News in brief
Published:  09 March, 2007

Shrewsbury-based wine merchant Tanners has produced a taster case of 2006 New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. Kiwi Magic Taster Half Dozen, priced £60, includes wines from Cloudy Bay and Jackson Estate and was put together in response to the quality of the vintage.

Champagne Montaudon has designed new packaging for its range of Champagnes. The family-owned Champagne house's new designs focus on the famous red M and have been created to give the range a ­"contemporary, chic and cohesive look ". The six-strong range is available from ABS Wine Agencies.

Roberson Wine Merchant s will be holding its 1997 Best of Bordeaux 10 Years On tasting at its wine cellars on March 22 at 7pm. Twelve wines, including all five first growths, will be available to try. Tickets are £120.


Tasting Buddy will be exhibiting at the France Under One Roof tasting. The device enables attendees to download the catalogue on to their BlackBerry or mobile phone and record their tasting notes using special software. Anyone attending can register in advance for a free trial at or can visit the stand on the day to have their own device set up or borrow one. FUOR will be held at Lord's Cricket on March 14 from 10am to 5.30pm. See page 28 for the FUOR preview.

A new generation of Hungarian winemakers will be showing their wines at three tastings this month. The New Face of Hungary tastings will take place at Birmingham's Bank ­Restaurant on March 15, ­Manchester's Simply Heathcotes on March 19 and Vinoteca in London on March 21. All tastings start at 11.45am and include a tapas style lunch. Eastern European wine expert Caroline Gilby MW will lead the tasting on March 21. She said: "Hungarians are now producing wines that don't just suit the multiple grocers; they are producing wines that will compete on the shelves of an independent or specialist merchant or in good restaurants."

Five 2005 Beaujolais wines have been released by Lay & Wheeler. The buying team ha s chosen the wines from various crus across the region, including Fleurie, Juliénas and Moulin-à-Vent, and is dubbing the year a "five-star vintage". Prices range from £8.95 to £11.45 a bottle or £107.40 to £137.40 for a case.

Wine Intelligence is hosting a ­"leading thinkers " dinner to ­celebrate its fifth birthday. The event will be held at The Great Eastern Hotel in London on March 13. ­Attendance is by invitation only . E-mail

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Lifting the spirits

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
total a

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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

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