The time it will take you to read this first paragraph is all it now takes to buy a loved one a special present for Christmas. The speed, reliability and ultimately convenience of shopping online now means it is quite acceptable to give even your nearest and dearest a gift that comes wrapped in cardboard through the post.
Mad Frankie Fraser, the notorious gangster who died last week, was famous for using pliers to extract his victims’ teeth under torture. One hesitates to say that the wine trade could have used the skills of a man who worked for both the Kray twins and the Richardson gang, but there are times when persuading consumers to trade up can feel like pulling molars.
On the face of it, Waitrose’s commitment to making its beer, wine and spirits departments “destinations” in their own right is a no-brainer.
Some milestones make you think. Next year will be the 30th anniversary of the founding of Cloudy Bay, one of the most successful wine brands ever, and a label that helped to launch an entire region.
Comedian and writer David Mitchell is among the more perceptive columnists for the once great Observer, so it was with interest that I read his piece on how the taste of Champagne doesn’t matter. When it comes to serving sparkling wine, he claimed, so long as it has bubbles, and says Champagne and not Cava on the label, any further qualities are immaterial.
They say you can tell a lot about someone by the company they keep. Or the sort of people they like to hang out with. The thought crossed my mind at last weekend’s Digital Wine Communications Conference. An event which attracted well over 300 delegates and speakers who were quite happy to give up their weekend to travel to the shores of Lake Geneva in Montreux, Switzerland.
The Millione wine brand is a social business started by myself, Cliff Roberson and Mike Paul. All profits are used to build primary schools in Sierra Leone. Four schools have been running successfully and the fifth is half built.
There’s been a lot of bad press lately on the subject of zero-hours contracts. The Labour party have pledged to abolish them if they win the next election. So what are zero-hours contracts exactly, why do employers use them, and how do they work in practice?
Sophia Warner of the Pebbles Projects talks about 10 years of changing lives in South Africa's winelands
As the Pebbles Project celebrates its 10th year, co-founder Sophia Warner explains how the trade has helped provide support and education to children in South Africa’s winelands and what a difference it makes.
Too often the world of high-end spirits can be a very grown-up affair, but not at Spirit Cartel, which is having great fun making a name for itself with an award-winning range of premium spirits.