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Wine News

Wine too cold? Microwave it!

If your wine is too cold, Bob Campbell MW advises stick it in the microwave.
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As winter approaches temperatures drop, often you open a red wine to find that it is too cold. Esteemed wine expert, Bob Campbell MW advises stick it in the microwave! Bob told Hyden Donnell for the Spinoff, that he often warms his wine in a microwave.

Campbell outlined his wine-microwaving routine. My routine is to take wine from my cellar... pour myself a glass of red in a stemless glass. Taste it, say yup, that is too cold. Put it in the microwave for 10 seconds. If it's too warm, add a bit more cold wine to it. If it's too cold, give it another second or two until it's absolutely bang on, he said.

He claimed to have conducted an experiment where he microwaved half a bottle of wine, left the other half of the same bottle un-microwaved, then ran tests to see whether microwaved wine deteriorated quicker. It didn't, he concluded!

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Cannabis the new craft drink to threaten wine

A relaxing, intoxicating drink, with a huge range of different flavours and cultivars receiving billions in investment. Is cannabis the next drink to rival wine?
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A relaxing, intoxicating drink, with a huge range of different flavours and cultivars - sounds similar to wine. But the next big drink could contain cannabis, if the investment flowing into US and Canadian based businesses is anything to go by.

With Canada, nine US states and now South Africa all legalising cannabis, drinks companies are looking to it as a key ingredient in new drinks and this week Coca Cola announced they are developing cannabis infused drinks.

Diageo, the huge global drinks company and owner of Gordon's gin and Guinness has apparently held 'serious discussions' with at least three major cannabis producers.

Meanwhile, wine company Constellation Brands, which bought a stake in Canadian company Canopy Growth in October 2017, has increased its stake in the business, investing US$4 billion to acquire a 38% share.

Finally last month, a team of Canadian scientists announced that they were attempting to make a beer brewed with the “stalks, stem and roots of the cannabis plant”.

Threat or opportunity, the drinks companies seem to see it as a opportunity worth pursuing.
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America trade war with China has some lessons for Brexit

US wine exports to China grew by 14% from January to June despite a trade war, this gives us an insight into what might happen with Brexit.
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US wine exports to China grew by 14% from January to June despite an acrimonious trade war between the two trade superpowers. The rise was despite, or even because of, an increase in duty for US wines to China rising by 15% in April. China may also impose a 25% tariff on US wines later in the year if the trade war does not abate.

It is expected that sales of the increasingly less-competitive US wines will fall. The surprising growth in exports was driven by a short term build up in stocks before the duty price increased.

As the UK draws closer to a hard Brexit a similar situation could occur. There are currently two key outcomes to Brexit negotiations.

The first is that a Brexit deal is done and the UK moves to a transition period that will not affect trade for at least another two years.

The second option is a hard Brexit, where no deal is done and the UK reverts immediately to the World Trade Organisation rules. This is likely to result in a rise in tariffs, and more importantly the reintroduction of border checks. The government will probably waive most border checks in the short term to minimise disruption, however there is a risk that if they don't, there will be stock and supply problems.

As we get closer and a no deal becomes more likely, UK wholesalers and retailers, like their Chinese counterparts, will increase stocks of European wines to help minimise disruption. This will see a short-term boost to EU wines sales into the UK. But a decrease in some EU wines as they substitute them with more reliable non-EU wines.

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Beautiful wine maps on YouTube of top Bordeaux Chateaux

Pierre Le Hong has produced some beautiful videos and wine maps of Bordeaux estates via YouTube.
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Some great new videos and maps of Bordeaux’s top producers are available on YouTube. They've been produced by Pierre Le Hong, who is making a name for himself in the region by creating detailed, digital maps of prized vineyards. The maps start out with a view of the world and zoom in. They show cut aways of soils types, contours and which grape varieties are grown where.

Below is a link to an example of Château Lagrange in St-Julien:

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Wine Shows for trade and consumers are all go in September and October

September and October are big months for wine lovers looking to attend wine shows.
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New of 2018 is The Wine & Spirits Show on the 12-13 October in the heart of London at One Whitehall Place. The show is being launched by the team who created The City Wine Show, The Wine Show Chelsea and Spirited London.

The show is pitched at London based wine enthusiasts with 2,000 members of the public expected to attend. The Wine & Spirits Show will offer one hall dedicated to wines, and another that will be focused entirely on spirits. There will also be a number of free masterclasses for people to attend.

Rioja 10x10 is another show on the 9th October in London but this time for the wine trade. Rioja 10x10 launched in 2015 and is a great opportunity to discover of Rioja’s top wines and key trends.

The last shows are the Specialist Importers Trade Tastings (SITT) which are for the trade only on the 24th September in London and the 26th September in Leeds.

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Chapel Down signs lease to become the UK's largest winery

English Winery Chapel Down has leased 388 acres of land and when fully planted will be the largest UK winery with 950 acres under its control producing 1 million bottles per year.
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English winery Chapel Down has leased 388 acres of land in the North Downs so that, along with other leased land, Chapel Down now has 788 acres of leased land and with its own vineyards of 168 acres
will, when fully planted, be the largest UK winery with 950 acres under its control.

The site in Boxley, which adjoins Chapel Down’s existing vineyards on the North Downs, will be planted between 2019 and 2021. Once fully planted Chapel Down will produce 1 million bottles of wine. Last year, according to Wine GB, the UK produced 5.9 million bottles, with supplies set to reach 8-10 million in 10 years time, making Chapel Down responsible for 10% of the UK production.

Other large UK producers are Nyetimber with 438 acres, Rathfinny Estate has 400 acres, Denbies 256 acres and Champagne house, Tattinger with 171 acres in Kent.

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Also this month

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Wine is mainly sold in 750ml bottles but some producers are putting wine in 500ml bottles to share between two. Do you think smaller bottles are a good idea?