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The week in pictures

We begin this week’s roundup with a look back at last weekend’s Wine Show Chelsea, which was organised by ourselves at the drinks business. Scroll through the following couple of pages to see some shots from the highly successful three-day event.

Perhaps the best tasting note of db The Wine Show – Chelsea? This “proper tasty” wine came courtesy of New Zealand’s Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc. 

db stopped by Fizz – the sparkling wine show in London on Wednesday, where we talked Prosecco with Ca’ di Rajo’s export manager Marco Pozzi. Having launched a rosé “Prosecco-style” wine earlier this year to diversify its range, Pozzi is confident that the current unprecedented demand for Prosecco will continue for at least the next decade.

This brightly-coloured sparkling wine couldn’t help but catch db‘s attention. From Cave de Ribeauvillé, L’Or Bleu is a sparkling wine from Alsace, overlaid with citrus and orange extracts before being coloured a bright blue.

Portobello Road launched this year’s incarnation of its Director’s Cut gin on Wednesday at its Ginstitute in Portobello Road. This year the team chose to distill handpicked British asparagus with a variety of botanicals this unique expression.

All of Portobello Gin’s small batch releases are produced in its prized 30 litre still, named “Copernicus the Second”.

Moët winemaker Elise Losfelt (pictured) presented the base wines for the brand’s new top-end cuvée, called MCIII, in London this week.

db was delighted to be invited to the launch of Dom Pérignon 2006 this week at hip hangout Chiltern Firehouse. Hosted by chef de cave Richard Geoffroy, during the tasting he defended the house’s decision to release five vintages in a row from 2002 to 2006, insisting it was important to “witness the vintages” and that there was “more latitude than ever” in playing the vintage game.

Geoffroy was full of praise for the 2006 vintage, describing it as “lush and ample”, “fleshy without being fat”  and boasting “an intricate mother of pearl-like gliding texture”, adding, “It’s one of the most complex vintages at the time of release that I’ve ever made.” He also revealed that he’s “suspicious” of easy vintages like 2004 where everything falls into place. 

From the Chiltern Firehouse we headed to Hakkasan to a Kayra wines dinner hosted by winemaker Daniel O’Donnell, who was refreshingly honest about the challenges of seeking elegance from some of Turkey’s big bruiser reds. “The Bogazkere red grape literally translates as ‘burns the throat’. It’s a mean, nasty, terrible, hungover variety and I love it! It has fantastic aromas but it’s a wine that fights back – you have to want to drink it,” he said.

During a feast of truffled duck and spicy prawns we slurped our way through seven flights of wine, including a flight dedicated to Turkey’s best known red grape, Öküzgözü, meaning “bull’s eye”.

Our feasting continued at new wine bar and bistro Les 110 de Taillevent, which opened this week in Cavendish Square. A sister site to the Paris original, the bistro offers 110 wines by the glass and four suggested wine pairings in different price brackets for the 30 dishes on the menu. We went all out for the launch and enjoyed an exquisite glass of Haut-Brion 1999 with our perfectly pink duck a l’orange.

For dessert, we tipped our hat to Napoleon’s favourite sweet wine with a glass of Vin de Constance 2008 to pair with a zingy lemon meringue sable. The owners of Les 110, brothers Thierry, Laurent and Stéphane Gardinier, admitted to db that the food offering in London was now as good as Paris, describing the two as Europe’s “major gastronomic hubs”.  

The decadence continued at the River Room in The Savoy, where a trio of Fairmont’s best bartenders, Nader Chabaane from Fairmont Le Château Frontenac (left), Grant Sceney from Fairmont Pacific Rim (centre) and Erik Lorincz from from The Savoy in London collaborated to show off their new “Classics Perfected” cocktail list, soon to be on pour at all Fairmont hotels around the world.

Endeavouring to perfect six of the most popular classic cocktails, our favourite was their take on the Old Fashioned, which blended 50% Woodford Reserve Bourbon with 50% Mount Gay rum and slipped down a treat. 

Continuing our exploration of England’s top English sparkling wine producers, we headed to Hambledon in Hampshire this week to help them with the harvest. Among the wines we tried were the Chardonnay dominant classic cuvée (right) made from the 2011 harvest with reserve wines from 2010 and rich, biscuity the top of the range premiere cuvée, a blend of 58% Chardonnay, 24% Pinot Noir and 18% Pinot Meunier made by Hervé Jestin, formerly of Duval-Leroy.

Pouring the wines was Hambledon founder Ian Kellett, who spent 15 years as an investment banker before venturing into the wine world. Having bought a château in Bordeaux, when the opportunity came up to buy Hambledon he couldn’t resist.

Before we could get down to the enjoyable business of tasting we were put to work in the vineyards picking Pinot Meunier.

Luckily we were on a tight time frame so had barely filled the bottom of our bucket before we were ushered on to a tour of the gravity fed winery. 

Speaking of harvesting, Maison Louis Jadot this week released pictures of its harvest.

Changing the tone completely now, three icons of Northern Ireland – Harp Lager, Belfast’s Gasworks Clock and the DeLorean car – came together this week to pay homage to the ’80s classic Back to the Future, which saw two time travellers set off on an adventure which eventually led to them arriving on Wednesday, October 21, 2015.

 You can see / use a short film created by Harp and starring the Harp Angel to celebrate ‘Back To the Future Day’ here.

Rémy Martin this week announced its new global marketing campaign: One Life/ Live Them, fronted by US actor Jeremey Renner. Renner will attend the launch party of La Maison Rémy Martin, the brand’s private members club in London. 

Martin Riley (Gin Guild Grand Rectifier), Desmond Payne, and Nicholas Cook (Director General of the Gin Guild)

Beefeater Gin has also announced that its master distiller, Desmond Payne, has been honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by The Gin Guild. Desmond received the award on Friday 16th October at an exclusive ceremony at Mansion House, the official residence of Lord Mayor of London, attended by some of the industry’s leading figures.

And finally, on Monday a new partnership was launched between the Movember UK charity and Spitfire Kentish Ale. The top floor of the pub was turned into a barber shop and guests got treated to a wet shave and a four-course beer dinner whereby every dish was themed around hair. Below is the main course, “Hare & Spitfire Ale Pie with Pastry Moustaches and Tash Potatoes”

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