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Week in pictures: 11-17 May

This week saw Patrick Schmitt MW at the Global Wine Masters, James Evison with Busi-Jacobsohn, Louis Thomas taste the Languedoc, Douglas Blyde at Bubbledogs and with Graham’s Port, and Ross Kemp with Heineken.

Global Wine Masters

Two Global Wine Masters competitions took place this week, respectively dedicated to Carmenere, at The White Horse, Fulham, and to Sangiovese, at Bar Rioja, Kings Cross in London.
Results will be published in the June issue of the drinks business for the Global Carmenere Masters, and in July, in the Italy report, for the Global Sangiovese Masters.


Louis Thomas attended a celebration of Languedoc wines at Provisions on Hackney Road, tying in with the launch of a wine guide authored by Rupert Millar, with photography from Georgia Glynn-Smith.

With dishes including brandade de Nîmes (effectively baccalà mantecato), tielle sétoise (an octopus and tomato pie), pelardon (goat’s cheese), and a sweetened focaccia flavoured with orange blossom, the assembled journalists tasted through a selection of the region’s wines and discussed the problems and opportunities that the Languedoc has.

“It’s about giving Languedoc a greater sense of identity,” said Millar. “It exists as this vast southern region that is still understated and misunderstood.”

“It has this wild, savage landscape – it’s rough and windy. Very gassy, because everyone’s eating cassoulet.”


James Evison attended a English sparkling wine and Indian food matching event held by Sussex producer Busi-Jacobsohn at Trishna in London. The event saw the producer showcase its sparkling 2019 Cuvée Brut, 2018 Blanc de Blancs, 2018 Blanc de Noirs and Rosé Extra Brut as well as a special magnum of the “Covid vintage” of the not-yet-released 2020 Cuvée Brut.

The latter (pictured above) is due to be released later in the summer is a result of the infamous lockdown spring of 2020, where 12 weeks of continuous sunshine resulted in an excellent vintage, celebrated in this larger format magnum by the sparkling wine producer.

Matching the sparkling wines with Indian cuisine showcased the potential for the pairing, as the light, elegant dishes, mixed with a range of chillis and spices, was balanced by the wines. Look on the drinks business for more information shortly on the matching potential.


Actor, journalist and documentary maker, Ross Kemp, has joined forces with Heineken to showcase the benefits of its industry leading SmartDispense cellar technology.

The new campaign, Ross Kemp Behind Bars, will follow Kemp as he visits great pubs up and down the country to find out how SmartDispense helps licensees save over 20,000 pints per year of beer, cider and water, and deliver the perfect pint every time.

It comes in response to new research showing the importance of serving great quality beer, with 60% of Brits admitting they have left a pub after one drink because they were unsatisfied with the quality of the serve Furthermore, 12% claim that when served a bad pint they won’t finish it and just leave The survey also shows that drink quality is the leading reason Brits would recommend a pub to others (31%) , while 54% of pub-goers claim they are more likely to go to a pub if they know the venue had invested in equipment that could better ensure quality pints.

Ross Kemp Behind Bars will kick off on 14th May, with the launch of the first episode in the video series, across SmartDispense digital channels.

Graham’s Port

Following their Vintage Port day at Nomad hotel, featuring masterclasses on indigenous Douro grapes and sustainability, Douro terroir and 2022 vintage ports, and the DNA of Dow’s & Graham’s Vintage Port DNA, chief winemaker, Charles Symington chose Scott’s to launch Graham’s 50 Year Old Tawny. Said market manager, Anthony Symington: “We have been working on this for a few years, only releasing it now (later than most others) in order to ensure it truly is the best possible expression of a 50 Year Old we could make”.

Indefatigable of aftertaste, and evocative of meringue falling into a lava of PX sherry, the “marathon” blend (said Charles) is composed of two principal component lots which have particular significance to the Symington family. Anthony continued: “The first is a wine from 1969, named using Charles’ initials – CAS Reserve – originally set aside by Peter Symington to mark the birth of his son, Charles.

The second is comprised of wines from 1970 and 1973. Blended in 1982, over 50% has evaporated throughout the ensuing decades, resulting in astonishing concentration.” Anthony confirmed these two wines would have been some of the first made by the Symington family.


Drinks consultant, Ruchira Neotia, and Douglas Blyde, met Elliot Grover, executive chef of Cut at 45 Park Lane, at the summer pop-up of Bubbledogs.

Chosen by Sandia Chang who founded the original Bubbledogs in Fitzrovia with her chef husband, James Knappett, and Cut’s head sommelier, Davide Bottoni, 50 grower champagnes including Francois Bedel’s mighty 2002 Comme Autrefois Brut filed under the heading “Age Matters” are supplemented by one English rendition from a “Different Area Code” – Hundred Hills Hillside No. 3 2019.

Alongside a quintet of options from the original menu, Grover added two “Gourmet” dogs including the truffled A5 wagyu striploin starring “The Kagoshima”. Running now until 29 September.


Retailer ASDA also held its summer tasting this week at Casa do Frango in London, starting with a dramatic Champagne tower on arrival.

The event showcased to the trade the retailer’s new summer wine collection.

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