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The week in pictures

It was announced this week that British rugby star George North has been appointed as brand ambassador New Zealand’s Mud House Wines. Mud House are the official wine sponsor of The British & Irish Lions. North expressed his enthusiasm for his new role, commenting that “New Zealand looms large for every ambitious rugby player in 2017 so joining Mud House, one it’s leading wine brands, seems a natural fit.”

On Monday, SIN ALCOHOL S.L. and the Spanish Cancer Association (AECC) launched a non-alcohol WIN wine against Cancer in Madrid, a special edition of WIN.0 White and WIN.0 Red to support those affected by various types of cancer. WIN is made from Verdejo and Tempranillo grapes and, via a deconstruction process (known as the Spinning Cone Column), the alcohol, flavours and other elements are separated, allowing the alcohol to be removed from the product.

Champagne Pol Roger launched its latest vintage, Brut Vintage 2008 in the grounds of Kensington Palace last night. The event kicked off with a speech by Pol Roger UK’s managing director, James Simpson MW.

150 guests enjoyed canapés and the first taste of the Brut Vintage 2008, with members of the Pol Roger family and special guests celebrating this special occasion also marking 100 years since the first Pol Roger invoice to Sir Winston Churchill of Brut Vintage 1895 Pol Roger.

Among the glittering guests was male super model and Pol Roger fan David Gandy

The Pol Roger 2008 flowed like water at the party

Rugby world cup winner and former England Rugby captain Mr Lewis Moody gets stuck into a bottle of the 2008

Marte Hamer (nee Pol Roger) and Hubert de Billy attended from the Pol Roger family

Ernesto Neto is the latest artist to provide a design for Super Tuscan Ornellaia’s ‘Vendemmia d’Artista’ collection to accompany the 2014 vintage.

Dubbed ‘L’Essenza’ this year’s ‘interpretation’ of the 2014 vintage was supplied by the Brazilian artist Neto whose recent work has reportedly drawn heavily upon the life and society of the Huni Kin tribe; their art, their shamans and their bond with the rainforest around them.

The Beaufort Bar at The Savoy launched a bold new range of cocktails this week. Based around the theme of storytelling, the menu is presented as a tunnel book that allows taking imbibers on a journey through the Savoy’s history and how the barmen got their inspiration for the drinks.

The Master of Suspense blends Powers John’s Lane 12 Year Old, Martini Rubino, whey milk, lemon, cayenne and sugar and is inspired by the fact that nearby restaurant Simpsons was a favourite haunt of Alfred Hitchcock.

The Gypsy Moth meanwhile, marries Hendrick’s, coconut, cherry, lemon and ginger and is inspired by Amy Johnson being the first female to fly solo from England to Australia, after which she celebrated in style with a jolly good lunch at The Savoy, natch.

Finally, The Ceremony, which combines Beefeater 24, Kamm & Sons, hops, grapefruit and gold, tips its hat to Bafta’s longstanding partnership with The Savoy.

Marking the second pop-up in its Club Residencies series, New York-based, 1920s Havana-inspired speakeasy BlackTail took over the bar at The Bloomsbury Club for four nights only this week. Led by head bartender Jesse Vida, the tiny team of two shook up sensational, rum-laced cocktails to bring a slice of Cuban sunshine to the capital.

Among the cocktails on pour was the Alexander, a twist on classic cocktail the Brandy Alexander, made with Brandy de Jerez, dark rum, Pedro Ximénez Sherry, banana, cream, nutmeg and molé bitters. The decadent drink was said to be a favourite of John Lennon.

The Nacional, a refreshing punch-style drink blending pineapple juice, yuzu and French liqueurs, proved one of the most popular sips at the launch.

Also on point was the Adeline, a twist on a sour made with Tequila, gin, Yellow Chartreuse, apricot, fino Sherry, ponzu and lime.

Alex Daulby, James Yeomans, Luke Schram, Sarah Harris

On Thursday, London brewery Hop Stuff launched their new Four Hour Session beer. The brewery opened a tap room in 2015, which along with the full range of their beers, serves a variety of sourdough pizzas and bar snacks.

The beer is currently only available on tap, but from March, it will be released in cans featuring the company’s new design. Taking inspiration from the session beers that fuelled the workers in the East End’s munitions factories in WWI, the Four Hour Session beer is characterised by a low 4.4% ABV. The hops include Mosic, Rakau and Amarillo which boast tropical fruit flavours, balanced by a light bittering from Columbus.

Founder James Yeomans commented, “Four Hour Session pays homage to the heritage of the area in which we brew. With morale in the factories that peppered Woolwich during WWI at an all-time low, production workers were granted four hour drinking periods to allow them to sup a few pints at their local beer house to help boost spirits, and many that this is where the low ABV session beer was born.

Four Hour Session, characterised by its distinctive four hop blend continues to embody the approachable and accessible ethos we bring to all of our products.”

The tasting commences…

Today, the Masters of Wine assembled once again at Bumpkin, South Kensington, for our Pinot Noir Masters 2017. The wines are tasted in flights, with possible bronze, silver, gold and master awards up for grabs.

As with the Sauvignon Blanc Masters last month, we had a high number of entries. Winning a medal, given the extent of the competition, is therefore a fantastic achievement. Good luck to all those who submitted their wines.

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