Liz Palmer is Guest Speaker at Charles Steven Trenholme’s Importing Wine, Beer, Spirit For Pleasure & Profit Seminar

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Liz Palmer attends Charles Steven Trenholme’s Importing Wine, Beer, Spirit for Pleasure & Profit Seminar on Saturday June 3th, 2017 (Toronto, Ontario as a guest speaker. Liz discusses her journey from wine journalist to award winning Author. She goes on to speak about her upcoming champagne workshops which are commencing this fall at The Fine Wine Reserve, and her wine Tourism company “Global Wine Holidays” with the first trips starting 2018 in to the Champagne Region, Cognac and Bordeaux.

About Liz Palmer
Liz Palmer is a well-respected wine journalist since 2004 and has an international reputation as a critic and judge. Liz has had the pleasure of interviewing and tasting with some of the industry’s leading winemakers, professors and personalities.

Liz Palmer’s articles have appeared in national and international magazines. She is one of four founding international hosts for #ChampagneDay 2011-2017; she has served as a judge for the 2013-2017 Global Traveler’s Wines on the Wing airline wine competition (New York); 2014-2017 Michelangelo International Wine Awards (South Africa) 2014-2017; and for The Stevie Awards for Women in Business (New York) (2014-2017).

Her Memberships include: Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada, Circle of Wine Writers (UK) – Circle Committee, International Federation of Wine and Spirits Journalists and Writers (FIJEV); Wine Century Club (NYC), and The Fine Wine Reserve.

2017 Awards:
Liz Palmer’s first book, “The Ultimate Guide To Champagne” has received the National Award for the best French Wine Book at the Gourmand World Awards 2017 and has been accepted for the 2017 Taste Canada Awards [Culinary Narratives Category] with winners being announced October 2017. On April 7th, 2017 she was awarded the title of “Dame Chevalier” of the Ordre de Coteaux de Champagne at an official ceremony in Paris.

About Steven Trenholme’s Importing Wine, Beer, Spirit For Pleasure & Profit Seminar 

MORNING SESSION
Where to find new and interesting wines, spirits and beers
How to start your own successful import agency
Determining the best strategy for new product development
How to negotiate with suppliers
Marketing channels – which are the best for you and your suppliers
Opportunities as a Consignment and/or Private Stock Agent
Employment opportunities in the beverage alcohol industry
A light lunch will be served.

AFTERNOON SESSION
How products are priced
Agent commissions and promotional allowances
Ordering samples
Dealing effectively with the LCBO
Selecting the right products for today’s market
How the LCBO selects products and how to increase your chance of success
Vintages – a lucrative market
Determining the best strategy for a new product launch
Working with LCBO wine consultants – how to find an sales support at store level
Working with the media
Other provincial markets: Privatization, Options & Opportunities

Which Airline has the Best Wine? The Results.

Global Traveler, the only AAM-audited magazine for business and luxury travelers, has released their results of its 12th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Competition.

The competition, held May 10, took place at INNSIDE New York Nomad. I was one of the judges who participated in the blind tasting of airlines’ white, red and sparkling wines. Before the tasting, I cleared my mind of bad experiences of on-board wines tasted at 30,000 – 40,000. The other judges hailed from the industry, including sommeliers, wine shop owners and winemakers.

The Process:

Airlines are required to submit five different wines — two red wines, two white wines and one sparkling wine/Champagne — to be eligible for the Best Overall International Business Class Wines on the Wing award or the Best Overall International First Class Wines on the Wing. This year, the overall winner in both categories was Singapore Airlines.

The Results:

In the white wine category, Best International Business Class White Wine was Paulo Laureano Reserva 2014, Alentejo, Portugal, submitted by TAP Portugal. For first class, the winner was Emirates with François Villard Condrieu de Poncins 2014.

The best business-class Champagne was Singapore Airlines’ Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve NV. The best first-class Champagne was a tie between British Airways’ Laurent-Perrier Grand Siècle Grande Cuvée, NV; and Singapore Airlines’ Dom Pérignon 2006.

When it came to red wine, American Airlines reigned supreme in the business-class and first-class category with Monte Zovo Amarone della Valpolicella 2012, Italy, and Domaine de la Présidente, Cairanna 2013, Côtes du Rhône, France, respectively.

For the eighth consecutive year, Global Traveler awarded the Best North American Wines on the Wing. North American airlines submitted first-class and business-class wine samples, depending on their domestic flight offerings.

American Airlines swept the North American category, taking Best North American Wines on the Wing, and the awards for white, red and sparkling wines.

For the sixth year, Global Traveler awarded the Best Alliance Wines on the Wing. The participating airlines were divided by their airline alliance. The overall points for each airline were tallied and averaged to determine the alliance with the highest total. Congratulations to Star Alliance.

Competition director Eunice Fried spent months preparing for the blind tasting. Fried, an accomplished wine journalist and respected wine expert, resides in New York City.

Global Traveler is the only U.S.-based publication to conduct such a survey in the United States.

The top airlines in each category are:

BEST INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS WINES ON THE WING

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. Delta Air Lines
  3. All Nippon Airways
  4. Brussels Airlines
  5. Emirates

 

BEST INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS WINES ON THE WING

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. All Nippon Airways
  3. American Airlines
  4. British Airways
  5. Emirates

 

BEST CHAMPAGNE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. Delta Air Lines
  3. Emirates
  4. Aer Lingus
  5. All Nippon Airways

 

BEST CHAMPAGNE INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS

  1. British Airways/Singapore Airlines (TIE)
  2. All Nippon Airways
  3. Emirates
  4. American Airlines

 

BEST WHITE WINE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS

  1. TAP Portugal
  2. Fiji Airways
  3. All Nippon Airways
  4. Delta Air Lines
  5. Singapore Airlines

 

BEST WHITE WINE INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS

  1. Emirates
  2. American Airlines
  3. All Nippon Airways
  4. British Airways
  5. Singapore Airlines

 

BEST RED WINE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CLASS

  1. American Airlines
  2. TAP Portugal
  3. Brussels Airlines
  4. Air Canada
  5. Singapore Airlines

 

BEST RED WINE INTERNATIONAL FIRST CLASS

  1. American Airlines
  2. All Nippon Airways
  3. Emirates
  4. British Airways
  5. Singapore Airlines

 

 

NOVAK DJOKOVIC BUYS LAND IN SERBIA TO START VINEYARD

 

Unknown-3Local sources have claimed that international tennis star Novak Djokovic purchased some land months ago that was negotiated by his uncle, Goran Djokovic.

Djokovic’s land is located near the village of Šumadija in the heart of Servia’s prime wine region, Šumadija, and according to Vladimir Stojić, director of Media Sector, who represent the Šumadija Winemakers Association, the land will require a period of regeneration as it was listed as a vineyard over 50 years ago, but is currently an abandoned woodland.

“It is now being prepared for the grapevines, with planting taking place likely next spring,”Stojić said. “It is not sure when the winery will be built, but it could be in 2017 or 2018.”

Though no official price tag has been disclosed, it is said that just one hectare of land in the Oplenac region can run anywhere between €4,500 and €8,000 (£3,700 to £6,600).

 

Source:  Drinks Business

My Interview with: Olga Bussinello, Director, Consorzio Valpolicella – Italy [Women in Wine Business]

March 8th is International Women’s Day and is a day to celebrate women’s achievements, past and present. March is also women’s history month, a time to note women in history, but also women making history.

Here is my interview with one such woman, Ms Olga Bussinello, the Managing Director of the Consortium of Valpolicella wine region.

The Consortium of Valpolicella was founded in 1924 and includes the growers, producers and bottlers and regulates every aspect of cultivation and winemaking, up to promotion. This great red wine from Verona has shown a positive trend at the guidance of Ms. Bussinello. At year end 2015 it reached a turnover of 310 million euros (a 6% increase over the previous year); and where six out of ten bottles are exported.

Q   How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?

A   I have had very diverse yet complementary life and work experiences. After graduating in law I worked in both public bodies and in private companies, changing workplaces and cities up until six years ago when I began my adventure as Director of the Consorzio per la Tutela dei Vini Valpolicella. The flexibility and courage to understand when my career path had to change direction are what have made me grow.

Q   How has your previous employment experience aided your position at Consorzio Valpolicella?

A   Mainly the period I spent working in the world of agricultural associations in Rome where I got to comprehend the complexity of the relations among the various players in a production chain. Even if there are common goals, drawing together the farming world and the industrial sector is extremely difficult.

Q   What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at Consorzio Valpolicella?

A   While the wines have become famous by now, instead, Valpolicella—as in the production area—is not very well known as a rural landscape. Having people get to know its genuine beauty and the history of its places is a very important challenge. Naturally, even for that which concerns the wines you have to work to keep the demand and the appeal of Amarone and the other products of the Valpolicella high.

Q   How do you maintain a work/life balance?

A   You have to reserve the same amount of attention and sensibility to work and family to establish your daily priorities. Work, just like family, is a creature and in a certain sense we have to take care of it. I do owe a lot to my husband who has always supported me and taken my place with my daughters so that I could be relaxed as I dealt with more difficult engagements.

Q   What do you think are the biggest issues for women in the wine industry?

A   The same as in the other industries: the difficulty of covering roles that historically belong to men, the stress of having to demonstrate that you’re always perfect, the inability to form a team with other women. This is the generation which, first and foremost, has to fight stereotypes and ancestral insecurities to prepare the way for the generations to come.

Q   Which other female leaders do you admire and why?

A   Many, citing just a few would be doing a disservice to the others. I like women who focus in well on their role and therefore manage to work in a team. The individualism that has to do with being used to facing many things alone can become a limitation in one’s personal and career growth path.

Q   What do you want Consorzio Valpolicella to accomplish over the next year?

A   I would like to fine-tune a format of wine and territory presentation that I am already working on, which brings out the differences between the terroirs and company styles.

Q   What do you love most about your position as Director for Consorzio Valpolicella?

A   The relationship with the member companies, going to the vineyards and the wineries, understanding the history of each and building new projects with them.

Q   What is your advice for other women entrepreneurs?

A   Don’t ever lose your enthusiasm for your work and think of each difficulty as a challenge that will help you grow

——

WHAT MAKES VINTAGE CHAMPAGNE SO SPECIAL?

Liz Palmer, and Delphine Veissiere PhD

imagesThe Champagne region, which is an AOC (Appellation d’Origine Controlée) is based on two key characteristics: assuring place of origin of each product and its method of production. It’s not the largest wine-growing region, but it is the most famous. The region is divided into four main growing areas; Montagne de Reims, Vallée de la Marne, Côte de Blancs together with Côte de Sézanne, and Côte des Bar (referred to as the Aube). It is important to note that – it is illegal to officially label any product Champagne unless it comes from the Champagne region of France and is produced under the rules of the appellation.

Champagne has been brilliantly marketed the past few decades, and has succeeded in retaining a cache although there are many serious sparkling wine alternatives on the market.

But, why is it so expensive?

A good answer, could be partly because the process is very long and complex and requires many steps along the way, so these drive up the price.

And what about vintage champagne?

Theoretically, vintage Champagnes are made only in particularly good years . This scarcity and quality are the key determinants for investment opportunity.

Vintage champagne is a matter of rarity and style

Vintage Champagne, also known as millésimé, is the unique expression of a single year. There is no regional announcement or vintage decree – the winemaker or Chef de Cave will only produce vintage Champagne in years when the quality is exceptional. These wines are made with the best grapes from superior vineyards.

Also in Champagne the word “vintage” takes on a new meaning – about 90% of the sparkling wine produced in the region is blended into non-vintage Champagnes. These wines are blends of wines from a number of years, or vintages. Non-vintage Champagne often a representation of the house style, while vintage Champagne is a reflection of the year. What gives a vintage Champagne that “special character”? The weather.

“A vintage Champagne is a joint venture between the winemaker and the climate,” says Olivier Krug.

The Champagne region is located in a key climatic area influenced by oceanic and continental weather. Harsh weather conditions makes the winegrower’s métier quite difficult.

Champagne aficionados are ecstatic these days due to a recent shift of good to great vintages commencing with the 2002s.  The character of a vintage Champagne is a reflection of that year’s weather. Here is a précis of 14 vintages from 2000-2014 and where you will find some vintages more exceptional than others.

2015 — Too early.
2014 —  Too early.
*2013 —  Difficult flowering period; Chardonnay badly affected by millerandage; a smaller crop with high quality.
*2012 —  Deemed one of the best vintages the Champagne region has experienced. “The quality and the intensity are definitely there to make an outstanding vintage” states Dom Perignon chef de cave Richard Geoffroy. The base wines show beautiful richness with perfect acid levels; yields were very low.
2011 — An erratic year with problematic harvest.
2010 -This will be a variable year depending on the producer, not many vintages declared; some producers produced excellent fruit driven Champagne.
2009 —    A very difficult vintage; high sugar levels with moderate acidity.  I believe they will be more fresher than the 2003s; better suited for early drinking and not long-term cellaring.  I suspect that most of 2009 wine will be destined for non-vintage bottlings; a few vintage Champagnes were produced.
2008 — Some good vintages produced, watch out for some classically styled, acidic Champagnes.
2007 —  witnessed a cold, rainy summer, with a huge crop (especially Chardonnay) that was brought in earlier than predicted, near the end of August; mostly diluted fruit and high acidity, a large proportion will be reserved for non-vintage Champagnes
2006 — Supple and expressive wines; immediate drinking.
2005 — Not many great vintages produced – acidity was on the low end; 2005 Cristal is a good reflection.
2004 — Structured and well balanced wines, 2004 DP is an excellent reflection.
2003 — Very high heat across Europe produced wines with excellent fruit, good for immediate drinking not much potential for long-term cellaring.
*2002 — This vintage was dry and warm– an exceptional vintage; potentially a classic.
2001 — The worst vintage on record.
2000 — Good quality for blending; not many vintages produced.
*considered exceptional years

Vintage champagne is an investment opportunity

Champagne is relatively affordable when compared to similarly evaluated Bordeaux or Burgundy. Champagne offers first time investors a lower entry point and seasoned investors value for money when diversifying their portfolios. When Champagne is released it is ready for drinking, and rarely stored for long periods, vintages then become scarce and prices rise.

Sebastian Woolf of Woolf Sung reports that vintage Champagne currently presents the most value for money in the fine wine investment market, with a further 10% growth expected over the next 12 months. He states: “I set up Woolf Sung in 2012 to bring fine wine investment to the younger generations by focusing on under-the-radar brands and vintages. Champagne epitomizes this ambition and as investors across the board are seeking alternatives to Bordeaux, these brands and vintages are gaining traction in the market as investors and drinkers are looking for value.”

Woolf Sung is currently focusing on sourcing and procuring these old, scarce vintages which present a 3-5 year investment; these bottles are being drunk now therefore scarcity and, in turn, prices are ever increasing.

“The world’s top Champagne vintages, 1988, 1996, and 2002 have consistently shown great appreciation and continued steady growth over the years. Over a two year period to August 2014, these vintages have collectively risen 10.2%. With the investment market looking for alternatives to Bordeaux, vintage Champagne offers volume production, worldwide distribution and prestige that Burgundy and Italy struggle to compete with. According to Liv-Ex, between 2011 and 2013 the Champagne index increased 11.9% and its share of trade increase from 1% to 2.3%.” says Sebastian Woolf.

– Our Five Top Vintage Champagne Picks – Continue reading “WHAT MAKES VINTAGE CHAMPAGNE SO SPECIAL?”