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The week in pictures

It is an unspoken truth that if you don’t know what wine to order, go for the second cheapest wine on the menu.

Now, we’re all guilty of spending too much on booze at the Christmas party, and this year, Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan was keen to tell everyone that he spent £4,200 on Champagne at his own do this week.

Morgan, who was entertaining guests at the Fuller’s-owned Scarsdale Tavern in west London, ordered the second-cheapest Champagne on the menu, a Bollinger Special Cuvee Brut, retailing at £65 per bottle.

The Bolly was just £5 more expensive than a bottle of Pol Roger at the pub, while other options included Laurent-Perrier Special Cuvee Rose Brut Champagne (£82 each), and a very nice Dom Perignon 2003 (£135 each). The pub also serves fizz from Chapel Down and La Tordera Prosecco, but clearly, this was an evening for French bubbles.

Meanwhile, £169.15 was spent on 17 large glasses of Pinot Noir from wine brand Edwin Fox, £108.90 on 22 pints of Harvey’s Sussex Best, £88 on 15 pints of Peroni, and £10 on just one large glass of Provence rosé.

In maritime merriment, Talisker kicked off its annual rowing championships with a Parley Ocean School for rowers, and a gathering of outdoor adventurers, explorers, rowers and ocean enthusiasts including British adventurer, James Aiken, actor, Matt Smith and endurance athlete Ross Edgely.

The group of adventurous types were shipped to a bar set up by the Diageo-owned whisky label that is only accessible by sea.

This marks the sixth year that Talisker has sponsored the Atlantic Challenge rowing race, which sees participants travel over 3000 miles from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua.

In chilled vibes, pub operator Greene King has installed an igloo with lickable frozen beer blocks in London’s Southwark to celebrate the launch of its new pale ale called Ice Breaker.

The igloo, currently stationed outside The Anchor in Southwark, is made out of blocks containing over 1,000 litres of frozen beer, with visitors invited to lick the walls as part of the experience.

Speaking of beer, Innis & Gunn has revealed the location of Edinburgh’s first major brewery for 150 years to be Heriot-Watt University’s research park, to the west of the Scottish capital.

The brewer launched a crowdfunding campaign to help finance the project back in November, with the aim of raising £3 million. It has now extended the crowdfunding period to 31 January 2020 having already raised over £2 million.

In presents, Hendrick’s Gin has collaborated with Oscar winning graphic designer for film, Annie Atkins, to create a limited-edition gift for the festive period.

Atkins – best known for her collaborations with Wes Anderson on The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) – has stayed true to Hendrick’s “curious” brand identity we’ve seen in recent PR stunts, and created a Zoetrope, an early form of animation technology that seems to bring still images to life when observed through the vertical slots of a cyclical drum.

The word zoetrope descends from the Ancient Greek meaning ‘wheel of life’ and was a popular Victorian Parlour toy designed to entertain and amuse.

When the recipients open their delivery, they’ll not only find a bottle of Hendrick’s finest gin, but also the zoetrope beneath, complete with hand-crafted animations from Atkins herself..

In sustainability, Taylor’s Port and UK retailer the Co-op’s reforestation project is underway in the Douro Valley and work has now started on preparing the land for planting.

Nearly four football pitches worth of trees are expected to be funded by Co-op through sales of Taylor’s Select Reserve port, providing a welcome boost to the Douro Valley and Northern Portugal.

Co-op is the first UK retailer to pledge to go further in its commitment to Porto Protocol and, for every bottle of Taylor’s Select Reserve Port sold, Co-op will be donating 10p to the reforestation project.

Co-op sells two thirds of all of its Port during Christmas and sales are expected to fund the planting of 2,500 trees.

In Asian markets, Diageo-owned brewer Guinness has opened a “brand experience” in Shanghai, where punters can pour their own pints and pair them with oysters.

Iain McAlister, distillery manager, and Willie Ross, gold club captain, celebrate the windfall for the new clubhouse.

In Scotch news Glen Scotia Distillery in Campbeltown has raised more than £10,000 for Machrihanish golf club, one of the oldest and historic of its kind in Scotland, after the landmark site suffered a devastating fire this time last year.

The fire completely destroyed Machrihanish’s historic clubhouse, but thanks to the distillery’s fundraising efforts, it is hoped it will be replaced with a new purpose-built facility, provided the club can secure planning permission.

Glen Scotia, one of just three surviving distilleries in Campbeltown, formerly known as the whisky capital of the world, donated a single cask in aid of the golf club’s charity campaign. The bottlings have now sold out, raising over £10,000 for the fundraising drive.

The Beaufort Bar at London’s Savoy hotel has appointed Enzo Sigaut as its new bar manager. Joining the team alongside Head Bartender Elon Soddu, Sigaut will replace Beaufort Bar Manager, Joe Harper who has in turn taken up position of bar manager at The Savoy’s American Bar.

Meanwhile, hospitality group Hakkasan has appointed Tobias Brauweiler MS as its group sommelier, several months after the departure of its longstanding head of wine, Christine Parkinson.

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