Close Menu

The week in pictures

London Cru’s co-founder Cliff Roberson sports a quite lovely hat at the 2015 vintage launch party, of London Cru, which was held at the winery on 29 November.

Roberson is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, in recognition of which it has created a series of offers via its different sales channels through online, fine wine, and off- and on-trade.

Cliff Roberson, who founded the company in 1991, reflected on what the company had achieved in its quarter of a century of doing business, from its work pioneering ‘New Wave California’, with wine on tap and most recently opening London Cru – London’s first and only winery.

“I am interested in being interesting,” he said. “That is why I like doing things that are different and new. If we can’t interest ourselves, we can’t interest other people. Repeating the same old stuff is boring, which will in turn make us as a company boring. Originality is stimulating to both the player and the audience!”

db’s Lucy Shaw was lucky enough to play tennis at the Royal Albert Hall with ace Boris Becker this week, who was recently made an ambassador for Chilean wine brand Anakena by brand owner Accolade. As part of the initiative, Becker gave a small group of drinks and sports hacks the chance to improve their forehand, backhand and smashing skills on court, in a class that ended with an intense game of doubles, which, we’re happy to report, we won.

After getting our blood pumping on court it was time to relax with a glass of Anakena Cabernet and settling in to the first match of the London leg of the ATP Champions tour, featuring ‘Tiger’ Tim Henman.

Among the wines we tried during the tennis was Alwa, meaning “dawn”, a blend of Cabernet, Carmenère and Syrah whose label is about to change to black and gold as part of an ambitious new redesign on the part of Accolade, which bought the brand last September.

With its K-Pop burger having been voted one of Time Out’s Top 100 dishes of 2016, db was keen to see what the fuss was all about, so headed down to the new Covent Garden branch of Chick ‘n’ Sours, a sister site to the Haggerston original, where we indulged in a plate of fiery chicken wings, a decadent Szechuan aubergine dish, the gargantuan and gorgeous K-pop burger, and a lip-smacking sour made with gin, apple, blackberry, vermouth and vinegar.

the drinks business hosted a Wines of Navarra masterclass in London this week, hosted by Jordi Vidal, general manager of the Consejo Regulador Navarra, and Patrick Schmitt MW, editor-in-chief of the drinks business. The free masterclass offered members of the trade the chance to not only learn more about Navarra but taste some of its most exciting wines.

Known for its new wave winemaking techniques, the northern Spanish region of Navarra produces reds, whites and rosés which range from the light, fresh and young to rich, complex reds which have great ageing potential.

The Herti sales team (L-R) Ivo Ivanov, sales and marketing director; Ina Ivanova, international sales manager; Ralin Petrov, sales director Herti Germany

Last week db decamped to Stuttgart for wine technology show Intervitis-Interfructa. Herti was one of the many exhibitors in attendance, who used the event to unveil its new ‘Vinstar Smart’ closure, with a PVC-free granulate lining, designed for use with still and lightly sparkling wines.

William Grant & Sons hosted a cocktail party to mark the launch of its Scottish Winter Terrace at the Rib Room Bar & Terrace at the Jumeirah Carlton Hotel in London on Wednesday, 23 November. The Scottish distiller has taken over the menu at The Rib Room Bar & Terrace for the holiday season, offering guests a selection of bespoke winter cocktails and whisky pairings by The Balvenie.


Signature cocktails on serve included the very festive Goodness Me – a blend of 12YO Glenfiddich, pomegranate liqueur, slow gin, sage syrup, lemon juice, Angostura bitters, egg white and raspberry.


The rather stylish Balvenie Morgan was on show at the launch event. The a 3.7 litre V6 four-seat roadster was the result of a partnership between The Balvenie and the maker of old-fashioned sports cars, Morgan, in 2014. The project was the brainchild of David Stewart, The Balvenie’s Malt Master, and John Wells, the head of design at Morgan.

A selection of mature clarets waiting to be served by the glass at London’s first fine wine pop-up, Vin Extraordinaires.

Based in SE1 at 61 Lant Street, 50 great wines are available by the glass using the Coravin system, such as this Roda Reserva Rioja from 1998 – £18 for 125ml, or a tempting £45 for the bottle.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No