The week in pictures

It’s not often we get to start a story with this photo of Gene Simmons.

But this week you’re in for a treat as glam rock band Kiss is working with a Swedish merchandising company on a line of spirits.

Kiss, known for their heavy make-up, daring costumes and bassist-turned reality T.V. star Simmons, have partnered with Sweden’s Brands for Fans on two full-strength, premium spirits due for release this year.

Through a deal brokered by brand management company Epic Rights, Kiss and Brands For Fans will launch them in Europe, Japan and Australia before the end of 2020.

It comes nine years after the band first delved into the drinks industry. Kiss partnered with wine distributor Rewine to release their own brand of wines and beers in 2011.

Brands for Fans has something of a Magic Touch (sorry) when it comes to creating merchandise for rock legends, having previously worked with Motörhead, Slayer, Ghost, Judas Priest, Scorpions.

We tried to shoehorn I Was Made For Lovin’ You into this little section here but really it was too hard. Here’s another photo of Simmons instead.


In harder hitting news, a feature documentary about the history of winemaking in Lebanon and the resilience of the Lebanese entrepreneurial spirit seen through the lens of war and instability has been released worldwide today (9 October).

The film looks at the challenges of making wine in a region that has always witnessed upheaval, and yet one that around 7,000 years ago, through the Phoenician trading empire, did nothing less than give the gift of wine to the world.

The film is inspired by the award-winning book Wines of Lebanon by Michael Karam, a journalist who lived in Lebanon for 25 years and who is no stranger to war himself.



Scotland may be a tough place for the drinks sector right now, but where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Hendrick’s Gin, owned by William Grant & Sons, has released a digital glimpse behind it’s secret walls to celebrate the 2 year anniversary of the Hendrick’s Gin Palace, based in Girvan, Scotland, which is currently closed to the public due to *gestures wildly at the air*.

In keeping with the gin brand’s typically eccentric style, the distillery tour film sees a fictional roving reporter jump down from a hot air balloon into the private walled garden in front of the Hendrick’s Gin Palace, where he is then whisked away on a telling tour.


A Spanish breed of terrier known for keeping wine cellars in Jerez free of mice and rats has been awarded protected status in the Andalusian city.

As reported by Spanish website The Local, Jerez has declared the Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz as part of the city’s cultural heritage. It is the first Spanish breed of dog to be awarded such protected status in the country.

On 30 September the city council announced the decision to honour the breed, which was created in Jerez and has long been employed to hunt for rats and mice within the city’s numerous Sherry bodegas.


Exmouth-based chef Michael Caines has partnered with Lyme Bay Winery in Axminster on a high-end English fizz called Lympstone Manor Cuvée.

The fizz will be made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier grown at the grade II listed Lympstone Manor, where Caines works as a chef.

The vines were planted in 2018 on a southwest-facing vineyard overlooking the Exe estuary within the grounds of the listed building, which boasts a hotel and restaurant.

The 2020 grape harvest will begin in early to mid-October and the first vintage of Lympstone Manor Cuvée will go on sale in 2023.


When in Rome, the boxed wine business that recently partnered with Phillip Schofield, has now teamed up with The Wine Show to introduce a pair or Portuguese wines to the UK.

The wines are set to launch later this month to coincide with the launch of The Wine Show‘s series 3, which is largely based in Portugal.


Michael Lunn, former chairman and chief executive of Whyte and Mackay Group, is building launching a new whisky brand called Wolfgraic and plans to spend £15 million on a new distillery in Sterling.

He is creating the new brand with co-directors John Moore and Jamie Lunn.

Working alongside the management team will be a trio of industry experts including Dr Alan Rutherford OBE, former production director at Diageo who was awarded an OBE for his services to the Scotch whisky industry, former Bacardi UK Operations Director Iain Lochhead, and renowned master distiller Ian Macmillan.

South African wine wholesaler and importer DGB has just acquired Fryers Cover, a west coast winery three hours from Cape Town.

Tim Hutchinson, Executive Chairman of DGB, said in a statement the purchase was made through Artisanal Brands, a DGB subsidiary focussing on the “niche and artisanal” wine sector.

Its portfolio includes Old Road Wine Co. in Franschhoek, which Artisanal Brands developed from scratch and also includes a tasting room and restaurant in Franschhoek’s old main road.

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