19 September, 2008

Couriers have us over a barrel

Like Dominic Lockyer of Fareham Cellars (OLN, Sept 5) I too am an ex-Winetrak customer, and like him I have struggled to find a courier

able to transport wine on similar terms.


that say they will not insure goods against damage or loss are effectively saying to their clients: "We might deliver your wine, but if we smash it or someone in the depot decides they would rather take it home with them, don't come crying to us."

Why should anyone do business with companies like these? For the simple reason that, as far as anyone can tell, there's nowhere else for us to go.

Lionel Smith

Orpington, Kent

One-dimensional character

Sauvignon Blanc has indeed, as Tim Atkin writes, had "greatness thrust upon it" (OLN, Sept 5). But is it actually worthy of the greatness people ascribe to it? In my humble opinion, it isn't, and there are white varieties which offer far more depth of flavour and complexity.

Sauvignon is all too often a one-dime nsional wine. Once the citrus attack has abated, there isn't much left. There are some superb wines of course, mainly from the Loire, but I'm already detecting a backlash against some of the more extreme New Zealand styles. Some of these wines border on the grotesque.

Given the chance, I'm much more interested in steering my customers towards Gruner Veltliner, Albarino,

Viognier, Riesling, Chablis, Chenin and Semillon.

Sauvignon Blanc currently sells itself, but I suspect its boom years are numbered.

Clive Mathers


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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
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