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DI Dozen 2011 finalised

We have just finalised the DI Dozen for 2011.  these are the products, companies, categories, sectors that have caught our eye...

Feeling like a Harrods dummy

I was in a Harrods window yesterday. How did I feel? Yes, you guessed it. A bit like a dummy. Martell Cognac has taken about three windows until October 22. One window has a immense cabinet filled with all sorts of Martell goodies...

DI’s Lucy Britner gets a little bit unladylike. Calm down dear!

I’ve got boobs. Thanks for noticing, drinks industry. I’ve got boobs therefore I need my own special drink. You’re right, drinks-makers, and thanks for the comforting pat on the head. Thank you for recognising that I am always on a diet; and lactose or wheat intolerant, depending on the weather; totally love all things pink – and yes, I am in fact from Venus...

DI's Christian Davis: Cheers to £75K Yquem

Seventy-five thousand pounds, or US$122,433 or 85,613, for a bottle of wine is mind boggling. OK, it’s Château d’Yquem, but from 1811. It was the year Napoleon II was born. Little did he know his father would abdicate three years later, returning after 11 months to fight and lose the Battle of Waterloo. 

DI’s Hamish Smith trundles around Murcia to determine whether spirits have ‘terroir’

Consider terroir. I have. It’s a rather haughty unit of French vernacular (which is a haughty way of saying ‘word’) that describes the characteristics geography, soil and climate can bestow upon crops – usually vines. Of course, the word has reach and relevance beyond wine... 

DI’s Lucy Britner gets the lowdown on vodka from the man in the know

Do you meet the Russian Standard? I recently met Russian Standard vodka founder Roustam Tariko’s college roommate. In fact, he works for the firm, too. Igor Galburt is the company’s global brand ambassador (though it also says on his business card executive VP corporate affairs – very American-sounding) and he came to give us a Russian Standard injection. Are you aware of the how the brand got its name, for example? I’ll tell you…

DI’s Lucy Britner distils her own in pursuit of an alternative career

I made my own gin! While it was bubbling away in a tiny Florence Flask (bulb-bottomed glass flask), I was getting excited about a potential second career as a master distiller. I was imagining travelling the world, clinking glasses with bartenders as we enjoy my wonderful creation, then popping to warm Mediterranean countries to source botanicals…

DI's Lucy Britner: A vintage approach

Is it possible that consumers are looking to express their individuality through the medium of drink? Or is the desire for non-conformity, or ‘inconsistency’, born out of endless marketing messages about providence and craftsmanship?......

DI’s Hamish Smith was at the 2011 Cognac Summit where the big question was: Can you measure pleasure?

The word ‘summit’ conjures imagery of political brinkmanship, the thrashing out of peace accords or perhaps poverty-eradicating debt reduction. So when Drinks International was invited to The International Cognac Summit 2011, expectations were giddily grand, albeit in the more sober context of drinks. The Cognac Bureau (BNIC) far from disappointed......

DI’s Lucy Britner embarks on a voyage of discovery

I’m not very good at geography. When I finished the WSET Advanced course in Wines & Spirits I vowed I wasn’t going to do the Diploma. The G word is such a large part of the course and you have to remember where a particular region is, what grows there, what the climate’s like and what the soil type is.......

DI’s Lucy Britner heads out for a bitter bite

We’re stepping back in time to Britner’s Beers this month and it’s down the rocky road of beer and food matching we go. It seems just about every brewer – or brewery marketing dept – has had a bash at beer and food matching. Some attempts have been very successful and others have left diners with a nasty taste in their mouths......