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Port: Weathering the Covid storm

Published:  24 November, 2020

The UK remains at the forefront of the premium Port category, with sales of late-bottled vintage (LBV), quality white Port, aged tawnies, single vineyard and classic vintage ports, all remaining resilient through Covid. A nation of consumers stuck at home, looking to indulge, appears to have been largely positive for the quality end of UK Port sales. Built on a long-standing relationship with the UK, sales at Symington Family Estates are up 10% by value and 9% by volume compared with this time last year.

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Hard seltzers put function over form

Published:  16 November, 2020

The rise of hard seltzers in the US and, increasingly, the UK, is ushering in a new age of high functioning, health-focused drinks, which is comparable to the rise of vaping in the smoking sector. Hugh Jones weighs in.

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Champagne: Bubbling up again

Published:  07 October, 2020

Champagne houses are embracing ecommerce and direct consumer sales in a bid to beat the downturn. James Lawrence follows the fizz of this hero French region.

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Cognac raises its game

Published:  06 October, 2020

As a younger generation of drinkers becomes increasingly interested in what Cognac has to offer, Lisa Riley looks at the innovation and diversity at work within the category.

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Shakedown looms for English and Welsh spirits

Published:  06 July, 2020

A restructure could be on the cards for the English and Welsh spirits sector, as pressure from an impending recession begins to squeeze brands at either end of the price spectrum. Jo Gilbert reports

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Gin revival vs survival

Published:  29 April, 2020

The current health crisis will hit the maturing gin market hard at time when competition is at its peak with buyers rationalising ranges and it may be only the very strongest that will survive, says Jo Gilbert.

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Champagne: Weathering the storm

Published:  20 April, 2020

With little to celebrate, it’s unlikely consumers will be reaching for the Champagne any time soon, but the category has weathered storms before, says Chris Losh. 

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California export drive

Published:  16 March, 2020

Andrew Catchpole reports on the inaugural California Export conference, which drew together a host of wine experts from around the world to explore the opportunities for the Golden State. 

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Bourgogne Week to swing focus onto Régionale value from ‘dream’ vintage

Published:  06 December, 2019

The annual Bourgogne Week in London, running from 7-16 January, will see producers and negociants emphasising the value of Régionale AOC wines off the back of the generally acclaimed and big volume 2018 vintage.

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The spirits of Christmas

Published:  19 November, 2019

Christmas is no longer a single trading period, but a series of escalating moments brimming with opportunities to upsell and drive profit. Jo Gilbert looks at where spirits slide into the mix.

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Gin: Ascending the throne

Published:  14 November, 2019

It’s been on the cards for some time. Back in 2014, there were rumblings that gin was poised to overtake vodka as the UK’s spirit of choice in time for the new decade.

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Pinot Grigio - the end of the affair?

Published:  08 November, 2019

Ines Salpico reports on a strategic rethink as sales of Italy’s favourite white experiences a dramatic fall.

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Sherry and the pacemakers

Published:  28 October, 2019

Young drinkers have shunned Sherry for years, writes Andrew Catchpole. But premium styles are winning them over.

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Brandies: unleashing a spirit of adventure

Published:  04 October, 2019

Grape spirits really don’t get a fair deal in UK bars, where even Cognac and Armagnac rarely receive the shelf space or cocktail list presence their global reputations deserve. Grapes are grown and distilled in dozens of other places around the world, but those brandies are largely overlooked as well.

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Sustainability: a transatlantic conversation with California Wines

Published:  13 August, 2019

Harpers and California Wine Institute hosted an insightful and far-reaching seminar at London’s Design Museum, delivering the core message that the wine world is well-placed to better engage consumers in supporting the true costs of advancing sustainability. Andrew Catchpole reports

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Think Gin debate: Innovation vs Integrity

Published:  15 July, 2019

Gin is at a crossroads and needs to tread carefully to retain its authentic credentials. Andrew Catchpole listens in on the debate at Harpers Think Gin event. 

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March of the mixers

Published:  01 July, 2019

The premium mixers category is becoming a crowded market, but is there just too much going on in the way of flavour, asks Kate Hawkings.

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Spirited away

Published:  05 June, 2019

UK drinks have undergone a bona fide revolution in the past 10 years. It’s no coincidence that, since 2007, UK food and drink exports have increased by nearly two-thirds, with exports now worth £22.5 billion (Defra).

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Ten years of Tio Pepe En Rama

Published:  02 May, 2019

A decade ago, González Byass UK managed to shake up a moribund sherry category with Tio Pepe En Rama. Jo Gilbert dissects its success

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Risky business in Rioja

Published:  15 April, 2019

Rioja’s new single-vineyard classification signals the region’s desire to go after greater premium market share. The big question is, will it succeed? 

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