DIgestif Blog

Ringing the changes

08 December, 2016

Dom Roskrow tries to make sense of the last twelve months 

on 30 November, 2016

So, Danish brewer is spending £15m on revitalising its flagship Carlsberg Export brand (see news story) and at the core of activity is emphasising the company’s Danish origins.

on 25 November, 2016

I was never top of the class at maths at school. The teacher only had to mention the dreaded ‘m’ word and start writing numbers on the board and my eyes would glaze over. 

When Erik Juul-Mortensen tells you that business conditions in travel retail are as tough today as he’s ever seen, you’d better sit up and listen

The next big wine thing?

27 October, 2016

Like many people who work in what might be called the ‘non-productive’ side of the wine business (from sommeliers to merchants to writers), i’m often asked if i’d like to try my hand at making the stuff myself.

It’s like a dream. Five years ago we didn’t have a whisky. Now we’re pouring to enthusiastic drinkers at the whisky show in London. It’s hard to believe we’re here.

on 13 October, 2016

It’s that time of year. Summer’s finished, the holiday season is over and the drinks industry can look back at the global travel retail (TFWA Cannes) and look forward to Christmas.

Bigging up bulk wine

28 September, 2016

It's not exactly glamorous. Indeed, as tempting invitations go, it’s up there with the World Remaindered Books Conference, or the Reconstituted Meat Product Exhibition

on 20 September, 2016

This is most odd. I’m standing with two American gentlemen in the corner of a very swish steak bar staring at a surreal painting of what we’re being told is a ship exploding as it sails towards a lighthouse. I think.

I should really know better. It’s the same old story every four years. It’s sunny outside, the lawn needs mowing, the car needs a wash and upstairs in my office I have numerous articles and stories to be getting on with.

on 30 August, 2016

Jan Warren weighs up the myriad similarities between bartenders and cooks – and suggests mutual respect

Power to the co-ops

30 August, 2016

Considering all the different ways that wine gets to be made, the co-operative is the one that seems, at first glance, most out of step with the modern world

Every centimetre of shelf space has to pay its way in travel retail.

So here we go again – I got my first Christmas press release on July 25.

Do you have a recurring nightmare? Mine is very specific. I am speaking before an audience who are just staring at me in total silence. I finish my speech and everyone just stares. I ask for questions. Nothing. I start going red, and redder, and redder…

It’s all too easy to forget these days that blended scotch whisky remains top dog, accounting for more than 90% of the whisky sold worldwide.

on 29 July, 2016

The chief executive of the world’s largest premium drinks company expressed satisfaction at the company’s progress at a briefing to journalists and city analysts yesterday (July 28) following the announcement of its end of year results.

The schlock of the new

22 July, 2016

It may go against my better nature and political persuasion, but I have to admit that I love new stuff

Uncertain times

22 July, 2016

These are certainly uncertain times we are living in - 51.9% of those who voted in the UK referendum voted for us to leave the European Union

Every time I take an early morning flight from a UK airport in the peak summer travel period it’s always the same

Have you noticed just about every alcoholic drink has its own designated day?  What’s that about? Do the people who create these days think it makes a blind bit of difference in the way their target consumers treat the drink on its own special day?

What is the point of a wine trade fair? it’s a question that can take on an almost existential quality when, let’s say, you’re wrestling with the 3am demons in a hotel room with wafer-thin windows overlooking a roaring périphérique in the light-industrial banlieues of a Fench city.

on 16 June, 2016

A smattering of the great and the good of the UK wine trade turned up for a debate last Tuesday (June 14), titled ‘What direction should New Zealand winemaking take for the future’, sponsored by Villa Maria and arranged by its UK agent, Hatch Mansfield.

Brexit and travel retail

15 June, 2016

It’s the elephant in the room topic for travel retail.

EU – in or out?

09 June, 2016

This time next month we will know if the UK is in or out of the EU.

Shot down in flames

03 June, 2016

Question: Which of the following is NOT a valid style of music? Grunge, grime or grit? It is of course grit, grunge being a somewhat passé form of scuzzy rock and grime a beat-based style evolved from British garage music and jungle. We all knew that, right?

on 20 May, 2016

Before mid-April, when it was acquired by Constellation in a $285m deal, I can’t say I was all that familiar with the Prisoner Wine Company

on 12 May, 2016

THERE’S NO GETTING AWAY FROM IT – cognac has taken a pasting in duty free over the past couple of years.

on 05 May, 2016

The menu arrives. It’s what you’ve come to expect from the modern bar – banana butter fat washing, smoke-injected spirits, aromatic mists, lavender foam – except you are in Yangon.

on 04 May, 2016

The purchase of Bibendum PLB by Conviviality, operators of Bargain Booze, Wine Rack and wholesaler Matthew Clark, is another development in the continuing consolidation of the UK wine trade.

on 28 April, 2016

I know this sounds like the start of a joke, but I walked into a London pub the other day and asked for a pint of lime and soda.

China has dominated the thoughts of the travel retail industry’s decision makers for much of the century.

on 06 April, 2016

There’s no doubt part of the attraction of natural wine, both for makers and consumers, is the anti-establishment image.

on 01 April, 2016

The Irish ambassador wasn’t just happy, he was positively beaming – and not just because he’d spent the previous hour sampling a range of whiskeys and other irish alcoholic drinks at the embassy in london.

on 16 March, 2016

David Williams Author and Columnist for UK National newspaper, The Observer.

on 11 March, 2016

You need deep pockets to make a buck in travel retail these days. 

on 03 March, 2016

They say there are lies, damned lies... and statistics. You betcha. The other day I spent an hour helping a Canadian statistics company check its results for the UK drinks market.

on 19 February, 2016

The relationship between a writer and  a public relations person is a little like that between a great white shark and a pilot fish. 

on 11 February, 2016

FOR SOMEBODY WHO WRITES ABOUT travel retail for a living I have to admit my purchases on the move are often rather modest. 

on 05 February, 2016

We all have our overused words. ‘Sorry’ inevitably takes this passive-aggressive Englishman’s top spot.

on 29 January, 2016

What does January have going for it? Not much in my experience – a sprinkling of quickly broken New Year’s resolutions, scrimping and saving after the Christmas festivities and, in the UK at least, grey skies and driving rain. 

on 21 January, 2016

It’s a bit of a labyrinth to get in but like an Egyptologist finally breaking into a pharoah’s tomb, it’s well worth the effort. The views are stunning and if my visit is anything to go by, the drinks and service are well worth experiencing as well.

on 15 January, 2016

Light, floral, sweet and fruity aren’t the first words that spring to mind when it comes to describing the city of Glasgow.

on 07 January, 2016

When the news emerged that Taittinger had become the first champagne house to take the plunge in the English wine business, the most immediately striking thing about it was how happy the natives were with the development.

on 23 December, 2015

THE STORY OF CHAMPAGNE Jayne v the Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne (CIVC) has all the makings of a film. Sadly, it wouldn’t be a fun frothy comedy like Champagne Charlie, that British wartime comedy that was named after the song inspired by the dandified founder of Charles Heidsieck.

on 17 December, 2015

So here we are again. At the back end of the year in the make or break season that will decide what sort of year our pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants are going to look back upon.

on 03 December, 2015

I would describe myself as a pretty traditional journalist, trained up to be suitably and sufficiently cynical and sceptical. Nevertheless, I cannot help but feel rather honoured to be yet again invited to a special tutored tasting with Johnnie Walker master blender Jim Beveridge.

on 03 December, 2015

Last month duty-free executives headed to the stunning Red Sea-based King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Centre for the annual Middle East & Africa Duty Free Association (MEADFA) Conference. Despite the spectacular setting, the mood there was likely to have been sombre.

on 24 November, 2015

An article in The New York Times exploring where to find the best duty free bargains in the Americas caught my eye recently.

on 20 November, 2015

What possessed me? I shouldn’t have done it. We’ve all been warned about going online at night, specially after a drink. I know where it’ll lead and how grubby and ashamed I will feel afterwards.

ABOUT

Your window into the world of a drinks journalist - from cocktails competitions to financial results, we've got a view and we're not afraid to share it.

NEWSFEED

RSS
Click the RSS icon to grab our feed and follow the DIgestif blog via your news reader.

Best Bars

Comment

Patience Gould

Patience Gould on Make Mine a Martini

Patience Gould gets to grips with her new favourite read – and wishes she could ask the author some questions regarding the world’s current state

Click for more

Events

Facebook

Twitter