August can help stop overcrowding of tastings

09 August, 2007

By the time you read this, I shall be on holiday. (And in case anyone is thinking of raiding my wine collection , I've left a couple of eastern European heavies in my spare room to deter visitors.)

It looks as if most of the UK wine business will be on holiday for August, too. The WSTA's Trade Diary lists only one event for the month: a golf tournament in Harrogate.

We all need a rest, but I wonder if packing everything into September isn't a mistake (there are five important tastings I know of on the 12th and six on the 25th). In the same way that all the Burgundy tastings seem to be shoe-horned into the second week of January and half the world's winemakers come to the UK in May, September is far too crowded on the tasting circuit. Couldn't we take a leaf out of the Premiership's book and move a few events back into August? I might even come back from the south of France early to attend.

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I were to sum up alcohol sales over Christmas 2017 in one word, it would be “gin”. At Nielsen, we define the Christmas period as the 12 weeks to December 30 and in that time gin sales were £199.4 million, which means they increased by £55.4 million compared with Christmas 2016. There’s no sign the bubble is about to burst either. Growth at Christmas 2016 was £22.4 million, so gin has increased its value growth nearly two-and-a-half times in a year. The spirit added more value to
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