Specialist Bordeaux merchant, Bordeaux Wine Investments Ltd (BWI), has appointed Master of Wine Sarah Abbott as consultant. Sarah is one of only 75 female Masters of Wine, and she said: I was very struck by BWI’s genuine connection with and passion for the people and wines of Bordeaux, and their commitment to making them more accessible to wine lovers. I am thrilled to be working with them.” Sarah will contribute to the future strategy of BWI, becoming involved with creating a program of wine tastings and events that “will deliver expert knowledge to wine lovers, bringing them closer to the producers and wines of Bordeaux.” In addition she will be involved in the company’s wine buying. A series of special features will be appearing on the company’s website over the coming months, courtesy of
Sarah. BWI was established in 1998 and its director, Robert Lench, said: “We are delighted to have Sarah Abbott working with us. Her experience, expert palate and talent for communicating the joys of wine in a fresh, distinctive manner made her the perfect choice.”
The Sherry Institute of Spain has announced the 4th International ‘Copa Jerez’ competition is open for entries. Copa Jerez is an international bi-annual competition aimed at demonstrating Sherry’s versatility as a wine to pair with food. Open to Sous Chefs and Sommeliers of all ages, based and working professionally in the UK, the competition rewards “those with exceptional skills in the kitchen and front of house.” UK judges include Alexis Gauthier from Gauthier Soho; Ronan Sayburn MS from Hotel du Vin; Isa Bal from The Fat Duck; and Charles Campion, food and restaurant critic for the London Evening Standard.Sous Chef
and Sommelier teams are now invited to submit entries. Each team must present a menu of three courses, one of which must include Sherry as an ingredient. Each course must be paired with a carefully chosen Sherry. Ten teams will be chosen to compete in the UK final on Tuesday 5 October at Leith’s School of Food & Wine in London.UK entrants can now submit their menus online. The winning UK team will receive £1000 cash plus a visit to the Sherry region before taking their place in the grand final in Jerez.
French wines at the Royal Court
… theatre that is. The French Quality Wines UK campaign has partnered with London’s Royal Court Theatre to allow theatre goers visitors to “discover quality wines from all the French regions.” French Quality Wines has sponored the theatre’s ‘£10 Monday Nights’ strand, which will launch on 23 August and run until the end of the year. This concept has introduced generations of Royal Court audiences to ground-breaking new plays for many years, offering “excellent theatre at great value, with all tickets for performances in both theatre spaces costing just £10.” A French wine menu is available at the Royal Court, with 29 different styles of French wines supplied by Bibendum Wines, to “show a diverse cross-section of wines from all regions of France.”
Douro Film Harvest
The Douro Film Harvest is an international film event held in the breathtaking landscapes of theDouro Wine Valley, organised by Turismo do Douro, with support from the Port and Douro WinesInstitute and the North Regional Development Coordination Commission. One of the DFH’s prime goals is to mix cinema,music and fine wines in a “paradisical natural setting,” by turning the cinematic spotlighton this unique winegrowing region, classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The 7-day celebration runs
from September 5th – 11th, and full details and the film programme are available from dourofilmharvest.com. Special guests this year include Sophia Loren and Argentine musician/composer Gustava Santaolalla who penned the soundtracks to Oscar-winning Brokeback Mountain and Babel. The weeklong “Harvest” coincides with the grape harvest and is hosted in in the heart of the DouroWine Valley – in the towns of Lamego, Sabrosa, Vila Real and Freixo de Espada à Cinta.
Decanter lessons for all
Decanter magazine has announce the launch of ‘Decanter Education’. A series of courses and classes led by Decanter columnists and wine experts will be run in the Blue Fin Building, home to the Decanter tasting suite with stunning views over London and St Paul’s cathedral. In the courses Decanter promises you will “Increase your wine knowledge of the most prolific and important
wine regions,” as well as being able to taste a minimum of eight wines “carefully selected for their distinct example of terroir.” Titles so far include ‘Understanding the Wines of Spain’, ‘Mastering Burgundy’ and ‘Understanding Piedmont’ and are available in full day or evening sessionsTo book tickets, visit www.decanter.com/education or call 020 3148 4513
Graham Beck, RIP
Pioneering South African wine producer and social philanthropist Graham Beck, owner of Graham Beck Wines, has died in London at the age of 80 after a battle with lung cancer. Mr Beck’s involvement with South African wine began with his purchase of a farm in Robertson, a property he developed into a world class producer of méthode cap classique. Later acquisitions of properties in Franschhoek and Stellenbosch saw Graham Beck Wines grow to become a leading wine purveyor. In 2009 Mr Beck, with his wife of 50 years, Rhona, opened the Graham and Rhona Beck Skills Centre near Madeba in Robertson. Part of an extensive social development program, the centre aims to facilitate skills development for the long term benefit of the farming community. A self-made entrepreneur with considerable varied investments, Mr Beck graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. After 15 years working at the coal face of the mining industry, astute investments saw Mr Beck well on his way to success. Graham Beck Wines will continue to operate in respect of Mr Beck’s final wishes.