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Wine News

UK's casual dining restaurants feel the pinch

UK casual dining feels the pinch after a series of restaurant closures from Jamie's Italian, Strada and Byron's.
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The UK has been hit by the closure of a number of restaurant chains over the last couple of weeks. Jamie’s Italian is in the process of closing 12 of its 37 restaurants after losing £9.9 million in 2017. In 2017, 6 Jamie’s Italian restaurants closed in addition to Jamie Oliver's Union Jacks pizza restaurant in Covent Garden (the last of 4 sites launched in 2011 to close).

Strada closed a third of its restaurants over the Christmas period and gourmet burger chain Byron is expected to close up to 20 sites.

The closures have been attributed to rising food costs, business rates and staffing pressures.

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Red wine polyphenols may help protect teeth and gums

A recent study suggests that two polyphenols found in red wine may help protect teeth by stopping harmful bacteria.
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A recent study suggests that two polyphenols found in red wine may help protect teeth by stopping harmful bacteria. The two polyphenols are caffeic acid and p-coumaric acid. Apart from wine they are also found in coffee, grape juice and cranberry juice. They were both shown to stop bacteria that stick to teeth and gums and are a major factor in the build-up of dental plaque and the development of gum disease and tooth decay.

The study has yet to show that drinking wine works, as the experiment was done in a lab simulating the mouth and the polyphenols where super concentrated and in contact for over 24hrs. Wine is also full of acids which will eat away at the calcium in your teeth.


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Oxford wine tasting team beats Cambridge in annual taste off

The 65th Varsity blind tasting was taken by Oxford over a less experienced Cambridge team.
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The 65th Varsity blind tasting was taken by Oxford for the fourth year in a row, over the Cambridge team. The competition includes identifying 6 white and 6 red wines, including grape variety, country, region and vintage. Both teams trained hard, but Oxford's team has had the benefit of a long-term coach in the form of Hanneke Wilson, while Cambridge’s team was full of newcomers.

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Wines of GB unveil new brand identity

Wines of GB launched their new brand identity this week, receiving a mixed response from wine critics and the trade.
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The new Wines of Great Britain industry body has launched its new branding and logo to the wine trade this week. You may recall the two English and Welsh wine industry associations, the United Kingdom Vineyards Association (UKVA) and English Wine Producers (EWP) recently combined to become Wines of Great Britain or Wine GB.

The new logo will make its first public appearance during Wines of Great Britain AGM on the 25th April 2018 and those of us in the trade will see it at the Wines of Great Britain Trade & Press Tasting the next day. The branding will follow through to English Wine Week/Welsh Wine Week from the 26th May to 3rd June.

There has been a mixed response on social media, with industry figures taking to Twitter to vocalise their opinions. Jamie Goode and Sarah Abbott MW went as far as to liken the design, which features the Union Jack, to UKIP and Britain First. Other commentators such as Gavin Quinney, writer for Harpers and JancisRobinson.com, think Wine GB is the wrong name for the trade body, given that the legal meaning of British wine is effectively wine made in the UK, from imported grapes.
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Chile could become the UK's 2nd biggest exporter of wine by 2020

Vinexpo research predicts Chile will become the number 2 supplier of wine in the UK by 2020.
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Thinking about enjoying a Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile, then you may soon be in the majority, as the UK’s love of Chilean wines is expected to grow. Chile is currently the 6th biggest exporter of wine to the UK, but is expected to become the 2nd biggest by volume by 2020, according to research carried out for Vinexpo (a wine expo organiser) by research agency IWSR. While Chile will grow in volume by 2.4% it is the 4 other countries ahead of it that are forecast to fall, these being the USA, France, Italy and Spain. Australia, the largest exporter to the UK, will remain in 1st place. Other countries predicted to increase exports, will include New Zealand and Argentina.
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China prefers wines with corks over screw caps

98.6% of Urban Chinese prefer wines with corks over screw caps.
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A recent survey by China CTR Marketing Research Group found that Chinese wine drinkers prefer corks. 98.6% of urban wine drinkers believe that cork is “beneficial”, while 85% agree that the presence of a cork stopper influences wine selection.

The desire for cork has meant that even New Zealand and Australian producers who led the move to screw cap have had to ship 8 out of 10 bottles with cork closures, according to APCOR, the Portuguese Cork Association.

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