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October 2006


TastingBuddy


   Writing wine tasting notes may never be the same again thanks to TastingBuddy, launched in the UK on September 13th by developers John & Paul Fitzpatrick. I will be trialling this device myself and reporting back for wine-pages readers, but basically TastingBuddy claims to be a revolutionary tasting note solution for wine professionals and enthusiasts, which enables them to create fast, accurate, professional tasting notes on their mobile or PDA. TastingBuddy notes are stored in an online database unique to each user, enabling access and editing from anywhere with an internet connection. Paul Fitzpatrick says: "As wine lovers ourselves, John & I attended numerous
tastings, where we noticed people scratching notes about the wines in the margins of the wine lists, many of which ended up being left behind. How were these tasters to recall what they thought about the wines they had tasted? It struck us that there must be a way to use a small handset to easily capture tasting notes at such events. If these notes could then be uploaded onto a website for review anytime, anywhere, then tasters would always be able to access them effortlessly." TastingBuddy currently runs on Microsoft Pocket PC mobile phones and PDAs. Blackberry and Symbian editions are in development and will be released in the near future. Prospective subscribers can trial the system free for 30 days before committing to the annual subscription fee of £40 for consumers, and £30 for members of the trade. To register visit www.tastingbuddy.com.

New Zealand in Edinburgh

Scots wine enthusiast can have a taste of New Zealand at the New Zealand Wine Fair, Edinburgh. The fair will be held at Prestonfield House on Tuesday 24th October from 6.30 - 8.30pm, with the opportunity to sample over 200 Kiwi wines from over 50 producers - and be amongst the first to taste the new 2006 vintage. New Zealand is best known for its Sauvignon Blanc, however a wide range of other varieties will be on show, with aromatic whites like Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris, and emerging reds Tickets cost £14 each. Plase contact New Zealand Winegrowers, New Zealand House, Haymarket, London SW1Y 4TE. Tel: 020 7973 8079 or email admin@nzwine.com. You can also pay by debit or credit card by visiting www.newzealandwineevents.co.uk.   

007 fizzes again


   Forty-four years, six different actors, over 240 girls, but only one Champagne! They made their first screen appearance together in 1979 and now, Bollinger and Bond are set to reappear in the new James Bond film Casino Royale opening in London on 17th November 2006. Casino Royale stars Daniel Craig in his debut as the secret agent 007 in a film is based on the first James Bond novel ever written by Ian Fleming. Bollinger's La Grande Année is featured as Bond's fizz of choice in the movie, as it has in nine previous Bond films spanning almost three decades, starting with Moonraker in 1979. Bollinger is one of the few remaining family owned houses in Champagne, and President Ghislain de Mongolfier, nephew of Lily Bollinger, says of the house's continuing association with 007: "Great taste is always in great taste. What could be more stylishly up to date than James Bond?"

Quintessential excess?

Quintessentially Wine, which bills itself as "the UK's most exclusive wine service" has put together a 'wine experience' in conjunction with wine writer Matthew Jukes and "top Bond Street brands" Asprey, Smythson and Swarovski and "two of London's most exciting new designers", Basso & Brooke, to provide "the discerning wine lover with the ultimate in wine experiences." For a mere £22,000 - £110,000 (depending on your wine choice and depth of pocket) your experience will include a private tasting by Jukes for 10 people, hosted in a location of your choice, and featuring "rare and sublime vintages from some of the finest Châteaux and wineries in the World". You
  
will also receive a sterling silver Champagne cooler, wine pourer, stopper, coasters and corkscrew from Asprey, a leather bound cellar book from Smythson, crystal glasses from Swarovski and Basso & Brooke's "bespoke cellar tags and wine cloths." Stop sniggering at the back!

Beaujolais New Nouveau


   Beaujolais Wines are launching a new promotional campaign in the UK which will roll out from 2007 to 2009. Today the UK is the third most important export market for Beaujolais, with a 2.8% recorded growth in 2005 (56,513 hectolitres, source: Nielsen). Following extensive research in all key markets, Inter Beaujolais (the regional marketing board) has taken the decision to focus its communications campaign on three key markets: USA, Japan and UK. The campaign will focus on Beaujolais and Beaujolais Villages, emphasising their accessibility and fresh character. The ten Beaujolais Crus will also be included where appropriate "to help raise the awareness of the
quality and range of wines that Beaujolais offers." The campaign will be unveiled at the London Wine Show on 26 October 2006 at the Islington Design Centre in London.

London Wine Show

Talking of the London Wine Show, the event runs for the second time after a first year in 2005 that the organisers claimed was a great success. Taking place between 26th – 29th October at the Business Design Centre in Islington this is the biggest event of its kind in the UK. As well as tastings, tutorials and other events, Wines of Chile will be making a big impact with a colourful stand right at the entrance to the show, sampling more than 75 wines over the 4 days of the show and offering a stunning trip to Chile in a special competition. Visitors to the stand can enter a competition to win a two-week trip of a lifetime.
  

MWs under the hammer


   In 2004, the Institute of MAsters of Wine was given seed funding to establish an Endowment Fund on the condition that it raised matching funds. The Endowment Fund is used to further the education work of the Institute by, for example, funding scholarships and bursaries, funding tastings and seminars of educational importance and establishing additional MW education programmes in areas of the world where they are not currently available. The largest fundraising effort by the Institute are the auctions taking place at Christie's in London and New York on 30th October 2006 and 1st November 2006 respectively, and on-line through Langton's of Sydney during November 2006. Rare wines from the cellars of MWs and leading producers, visits to wine regions accompanied by Masters of Wine, lots offering bidders the chance to meet, taste and dine at top flight domaines are all on offer. Download a catalogue from mastersofwine.org.