great value, character and quality – not just with the wines themselves but with the techniques used to get them there in the first place. Victoria Sharples talks to Franck Bijon about the Classification and what it means for wine drinkers, looks ahead to the 2025 Classification and future plans for the Alliance des Crus Bourgeois du Médoc, of which he is president.
Like the World Cup and the Olympics you have to wait your turn for the next Wine Future to happen. But when they do they are not only must attend events – for those in the know – they also act as good benchmarks for where the global wine industry finds itself and an opportunity to step out of the cut and thrust of everyday trading to see what the sector’s current and future challenges and opportunities are. Here Richard Siddle, who has attended and taken part in all of the Wine Future events dating back to the first in 2009, gives his personal take on what we can all take away from Wine Future 2023, and the importance of looking outside our own business needs for potential solutions and how coming together to share ideas, insights and experiences is the only way for the industry as a whole to move forward.
Sweet Tokaj wines are the best known in Hungary but they are not where they need to be in the international market where an overall decline in consumption of sweet wines has offset massive, sporadic growth in some areas of the US. The Buyer’s Geoffrey Dean visited Michelin-starred Trivet restaurant in London, speaks to the key movers and shakers in the Hungarian wine scene and picks 10 wines that every wine buyer should have on their radar.
London’s Brunello 2019 tasting was an opportunity to assess just how good the latest Brunello di Montalcino vintage is and whether it compares to the classic 2016s. Justin Keay sums up the vintage as one which is approachable now but also has great potential to age, and picks 12 wines from the 46 producers that were showing wines this year. He also looks at some of the issues facing this Southern part of Tuscany and talks to event organiser Walter Speller about how the region needs to change to stay ahead of the game.
Drum roll please…The finalists have been announced in both People’s Choice Wine Awards and the People’s Choice Spirits Awards across all categories in both competitions. In what are the seventh wine and fourth spirits awards they remain the only major UK competition that involves everyday drinkers as part of the judging process. Here Janet Harrison, founder of both competitions, explains the latest developments and the stand-out features of the 2024 edition.
The UK’s top sommeliers, restaurants and on-trade wine buyers will have the chance to put themselves forward and compete in what will be the fourth edition of the Star Wine List of the Year UK with The Buyer. Entries for the 2024 event are now open ahead of the awards ceremony to be held in London on March 4. Here we look at what categories are available for this year’s awards and how to enter.
With 65 appellations, diverse terroirs and more than 6,000 winegrowers, the sheer scale of the Bordeaux region can seem overwhelming for even wine professionals to get a handle on, let alone consumers. But however famous some of its producers might be there is a collective understanding that Bordeaux has to change to keep pace with huge advances in winemaking all over the world. Here, in her first article for The Buyer, Ellie Scott assesses the big challenges facing Bordeaux and how it is looking to address them.
“It’s like having the world’s best wine, beer and spirits expert in the palm of your hand.” That’s how Kevin Miller, chief marketing officer of The Fresh Market – the award-winning premium US grocery retailer – explains how Preferabli’s AI-driven discovery and recommendation platform gives on and off-trade operators the power to create personalised experiences for their customers, including through its new GenAI. Here’s how it all works.
Argentinian wine icon, Daniel Pi, recently visited London to help launch the new vintages of the luxury Bemberg Estate Wines project. For many years the wine-making guru behind the popular wines coming out of the hugely successful Grupo Peñaflor, Pi has returned to the cellar, this time to take charge of a range of premium Argentine wines under the Bemberg Estate label. We sent The Buyer’s Mike Turner along to meet the man himself for a guided tasting through the new releases.
Such is the competition in the premium on-trade wine market that even distributors of the scale and reputation as Enotria&Coe need to be changing, adapting and moving not just with the times, but ahead of it. Which is why it is keen to push the credentials of its fine wine portfolio and the fact it has promoted Kathrine Larsen-Robert MS from her premium wine ambassador role to the head of its new fine wine division. Here she sits down with Richard Siddle to explain what her new position entails and how Enotria&Coe wants to work closely with its producers and restaurant buyers to develop a fine wine offer that allows them to sell the finest wines to as many customers around the country as possible.
Following on from the success of its ‘100kms of Diversity’ marketing campaign, Team Rioja is back. This winter, selected off-trade retailers across the UK are running Feliz Rioja to promote the variety on offer across this most famous of Spanish wine regions. The Buyer’s Mike Turner attended this month’s launch tasting to find out more about the promotion and why the wines of Rioja are perfect for this winter’s sales campaigns.
There can be no better way to mark a major anniversary for a business than being voted best in class by not just one major industry competition, but three of them. It really has been a special year for Hallgarten & Novum Wines. Not only is it celebrating its 90th birthday, it was named On-trade Supplier of the Year by the International Wine Challenge in the summer, quickly followed by becoming Drinks Business’ Drinks Company of the Year and then last month picked up the Wine Distributor of the Year at the International Wine & Spirits Competition. So what is it doing to keep itself so far ahead of its competition? Richard Siddle sits down with managing director, Andrew Bewes, and buyer and quality controller, Beverly Tabbron MW, to find out.
Woodwinters the growing, premium on and off-trade wine distributor, with offices both in Scotland and London is looking to strengthen its London office with a vacancy for a new account manager. The position is available from now and would be ideal for a wine trade professional with current sales experience, although candidates looking to move into sales within the industry for the first time would be considered.