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The week in pictures

US brewer Yuengling has partnered with country music star Lee Brice. Brice will serve as the brewer’s brand ambassador for its stars and stripes programme, which is dedicated to supporting the American military through Team Red, White & Blue, a non-profit organisation that supports veterans.

The new partnership coincides with the recent release of Brice’s new hit song More Beer. 

Hollywood heartthrob Brad Pitt did some staged sun-lounging this week as part of his rosé label Miraval’s ‘Spirit of the Riviera’ advertising campaign. The images were shot in Los Angeles by fashion photographer Lachlan Bailey and coincide with the release of the 2020 vintage of Miraval rosé.

A new rum brand launched in Scotland this week backed by Richard Dixon, founder of out-of-hours pet care specialist Vets Now, and Claire Kinloch, CEO of strategy consultancy Genoa Black. The pair plan to launch their first release – five aged rums finished in Pedro Ximénez casks in Speyside – to on-trade, off-trade and online channels in March. 

This week it was announced that Wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has partnered with Molson Coors to create a non-alcoholic energy drink called Zoa, which is due to go on sale in March. Zoa is a caffeinated beverage made from green tea and unroasted coffee beans, according to Molson Coors.The Rock is no stranger to the drinks industry, having launched his Tequila label Teremana in 2019.

Education provider Wine Scholar Guild (WSG) announced this week that it had appointed Corinne Mui as its ambassador for Asia. Mui will lead the development of its programmes in the region and brings 15 years of experience in wine education in Asia to the role.

Mui said: “People in Asia are looking for very specialised and more in-depth wine education which is exactly what WSG programs offer. I’m thrilled to take up this exciting new challenge as WSG Ambassador and I really hope to bring first class wine education to new channels across Asia.”

This week also brought news of a new drinks film starring, among others, Stephen Fry and Brad Pitt. Called Sparkling: The Story of Champagne, the film is described as a feature length documentary, and has been created by a London-based independent production company called Swipe Films. Also appearing in the documentary, which will be screened in the summer, are Taittinger president Vitalie Taittinger, Lanson-BCC chairman Bruno Paillard, Louis Roederer cellar master Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon, Dom Perignon chef de caves Vincent Chaperon, as well as wine writers Oz Clarke and Tom Stevenson; authors, Don & Petie Kladstrup; and wine merchant, Tony Laithwaite.

The hospitality industry has had some rare good news. MPs voted in favour of a motion to create a Minister for Hospitality after the ‘Seat At The Table’ petition, founded by journalist Claire Bosi, gained over 200,000 signatures. While this doesn’t result in any direct action as a consequence, it is hoped it will put pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to seriously consider the proposal. Founded by Claire Bosi, editor of Chef & Restaurant magazine, the ‘Seat at The Table’ petition has been backed by a slew of high profile chefs and restaurateurs including Robin Huston, Tom Kerridge, Angela Hartnett (pictured) and Jason Atherton.

While lending his support to the Seat at the Table campaign, chef Tom Kerridge has also announced a new partnership with British Airways. The partnership sees Kerridge design a new menu for the airline’s Speedbird Café pre-purchase menu, which must be ordered before flying in short-haul economy class, known as Euro Traveller. Dishes designed by Kerridge include a warm steak and ale pie, a ham hock and smoked cheddar sandwich, a chicken bacon and celery brioche, a brie ploughman’s sandwich and a vegan spiced cauliflower tortilla wrap.

UK drinks company Broadland Drinks announced that it had hired winemaker and sourcing consultant Clem Yates MW. Yates will help drive the development of the company’s new ‘No Ordinary’ range, which launched last year. Yates formerly worked as a consultant, but also spent spent seven years at UK drinks distributor and brand owner Off-Piste wine, where she was the sourcing and supply director. Before that she was  winemaker at Sainsbury’s for three years.

(L-R) Andi and Alex Sattler and Sven Leiner

The Austrian-based biodynamic winery association, respekt-Biodyn, revealed that two new estates have joined its ranks this week. The addition of Sven Leiner and Sattlerhof brings the total membership of the group to 25, principally from Germany and Austria as well as Hungary and Italy, with the 17 Austrian members accounting for one-tenth of the country’s organic vineyards (630 hectares).

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