The week in pictures
This week, in Movers and Shakers, Brewdog has hired former Diageo director and Johnnie Walker veteran David Gates to manage its spirits label LoneWolf as the brand begins to expand its range to include whisky and rum.
Gates — who left his position as managing director of Diageo’s innovation arm, Diageo Futures, earlier this year — has worked for the spirits giant for 27 years.
In his early career Gates oversaw the growth of the Johnnie Walker brand. As part of this he worked with the team to create the short film/long advert ‘Man who walked around the World’ in 2009, which won a Cannes Gold Lion in 2009.
Lone Wolf Spirits, which launched in April 2017, is gearing up to add dark spirits including rum and whisky to its portfolio, and having signed a distribution deal with Global Brands in January in 2018, LoneWolf is aiming to increase availability of its range of spirits in the UK with the aim of growing retail sales by £40m over the next two years.
Also in beer news, the Chancellor visited Fuller’s brewery in advance of announcing the Q3 GDP results on Friday.
Accompanying Phillip Hammond was the British Beer & Pub Association’s (BBPA) Chief Executive, Brigid Simmonds OBE and the Chief Executive of Fuller’s, Simon Emeny, who is also the BBPA’s chairman.
The stunt comes just two weeks after Hammond gave an early Christmas present to the pub industry (sorry we know you’ve heard that one before), in the form of a duty freeze on beer and spirits in the 2018 Autumn Statement.
Masterchef supremo Monica Galetti worked her socks off on Monday night masterminding a dinner at her Bloomsbury restaurant Mere, designed to showcase wines from producer Schloss Gobelsburg in Austria.
Wine List Confidential’s assistant editor Niall Penlington popped down for the evening, and of course Galetti jumped at the chance to pose with our 2018 issue. Who wouldn’t?
The 14 latest MWs were officially welcomed to the institute at an awards ceremony in London on Wednesday night. For the uninitiated, the awards ceremony is much like a school Speech Day, and it’s safe to say this year’s crop are extremely bright. Several students were given awards by Supporters of the IMW for their performance at various stages of the study.
Tim Triptree MW, the Christie’s International Fine Wine Director, for example, won the Noval Award for his research paper on Champagne at the IMW Awards.
Tiptree has spent the last four years in Christie’s Hong Kong branch — returning to London and his new job last year.
Then there was Lindsay Pomeroy, who won two awards. First for her talent as a taster, she was awarded the Bollinger Medal. She also received the Austrian Wine Marketing Board’s Outstanding Achievement Award for her overall performance across all areas of the MW examination.
Nicolas Quillé MW earned not one, not two, but THREE awards: the Villa Maria Prize for his outstanding knowledge of viticulture, the Errazuriz Award for his performance in the Business of Wine exam and the Robert Mondavi Award for his performance in all of the theory papers.
While the newbies were sworn in, the old-hands went to California for what looks like a truly great squad holiday.
Some 50 MWs from 16 countries participated in a tour of California wines in late October, which showcased 600 wines from 60 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) throughout the state and an impressive 300 vintners.
Touring California wine regions for 10 days through the Central Coast and North Coast areas, and tasting wines from across the state, the highly group included sommeliers, wine retailers, restaurateurs, wine writers and other leaders in the global hospitality industry.
There’s a growing, and in the author’s opinion ill-advised, trend in London for combining boozy cocktails with things like tattoo parlours and hair salons.
And so it is with the marketing team at whiskey-maker Wild Turkey, who have teamed up with barbers Murdock London to offer a slightly more sober version of the cross-over. They will provide men with the expertise to look sharp and mix drinks like a pro during a series of Go with the Grain sessions.
The session starts with learning how to shave like a minor Peaky Blinders character, followed by a complimentary Wild Turkey 101 Old Fashioned, while Brand Ambassador, Sam Kershaw, holds a masterclass in mixing to show you how to prepare this classic cocktail.
Sessions will take place on 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th November, between 7.30pm – 9pm at Murdock’s site in Soho.
Over in vintage news, Moët & Chandon has released its 2012 ‘Grand Vintage’, the 74th vintage release from the house.
According to Benoit Gouez, Moët’s cellar master: “2012 was an unprecedented year in the records of winemaking. So many trials and tribulations and yet such promising results. Nature treated the vineyards to almost every form of meteorological disaster.”
The Judean Hills Quartet, formed of (l-r) Eli-Gilbert Ben-Zaken of Domaine du Castel, Eran Pick MW of Tzora Vineyards, Doron Rav Hon of Sphera and Golan Flam of Flam Winery came to London this week to promote their wines and the Judean Hills region near Jerusalem in Israel at a tasting and lunch held at 67 Pall Mall.
The region is planted with 300 hectares of vines and while the terroir is diverse in terms of altitudes and aspects, its terra rossa over limestone soil is largely uniform. Bordeaux varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc have found a natural home here, as have white grapes Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Syrah has emerged as one of the star red varieties in the region, while barrel fermented and aged Chardonnays are also showing real promise.
db headed to the Hotel Café Royal in Piccadilly this week for the launch of Spanish chef Ferran Adrià’s Cakes & Bubbles – a paradise for dessert lovers selling all sorts of sweet treats. During the launch, Adria, who is the younger brother of El Bulli’s Ferran Adrià, said he has deliberately designed the puds to shine a light on fruit and go easy on the sugar, and their lightness was evident at the event, particularly the light-as-air churros.
Sure to become an Instagram sensation is Adrià’s signature cheesecake, designed to look like a wheel of brie. The rind is in fact made from white chocolate and hazelnut. while the gooey innards are impossibly creamy and surprisingly savoury. We loved the sweet-savoury combo but it may be divisive. Either way, expect to see a lot more cheesecakes popping up on your feed in the coming weeks…