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The week in pictures

db enjoyed a night at the Roxx in London on Friday for the first in a new series of Voodoo Blues pop-up dining events hosted by The Wandering Chef. Guests were transported to America’s deep south and taken on a journey through Mississippi with influences from New Orleans Blues to voodoo mysticism setting the scene.  

Guests were treated to seven courses of southern soul food including soft-shell crab po’boy sliders skewered into a voodoo doll, Papa’s pork rinds with cured cucumber, and buttermilk fried chicken with a spiked cajun remoulade salad while sipping Rebel Yell Bourbon cocktails, provided by Amathus, and pickle Tequila shots.

Entertainment came in the form of a four-piece New Orleans inspired dirty blues band and a glamorous burlesque performance from the club’s “voodoo queen”, seen here serving the Wandering Chef’s irreverent sweet dessert – an icing sugar platter in which guests dunked doughnuts before dunking them again in either smoked chocolate or Bourbon butterscotch. Voodoo Blues evenings will be held every Friday night at the Roxx from 4 April 2014 with tickets priced at £55 per person which includes all entertainment, a 5-course meal, a welcome cocktail and club entrance for the after party. 

Martini announced the creation of the Official Vector Martini Racing team in partnership with Vector, the British powerboat racing team and global manufacturer of high performance powerboats and performance yachts. The Martini stripes were last seen in competitive racing nearly 20 years ago but will return to the seas first seen on the new Vector V40R powerboat in the London to Monte Carlo Venture Cup.

Leading electric cellist Carol Thorns enthralled crowds at Landtscap farm in South Africa’s Devon Valley near Stellenbosch from inside a giant sphere at the annual “Night of 1,000 glasses” evening on Saturday 29 March. Guests enjoyed an eight-course gourmet dinner, matched to a selection of “rare and unusual” wines from the Cape Legends portfolio including the 2003 Desiderius MCC, a 1994 Stellenzicht Syrah, a 1999 Le Bonheur Prima and the 2010 Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest.

Judges tasted their way through dozens of Proseccos at the inaugural drinks business Prosecco Masters 2014 on Wednesday. The judging panel, composed of MWs, sommeliers and senior buyers, blind tasted wines by price category and style including DOC Prosecco, DOCG Prosecco and DOCG Prosecco Cartizze.

(L-R) Nick Tatham MW, Tom Bruce-Gardyne, Andrea Briccarello, Gabriel Savage, Alex Canneti, Patrick Schmitt, Michael Edwards and Roberto Della Pietra.

The best wines will be awarded medals from bronze through to gold, with the opportunity to be rewarded with a “Master” for exceptional wines. The results will be published online and in the May issue of the drinks business.

Eduardo Chadwick of Viñedos Chadwick/Errazuriz with UK wine writer Steven Spurrier.

Eduardo Chadwick, President of Viña Errázuriz and Viñedos Chadwick, hosted a series of gala dinners in Taipei, Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the “Berlin Tasting”, which helped to bring Chile’s fine wines to a global audience. Chadwick was joined at these dinners by a selection of renowned wine personalities, including wine writer Steven Spurrier and Jeannie Cho Lee, the first Asian Master of Wine.

Eduardo Chadwick of Viñedos Chadwick/Errazuriz

A specially edited Berlin Tasting Anniversary Book was handed to every attendee as a memento of this milestone. The Berlin Tasting 10th Anniversary celebration will continue its world tour throughout 2014, continuing to Europe in May and then moving to America during the second half of this year.

Westons Cider announced that its brand Henry Westons will once again be the official cider of the Cheltenham Jazz Festival. Henry Westons’ main attraction will be its very own VIP acoustic stage, hosting jazz sessions alongside a backdrop of hay bales, traditional cider-making equipment and authentic cider barrels.

Megan Watts of Yealands Estate with the Estate’s Sauvignon Blanc and Merryn Corcoran with her novel “The Silent Village”.

Yealands Estate in New Zealand provided the wine at the book launch of New Zealand author Merryn Corcoran’s The Silent Village at Waterstone’s bookshop in Notting Hill Gate, London, on 2 April. Merryn’s first novel, based on a true story about the experiences of a southern French village during the Second World War, reached number 4 on the bestseller list in New Zealand when it launched there six months ago.

db’s Lauren May took in a Loire wine masterclass at the newly opened La Compagnie Delicatessen in London’s Covent Garden on Wednesday, hosted by Julia Oudill, bar manager and head sommelier, and Hubert Piel, of Domaine du Clos Saint France in the Orléans appellation in the north of the Loire Valley.

Guests were taken through a series of wines including a freshly bottled 2013 Orléans Chardonnay and a 2013 Orléans Pinot Meunier and Pinot Gris rosé. However it was the domaine’s 2011 Excellence Chardonnay which made the biggest impression.

Pisco Portón’s master distiller Johnny Schuler (right) joined the Mangrove UK team at Sushi Samba in London to launch the “super-premium” Peruvian brand in this market.

db was lucky enough to be invited to Michelin-starred gastropub The Harwood Arms in Fulham this week for a lunch hosted by Judy Watson of Barossa Valley-based Schild Estate. Pictured here with Sophie McLean of Bancroft Wines (left) the pair are modelling the new labels of the estate’s Shiraz and Chardonnay, with the chicken leg image on the Chardonnay bottle a nod to the fact that Judy, with three teenage sons, is the “mother hen” of the winery.

Sunny side up – no trip to The Harwood Arms in Fulham would be complete without trying its legendary venison Scotch eggs, which were every bit as delicious as db was hoping.

Maestro mixologist Billy Tran, formerly of the Experimental Cocktail Club in Paris, dons a pair of goggles to mix one of the many medical-themed cocktails he’s devised for new Clapham bar, DNA London.

Shooters include the Chromosome, made with Jack Daniel’s, Yellow Chartreuse, sweet vermouth and bitters; and the Lethal Injection, which blends gin, Green Chartreuse, sweet vermouth and bitters. Meanwhile sharing cocktail the General Anaesthetic mixes gin, absinthe, fresh mint, gomme, lime juice and Champagne – not for the faint hearted. All of the above can be enjoyed this Sunday, as the bar will be opening especially to host revellers during and after the 160th annual Oxford and Cambridge boat race.

The Nautilus vineyard in Marlborough is storming through its harvest having picked all of its Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Grüner Veltliner, which according to head winemaker Clive Jones is looking particularly good for this time of year, while the team are a little over halfway through their Sauvignon pick.

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