The Consulate General of France – Toronto announces the first annual female culinary competition

The Consulate General of France – Toronto is organizing the first female culinary competition entitled: “Elles sont Food, and You?” In partnership with Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Ryerson University, the contest is open to all Ontario-based female chefs, sous-chefs, pastry chefs, cooks and entrepreneurs in the gastronomy sector.

The competitors will compete to make the best “cocktail party” finger foods in creative and audacious ways. “Elles sont Food, and You?” competition gives the competitors an occasion to showcase the best Ontario and/or French ingredients.

Each dish is judged by a panel of culinary experts and industry professionals on taste and presentation.


  • April 21st, 2019 – Deadline for Registration
  • May 28th, 2019 – Jury Tasting
  • June 11th, 2019 – Awards Ceremony and cocktail partySix winners will be awarded: exclusive radio/press/digital media coverage in specialized magazines, free memberships to different culinary associations, and participation to master classes organized by our prestigious partners. This list of awards is non-exhaustive.

    Applications will be reviewed by the organizing committee who will select up to six applicants in each of the six finger food categories. These creations will be tasted and rated on May 28th by the jury who will select the best one per category. The winning finger foods will be served at the cocktail party on June 11th which follows the awards ceremony.

    Chef Donna Dooher, Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, and Mr. Marc Trouyet, Consul General of France – Toronto are the patrons of the 2019 edition of this competition.

    The 2019 jury includes eight recognized professionals and personalities from the world of gastronomy:

     Cheryl Appleton, Founder & President – Canadian Women in Food;

     Renée Bellefeuille, Executive Chef – Art Gallery of Ontario;

     Jonathan Bouchard, Food Columnist – CBC Radio-Canada;

     Rosanna Caira, Editor and Publisher of Kostuch Media’s Foodservice and Hospitality, and Hotelier magazines;

     Stephanie Duong, Chef & Owner – Roselle Desserts;

     Pascal Geoffroy, Chef & Owner – Batifole Restaurant;

     Shanna Munro, President & CEO of Restaurants Canada; and

     Michelle Tham, Head of Beer Education at Labatt Breweries of Canada.

    For further details & registration at:

    Véronique Blanchard
    Communication & Partnership
    1-416- 847-1891

    Françoise Briet


IronGate.Wine becomes the first online wine retailer to accept cryptocurrency

IronGate.Wine, a leading online retailer of private, rare wine collections, has announced that they have completed testing and will immediately begin accepting Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) as payment methods for their online inventory of vintage wine. Utilizing the processing system provided by BitPay, IronGate.Wine will allow buyers from all over the world to shop for vintage wine from the cellars of private collectors using this form of currency.

“We are very excited to be the first online retailer of our kind to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment for the incredible wines that we have available,” said IronGate.Wine President, Warren Porter. “Our research has shown that the adoption of cryptocurrency is on the rise and we want our customers to be able to use whatever payment form they prefer. We view Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash as a currency, not unlike the Dollar or Euro and know that our customers would like the option of spending it on this luxury item.”

Porter continued, “aside from convenience, the fraud-proof nature of crypto compared to credit cards will completely eliminate fraudulent transactions. In addition, accepting crypto payments greatly decreases our processing fees compared to credit cards. IronGate.Wine is consistently one of the lowest-priced providers in the United States of fine and rare wine, but we can be even more competitive by further reducing our processing costs by several percentage points.”

“Bitcoin is a global currency and will allow international buyers to purchase wine cheaper and more quickly than credit cards and bank wires,” said Sonny Singh, Chief Commercial Officer at BitPay. “One of the biggest headaches merchants have today is chargebacks, and for online merchants this headache is compounded with the added risks of identity theft and fraud. BitPay leverages the promise cryptocurrency provides with transactional transparency. It is impossible to use cryptocurrency for fraud as every transaction is verified, recorded and stored on the blockchain. Further, as a push transaction, similar to taking cash out of a wallet, the user sends the exact amount of Bitcoin needed to pay the bill. This eliminates traditional credit card fraud and identity theft risks associated with credit cards. As a result, there are no chargebacks.”

In addition to Bitcoin, IronGate.Wine accepts all major credit cards, ACH and wire transactions, and will soon be expanding to accept AliPay, WeChat Pay and Apple Pay to round out the most comprehensive array of payment options in the industry.

Based in upstate New York and shipping worldwide, IronGate.Wine is an online retailer of vintage wines meticulously sourced from private collectors throughout the United States and Canada. Currently, there are over 2,500  unique wines available for purchase through the website, which will grow to over 4,000 in the next four weeks.

Press Release: Toronto…February 16, 2019– Toronto-based Liz Palmer makes the list of the “Top Wine Influencers In 2019 You Need to Pay Attention To”

Sommeliers Choice Awards and Beverage Trade Network has recently announced their Top Wine Influencers list for 2019. The prestige judging panel includes 45 top U.S. sommeliers, wine buyers and wine directors.

“Here are the top 20 wine influencers that you need to check out in 2019 –These are the new critics. Find the influencer that has got the attention of your customer demographic and you have a chance. That’s our no # 1 marketing tip for wineries to double down on. Here is a list of top wine influencers that have a good loyal following on Instagram & Twitter.” – Sommeliers Choice Awards and Beverage Trade Network

“I am so honoured and thankful to be part of this community and be included on this list with other notable wine personalities!” – Liz Palmer

“This recognition makes me work harder to assist my clients and get them recognized globally.….I am also happy and proud of the work that UPSocial Wine and Spirits Agency is doing – assisting international wine and spirit brands in their communications, digital marketing strategies, and influencer marketing, while sustaining and increasing awareness” Liz Palmer, Founder of UPSocial Wine and Spirits Agency.

Other global wine influencers on the list include: The Wine Wankers, Jancis Robinson, Julien Miquel, Jon Thorsen, Jessica Altieri, Kelly Mitchell, Jeff Kralik, Tim Atkin, Julie Brosterman, Jamie Goode, Luiz Alberto, Joey Casco, Alder Yarrow, Cathrine Todd, Michelle Williams, Marilena Barbera, Meg Maker, Dusan Jelic, and Katherine Cole.

About Liz Palmer
Liz Palmer is a Toronto / London UK based award-winning author, wine journalist, influencer, wine judge and founder of Upsocial Wine & Spirits Agency (a digital and influencer marketing agency).

She has been recently named as one of 2019’s “Top 20” Social Media Power Influencers on wine and spirits. Liz is also ranked Top 1% Industry SSI – LinkedIn and was recently on a George Brown College Wine Symposium panel discussing Global Wine Communications and Trends. 2018 and 2019 she has partnered with the French Consul Toronto for wine and spirit events and marketing. Since 2017 she has a partnership with Cision/CNW Group.

Liz Palmer is also the founding President of Les Dames Escoffier Ontario Chapter, and was also appointed Dame Chevalier de L’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne in an official ceremony in Paris in 2017.

About UPSocial Wine & Spirits Agency
Is a digital marketing agency based in Toronto, Canada, one of the world’s leading technology innovation hubs. UPSocial Wine & Spirits Agency specializes in digital and influencer marketing for global wine and spirits brands. Their focus is on creating social media brand strategies, digital content marketing, and influencer relations, fueled by metrics and analytics to drive business results. They are completely dedicated to following innovative changes in the digital marketing world and take a proactive approach to furthering our clients’ campaigns. Liz Palmer is the founder and part of the strategy team.

About Sommeliers Choice Awards
The Sommeliers Choice Awards was officially launched in 2018 by Beverage Trade Network. The judging panel of the Sommeliers Choice Awards includes top U.S. sommeliers, on-premise wine buyers and wine directors.

About Beverage Trade Network
Beverage Trade Network hosts and organizes competitions, events, trade show, expos and tastings for the alcohol beverage trade around the world. Popular competitions include the London Wine Competition, the USA Trade Tasting in New York City, and the International Bulk Wine & Spirits Show in San Francisco.

For more information, please contact:

Robert Roland, Communications Director
Mobile: 647-281-3633
Instagram: @lizpalmer_
Twitter: @lizpalmer_wine

Learn more about UPSocial Wine and Spirits Agency at wwww.liz-palmer and LinkedIn UPSocial Wine and Spirits Agency, and follow on Instagram @upsocialwineandspirits


Liz Palmer, basée à Toronto, figure sur la liste des “Meilleurs Influenceurs du Vin en 2019 auxquels vous devez prêter attention”.

TORONTO, le 18 fév. 2019 /CNW/ – – Sommeliers Choice Awards et Beverage Trade Network ont récemment annoncé leur liste des meilleurs influenceurs du vin pour 2019. Le jury de prestige comprend 45 sommeliers, acheteurs de vin et directeurs de vin américains de premier plan.

“Voici le top 20 des influenceurs du vin que vous devez consulter en 2019 — Voici les nouvelles détracteurs. Trouvez l’influenceur qui a attiré l’attention de votre clientèle démographique et vous avez une chance. C’est notre conseil marketing n°1 pour doubler la mise sur le marché de nos vignobles. Voici une liste des meilleurs influenceurs du vin ayant une bonne audience sur Instagram & Twitter.” – Sommeliers Choice Awards et Beverage Trade Network

“Je suis très honoré et reconnaissant de faire partie de cette communauté et d’être inclus sur cette liste avec d’autres personnalités du vin !” – Liz Palmer

” Cette distinction me pousse à travailler plus dur afin d’aider mes clients et de leur apporter une reconnaissance mondiale… Je suis également ravie et satisfaite du travail accompli par UPSocial Wine and Spirits Agency, qui soutient les marques internationales de vins et spiritueux en matière de communication, de marketing numérique et de stratégie marketing, et qui contribue à l’impact de leurs efforts de promotion et à leur notoriété ” Liz Palmer, Fondateur de la UPSocial Wine and Spirits Agency.

D’autres influenceurs mondiaux du vin figurent sur la liste : The Wine Wankers, Jancis Robinson, Julien Miquel, Jon Thorsen, Jessica Altieri, Kelly Mitchell, Jeff Kralik, Tim Atkin, Julie Brosterman, Jamie Goode, Luiz Alberto, Joey Casco, Alder Yarrow, Cathrine Todd, Michelle Williams, Marilena Barbera, Meg Maker, Dusan Jelic et Katherine Cole.

À propos de Liz Palmer
Liz Palmer est une rédactrice primée, journaliste spécialisée dans le vin, juge du vin, influenceuse et fondatrice d’Upsocial Wine & Spirits Agency (une agence de marketing numérique et influenceuse), basée à Toronto et à Londres au Royaume-Uni.

Elle a récemment été désignée parmi le ” Top 20 ” des influenceurs de pouvoir des médias sociaux sur les vins et spiritueux en 2019. Liz est également classée dans le Top 1% de l’ISS de l’industrie – LinkedIn et a récemment fait partie d’un panel du George Brown College Wine Symposium qui portait sur les communications et tendances mondiales du vin. En 2018 et 2019, elle s’est associée au Consul de France à Toronto pour des événements de vins et spiritueux et du marketing. Depuis 2017, elle travaille en partenariat avec le groupe Cision/CNW.

Liz Palmer est également la présidente fondatrice de la section ontarienne de Les Dames Escoffier et a également été nommée Dame Chevalier de l’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne lors d’une cérémonie officielle à Paris en 2017.

A propos d’UPSocial Wine & Spirits Agency
C’est une agence de marketing numérique basée à Toronto, au Canada, l’un des principaux centres d’innovation technologique au monde. UPSocial Wine & Spirits Agency est spécialisée dans le marketing digital et influenceur pour les marques mondiales de vins et spiritueux. Ils se concentrent sur la création de stratégies de marque de médias sociaux, le marketing de contenu numérique et les relations avec les influenceurs, en s’appuyant sur des mesures et des analyses dans le but de générer des résultats commerciaux. Ils sont totalement dédiés à suivre les changements innovants dans le monde du marketing numérique et adoptent une approche proactive pour faire progresser les campagnes de nos clients. Liz Palmer est la fondatrice et membre de l’équipe de stratégie.

À propos des Sommeliers Choice Awards
Le Sommeliers Choice Awards a été officiellement lancé en 2018 par Beverage Trade Network. Le jury des Sommeliers Choice Awards comprend les meilleurs sommeliers américains, des acheteurs de vin sur place et des directeurs de vin.

À propos de Beverage Trade Network
Beverage Trade Network accueille et organise des concours, des événements, des foires commerciales, des expositions et des dégustations pour le commerce des boissons alcoolisées dans le monde entier. Parmi les concours les plus populaires, citons le London Wine Competition, le USA Trade Tasting à New York et l’International Bulk Wine & Spirits Show à San Francisco.

Pour en savoir plus sur UPSocial Wine and Spirits Agency, rendez-vous sur wwww.liz-palmer et LinkedIn UPSocial Wine and Spirits Agency, et suivez sur Instagram @upsocialwine andpirits

Pour plus d’informations : Robert Roland, directeur des communications, mobile : 647-281-3633, courriel :, Web :, Instagram : @lizpalmer_,Twitter : @lizpalmer_wine

Champagne exports overtake domestic consumption in 2018

Estimated figures for total shipments during 2018 show that more Champagne was consumed in foreign markets than France for the first time in over 50 years.

The two presidents of the Comité Champagne, Maxime Toubart and Jean-Marie Barillère announced last week that declining shipments in mature European markets – especially France – and growth in countries such as Australia, US and Japan, had affected the balance of global Champagne consumption.

Most notably, it had tipped the scales in favour of exports, with, from this year, more Champagne shipped to countries outside the domestic market than were sent to the trade in France.

Because, according to Barillère, France had consumed more Champagne than the rest of the world combined since the middle of the last century, this recent development was a major milestone.

“Exports have overtaken France for the first time,” he said, before adding, “Well, since the early part of last century – when Champagne was mostly exported, and not consumed very widely in France,” he stated.

“It was in the 1920s that the French market for Champagne developed, and grew and grew, and from the start of the 60s France became the largest market in the world for Champagne,” he continued.

This prompted Toubart to add, “So, it is the first time in the modern history of Champagne that exports have been bigger than France.”

Domestic sales for Champagne have also been on an almost steady decline since a peak in 2007, when France consumed as much as 188m bottles of the fizz, compared to 150m by the rest of the world. Driving the growth in exports for Champagne have been markets outside Europe, in particular, the US, Japan and Australia, although increasing sales in a range of smaller emerging markets have also contributed.

Indeed, it is an evolution that proves the increasingly global nature of Champagne consumption, making, as reported last year, Champagne sales “more balanced” than ever before, with 30 markets now consuming over 0.5m bottles annually.

Looking ahead, Barillère expects the spread of Champagne consumption to become even more evenly split between the major areas of the world.

“We saw last year that exports of Champagne to Europe were overtaken by those to ‘the rest of the world’, and now we see that total exports are now bigger than the French market,” he began.

“If this trend continues, then in 10-20 year’s Champagne will be one-third France, one-third Europe, and one-third the rest of the world, or it could be higher], depending on where there is wealth development,” he added.

Toubart said that markets outside Europe were growing because the houses had redirected their marketing investments from France to US and Asian markets.

“The French market is decreasing, and so Champagne houses have invested a lot of money in new countries,” he commented.

Barillère explained, “The maisons have focused their marketing activities on countries where there is growth in GDP, and population development, and where the level of wine consumption is growing – it’s why, for example, we have invested in the US.”

The French market for Champagne has been declining for two main reasons.

Firstly, the sales of grower Champagnes direct to consumers in France has diminished, and secondly, the number of promotions on entry-level Champagnes in French supermarkets have fallen, in line with a reputed fatigue among domestic consumers for the retail technique.

While Champagne is seeing shipments decline for inexpensive Champagne in mature markets, the premium branded sector is doing well, both in Europe, but, as noted above, particularly in the US, Japan and Australia.

As a result, Barillère said that turnover for Champagne in 2018 was “stable”, and may even have increased to a level slightly above last year, which was a new record for Champagne.

In other words, the region may have lost more than 5m bottles in shipments for 2018, but the past year could represent the largest ever turnover for Champagne, with the higher revenue accounted for by sales of more branded bottles, and an increased demand for pricier cuvées, especially from consumers in countries outside Europe.

Source: Drinks Business

Cognac Reports Record Export Growth

For the fourth consecutive year, exports of Cognac have increased, reaching record numbers in both volume and value.

With nearly 98% of total production exported, the Cognac appellation continued to grow its export markets in 2018, with growth of more than 3% in volume and 2% in value. 204.2 million bottles of cognac were shipped in 2018 – resulting in 3.2 billion euros (roughly 3.6 billion dollars) in revenue.

Dynamic Growth in All Major Markets

Cognac exports to the NAFTA Zone (represents 44.4% of exports) continue to make progress, with 90.6 million bottles shipped in 2018 for an increase of 5.2% in volume and 0.7% in value. The United States continues to be Cognac’s largest market with 87.4 million bottles shipped in 2018.

The East Asian market continues to grow, with 60.1 million bottles (an increase of 5.6% in volume and 3.7% in value). The exports to China continue to drive growth in the zone despite a slight decrease during the second semester.

Continental Europe exports have declined (-5.3% in volume and – 2.2% in value), for a total of nearly 39.4 million bottles shipped. This decline can be attributed to the difficult economic and political times in some of its markets.

Continued Potential for Development in the Rest of the World
Increased exports also continue in other areas with high potential for Cognac in countries such as South Africa, Vietnam, and the Caribbean. Exports to these markets rose by 10.4% in volume and 7.1% in value. Additionally, these new areas of opportunity represent more than 6.9% of total exports, or nearly 14.1 million bottles.

Exports Increase for V.S., V.S.O.P and Older Categories
The export of V.S. (50% of total volume), and V.S.O.P. (almost 40% of total volume) continue to grow in volume and are up by 2.6 and 3.5% respectively. Value for both remained stable (only down by 0.3%).
Representing 11.5% of total volume, the older categories witnessed a growth of 7.5% in volume and 6.3% in value.

The 2018 Harvest Supports Positive Export Figures
With a total volume yield of 126.8 hl/ha (compared to 88.95 hl/ha for the previous harvest) or a yield of pure alcohol of 13.06 hl AP/ha, the production in barrels will be between 970,000 and 980,000 hl AP.

This level of production would be greater than the region’s original business objectives which had been estimated at 902,000 hl AP put in barrel this year, a figure that many trade professionals feared would be too low to meet the demand.

The growth of shipments during the year confirms the forecasts announced by the BNIC’s (Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac) business plan. BNIC President Patrick Raguenaud states, “Cognac professionals remain confident in the future prospects and are ambitiously planning to ensure the demands of export markets are always met.”

Source: BNIC