Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Adamas seeks partners

Published:  23 July, 2008

A new Burgundy brand, Adamas (Greek for diamond'), has been launched in the UK by recently established Beaune-based ngociant La Nouvelle Alliance (LNA).
Speaking to Harpers at the launch in London on 23 February, LNA's Franco-Scottish co-founders Manol Bouchet and Dan Connolly said that they had already secured several distribution agreements around the world and were looking for regional wholesalers with whom to work on an exclusive basis in the UK.
They have linked up with Wine Services to cover the London market and Inverarity Vaults for Fife in Scotland. Abroad, they have gained listings with Discovery Wines in Bermuda, Duty Free in Singapore and, most recently, the Swedish state monopoly.

Read more...

Letters: A question of taste

Published:  23 July, 2008

I don't know whether to laugh or cry over the news that Nicolas prints Parker points on shelf barkers in its French outlets (Harpers, Grand Jury Europen', 20 January and 3 February). No one can deny that Parker has a palate, and it ain't European, let alone French, so it is difficult to see the value added by this gesture for French consumers.

Read more...

Carmel joins Vini Italia

Published:  23 July, 2008

Carmel Winery, Israel's largest, has appointed Vini Italia as
its importer and distributor in the UK.
The two companies are setting up Carmel Winery UK, a subsidiary of Vini Italia, to distribute Carmel wines and Handcrafted Wines of Israel, a collection of Israel's boutique wineries.
Carmel is the first non-Italian member of the Vini Italia portfolio.

Read more...

Taste of Tunisia

Published:  23 July, 2008

A new company importing Tunisian wine has been set up in Manchester.
The Tunisian Wine Company will import wines from Les Vignerons de Carthage, which is based in the Mornag appellation and produces around 25,000 bottles a year.
Commercial export manager Becem Ben Cheikh told Harpers that the company was bracing itself for 2008, when the blanket ban on wine imports will be lifted in Tunisia.

Read more...

McIntosh goes to BDV

Published:  23 July, 2008

Bodegas Dinasta Vivanco in Briones, La Rioja - the project launched by the Vivanco family that encompasses two wineries, the Museum of the Culture of Wine and an international Foundation - has appointed Robert McIntosh as its representative in the UK and Ireland.
McIntosh had previously worked with Dinasta Vivanco's UK importers Bibendum Wine Ltd for three years as a trade marketer.
Dinasta Vivanco will be on Bibendum's stand at the Wines from Spain event and will be showing the 2002 Dinasta Vivanco Crianza, as well as the Reserva 1998.

Read more...

Thierry's comes out fighting

Published:  23 July, 2008

Thierry's, the single biggest UK importer of French wine, has three new brands to fight the challenge of the New World.
Peter Darbyshire, MD of Thierry's, said that the company was planning a pincer movement' against the New World, and that French wine needed to reinvent itself by using the best components of the New World to compete.
The first brand, Terra Vecchia (RRP 4.49), includes Chardonnay/Vermentino and Merlot/Nielluccio blends, both from Corsica.

Read more...

HOT: So say the critics...

Published:  23 July, 2008

+ Canteen
All the good things about the food of England's past and none of the bad. They sell Horlicks, for crying out loud' - Giles Coren, The Times
The stuff at Canteen is as true a plate of bright grub as you'll find' - AA Gill, The Sunday Times
If this is a trend - eating casual but classy British food when you feel like it - I'm all for it' -
Terry Durack, The Independent on Sunday

- ANNEX 3
Duck Confit had been cooked so long that most of the meat seemed to have given up and gone home' - Fay Maschler, The Evening Standard
You want to know about the food? Really? Baby, food is the last thing I would come here for' - Marina O'Loughlin, Metro
A white-knuckle ride through a junk shop of exuberant bad taste' - Tracey MacLeod, The Independent

Read more...

The Interview: Benjamin Furst, Co-owner, The Sussex Wine Company, Eastbourne

Published:  23 July, 2008

Where did your interest in wine come from? Does it run in the family?
Wine was present at many of our meals when we were growing up - Chteau Musar was one I remember. Mostly, though, I think my passion for wine has come through my love of food and from a friend of my father's who is wine nuts, too.

You're a Scotsman. How did you find yourself in Eastbourne?
It was a natural progression - from Oddbins in Glasgow through to specialist merchants in London, then completing my WSET Diploma. After 15 years of selling wines for other merchants, my wife Georgie and I wanted to make the jump for ourselves.
So we started looking for somewhere with potential, a growing marketplace not saturated with high-street wine names.

Read more...

Mason flavour

Published:  23 July, 2008

Chris Mason has been a man of the drinks world for more than 30 years. When he eventually decides to quit the booze-selling game, he will be drawing pensions from Pernod Ricard, Allied Domecq and Bacardi. Had it been the type of company that thought about pensions', he could have added Seagram to the list. As he says, It's only Diageo that's missing for a full set.'
As so often in the drinks trade, it very nearly didn't work out that way. Had it not been for the antisocial hours, Mason could well be appearing in the pages of Property Week or The Builder, rather than Harpers. It was rugby that saved him from the social-pariah status of his first proper job as an estate agent. I played a lot in those days,' Mason says, and, though I wasn't afraid of working long hours, I didn't want to work on Saturday afternoons. But you can't be an estate agent without working on Saturday afternoons.'

Read more...

Small regions, big story

Published:  23 July, 2008

For a wine produced by a co-op in a region little known in the UK outside of the trade and wine enthusiasts, it is quite a result: Via Bajoz's Cao brand, from the DO of Toro in Castilla y Len, sold 13,000 six-bottle cases in Tesco during a single week last month.
The main reason for this sales spike was, as always, a hard-and-fast discount that saw the retail price fall from 4.49 to 2.99 for the blend of Garnacha and Tinta de Toro (the local version of Tempranillo). A general Tesco promotion that gave a further 20% discount on any six-bottle cases coincided with the Cao promotion, meaning bulk buyers could have a bottle for as little as 2.38.
Price, however, doesn't tell the whole story. Cao's success is also about PR. As Ben Smith, who runs Bibendum's PR department, explains: I sent out a couple of bottles to
the major newspaper journalists, and the response was fantastic.

Read more...

No Spain, no gain

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Spanish tasting is once again setting up residence at London's Old Billingsgate (EC3), although there will be a new format for 2006, with both the Importers Fair and Exporters Fair taking place under the same roof. Held on 8 March and running from 9.30am to 6pm, the fair will feature the wines from 50 importers and 30 bodegas seeking representation, as well as a themed tasting area - New Wave Spanish Wines: Top 106 - and a tutored tasting led by Jancis Robinson MW entitled Cutting Edge Wines from Spain.
Members of the trade or press interested in attending should call 020 7409 0494 or e-mail celine@spearcommunications.co.uk

Read more...

In like gin

Published:  23 July, 2008

When it comes to making cocktails, vodka is a damp squib. Gin is much cooler,' insists Jamie Walker, global ambassador for Bombay Sapphire. Vodka is like alcoholic tofu,' he continues. It doesn't have any character of its own - it just takes on the flavour of the mixers.' Walker, of course, has a vested interest in slamming the UK's biggest-selling spirit, but before he teamed up with Bombay Sapphire, he consulted
on the cocktail lists for some of London's leading bars, and his frank boredom with vodka and enthusiasm for gin is a feeling that is creeping up on bartenders across the capital.

Read more...

South Africa's giant leap

Published:  23 July, 2008

A few weeks ago, Sophie Waggett of Wines of South Africa (WOSA) was more than a little worried. She was in Cape
Town and awaiting the arrival of a group of 20 on-trade buyers from the UK, most of whom she'd never met. The origins of this scenario began last year, when WOSA was forced to recognise that South African wines, while generally in growth, were seriously underperforming in the UK on-trade: only 5% market share, compared to 10% in the off-trade.

Read more...

Q&A with the Wine+ team

Published:  23 July, 2008

When and how did you come up with the idea for Wine+?
Andrew Evans: Back in 2001, I was researching visitor motives for going to the London International Wine & Spirit Fair [Evans was formerly commercial director of Brintex, LIWSF organisers; see below]. Each channel has different reasons, but what was clear with the on-trade was that the reason for going had to be compelling and relevant, because if something happened in their establishment, they would not attend. It was also clear that they had to get to and from the event quickly. It soon became obvious that there was an opportunity for a stand-alone on-trade event to satisfy this unique audience.

Read more...

The Interview: Hseyin zer, Owner, Sofra Restaurants

Published:  23 July, 2008

How did a poor boy from Turkey manage to put his stamp on the London restaurant scene?
It wasn't really planned. I came to the UK to learn English, and then I stayed because I love it here. I love the culture, the people and I love London. London is Miss World to me. As for the restaurant, I bought it for my girlfriend at the time. I didn't have any money, but the bank liked my idea and gave me a loan. One minute I was cooking my favourite foods for just myself and Linda, and the next minute we had a queue outside the door.

Read more...

Southern comfort

Published:  23 July, 2008

The good news about this year's ViniSud was that it passed off without conflict. A protest (albeit peaceful) held by winemakers in Narbonne the week before may have raised fears, but the atmosphere in Montpellier was overwhelmingly positive.
And it was fitting that the organisation with the biggest stand by far made the biggest launch of the week. As reported in Harpers in November, the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins du Languedoc (CIVL) has teamed up with its Roussillon, Vins de Pays d'Oc and Vins de Pays de Languedoc-Roussillon counterparts and decided to market all wines from the four regions as Sud de France'. While the names of the appellations will still be used in marketing campaigns, Sud de France is the umbrella term and, it is hoped, will feature on every bottle of wine. A sum of e12 million will also be given by the French government to promote agricultural products' of Languedoc-Roussillon, including wine.

Read more...

HOT: On the town

Published:  23 July, 2008

The bold and the beautiful were out in all their glory (or otherwise) at this month's launch of Dune, the latest bar and restaurant to hit Piccadilly. The invitation said to dress decadent', and although this was interpreted as smart casual' by the boring majority, there were a few daring souls who took extravagance to a new and sometimes frightening level. One such lady couldn't seem to make up her mind whether she was intended for Stringfellows or Ascot.

Read more...

Own-label Champagne

Published:  23 July, 2008

With Champagne shipments to the UK reaching 36,765,884 bottles, up 5.19% on 2004 and a record level for the third year on the trot, supermarket giants Tesco and Sainsbury's are once again squabbling about who was responsible for selling the lion's share; while in Champagne, producers are asking if the current pricing of own-label Champagne is sustainable.
In a report published in The Daily Telegraph on 28 December 2005, it was alleged that stocks of Champagne at Tesco, the biggest wine retailer, were dangerously low' for the New Year. According to the Telegraph, Tesco said it had ordered 1.5 million bottles of Champagne the week between Christmas and the New Year and had sent an emergency convoy of 25 lorries to France to collect them'.

Read more...

HOT: Ark annual at Allium

Published:  23 July, 2008

The fifth anniversary of The Ark Foundation, a charity for chefs with alcohol and drug problems, was celebrated on 22 February with an all-star chef line-up at London's Allium Restaurant. Michael Quinn MBE, former chef at The Ritz and recovered alcoholic, hosted the event.

Read more...

HOT: Tonic for old timers

Published:  23 July, 2008

Tonic cocktail bar in Edinburgh has launched a new cocktail menu that takes customers through the history of cocktails, from old classics such as the Bloody Mary, the cosmopolitan and Between the Sheets, through to creations by Tonic bartenders like Monarch of the Glen (12-year-old Glenfiddich, pressed apple, cinnamon sugar, bitters and orange zest) and the Asian Grand Master (Grand Marnier, Suntory Hibiki - Japanese whisky - pressed apple, lychee liqueur and lime leaf)

Read more...