In Brief

12 January, 2007

Rare fare

Benson Wines is holding a tutored tasting of rare red Burgundy at the Hesperia Hotel, Bridge Place, in London's Victoria on

Feb 5 at 6.45pm. The tasting includes

wines from the years 1926 to 1988. Tickets are £48 and can be reserved by calling

0208 673 4439 or by e-mailing bensonwines@connectingbusiness.com.

Call for fixed penalty review

The Association of Convenience Stores is pressing the Home Office to review the use of fixed-penalty notices two years after they were introduced. ACS spokesman Shane Brennan said there were "major concerns" about the issue of the £50 or £80 penalty notices to those caught shoplifting, because there was not enough consultation with retailers. A Home Office spokeswoman said: "We are aware of the concerns from the retail sector. As part of our annual review of the scheme we are going to look at what improvements can be made."

Sherry gets ad boost

Harveys Bristol Cream owner Beam Global has hired a new advertising and design agency to help sell the sherry to a wider market. The company's agency, Initials, will kick off an advertising campaign target ing newspapers and magazines in April . It will focus on showing different ways the drink can be served. The agency will also redesign the packaging before starting work on a TV advertising campaign for next year.

Laurent-Perrier changes

Laurent-Perrier has announced two new appointments to its sales team. As UK sales director, Steve Brandwood will be responsible for sales of Laurent-Perrier Champagnes and the agency wines of Marqués de Riscal, Trinity Hill and Thorn-Clarke to all UK trade sectors.

Benoit Gallienne has been appointed off-trade national sales manager responsible for sales of Laurent-Perrier and the agency wines to the UK national multiple and travel retail sectors. Gallienne joined Laurent-Perrier as off-trade national account manager in 2005 from a key account manager position with Oddbins Wholesale.

Change at Glenfarclas

J&G Grant has employed a new production manager at its Glenfarclas Distillery. Shane Fraser takes over from John Miller at the independently-owned and managed distillery. Fraser, who has worked at the Lochnagar and Oban distilleries, said: "Glenfarclas was one of the first distilleries I visited, shortly after I left school, and I was impressed then by the distillery, so it is an honour to now work at Glenfarclas."

Diageo cricket coup

Two Diageo brands have been announced as official sponsors of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 which takes place in the West Indies this March and April. Johnnie Walker will be the official whisky for the Asia and Caribbean regions while Jamaican beer Red Stripe will be the competition's official beer. Diageo ha s also secured pouring rights for Guinness at all official venues during the tournament.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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