USA – Wine buyers can now buy wine from vending machines

August 2, 2012

Wine Buyers in the USA can now access bottles of wine from a vending machine that checks the drivers licence, photo and submits you to a breath test. Read full article HERE

Government to allow smaller drinks measures

The move will allow bars and restaurants the flexibility to offer sample measures of wine to their customers. Previously, wine could only be sold in measures of 125ml, 175ml and multiples of those measures.

Wine merchants wanting customers to pay for wine samples in smaller measures could only do so if they could persuade their local authority that they were running tasting events. This meant that shops like Decanter award-winning The Sampler in Islington, north London, which uses Enomatic machines to dispense samples as small as 10ml of a range of fine and ultra-fine wines, had complex hurdles to surmount to stay within the law. Selfridges, with its Wonder Bar, faced the same difficulties.

Following intense lobbying by the wine trade, the National Measures Office included the proposal in the Consultation on specified quantities – non pre-packages and food information, in October last year. Welcoming a move they had ‘long been arguing for’, Jeremy Beadles, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association said, ‘This flexibility will give consumers the chance to sample small measures of the huge variety of wines out there, letting them broaden their knowledge and taste everything from the finest and rarest to the most innovative and experimental.’

Jamie Hutchinson, managing director of The Sampler, said he was ‘thrilled’ by the news. ‘It lessens the bureaucracy, it allows us to combine more food-related events with wine, and it enables us to be more creative about how and where we expand.’

Selfridges sommelier Dawn Davies said they were ‘delighted’ to see the government’s decision.
‘Since the Wonder Bar opened in 2007, Selfridges has led a lobby to support the sip, a tasting size of wine. ‘We believe it helps educate shoppers in the wonderful world of wine. We are looking forward to reintroducing the sip when this regulation becomes law.

NB. The proposed changes to the legislation have now been delayed until OCT 2010 – JL july 2010

Latest Wine Industry News and views English Sparkling Beats Top Champagne at Decanter Awards

September 2, 2010

East Sussex winery Ridgeview took the top sparkling wine trophy at last night’s Decanter World Wine Awards – to the amazement of its owners.

Ridgeview’s Grosvenor Blanc de Blancs 2006 beat competition from five Champagnes, including the Taittinger Prélude NV, Charles Heidsieck Millésime 2000 and Thienot’s Brut Rosé NV to win International Trophy for Sparkling Wine Over £10.

Founder and winemaker Mike Roberts – who had invited his entire staff to the ceremony at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden – told they were simply not expecting to win.

‘We were looking at it simply as a good night out. We’d won the Regional Trophy and had absolutely no idea we’d got the International.’

During the announcement, Roberts said, he suddenly thought, ‘Bloody hell, they’re going to mention the Grosvenor next.’

Ridgeview was a popular winner: the two winemakers, Roberts and his son Simon, threaded their way to the stage amidst loud applause.

Decanter’s Tastings Director, Christelle Guibert, said this was an incredible home-grown success. ‘What a result,’ she said. ‘As if further proof was ever needed, this unequivocally rubberstamps England’s membership to that exclusive club of truly world class, sparkling wine producers. Up against a clutch of Champagne’s finest, Ridgeview has produced a stupendous wine that defeated them all. It’s a truly remarkable win.’

Ridgeview, a 5.8ha family-run estate in the Sussex Downs, usually makes five different cuvees in any one year, all named after areas of London. As well as its award-winning Grosvenor, recent blends include Bloomsbury, Cavendish, Fitzrovia and Knightsbridge.

Roberts founded Ridgeview with his wife Christine in 1995. Their daughter Tamara, their son Simon and his wife Mardi all work for the winer

Vinoteca to open second site

September 1, 2010

London wine bar and merchant Vinoteca will open a second site in the capital at the end of October.

Director Charlie Young told Harpers Wine & Spirit that the new outlet in Seymour Place in Marylebone would follow the same format as the existing Farringdon venue.

The Seymour Place venue is around one third bigger than the first site, and will serve 55 covers. Young said: “Initially we had no plans to open more than one site, but people really warmed to the concept, so we saw value in doing another one.”

Vinoteca at Farringdon serves over 25 wines by the glass and over 280 wines by the bottle, all of which are on sale to take home in the wine shop. As at Farringdon, the new site has a private dining room, complete with its own kitchen.

The firm has taken on a 20-year lease at the shell site, and building work has begun inside.
Young said: “We’re pretty good at finding things at good value, and our concept, with its wooden floorbards and furniture, is quite restrained.”