Posts Tagged ‘Big’

 

 

Winemakers in New Zealand are hailing the 2013 vintage as ‘one of the best in history’, with a record harvest 28% bigger than last year’s crop.

 

New Zealand Winegrowers CEO Philip Gregan described the summer as ‘outstanding’ with ‘near-perfect conditions for growing grapes’.

‘The result is that we expect the 2013 wines to be vibrant, fruit-driven and complex expressions of our diverse grape-growing regions – 2013 looks set to be a vintage to remember.’

Nearly 350,000 tonnes of grapes were harvested in 2013, a record volume up 5% on 2011 and 28% bigger than last year’s small crop, which left New Zealand short of wine to feed its expansion plans.

Key region Marlborough and key grape variety Sauvignon Blanc both had good years, with volumes up 33% and 26% respectively, while the Pinot Noir crop was 36% bigger than in 2012.
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Swedish company Vernissage has started selling its boxed wines shaped to look like designer handbags in the UK due to unprecedented consumer demand.

Keen to appeal to fashion savvy consumers, last year Vernissage released the chic trio in the US and a number of European countries, overlooking the UK.

But due to repeated requests from British consumers, the wines are now available to buy in the UK through The Exceptional Wine Company.

Created by Stockholm-based graphic designer Sofia Blomberg, the “Bag-in-Bag” wines are made at the Nordic Sea Winery in Sweden run by Takis Soldatos.
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With the relatively large 2012 crop came the expectation that the 2013 grape market would be less active than last year. That has proven to be somewhat true, but only in the realm of “hyper” activity that leads to rapidly increasing prices.

Grapes are being traded, at least to the extent they are even available, since most of them are tied up under multi-year contracts. However, there is no “reckless competition” for grapes experienced last year. Pricing seems to be at or slightly above last year’s levels.

Depending on the variety, the coastal market is arguably more robust than last year at this point. With much less spot market fruit available, buyer interest is high. Reds in particular have brought great interest in 2013; Cabernet Sauvignon specifically.

Coastal areas outside of the most premium growing regions seem to be bringing the most interest for all varieties. This is due to buyers wanting to purchase great quality coastal fruit that allows them to average down the grape cost of their higher end programs. With that being said, there is much less hyper-activity around Napa Valley Cabernet and Sonoma County Pinot Noir. There is still strong demand, but buyers seem to be more interested in averaging down the cost of their high-end programs rather than fervently competing for additional high-end fruit at historically high prices.

 

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Supermarket wines did good at the IWC.

Supermarket wines did good at the IWC.

 

Thirty supermarket own-brand wines have won gold medals in the International Wine Challenge.

 

Marks & Spencer picked up the most, with 13 gold medals across various styles including red, white, dessert wines, marsala and Port. Sainsbury’s collected six golds, and Tesco and Waitrose received five gold medals each for their own-label ranges. The Co-operative picked up two sparkling golds and an Extra Special Champagne from ASDA (available from June) which will retail for less than £20, picked up the only gold for the supermarket chain.

 

Thirteen of the gold medal wines retail for less than £10 and, according to the IWC, this highlights “the rise of excellent supermarket wines marking a shift in the consumer habits of discerning shoppers who want high quality and good value”.
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(Image courtesy Captain Grooviss)

(Image courtesy Captain Grooviss)

 

Hard cider sales are showing remarkable growth in the U.S. market as new brands inject dynamism into the category. Eagerly tapping into the trend, brewers including Boston Beer Co., MillerCoors, Anheuser-Busch InBev and others have all jumped into the cider pool.

The U.S. market’s top 10 cider brands increased by 62.6% to 9.58 million 2.25-gallon case depletions in 2012, according to Impact Databank. Most major brands, particularly domestic entrants, showed double-digit increases, including category leader Woodchuck, which grew 25% to 2.53 million 2.25-gallon cases.

Boston Beer Co. launched its Angry Orchard brand in 2011, and it did just 40,000 cases in that year. But last year it gained national distribution and grew to within striking distance of Woodchuck, hitting 2.2 million cases.

In February 2012, MillerCoors’ Tenth and Blake craft-import unit purchased Crispin Cider Company of Minneapolis. Crispin, which was launched in 2008, quickly gained a presence beyond its regional base once MillerCoors took over. Last year, brand volume more than doubled to 714,000 cases.

 

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Big spender!

Big spender!

Beyoncé blew £17,000 on booze at the Andaz Hotel in Liverpool Street last Sunday to celebrate finishing the London leg of her tour.
According to The Sun newspaper, the star shelled out the sum on drinks at the hotel’s Champagne bar following six nights performing at the capital’s 02 Arena.

“Beyoncé wanted to say thanks to all of the backing dancers, crew and everyone else involved with putting on the six shows,” a source told The Sun.

“Between the lot of them they managed to drink their way through more than £17,000-worth of booze in just a few hours.

“They got stuck in as they knew they had a few days off afterwards. They were still in there at closing time at 4am.”

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The near future ....

The near future ….

 

Experts say Sun’s activity wanes every 200 years – and the next ‘cooling period’ is due by 2040

  • Russian scientists believe the Sun emits less heat every 200 years
  • Cooling period could cause Earth’s temperature to fall by several degrees
  • Last time was between 1650 and 1850, known as the ‘Little Ice Age’
  • The period of low solar activity could start between 2030 and 2040

..Forget global warming – the Earth may soon be plunged into a 250-year cooling period, scientists have claimed.
Russian climate experts believe that every 200 years the Sun’s activity temporarily wanes and it emits less heat.
They believe this ‘cooling period’ could cause the earth’s average temperature to fall by several degrees.
 
Scientists believe that every 200 years the Sun emits less heat, resulting in a big freeze
The last time this occurred was between 1650 and 1850 – a period known as the ‘Little Ice Age’.
At the time, most of Britain’s rivers would freeze over during the bitter winters.
Contemporary paintings show people could even cross the Thames using ice skates.

The next ‘cooling period’ is scheduled to start between 2030 and 2040.
But scientists from Pulkovo Observatory in St Petersburg think the cold period is unlikely to be as harsh as the last one.

Researcher Yuri Nagovitsyn said: ‘Evidently, solar activity is on the decrease.
‘In this respect, we could be in for a cooling period that lasts 200 to  250 years.

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After 6 weeks of working 15 hour days, the wine harvest in the Durbanville area is in final hour!

Here is a view photographs snapped on my iphone 5:

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Consultant winemaker Edgardo del Pópolo has said Argentina’s period of over-oaked and over-extracted wines is “over”.
Speaking to the drinks business after a seminar at the South American Wine Workshop hosted by Santa Rita, Pópolo, who consults for Santa Rita’s Argentine estate Doña Paula, said that the trend in the country now was for greater freshness, balance and regional expression.

He conceded that Argentina’s warmer regions would mean that the country would continue to produce more typically New World wines with sweeter fruit and more concentration, however he added: “But the aim is to make them fresher, more balanced.
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woman-drinking-beer

American craft brewers love to talk about how they’re stealing market share from the big beer companies, such as MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD). In the first half of the year, craft beer sales rose 14 percent, in dollar terms, according to the trade group Brewers Association. Their larger competitors can only dream of such gains in the U.S.

Craft brewers, however, are increasingly worried about how the world’s two largest beer companies are attempting to counter their growth by making beers that appear to be craft products—like MillerCoors’s Blue Moon and AB InBev’s Shock Top—with no indication on their labels that they’re produced by large multinational corporations.

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