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The week in pictures

The judges on day one of 2013 Global Chardonnay Masters included Sebastian Payne MW, db‘s managing editor Gabriel Savage, Anthony Barne MW, Jo Ahearne MW, Beverley Blanning MW, Sarah Abbott MW, Justin Knock MW and db editor-in-chief Patrick Schmitt.

And on day two of the 2013 Chardonnay Masters the impressive collection of judges continued with Richard Bampfield MW, Keith Isaac MW, Ronan Sayburn MS, Hugo Rose MW, Gabby Savage, Alex Hunt MW, Patrick Schmitt and db staff writer, and contender for our red trousers gallery, Rupert Millar.

Gin city – London is awash with gin at the moment, so top tonic producers Fever Tree decided to hold a tasting of some of the best brands in the business.

Executive director of Malaria No More, James Whiting with Fever-Tree co-founders Charles Rolls and Tim Warrillow and journalist, author and quinine expert Fiammetta Rocco at the Fever Tree tasting.

Never one to rest on their laurels, the chefs at Coq d’Argent in London have harvested the grapes grown on their roof terrace for use in their sorbets.

db was invited to explore Soho’s gritty underbelly at the launch of King of Soho London Dry Gin at the Union Club this week, founded in ode to legendary Soho porn baron Paul Raymond, who was once the richest man in Britain with an estimated fortune of £1.5 billion. The juniper-dominant gin is made by Thames Distillers from 12 botanicals, including citrus, grapefruit, angelica root and cassia.

During the King of Soho Gin launch, we were treated to gin fizzes and a classical soundtrack

db felt it only right to undertake the offered food and wine pairing experiments at the LVMH tasting at the company’s shiny new offices. Making for a particularly fine marriage was Dom Pérignon 2004 and caviar.

Also on offer at the LVMH tasting was an array of cocktails, including the “Smoquito”, made with Ardbeg whisky, that gave a peaty kick to the classic lime and sugar combo.

Adding a dash of theatre to proceedings at the LVMH tasting, Hennessy XO was ceremoniously served from a giant pipette.

American neo-pop artist Jeff Koons’ new bubble-shaped packaging for Dom Pérignon was proudly modelled at the LVMH tasting.

En route to the Wines From Spain tasting on the fifth floor of RIBA (the lift was kaput), our focus was momentarily broken by this fetching window display…

Once inside, we found this curio to try – a sparkling Albariño, Feitizo da Noite Brut NV, from Bodegas Pablo Padín. We’re not sure what the black cat has to do with it…

Morrison Bowmore brand ambassador Alasdair Dickinson with the finalists of the Auchentoshan Switch competition. Aidan Bowie from Blythswood Square Hotel in Glasgow was crowned European winner. Aidan won the prize to “switch” continents with the North American winner and will spend two weeks working at the prestigious Dead Rabbit in New York City.

The impressive whisky selection at the refurbished bar of the Scotch Whisky Exchange in Edinburgh, which now houses over 360 different whiskies.

The “Fizz & Fortified” Gonzalez Byass tasting was held in London this week, featuring the premium Gonzalez Byass Sherry range, Quinta do Noval Ports and Champagne Deutz, which is the latest addition to the GB UK portfolio.

The Champagne Deutz table at the Gonzalez Byass tasting, ready to go

Bruno Paillard showed the effect of different disgorgement dates during a master class in the London offices of the Antique Wine Company.

As co-chairman of the quality commission for Champagne’s Project 2030, Paillard is trying to persuade his fellow producers to vote for a minimum three-month period between disgorgement and release.

“Critter” wines may not have gone away, but they are at least showing some attitude. db was entertained by this label from Teusner, a Barossa producer established in 2001 as part of a mission to save an endangered old vine Grenache vineyard.

The Teusner wines have recently been introduced to the UK by Amelia Jukes, director of Antipodean specialist Hallowed Ground.

Louis Jadot president Pierre-Henri Gagey found himself caught out by Burgundy’s late harvest but escaped the vineyards for long enough to join Bordeaux Index and guests for dinner at London’s two-Michelin-starred restaurant The Ledbury.

Jadot did not escape the hailstorms which have plagued much of France this year. Gagey suggested to db that around 50 hectares of mostly premier cru vineyard belonging to the Beaune-based producer had been damaged in July.

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