In brief

24 April, 2009

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 - mastersofwine.org -

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 lesambassadeursduchampagne.com.




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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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