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The week in pictures

New Zealand Wine Growers hosted its annual tasting high above London in the Penthouse of New Zealand House this week. The New Release and Discovery Tasting gave visitors the chance to be among the first to taste wines from New Zealand’s 2016 vintage, alongside wines from previous vintages, with some 160 wines on pour from around 50 producers. In particular, the tasting sought to highlight New Zealand’s growing diversity, with 18 varieties on pour, as well as sparkling, lower alcohol, rosé and dessert wines, alongside Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.

(L-R) Awards winners Ben Henshaw (Distributor of the Year), Nick Room (Outstanding Contribution), Susy Atkins (Communicator of the Year) and Hal Wilson (Off-trade Personality of the Year)

Four wine industry personalities were honoured by the Consejo Regulador of Rioja DOCa during the region’s second annual awards ceremony in London last week. Compered by Sarah Jane Evans MW at Hispania restaurant in the City of London, the ‘Rioja Recognises’ awards event recognised the achievements of four people who have made an important contribution to the promotion of Rioja wines in the UK. The four awarded were Nick Room (Outstanding Contribution), Susy Atkins (Communicator of the Year), Hal Wilson (Off-trade Personality of the Year) and Ben Henshaw (Distributor of the Year). During the reception, guests, including His Excellency the Spanish Ambassador Mr Federico Trillo-Figueroa, enjoyed a selection of the top-scoring wines from the recent Rioja 10×10 tasting alongside tapas dishes prepared by Hispania.

Eden Mill – the independent brewery and distillery in St Andrews, Scotland – named Rai Amrit from London’s Artesian Bar at the Langham as the winner of its Asian cocktail master competition. The competition took place over six months saw over 40 of Asia’s top bartenders compete to be crowned reigning champion for their innovative cocktail creations. Rai won the final with his Spiced Thai Royale – a cocktail created using Eden Mill’s Oak Gin, home made Thai Sour Mix, lime juice, lemongrass and Thai Chilli flavours. As the great victor of the competition, Rai will travel to Scotland where he will work with Eden Mill’s head distiller to create his own gin.

The Mill in Salisbury, Wiltshire, has been named the best pub in the UK for dogs and their owners at the Kennel Club’s Be Dog Friendly Awards 2016. The team was presented with their awards at the Kennel Club in London on Thursday 27th October, accompanied by their canine companions.

Foodies and wine lovers alike descended on London’s Truman Brewery last for the first full scale Epicurean event, offering visitors the chance to sample over 1,000 products, including artisanal food, wine, craft beer and spirits. Exhibitors at the event included Eat Spain Drink Spain, with Luis Arroyo – technical director of Bodegas Arfe in Jerez – pictured here with Marianne Rodriguez, who was responsible for the stand.

Arroyo with Helen Highleyn and Stuart Mather, owners of specialist retailer Sherry Boutique.

Winner of the Jefferson’s Barrel Aged Cocktail competition 2016, Stuart Binks of Victory Mansion [with barrel] and judges [L to R] Jess Cheeseman, Tony Carroll and whisky writer Greg Dillon aka Great Drams.

Stuart Binks, of Victory Mansion in Dalston, London, has been crowned the winner of Jefferson’s second UK-based barrel-aged cocktail competition with his ‘Trey’s Cup of Coffee’ cocktail – a blend of Jefferson’s Small Batch Bourbon, Luxardo Sangue Morlacco cherry liqueur, Heering coffee liqueur, allspice sugar syrup, Angostura bitters, housemade tonto (allspice) bitters. His prize will be a trip to the home of Jefferson’s in Louisville USA, to celebrate the distiller’s 20th Anniversary, in 2017.


Pink gin brand Pinkster has bolstered its sales force both in the UK and overseas with a raft of appointments, following a successful £1million crowdfunding campaign in May. Sophie Hawksby, (pictured) formerly of Masons Gin, has been appointed as a brand ambassador for the North East with a brief to “fuel on-trade and off-trade growth in this critical region”. Co-founder Will Holt is now full-time marketing director, following a 25 year career in communications, working alongside managing director Stephen Marsh and newly promoted finance director, Georgina Northern.

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