A number of leading drinks can producers have come together today to launch what they are calling their ‘Canifesto’ to urge more operators and venues across the on-trade to both welcome cans into their businesses, but champion them for the quality of drinks they now offer, how easy they are for hospitality staff to use and handle and the positive impact they have on the environment. Here we share the ‘Canifesto’ that leading brands – MOTH, Longbottom & Co, The Uncommon, TRIP and Jukes Cordialities – have come up with.
Most high-end restaurants would not even list any Proseccos in the fear of sacrificing the profit on Champagne sales. But are there opportunities for Asolo to tap into the premium Prosecco category? In a revealing account, Leona De Pasquale explains what the differences are between Asolo and other wines in the premium Prosecco category, most notably Conegliano Valdobbiadene. And examines Asolo’s potential in both premium off and on-trade.
Considering Spain is by far the biggest wine export country in the world, it should be no surprise a large proportion of its wines comes to the UK. But what are leading importers, wine merchants and buyers looking to source for their lists? Is it the traditional, classic regions that still rule the roost, or are buyers looking to tap into more modern winemaking styles and going out of their way to discover new winemakers and producers to work with? To find out, The Buyer teamed up with Wines from Spain to host its latest zoom debate with a panel made up of some of the most influential buyers in the premium UK wine market.
With none of Tyrrell’s Vat series wines produced in 2020 because of smoke taint, the importance of Tyrrell’s 2021 Vat releases has been put into keener focus. Winemaker Bruce Tyrrell was in London to launch the wines, host an intimate press lunch last Friday at Frog, Adam Handling’s Michelin star restaurant, and talk about Semillon, honest winemaking and shooting drones out of the sky.
Caroline Gilby MW has arguably been the biggest voice and influence in promoting wines and producers from Central and Eastern Europe in the UK wine market. First as a buyer and then as an esteemed wine writer, judge and commentator. She is now looking to use her expertise to champion the growing number of female winemakers that are now making their name right across the region at a special tasting in London next month. Here she explains why and what to expect.
In just 40 years Italy’s Terra Moretti group has gone from a brainwave by a construction mogul into one of Italy’s largest and most respected wine producers. Operating six wineries over three wine regions, Terra Moretti is now producing some 8.5 million bottles of wine with plaudits coming for the designs of the estates just as much as what’s in the bottle. Geoffrey Dean packed his bags and headed to Tuscany to visit Petra and Sardinia to drop in on Sella & Mosca – talk to the winemakers and get the lowdown on the wines themselves.
US so-called ‘rock artist’ Michael Godard has linked up with Alchemy Wines as he sees enormous potential in creating new designs for wine brands where he can treat the wine label as a miniature canvas to deliver real impact with a new audience. Richard Siddle talks to Alchemy Wines’ managing director David Rowldege about how the partnership came together and how he hopes it can help shake up what branded wines can look like on shelf.
As we are about to head into Fairtrade Fortnight, which runs from February 27 to March 12, Kevin Wilson, buying controller for Kingsland Drinks, assesses the opportunities for Fairtrade wine in both the mainstream and premium wine markets and the steps it is taking to work with both Fairtrade producers around the world and major retailers and operators in the UK so that together they can help promote, sell and then invest in the communities that help make them.
Like most Marlborough-based wineries, the majority of Yealands’ output is Sauvignon Blanc destined for the off-trade. But in chief winemaker Natalie Christensen the winery has a talent that is willing to experiment with the on-trade in mind. At a lunch in London’s Apricity restaurant, Christensen showed off her new range of Yealands Estate wines aimed at the premium on-trade – from single blocks and single vineyards and featuring for the first time an Albariño, a homage to her time spent making wines in Rias Baixas. Victor Smart reports.
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.
Barolo 2019 is being hailed as a ‘classic vintage’ but what exactly does that mean? And which are the wines worth looking out for from 275 new Barolo that were shown at Nebbiolo Prima, the annual tasting event held in Alba? Irish Times wine critic, John Wilson, in his first piece for The Buyer, reports from Nebbiolo Prima (which was also showing 2020 Barbaresco and Roero) and picks his favourite 15 Baroli from the event.
2023 could go down as a pivotal year in the long history of Vinexpo, and the still very short story of Wine Paris – for there is now no doubt this has come a must attend trade show for a growing number of wine producers and major wine buyers, distributors and wine merchants from across Europe and around the world. The lure of Paris, combined with a super efficient and organised wine exhibition, means Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris is ticking more boxes every year as it attracts more producers and buyers from outside France eager to do business in the country’s capital city. Richard Siddle gets feedback from producers, buyers and importers and gives his personal take on this year’s show.
On-trade specialist importers Jascots held its annual portfolio tasting in London last week to which an excited Robert Mason visited on behalf of The Buyer. Newcomer South African estates such as Spier Wine Farm and Nativo rubbed shoulders with old stalwarts such as Schloss Johannisberg, Chateau Brown and Garage Wine Co. Mason picks out the wine that shone on the day and talks to Spier’s international sales manager Pierre Nortje about the wine estate’s award-winning conservation project.
As the certificates are being printed for tomorrow’s awards ceremony for the Star Wine List of the Year UK with The Buyer we talk to two of the new category partners about why they want to be part of the competition and why the premium on-trade is so important for their brands – Guillemette de Couesnongle, marketing manager for Nyetimber and Laura Catena, managing director of Bodega Catena Zapata.
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.
You would struggle to find a more resilient and innovative business sector than the UK hospitality and on-trade industry. No matter what challenges are thrown at it, restaurants, bars, pubs and hotels find a way to not just keep trading, but push forward with new concepts, and opportunities for the drinks producers, winemakers, importers and distributors that supply them. Here Wine Business Solutions’ founder, Peter McAtamney, reveals the top line insights from its Wine On-Premise 2023 report.
One of the most exciting wine regions in the world right now is Austria – a point proven once again on the annual tasting’s triumphant return to London, the first since Covid. Austrian wine is no one trick pony – sure the Grüner Veltliner is in fine fettle – but what Justin Keay discovered at the tasting was the sheer variety and versatility of Austrian wines… from resurrected historical grape varieties through to the most contemporary-style (and approachable) natural wines.
“I have never had the chance to taste so many English Pinots side by side. There are opportunities here, and I would definitely buy some wines for my list.” That’s the kind of response you want to hear if you have decided to put on an experimental tasting and debate to assess the potential of English Pinot Noir wines. But that was the response of Medlar’s head sommelier, Melania Battiston, had to the English Pinot Noir event hosted by Marasby’s Simon Huntington. Here he explains why he wanted to host the event in the first place and what his key takeaways were.
Koshu, Japan’s signature wine grape variety, has been increasingly on the radar of the UK’s on and off trade in the past decade. These intensely aromatic wines have been improving year on year and would now sit proudly on many a wine list up and down the country. In a recent masterclass, The Buyer’s Mike Turner discovered the exciting range of Koshu now coming out of Japan and what the future holds for this iconic grape variety.
The Jura is arguably one of the least well-known French wine regions, but independent restaurant Levan in London’s Peckham – winner of Special Jury prize in 2022 Star Wine List of the Year UK with The Buyer – is blazing a trail with a list which champions this largely overlooked area of the north-east of the country. Helen Arnold talks to co-owner and founder Mark Gurney.