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The week in pictures

Balblair distillery manager John MacDonald leads guests through a tasting of the Highland brand’s three new vintages that were launched in November. MacDonald said that Balblair will continue to release vintages rather than non-age statement whisky.

The 1983, 1990 and 2003 were all tasted at the Balblair evening as well as a whisky laid down in 1969, which has also just launched.

Covent Garden received a touch of French class this week as the Krug Kreperie rolled into town. Setting up shop in Covent Garden Piazza, the booths, adorned with red leather banquettes and (faux) fur throws to keep diners warn, offered a selection of six crêpes to be enjoyed with a flute of Krug Grand Cuvée – as modelled here by Bancroft Wines’ new marketing manager Sophie McLean (left) and Claire Page of Phipps PR.

Among the fillings on offer at the Krug Kreperie, a pop-up collaboration with French chef Pierre Koffmann, were crab, parmesan, caramel apple crumble and crêpe suzette, made with sugar and orange zest.

db also headed to new movie-themed bar Megaro in King’s Cross this week, where we were charmed by Italian barman Nico Piazza, who spent the evening shaking many a delicious cocktail for us. All of them take inspiration from the silver screen, with highlights including The Lavender Hill Mob Fizz, made with Beefeater gin, lemon, lavender, Zedda Piras Mirto and soda; and the Glory Box, a blend of Somerset Brandy, Luxardo Maraschino, lemon sherbet, dandelion and burdock.

…but man cannot live on cocktails alone, so during our tour of the Megaro cocktail menu, we worked our way through the bar snacks offering, which included on-trend scallop ceviche, beef carpaccio, salsify fritters and moreish deep fried morcilla (pictured).

Ahead of its ancient rum and old Madeira auction next week Christie’s held a tasting of a number of 19th century Madeiras at its boardroom on King Street, including an 1877 Terrantez from Borges, an 1870 Verdelho from Dr Cannavial and an 1867 Sercial from Torre Bella, held here by Noah May, a specialist in the Christie’s wine department.

Getting into the festive spirit, we hotfooted it to Somerset House this week for a spot of ice skating followed by flutes of Piper Heidsieck fizz and William Curley chocolates, with the salted caramel and Piper’s demi-sec proving a particularly delicious pairing.

db’s Lucy Shaw (left) and Amy Hopkins of our sister title, The Spirits Business, got their skates on at Somerset House, managing at least ten laps without falling over before sloping off for a flute or two.

Jon Davies, founder of the design agency Butterfly Cannon talks guests through the proposed designs for the latest stage of the Glenmorangie Cask Masters initiative. Brand enthusiasts now vote on which of the three designs they would like to see as packaging for the Glenmorangie’s new whisky.

Guests at the Glenmorangie Cask Masters evening were also treated to two cocktails from Matt Fairhurst of London bar Callooh Callay. Matt featured the Taghta whisky in both his cocktails, one of which included the delightful ingredient of smoked banana puree.

Frederica Bon, export manager for Nino Franco, demonstrates great food and wine match of Cartizze and Panettone – essential holiday season fare.

Guests of the German Wine Institute take a break from dinner to pose for a photo at the Vintners Hall in London. The evening saw six representatives from the UK trade appointed as founder members of the Riesling Fellowship.

The Benevolent Buddies Christmas Ceilidh, which took place at Toynbee Hall in London, gets into full swing, rumours of dance floor casualties are as yet unconfirmed.

Supermodel Kate Moss and singer Rita Ora stop for a photograph outside the British Fashion Awards, which were sponsored by Patron Tequila.

X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger collects the Ultimate TV Personality award at Cosmopolitan magazine’’s “Ultimate Women Awards 2013, which took place at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Zalze wines by South African wine producer Kleine Zalze sponsored the event and Zalze Bush Vine Chenin Blanc and Zalze Shiraz Mourvèdre Viognier were the exclusive wines served on the night.

Sculptor Barry Grove with his 20 tonne Pictish masterpiece, which was unveiled at Glenmorangie’s state of the art bottling plant in Livingston this week.

The crew of the Bolton Atlantic boat make their final preparations and get in some late training just before setting off on the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge earlier this week. The challenge sees a number of crew rowing 3,000 across the Atlantic in a race that should run until mid-January.

Viticulturalist Dr Richard Smart addressed the third International Sparkling Wine Symposium, which took place at Denbies Wine Estate in the UK. As part of his presentation on “Present and Future Sparkling Wine Regions of the World”, Smart warned that cooler, wetter regions were particularly susceptible to trunk disease, which he noted is “now more widespread in the world than phylloxera.”

James Simpson MW, sales director of Pol Roger UK, introduces Reds, Whites & Varsity Blues: 60 Years of the Oxford & Cambridge Blind Wine-Tasting Competition during its launch event at Maggs Bros in London last night. The Champagne house has sponsored the match since 1992 and the launch took place under the same roof as an art exhibition by Frederika Adam on a real tennis theme – another Varsity sport supported by Pol Roger.

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