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The week in pictures

Housewarming gifts can be a tricky business, especially when you’re buying something for one of the most powerful matriarchs in pop culture.

But power couple Chrissy Teigen and John Legend have proven they know her way around celebrity etiquette thanks to a very extravagant piece of household tech — a hampagne-dispensing vending machine courtesy of Moët and Chandon.

While we’re on Champagne, Mumm is planning to unveil its Grand Cordon Stellar in September this year, following a three-year project in partnership with space design specialists Spade.

The Champagne features a “revolutionary new bottle and glass concept” while the liquid itself takes on “new and unsuspected taste characteristics,” according to Mumm’s cellar master Didier Mariotti.

Mazel tov to Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) chief cxecutive Ian Harris, who picked up his MBE from the Prince of Wales on Wednesday.

Harris’ family went with him to Buckingham Palace, after he made it into New year’s Honours list 2018 as a Member of the Order of the British Empire earlier this year.

Ian, of course, received the honour in recognition of his services to the drinks industry, spending 15 years of his life at the helm of the WSET.

In his time at the helm, Ian has overseen the transformation of WSET into the largest global organisation of its kind and the authority on wine education. Annual candidate numbers growing from 10,000 in 2002 to over 85,000 in 2017.

He was also named Man of the Year in the 2014 Drinks Business Awards, FYI.

This week in shattered glass ceilings, Heineken USA has named Maggie Timoney as its new chief executive officer – the first time in its history that a woman will have led its business, and the first to lead a major American beer supplier.

Timoney will join Heineken USA from Heineken Ireland, where she has served as CEO for the last five years, taking over the role from Ronald den Elzen, who is taking up a global role within Heineken NV in Holland.

Execs at Italian fizz producer Bottega must be working on their Gangam Style, after-all the brand just held a launch party for its new Prosecco Lounge in the Rubina Building in the heart of Seoul’s affluent Gangnam-gu district.

The lounge offers the opportunity to taste a selection of Italian Prosecco, Amarone della Valpolicella, Brunello di Montalcino, grappa and liqueurs

Steven Spurrier MW (2017) and Eduardo Chadwick (2018) joined forces in London and Paris last week to host the first Into the Future masterclasses championing fine wines from Chile and the UK.

The seated masterclass for 67 Pall Mall members had Chadwick flying the flag for his wines from Viña Seña and Viña Errázuriz, while Steven Spurrier showed off the rosé from his English sparkling wine vineyard, Bride Valley, and two of his favourite expressions.

More than 500 staff from Pernod Ricard in the UK: Pernod Ricard UK, Chivas Brothers and the Global Travel Retail division, joined together to help tackle water and land pollution.

The green-fingered trade peeps spent their time clearing rubbish from river banks and beaches across the UK as well as creating “Rain Gardens”, a natural filtration helping to transfer clean rain water back into the ground.

The activities formed part of Responsib’All Day, an annual global event which sees 18,500 employees from Pernod Ricard affiliates around the world dedicate time and resources to support the group’s year-long global sustainability commitments.


Filipino businessman Lucio Co has become a shareholder of Williams & Humbert by acquiring a significant stake in the Jerez winery owned by the Medina family. This investment will allow the company to strengthen its existing business and put it in a position to pursue future expansion.

The deal was closed at a ceremony hold in the residence of the Philippine Ambassador in Spain, Mr. Philippe Lhuillier (first on the right) attended by Filipino businessman Lucio Co and Jesús Medina García de Polavieja, CEO of the Williams & Humbert wineries.

Who’s that looking dark and mysterious behind the kitchen pass at London haunt Sosharu?

It’s head chef, Alex Craciun, who manned the troops at the Japanese restaurant during a California wine-paired dinner at Jason Atherton’s Japanese restaurant earlier this week, producing dishes that look like this:

Hosted by Jamie Patterson, E. & J. Gallo Fine Wine Manager and Masterchef semi-finalist, California Meets Japan took 70 guests through the producer’s upmarket selection, alongside a bespoke menu put together with Craciun.


In fact, Atherton’s restaurants have been pretty busy this week. Last night, Copper Rivet Distillery hosted a Martini press event at his Hai Cenato Restaurant’s The Drunken Oyster Bar, whereby guests could discover the different nuances of various Martinis made with the three spirits produced by Copper Rivet: Dockyard Gin, Vela Vodka and Son of a Gun Grain Spirit.

One of our favourite winemakers, the dashing Matt Day of Klein Constantia in South Africa, showed that the estate has more to offer than exquisite sweet wines during a masterclass in London this week, where he showcased the estate’s single vineyard Sauvignon Blancs and spoke passionately about the need for South Africa to stop copying New Zealand and champion its own idiosyncratic style of Sauvignon.

db was lucky enough to be invited to a special dinner that saw two of France’s most celebrated, and decorated, chefs – Anne-Sophie Pic and Alain Passard of L’Arpege pitt their skills against one another in a six Michelin star cook off at La Dame de Pic at The Four Seasons in Tower Hill.

The dinner was put on by Champagne house Billecart-Salmon to celebrate its 200th birthday. And to make the occasion, Billcart launched a limited edition Bicentenary Cuvée, which guests got to try on the night. Only a tiny number of magnums and Jeroboams of the cuvée have been bottled.

Alain Passard stole the show during the evening with his ebullient antics. Among our favourite of his dishes was his summery strawberry, pea and mint starter.

The Billecart-Salmon team were out in full force and made sure our flutes were full at all times…

Perhaps the best dish of the evening was Anne-Sophie Pic’s main of Cornish wild turbot menuère with turnip, liquorice and razor clams, which looked deceptively simple but tasted divine.

Callum Baines from Edinburgh’s Treacle Bar & Kitchen  has been crowned the winner of 1800 Tequila’s annual Visionaries Competition.

Bartenders across the UK were tasked with creating a cocktail that demonstrates what we will be drinking in 20 years’ time.

Baines impressed judges with his cocktail, “Make Tequila Great Again”, which combined 1800 Reposado, oak wood smoke, cactus and aloe syrup, lemon juice and Boston Bittahs served in a mug. Baines’s inspiration came from the notion of global warming, impacting resources of natural water and fresh ingredients causing sustainability to become the main focus of cocktails of the future.

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