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The week in pictures

db sadly failed to get a photo of naturalist extraordinaire Sir David Attenborough, who was loitering outside Berry Bros & Rudd’s flagship shop in St James’s as we headed to the wine merchant’s newly excavated “Sussex Cellar”, home to a tasting of BBR’s revamped own label wine collection.

There was some controversy over the cellars’ new loos: while the gents was adorned with this eminently readable wallpaper display of old BBR menus, the ladies had to make do with a more generic floral motif. #everydaysexism?

Former Penfolds winemaker John Duval hosted a dinner at Portland restaurant in London to show off the results of his long-term partnership with Chile’s Viña Ventisquero. The line-up included Enclave, a Cabernet Sauvignon-led blend from Pirque in Maipo, as well as Pangea Syrah and Vertice, a Syrah/Carmenere blend that Duval compared to Australia’s success with Shiraz/Cabernet.

db‘s Chloé Beral went down to The Vault under whisky specialist Milroy’s in Soho with Melita Kiely of sister-magazine The Spirits Business this week, tasked with the not-inconsiderable challenge of helping to choose and name the bar’s new winter cocktail menu – by tasting and judging sixteen cocktails!

On the right, the red cocktail with the limoncello ice ball was aptly named the Bloody Bandito by Chloé, reflecting the Tequila base of the drink along with its distinctive colour. The drink also includes lime and beetroot agave.

The fruits of their labour, Chloé and Melita’s favourite cocktails were used to create the bar’s new menu, complete with their new titles. We’re not sure “Hernnesys” is correct though…

Barramundi from Australia has undergone what it describes as “a massive brand overhaul” in an attempt to appeal to younger drinkers in the UK. It officially re-launched over the Bank Holiday weekend at Jamie’s Feastival in the Cotswolds where festival goers got to sample the wines from the four-strong range.

The Barramundi wines are now available in the UK in Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s Wine By The Case service with an RRP of £7.99.

In what proved to be a typical wash-out bank holiday weekend last week, db‘s Neal Baker ventured to the grounds of the 02 Arena (the Millenium dome, if you prefer) in London for Meantime Brewery’s “Brewfest”.

The festival served up little half-pints of craft beer from around the UK, Europe and America at £2 a pop – a steal considering craft-fan favourites on offer included drinks from Longhammer, Purity, and Anchor Steam.

A team of fifteen plucky runners from the international wine trade (some of whom are pictured below) will be taking to the byways around Denbies Wine Estate in the North Downs on 13 September to run the Surrey Bacchus Half Marathon.

The team, marshalled by married MWs and amateur runners Peter Richards and Susie Barrie, features representatives from as far afield as Argentina (Chakana winemaker Gabriel Bloise) and Chile (Wines of Chile’s Alvaro Arriagada). Notable running talents Lynne Cox and Sally Easton MW look set to be the team’s fastest finishers.

The group is bolstered by support from Sussex producer Ridgeview (Tamara Roberts, Simon Larder and Oliver Marsh), Lay & Wheeler (Micah Dougall, Robbie Toothill), Hallgarten Druitt & Novum (Lizzie Burton), JumpStart (Sophie Jump) and Wine Festival Winchester (Rosie Bowerman, Dan Eastley, Emily Torjussen).

The run is in aid of The Vintners’ Foundation, and sponsorship is welcome via the team’s JustGiving page.

L-R: Peter Richards MW, Susie Barrie MW, Rosie Bowerman, Emily Torjussen, Dan Eastley

Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Champions (CSWWC) founder Tom Stevenson and fellow judge Essi Avellan MW announced 11 National Champion sparkling wines at the Awards Dinner of the CSWWC 2015 at Vintners’ Hall in London this week, in front of over 100 international winemakers, producers and guests.

Champagne Roederer’s Cristal Rosé 2004 was named Supreme World Champion, and below, Charles King from Maison Marques & Domaines collects the Supreme World Champion trophy on behalf of Louis Roederer.

The historical Courthouse Hotel located just at the top of Carnaby Street, is set to transform it’s summer rooftop space – the Soho Sky Terrace, into a cosy Soho Ski Terrace this October, the perfect outdoor haven high above central London.

With a welcoming design inspired by the iconic retro ski chalets of the 1950’s, the terrace will be decked out in soft, plush furnishings with blankets to snuggle under, and candle lit lanterns providing a fun hideaway under the fully heated space.

A delicious new warming drinks menu from the rooftop bar includes the ‘Mint Hot Chocolate’ served in a rustic copper mug with Peppermint Schnapps and Whipped Cream, and food items such as ‘Rooftop Mini Chicken Sliders’ with a piping hot, spicy relish.

Scotch brand Glenlivet has broken ground on its new distillery expansion this week, which will “significantly increase production” according to parent company Chivas Brothers. It announced in June that in the year to date the Scotch brand grew its sales by a staggering 11%.

Below, Glenlivet master distiller, Alan Winchester, digs up the first lump of turf to kick off the expansion project.


db was lucky enough to be invited to The Lanesborough hotel in Hyde Park this week to dine at its new restaurant Céleste. Before the meal we were given a grand tour of the hotel, which has recently been refurbished, and enjoyed an apéritif in its sumptuous living room.

We went for the thirst quenching Beekeeper Fizz, which blended British honey with Champagne, rum and lemon juice, sharpening our appetite for the feast that followed.

Ahead of the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships awards dinner at Vintners’ Hall on Wednesday, we caught up with Trevor Clough, co-founder and CEO of English sparkling wine brand Digby Fine English over lunch at Lima Floral in Covent Garden.

During our Peruvian feast we tasted through the three-strong Digby range and discovered that the flagship brut reserve paired incredibly well with lip-smacking sea bream ceviche (pictured), while the vintage rosé married harmoniously with the spicy king prawn ceviche.

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