Terry's blog, updated regularly, so you won't miss anything important in the world of wine.

Risk Assessment

A study from the University of Washington, Seattle has concluded that a glass of wine or two a day in middle age could cut the risk of heart problems.

Researchers worked out the amount people can drink per day at different ages before health risks kick in. It appears that UK wine drinkers in good health aged 60 can enjoy a small glass of wine per day. Those aged between 60 and 64 can enjoy slightly more than a standard drink- a 100ml glass of 13 percent red wine, a 375ml bottle of 3.5 per cent beer or a shot of 40 percent spirit.

The results for younger middle aged people ranged from a glass of wine for men and half a glass for women aged 45 – 49 . For the age group 55 – 59 one and a half glasses of wine for men and just under a glass for women.

The Study was lead by Professor Emmanuela Gakidou . It concluded that there are no health benefits to drinking alcohol for people aged 15 – 39. It stated that ‘young people should not drink but older people may benefit from drinking small amounts’

Makes you think? When we each consider how much alcohol we consume on a daily basis !

mogg is a bellend

Taking The Sparkle Out Of Sparkling Wines

An article was passed to me last week stating that Jacob Rees-Mogg, the minister for Brexit opportunity has identified an EU rule that sparkling wine must be sold in glass bottles, could be scrapped and that a post Brexit Britain could do with out. Instead Fizz could be produced in plastic bottles.
Now Mr Rees-Mogg strikes me as a gentlemen who has enjoyed the odd glass of sparkly, does he really intend putting this forward?

mogg is a bellend

Obviously the powers that be in the wine and spirit trade do not support this.

A sparkling wine contains roughly the same pressure as the tyre of a large van. English Sparkling wine like Champagne requires bottle fermentation, which requires a container that can withstand that kind of pressure either in storage or on the shelves.

However unlikely this proposal is, can we just get rid of it now please. Surely there should be no place for plastic wine bottles in our Industry.

This platform is all for natural and organic processes but the components derived from natural, organic materials such as cellulose, coal, natural gas, salt and of course, crude oil which make up plastic are not welcome.

London Wine Trade Fair 2022

For me, having attended previous years at this show, 2022 was devoid of atmosphere full of gaps where stands and people should have been and really quite sad. Where was everybody?

Huge amounts of people did not attend. In years past you would see people glass in hand with their badges showing the pub they owned, the restaurant they worked in, the deli they had just left for a quick visit, the wine company their employer had treated them with a day off and expenses paid they belonged to ... etc .. Some of these people still attended but many did not.

Why? Because for the first time ever, to my knowledge, the trade had to pay to attend its own event.

Now here’s the rub. I did not speak to one producer, not one, who was aware when they booked a stand and before they came and many came from very far away that the trade visitors would have to pay for admission.

I am sure that many had done their own due diligence and ascertained that over 13,000 attended the last Trade Fair in 2019. (were they advised it would be similar? I don’t know). I wrote my very first Blog, 3 years ago and it was based on my visit to the 2019 London Trade Fair , it’s still available to view (click here to visit article)

I wrote there was so much going on that you could not get round it all in a day. Not this one, after about four hours, I was scratching my head where to go next. All of the exhibitors I spoke to bar one had not been before.

Many were disgruntled. I went on the Wednesday, I was told the Tuesday was also similar. It’s obvious if you charge for admission your footfall will drop. Some exhibitors I spoke to were Okay about it saying they only needed one good contact and so on and I hope they got it but the vast majority commented on how disappointing it was.

So who benefited?

Well I did not speak to one producer, not one who had been offered a concession against their stand cost because the visitors were being charged entry. The best I heard was 10 free tickets and some nothing at all.

I remember reading somewhere months ago when I learned that we were having to pay for entry that a larger, well known exhibitor was complaining that so many deals were done privately on the trading floor and that he was having to pay for his stand to exhibit. To my mind what a limp excuse to charge admission when the whole dynamic of the exhibition was affected.

Let’s do some basic maths. I don’t know how many people attended, can’t find any figures for it. Published figures for 2019 are 13,260. So let’s say attendance for 2022 as an example was 50% lower that makes around 6500 visitors.

Now ‘early bird’ charge was £35 and after was £45 so let’s work on £40 per entry – 6500 x £40 is £260,000 ! I will publish the exact attendance figures with relevant income from it based on £40 an entry when I can find them.

Brian a savvy producer from Australia, I spoke to summed it up perfectly. He had exhibited at ProWein in Germany weeks earlier, they were charging 60 Euros for admission and that was quiet in comparison to previous years.

He said ‘mate they just did it to make more money’. I will leave it to you, the reader to decide who you feel benefited!

So to the show

For a large part I concentrated on visiting the emerging nations, stands. I visited a stand promoting Polish wine, yes Polish wine.. all nice and acceptable. I tasted an interesting sparkling wine from Lithuania. One of the stars of the show, for me was a spirit known as the Spirit Of Georgia – Chacha - produced from a red grape varietal, 42% vol. absolutely lovely. Chacha is one of the oldest distilled products in the world. Produced by Gurjanni Winery, and lovely people as well. I tasted some very unusual fruit wines from an agency from the republic of Uzbekistan – Alcotobacco. Also visited stands promoting Armenian and Hungarian wines.

Ukrainian wines were promoted, there were no producers there. Obviously they were getting a lot of press interest and the wines were being poured by volunteers.

Tasted some nice Sake from the Japan Centre group, some good Chardonnay from Barullo Wines, Mendoza , Argentina and some excellent South African Wines from the Kanu Wine Estate in Stellenbosch.

Closer to home some interesting hand crafted gins from Lafferty and Sons Kirkcaldy, some nice tasting Scottish beers from Traquair House Brewery. Some Cognac from Deau Cognac, which really stood out.

I would advise any trade customers to look out Luca Wines if they are looking to compliment their Italian section. They were unique and outstanding, just like their brochure said. Don’t think they have a website (there are others with that name). Their email address is

I got to meet the pioneering paper bottle guys (see Paper Weights Blog) When In Rome & The English Vine Company. This is a really different development and was attracting interest. Main things to say are they both produce very good quality wines , with more to follow and their wines will keep for around 6 weeks after opening ... good stuff. I also tasted some delicious Rum from Whisky & Rum specialists Heroes and Heretics.

Something else which stood out for me was a supplier of high quality alcohol free wines - OddBIRD Wines , founded in 2013. They are the largest producer of wines and beer liberated from Alcohol in Scandinavia. Both still and sparkling. One of their sparking wines, I understand has been lauded the best non alcohol sparkling wine available in the UK. Definitely worth checking out.

There is now a wine channel available online. 67pallmall (I did my first ever tasting to electronic / telecom email users many, many years ago in Pall Mall) 67 PALLMALL.TV is the first 4 K Wine TV Channel. Home to an impressive range of vinous series including ‘Live From the Vines’, ‘The Perfect Match’ and ‘The Daily Pour’.

Finally as I end this blog I have in front of me my posted invitation stating ‘join us at the most intelligent (and best loved) wine event in the world’. I am trying to rack my brains to think of what was intelligent about my visit to The London Wine Fair last Wednesday. The only thing I can think of is the new speedy self administered entrance ticket system. Having registered and been accepted for payment the day before. I arrived keyed in my name, ticket duly printed. Quickly through security, I was in there in a flash as there was hardly anybody in front of me. I entered ..... and that’s when the disappointment kicked in.

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Summer Events

With the whole country in a party mood this week and some fun times to come, if you want to keep up the tempo, I have compiled a quick list of some Summer tasting events taking place. No particular order or priority. For full address and pricing details visit the venue’s website.

Davy’s Summer Tasting & Lunch. Greenwich London. Saturday 9th July

Maids Head Hotel Summer Wine Tasting, Norwich. Friday 10th June

Peckham Cellars Summer Wine Tasting, London. Sunday 12th June

Canterbury Wine Festival. Saturday 25th June

Naked Wine Summer Tasting Tours London. Friday 17th June, Saturday 18th June, Sunday 19th June

Bush Vines Summer Wine Tasting, Emsworth, Hampshire. Friday 8th July

Browns Covent Garden, World Of Wine tasting experience, London. Saturday 18th June

Food and Drink Festival, Cheltenham. Friday 24th June

Amps Wine Merchants Wines Of Portugal Summer Festival, Oundle. Friday 24th June

Michael Sutton’s Party By The Pond, Dartmouth. Saturday 18th June

Winston Estate Tour and Tasting, English Wine, Pulborough. Saturday 25th June

Three Pillars Wine Summer Fine Wine Tasting, Eccleshall, Staffs. Friday 24th June

Kask Wines Summer Tasting, Bristol. Wednesday 15th June , Wednesday 20th July, Wednesday 17th August

Gusto Wines Summer Charity Tasting, Oving, West Sussex. Friday 24th June

Loki Summer Wines & Spirits Fair. Birmingham. Saturday 23rd July

Virgin Wines Tasting, Manchester. Saturday 2nd July

Whitmore & White Barbecue Wine Tasting, Heswall. Friday July 8th

Cornmill Yard Summer Wines Tasting Event, Evesham. Saturday 11TH June

Quaff Wines Journey around Spain, Hove. Thursday 16th June

Wine Cellar Summer Tasting, Douglas IOM. Friday 1st July

Turton Wines Summer Sun Wine Tasting, Bolton Friday 24th June

Churche’s Mansion Wine Tasting Garden Party, Nantwich. Sunday 24th July

Fizz Fest Summer Event, Andover. Sunday 24th July

Cellar Door Wines Summer Wine Fair, St Albans. Saturday 25th June

London Wine Trade Fair (Trade Only), London (Blog Will Follow) Tuesday 7th June, Wednesday 8th June, Thursday 9th June.

E&OE Please Drink Responsibly.

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Paper Weights

Something new is happening to confuse wine traditionalists. You can now buy wine in a paper bottle.

The English Vine Company are now offering a first in English Wine an 11% abv wine, vegan friendly , non organic, produced from the Bacchus grape, in Essex, in an attractive 75cl paper bottle.

The brand When In Rome offers three wines IGP Terre di Chieti, Rosata and Primitivo IGP Puglia. Bottles are made from 94% recycled paper which includes a plastic liner much in the same way as a bag in the box.

Full details of these wines are available on their respective websites.

There are obvious eco benefits. It is reported that the carbon footprint is 84% less than a glass bottle. It’s water footprint is also at least four times lower than glass plus the UK only recycles around 71% of it’s glass anyway.

Bottles weigh on average just 83g, compared with 400 – 500g for a glass bottle. A new way of chilling using a dry chiller is required or you will just end up with a soggy mess...

Be prepared for more coming on the market and not only from niche producers. Some drinks giants have run trials on paper bottles including Diageo’s Johnnie Walker whisky.

Just waiting now for the sequel to the song ‘ Paper Roses ’ .... ‘ Paper Wines ’ ....

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Grubs Up

A surprising recent study suggests that enjoying a glass of wine with your meal rather than on its own has been linked with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Researchers analysed the health records of 300,000 UK adults and their drinking habits over 11 years. The result was that those who drank wine with their meals were 14% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to those who drank without food.

On the other hand drinkers fond of beer or spirits with meals appeared to be at higher risk of the disease.

The findings were presented at the Epidemiology, Prevention Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Conference. Author Dr Hao Ma of Tulane University, New Orleans said: ‘Drinking moderate amounts of wine with meals may prevent type 2 diabetes if you do not have any other health conditions’

Seems like a good reason to share meals with family and friends and slow it all down a bit .....

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Ukrainian wine, spirits and beer

Wine can be traced back to the 4th century BC in what is today Crimea. Presses and Amphora (containers) were found from this period. Wine cultivation in the northern part of the country around Kyiv and Chernihiv was started by monks in the 11th century.

The viticulture research institute Magarach was founded in 1828.

Ukrainian Wine gained recognition at the equivalent of The World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893. Ukraine is noted for its quality sparkling wine first produced in 1799. During soviet times it was the largest supplier of wines in the USSR. In 1986 about a third of its vineyards were destroyed on a mission to reduce alcohol consumption in the USSR. Since 2000 the production and distribution of Ukrainian wine has increased rapidly.

Pinot gris is a white wine grape variety commonly planted in Ukraine and similar to France, Aligoté grapes are used in the production of sparkling wines. Other white varietals include Rkatsiteli, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.

Red varietals include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Odessky Cherny, Isabella and Pinot Noir.

Ukraine consists of four large wine growing regions. By far the largest being in the south west around the city of Odessa, accounting for around 50% of the total wine growing area. The Crimean peninsula on the Black Sea accounts for around a third. The remaining areas are the Transcarpthian region , bordering Slovakia, Hungary and Romania and the area south of the Dnieper river near the cities of Kherson and Dnipropetrovsk. Their continental climate is characterised by hot summers and harsh winters that can exceed minus 30 degrees Celsius. Vineyards cover a total of around 50,000 hectares.

As you might expect Vodka is the primary spirit produced in Ukraine. It covers demand from high end to best value and most easy to drink and includes Pristine, Nemiroff, Khortytsa, Zirkova and Medoff brands. Also worth checking out are - Khor (Gluten Free), Staritsky Levitsky, Krol, Titomirov, Hlibny Dar, Dima’s, Helsinki, Status, Pervak, Rada, First Guild and Mernaya.

Horilka usually distilled from grain, in a generic sense may also be referred to as Vodka, sometimes flavoured with hot peppers, is considered as one of the purest alcoholic beverages.

Medovukha a popular beverage originating from western Ukraine is a low alcohol drink obtained through the fermentation of honey. Can contain spices, hops, berries and is promoted as having healing properties.

Spotykach is a sweet alcoholic beverage prepared with berries, spices and vodka. Infusion takes two weeks and comes in four different styles Berry, lemon, mint and rowberry . In Ukraine it helps to ‘relax and stumble’

Varenukha is another drink that consists of vodka and spices, Appeared in the 16th century in central Ukraine using clayware to absorb the mixture of dried fruits, spices , cloves, ginger and honey and vodka. Heated for 10 -12 hours and served hot or cold.

Beer in Ukraine is heavily influenced by German styles. Pale lagers are popular. Lviv was once known as the beer capital of Ukraine .The first breweries were founded by monks living in the area. It houses the museum of beer and brewing. Obolon Corporation produce beer only from natural ingredients and are the largest beverage producer in Ukraine.

Our platform is completely free of charge to any Ukrainian Wine, Spirit or Beer producer who wishes to promote themselves

contact :

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Small beer

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) are reporting that pubs, bars and restaurants lost 5.7bn in revenue in beer sales in 2021 as people avoided pubs and drank wines and spirits at home. The trade body notes that the hospitality sector could have served as much as 1.4 billion less pints than they would, during normal trading conditions. It found that beer receipts fell by £681m to 5.4bn, while wine receipts increased £583m to 7.7bn and spirit receipts rose 784m to 6.9bn.

The Treasury has said it froze beer duty for a fourth year saving brewers £900m. They also said draught relief - aimed at supporting pubs by cutting taxes on their most popular products - would see the duty on a pint fall by 5%. Under the new plans, a pint of 3.4% alcohol beer will attract 25p less in duty and VAT.

However Richard Piper, chief executive of charity and campaign group Alcohol Change UK said , regarding lowering taxes - ‘it would apply equally to the supermarkets and because of purchasing volumes, this in fact makes the differential between pub and supermarket prices even bigger – harming pubs’

He also states that ‘Beer duty cuts are primarily called for from the huge manufacturers, not pub landlords. These massive beer producers, many of them not even based in the UK, love to hide behind the pub image, while behind the scenes they are raking in millions in profit from alcohol harm.'

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Short changed

Be prepared to pay more for your favourite wines this year. There is a general shortage of popular wines including burgundy and sauvignon blanc. Wine and champagne could rocket in price.

The French agricultural ministry warned that 2021 was the worst harvest for forty five years due to vineyards being hit by frost and disease. Harsh weather also hit vineyards in Spain and Italy. The retail sector including supermarkets, off-licences and wine shops together with restaurants are all experiencing supply issues. The Brexit factor is also having an effect.

Long term there will be a hike in duty for wines over 11.5% abv. If you take a selection of ten popular brands of red & white wine sold in supermarkets over 11.5% abv, the average increase in duty would be 50p. Due to come into place in 2023, research by Wine Drinkers UK (WDUK) found that 95% of popular wines will be subject to an increase in duty. John O’Connell who is the CEO of the TaxPayers’ Alliance stated ‘simplifying duties is no bad thing but hiking taxes on our favourite wines will leave families – short changed’.

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As we come to the end of a very difficult year let’s look forward to 2022 with a positive outlook and a spring in our step. The wine and spirit trade according to GlobalData is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 1.2% by 2026. This is despite factors including disruption in supply chains (what’s new!) and crop damage as a result of global warming.

There is a gradual shift in consumer attitudes regarding the consumption of wines and spirits with regards to health consciousness, sustainability and ethically sourced ingredients.

An increasing number of consumers, according to surveys have this in mind, especially the health bit, when buying wines and spirits.

We have touched on the trend towards low and zero abv previously and many wine drinkers now have an ‘it’s better for you’ attitude when buying wines and spirits. Organic and biodynamic wines are on the increase, there is even organic sparking wine now on the market.

Increasing awareness of the calories in wines and spirits is taking place. A GlobalData survey suggests that 33% of consumers they surveyed were trying to reduce their calorie intake and 38% of consumers their sugar intake.

CBD infused products, all nice and legal, are an emerging trend in our industry. Don’t be surprised to come across CBD infused with zero abv spirits on your travels at some stage.

Following the success of Hard Seltzers (carbonated water, alcohol, and often fruit flavours) Hard Tea and Coffee come under the halo of ‘better for you’ products and are also an emerging trend.

Portion – control cans (see previous blog) are a positive step in responsible drinking.

Have a good 2022!

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Here you will find niche wines and spirits, Some very specific to individual taste and requirements, many not easy to find on popular search engines. Several, in our opinion their absolute best in their Class.

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