Cape 2018: Crossroads

The good news – the crisis over drought seems to have receded after recent rains. the bad news – vines are being grubbed up as farmers are finding grape-producing unprofitable and switching to other crops. Christian Davis reports from the event

Chianti: Reviving a classic

Some of the shine may have come off Chianti since its 1980s heyday, but producers are showing they're determined to put it back on the map, finds Chris Wilson

Brandy: Point of difference

The quality of Spanish brandy is every bit as good as cognac and armagnac, but how does it come out of the French shadow? Christian Davis ruminates

Profile: Speyside born and aged

Chivas bros’ master distiller Alan Winchester received the International Spirits Challenge prestigious lifetime achievement award in 2018. Christian Davis meets him

Pick of the Launches

Here is the pick of the launches from last month, as featured in Drinks International magazine November edition.

Alcohol marketing: The Instagram minefield

Tom Harvey, new client director at YesMore explains the dangers surrounding marketing on Instagram for alcohol brands and offers some sollutions to these issues.

Port: Steady as she goes

Port is one of the great wine styles and it is a case of keeping it on course these days. Christian Davis reports

Vermouth: The enlightened side of drinking

Vermouth has made a sudden and impactful mark on the drinks scene in a very short space of time. Philip Duff looks at the reasons behind the meteoric rise of this aromatised, fortified wine

American Single Malts: How the west is being won

Pioneer whiskey makers are attempting to forge a new identity for their American whiskey single malts. Shay Waterworth finds out how.

Reconnecting with Chinese GTR shoppers

After a downturn in sales following anti-corruption moves in China, shifting market demands are seeing cognac’s fortunes return. Shay Waterworth reports

Vodka under pressure in GTR

Premiumisation is the buzzword when it comes to attracting consumers in holiday mode. Clinton Cawood looks at how brands are working to appeal in this sector

Champagne in GTR: Well travelled

Global travel retail remains an important sector for champagne to showcase its innovation. Giles Fallowfield reports

Wine in GTR: Drinking at 35,000 ft

Jamie Goode explains the science behind the way aircraft passengers experience scent and flavour

Liqueurs: Twist the classics

As consumers demand more from their cocktails, Clinton Cawood sees doors opening for liqueurs to make their mark on drinkers’ palates

Pick of the Launches

Here is the pick of the launches from last month, as featured in Drinks International magazine October edition.

Profile: Abe Salt

Abe Salt is the new CEO of New Zealand’s ‘most admired wine brand’, Villa Maria, following in the considerable footsteps of founder Sir George Fistonich. Christian Davis sizes him up

Is the future positive or negative for big brands?

As the current consumer trends are moulding around smaller, craft brands around the world, Steve Hastings, planning partner at creative agency isobel asks whether the glass is half full or half empty for big brands.

Sherry: Needs a new course

Sherry is failing to fire consumers’ imaginations as a solo serve. but, says John Downes, it could have a better future thanks to cocktails

Tequila: Never a dull moment

While it might be facing stiff competition from fellow agave-based spirit mezcal, there are still areas of excitement that keep tequila in the limelight, reports Clinton Cawood

Cachaça: One trick pony?

Cachaça is a tough one. with so many other white spirits to choose from, why bother with this Brazilian rum variant, asks Christian Davis

Amaretto: Regaining romance

While amaretto may have a long and somewhat idyllic history, it has done little to capture consumers’ imaginations in recent times. But cocktail culture could be key to changing all that, finds Angel Brown

Scotch blends: Whisky symbiosis

The rise of single malt scotch has dominated whisky conversations on the back of the craft explosion, but blended malts have just as interesting a story to tell, says Shay Waterworth

Alex Wolpert: The drama of spirits

Shay Waterworth interviews the ISC’s rising star of the year and finds it’s not the first time he’s been at the shining end of stardom

Pick of the Launches

Here is the pick of the launches from last month, as featured in Drinks International magazine September edition.

Why beer can learn from spirits

The sales of big beer brands is dropping across large parts of the US and Europe and Chris Cassell, managing director at independant drinks marketing company White Label, explores how these brands should follow in the footsteps of spirits.

Aquavit: A new lease of life

Aquavit, ‘the water of life’ was all but dead in the water thanks to younger drinkers’ aversion to it. but now all that is changing, as Hamish Smith discovers

Cocktail trends: Moving with the times

Trends rely on different groups of people to evolve and gain traction. Angel Brown tracks the movement of cocktail fashion

Gin: Keeping it real

Gin has adopted many new incarnations in the course of its meteoric rise – but is it in danger of going too far? Christian Davis ponders over a great G&T

Beer: Picture this

It’s all about the branding for craft beers trying to get noticed in a crowded marketplace. Shay Waterworth gets under the skin of funky designs

Prosecco: The sweet spot

Prosecco producers are looking for ways to beat the ravages of climate change in the vineyards. Shay Waterworth reports from Italy

Pick of the Launches

Here is the pick of the launches from last month, as featured in Drinks International magazine August edition.

Bourbon: Thinking outside the barrel

With demand outstripping supply, Kentucky’s bourbon distillers are looking for alternatives to longer ageing. Shay Waterworth reports

Vodka: A clear winner?

Is it possible to apply the craft approach to vodka? Philip Duff could have had the recipe for success

Champagne: Pick of the sparklers

With the term ‘sparkling’ gaining credence in wines from England, Canada and Spain, champagne can’t afford to rest on its laurels. Jamie Goode reports

Argentinian wine: world-class wine players

Argentina is one of football’s great nations. in terms of wine, its Malbec is also high scoring. Christian Davis kicks off

Pick of the Launches

Here is the pick of the launches from last month, as featured in Drinks International magazine July edition.

Cognac: Innovating history

Cognac is experiencing a period of innovation which is challenging some of its own traditions, but could this further enhance the glowing reputation of the French spirit? Shay Waterworth travelled to the south of France to investigate.

Knowing Rioja

Rioja, Spain’s best-known wine and one of the most famous producing regions, has a new global marketing campaign. Christian Davis reports

Sour hits sweet spot

A beer style that was largely the product of a lack of an imprecise science has found favour with the modern consumer – in a big way, as Jeff Evans reports

The great cider divide

Traditionalists are calling for tighter restrictions on production methods while their younger fruity rivals are lapping up their freedom. Shay Waterworth reports

Norman conquerors

The debate rages as to whether sherry or rum will fire the imagination of bartenders in the coming months. but, says Dominic Roskrow, don’t write off calvados – it’s making its mark

Jewel of the Mediterranean

Philip Duff gets to grips with the history of sambuca and discovers there’s much more to the anise-flavoured liquor than dodgy ’80s cocktails

Rebecca Asseline: Expect the unexpected

Shay Waterworth catches up with Courvoisier global ambassador Rebecca Asseline as she returns to Jarnac to take up the role of communications officer

Chile rides out

Chile is moving on from its reputation for producing quality but ‘safe’ wines as a new generation exploits modern techniques and diverse terroir, finds Christian Davis

The trickle could become a stream

While innovation is creating a buzz around quality Canadian whisky, it’s up to the brands to get their products out there. Hamish Smith reports

Dark rum sees the light

As artisanal brands invade the on-trade space traditionally occupied by big names, opportunities to premiumise are opening up in the category. By Shay Waterworth

Lorena Vásquez: A life less ordinary

From surviving guerilla warfare to improving rights for Guatemalan women, Shay Waterworth hears the remarkable story of Ron Zacapa’s master blender, Lorena Vásquez

Branding: Understand your ‘reason for being’

Anthony Biles (pictured), creative director of branding and design consultancy at Biles Hendry gives his insight into how brands can use true stories to stand out from the crowd in today’s saturated market.

Pick of the Launches

Here is the pick of the launches from last month, as featured in Drinks International magazine June edition.

Mezcal’s coming of age

Long in the shadow of tequila, mezcal is finally finding its place in the spotlight. Clinton Cawood reports