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The week in pictures

Delphine Glangetas, Les Vignobles Foncalieu’s chief winemaker, tells the guests about the selection of wines at the Southern French wine co-op’s press dinner at La Pont de la Tour. Les Vignobles was awarded the best co-op of 2012 and has invested strongly in prestige wines from Languedoc.

The Foncalieu press dinner featured a plate of Dover sole, and the Minervois Le Lien 2010.The wine is described as “an iron hand in a velvet glove” and is matured and aged in French oak barrels for 12 months.

The Bisol vineyard on the island of Mazzorbo is under water after the recent flooding across the Lagoon and city of Venice.

db‘s Patrick Schmitt with Caprice at the IWSC awards banquet at the Guildhall.

Photographer and Greek wine fan Colin Hampden-White visits the db offices with a bottle of Nostos from the Manousakis winery in Crete.

The Syrah blend from the 2007 vintage combined juicy dark fruits, a touch of black olive and a surprising mouthwatering freshness along with firm barrel-derived tannins. Pictures from the winery’s new cellar by Colin will feature on shortly.

db managed to convert food writer Ben Norum to the delights of Priorat during a Monday night feast at new Marylebone tapas bar The Fat of the Land.

La Hechicera threw an extravagant party in a private residence in Maida Vale this week to celebrate the arrival of its rum into the UK. La Hechicera means sorceress in Spanish, and db found the rum equally beguiling, especially when enjoyed neat on ice.

Among the guests at the Hechicera fiesta were Peruvian restaurant Coya’s head bartender (left) and Cedric Martinez (right) of Eight-Six in Fulham.

Interiors at the Maida Vale house hosting the Hechicera launch were 18th century French boudoir meets Fellini film set.

db also found time this week to enjoy lunch with the Hakkasan’s head wine buyer Christine Parkinson and senior bar manager George Matzaridis at the latest addition to the Hakkasan Group: Japanese fine dining restaurant Chrysan.

During the lunch, we feasted on a Bento Box featuring lobster, crab, salmon, duck, eel and pickled vegetables.

Contemporary artist Claire Coles celebrated her recent collaboration with Perrier-Jouët with a Champagne reception at the Flow Galley in Holland Park.

To celebrate the arrival of new head chef Paul Welburn to W1 restaurant at The Cumberland hotel, lucky guests, including db, were treated to a 7-course tasting menu including treats like foie gras parfait, squab pigeon and chocolate cremeux with salted caramel and peanut butter ice cream.

One of our sister title, The Spirits Business‘, World’s Best Bars for 2013 – Happiness Forgets in Shoreditch.

Tour development manager at Vinopolis Tom Forrest presents the revamped London-based wine museum within the new Canard-Duchêne sponsored Champagne space.

Journalists gathered at Vinoteca this week for lunch with Ravenswood founder Joel Peterson, but first found themselves split into groups and tasked with creating a Californian blend from Carignan, Petite Sirah, Bouschet and Zinfandel.

Group C – to which db was attached as an observer having turned up later – confers as they prepare their favoured blend (50% Zin, 30% Petite Sirah and 10% each of Carignan and Bouschet).

Joel Peterson blends the teams’ recipes as db contributor Giles Fallowfield looks apprehensively across the table at Group A. However, it was Group B, with Stephen Brooks at the helm, that was the real danger. Their wine was declared the best in a taste off with Peterson describing it as the most “European” and “Bordeaux-like” of the wines…or possibly as having the most “structure and density”, the mixing up of team letters with the wines’ caused some confusion at the end.

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