Shop Cuvée offers free Vinho Verde to the nation

UK independent retailer Shop Cuvée is offering a free bottle of its best-selling Vinho Verde with every order over £20 – while stocks last – after defying the highs and lows of the pandemic over the past year to sell tens of thousands of bottles of natural wine.

Angelus restaurant gains Michelin star

The L’Observatoire restaurant owned by Saint-Emilion grand cru Angelus has been awarded it first Michelin star, a mere three months after opening during the height of last year’s pandemic.

‘Direct from cellar’ event to replace Auction Napa Valley

Napa Valley Vintners has announced that it will partner with Zachys for an auction in February featuring cellar stock donated by its members. 

Biden inauguration unlikely to ease Cognac producers’ tariff concerns

On Wednesday, Joe Biden is scheduled to become the 46th President of the United States. With the passing of power to a Democrat in the White House backed by a Congress controlled by that party, European wine and spirit producers are hopeful of an upturn in their fortunes.
What they want is an end to the 20-year transatlantic tariff war rooted in the dispute over subsidies to Airbus and Boeing. 
Both Brussels and Washington proclaim their innocence, the World Trade Organisation has unhelpfully found for both sides and the resulting friction has led to tit-for-tat duty penalties, especially under Donald Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ policies.   
Cognac producers in particular are wary of the US becoming a new albatross around their necks as China became in 2013. But even with soothing noises made by Biden’s camp about the desire to heal the rift with the EU, it seems unlikely that repealing the tariffs will be high on the new president’s initial list of priorities.

South African exports to UK rise 23%

Exports of South African wine to the UK rose 23% by value and 7% in volume in 2020 according to the latest figures released by industry body SAWIS.

Anne Burchett publishes debut novel Tasting Notes

Marketing and communications consultant Anne Burchett has published her first novel called Tasting Notes, which is set in the world of wine. 

Man charged with defrauding alcohol company investors

A man from Connecticut has been charged with defrauding investors in an alcohol company in a 17-count indictment. 

‘Moral victory’ for UK hospitality sector with BI insurance test case

In what is being declared as a “moral victory” for the hospitality sector, a UK Supreme Court judgment announced on Friday has instructed insurers to pay out on business interruption insurance to help cover losses caused by the pandemic.

WSTA renews calls for duty cut and hospitality VAT extension

The WSTA has renewed calls on the Treasury to cut wine and spirit duty and extend the hospitality VAT cut in the Budget to help businesses that have been hit by Covid-19 to recover.

Beefeater Gin rolls out refreshed branding

Pernod Ricard UK has refreshed its Beefeater Gin brand, with a new more premium bottle design that is 100% recyclable.

Amuse-bouches: The latest restaurant news bites

In restaurant news this week: The French Laundry sells its kitchen garden for US$9 million, UK hospitality businesses claim victory in a landmark insurance ruling, and the team behind Hackney’s Nest gets ready to (hopefully) open a new site in Fulham. 

Bath restaurant’s samosa space mission crash lands in France

An Indian restaurant in Bath which launched a samosa into space prompted an international rescue mission after the pastry travelled slightly further than expected. 

How a Hospitality Minister would help the on-trade

With the on-trade one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, Isabelle Gray talks to UK restaurant owners and chefs to find out how a Hospitality Minister would help their businesses.

Alcohol sales soaring in England during lockdown

Half way through Dry January and 10 days into England’s third lockdown, alcohol sales are soaring, with weekly wine sales at Waitrose up by a third. 

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