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The week in pictures

Team db looking rather dapper at the IWSC 2014 awards ceremony at London’s Guildhall on Wednesday. Among the big winners were Champagne P&C Heidsieck and Sazerac.

Two of the night’s winners included Francis Ford Coppola Presents’ 2012 Chardonnay, which took home the Chardonnay trophy, and Ramon Bilbao’s 2006 Gran Reserva, which received the 2014 Rioja trophy.

Included on the five-course menu was this slow roasted lamb wrapped in pancetta, which was followed by a hot Grand Marnier soufflé served with a glass of Penfolds’ Grandfather Rare Tawny 20YO.

Greg Sherwood MW of Hanford Wines hugs Kathy and Gary Jordan of Jordan Wine Estate in Stellenbosch during a lunch at High Timber restaurant, which featured a vertical tasting of Nine Yards Chardonnay and Cobblers Hill, the 2010 vintage of which scooped the Blended Red trophy at the IWSC awards this week.

A panel of expert judges sip their way through dozens of Rioja wines as part of the drinks business Rioja Masters in the luxurious surroundings of Gordon Ramsay’s gastropub, the York and Albany. Medal-winning wines will be announced in an upcoming issue of the drinks business.         

Max Wagner, head of new vermouth brand Belsazar, held court at a topsy turvy banquet held in London this week in collaboration with Bompas & Parr. Made near the Black Forest in Germany, Belsazar was founded in 2013. There are currently four vermouths in the range: a dry, red, white and rosé, which were showcased at the banquet in unusual ways.

With our scallop carpaccio starter served on an upside down plate, and pork belly main giving the trimmings the spotlight, dessert came in the form of a Belsazar-infused upside down Martini jelly.

Curiouser and curiouser…

Rounding off the evening was a reverse vermouth cocktail served inside an ice ball that had to be smashed with a hammer before being enjoyed.

Scented Tea Tail

London’s Min Jiang Bar announced the return of its Tea Tails for the winter – a selection of alcoholic cocktails made with oolong, jasmine scented and chrysanthemum seed infusion teas and blended with spirits and liqueurs. Each cocktails is served with a freshly brewed pot of the accompanying tea. This Sented Tea Tail sees Forbidden Dragon Pearl jasmine tea mixed with vodka and lychee liqueur with a twist of lemon.

Inspired by John Lewis’ most recent Christmas advertisement, R&R Teamwork sent us this intriguing snap of Emanuele Barrasso keeping warm in a rather dashing penguin onesie while catching up with the drinks business. Apparently the penguin is the “icon” of Belgium’s Vedett Blond pilsner, according to the ever-charming Rupert Ponsonby who sent in this accompanying ‘poem’.

A Penguin is the icon of Vedett Blond, Belgium’s most elegant Pilsner.

It is one of the most physically challenged of animals.

It doesn’t fly, nor does it walk in a sensible fashion.

And it talks a lot, incoherently.

And is good for nothing.

Can’t be in PR then?


A penguin has

no power nor masculinity;

But that all changes when our Emanuele

Gets under its skin.

Sushi Samba, located on the 38th and 39th floor of London’s Heron Tower, celebrated its second anniversary with a celeb-packed party on Tuesday attended by the likes of Lily Allen, Pixie Lott and Daisy Lowe. Guests were treated to a VIP dinner prepared by executive Chef Claudio Cardoso of crispy Wagyu taquitos, shrimp tempura and black cod anticuchos, Laurent Perrier Champagne and signature cocktails, which included a Smoked Peruvian Negroni.

Natsuki Kikuya and Mauro Frisulli

Bartenders and restauranteurs from across London were invited to a special sake tasting with Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) expert Natsuki Kikuya on Sunday. Hosted at private members’ club Home House, guests sampled seven different sakes, each paired with canapés made by executive head chef Adrian Martin.

Helen receiving her award with Michael Portillo and Ross Dingwall, managing director of Broker Channel at Hiscox Insurance.

Helen Thomas, managing director of Westons Cider, was presented with a national Family Business award at the Institute of Directors’ Director of the Year Awards 2014. Helen Thomas has been the MD of Westons for 18 years and is the fourth generation of the family to run the business.

The Macallan single malt whisky, distributed by Maxxium UK, revealed fashion photographer Mario Testino as the face of its fifth Master of Photography expression, of which only 1,000 bottles will be available.

Champagne Piper-Heidsieck hostes a series of events to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the brand’s chef de cave, Régis Camus. As part of the celebrations, Camus showcased the brand’s range including the Rare Millésime 2002 with tastings held at The Ritz, Searcy’s Champagne Bar and Brasserie Gustave. Other wines on show included the Rare 1988, 1998, 1999 and 2002, as well as Piper-Heidsieck Vintages 2000 and 2006.

The team at London’s The Cocktail Trading Company were victorious at the Jim Beam Shake History competition held at The Blues Kitchen in Shoreditch on 6 November. Elliot Ball, Andy Mil and Olly Brading impressed judges, including seventh generation Jim Beam Master Distiller Fred Noe and Amanda Humphrey of Maxxium UK’s Mixxit team with their ‘Welcome to Kentucky, Have a Nice Day’ cocktail made with Jim Beam Devil’s Cut, plum wine, ginger juice, yuzu juice and homemade spice syrup.

The imaginative winning cocktail was served in a noodle box and garnished with deep fried sweet bacon noodles, chopsticks and shaved ice.

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