In brief
Published:  24 April, 2009

l Champagne Philipponat has launched its first cuvée with no dosage. Non Dosé Cuvée aims to show the best expression of original fruit and natural minerality of the Champagne terroir, and is to retail at £28.50.

Majestic has introduced four new sherries, all priced £6.99 – Romate Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso and Cream. The new range is being promoted with a “buy two bottles, save £2” deal.

Berry Bros & Rudd is upbeat about the 2008 Bordeaux vintage, which sales director Simon Staples has said is a mixed bag from a quality point of view. He also said that many of the top chateaux produced poor second wines last year. “It is not a Right Bank or a Left Bank year, nor a Cabernet or Merlot vintage. It all has come down to which chateaux had the nerve and skill to let their grapes sit on the vine longer and absorb all that wonderful Indian summer sun, combined with huge attention to detail and their rigorous selection at all stages,” he said.

The Institute of Masters of Wine has launched a new website to reflect the fact that it is an increasingly global organisation representing members from different sectors of the wine industry. The site – – includes a comprehensive listing of masters of wine and their biographies.

Chilean producer Viña Ventisquero has appointed winemaker Sergio Hormazábal, who will concentrate primarily on the red wines in the company’s Queulat and Reserve ranges.

The Champagne Bureau is calling for entries to the 2009 Champagne Ambassador’s Awards, and wants to know your approach to the teaching of rosé Champagne. The competition is open to wine educators who teach in schools, clubs or associations, on a freelance basis, or by lecturing, and the winner will go on a trip to Champagne. To enter, visit

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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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