Tom Cannavan's   

August 2009

Some discount offers from sponsors

Despite the doom and gloom of the credit crunch I'm pleased to say is still attracting some new sponsors for the site, and those sponsors are still able to offer wine-pages' visitors some genuine deals to introduce them to their services. First up, leading organic and vegetarian specialist Vintage Roots is offering 20% off all orders of £75 or more for new customers. See for details. Next, Northampton's Hawkshead Wines is offering a 10% discount for new customers off of any orders - and this discount applies even to special offer wines, up to a maximum saving of £20. See Finally, our competition sponsor this month is the excellent H&H Bancroft, and as well as a chance to win a case of Grand Cru Champagne, all competition entrants can enjoy 15% off all wines, excluding en primeurs and fine wines. For full info see the competition page.

Tom on Telly, part deux

A couple of months ago we announced that Tom was to become the resident wine expert on Scottish Television's new show 'The Hour', broadcast weekdays at 5:00pm (Tom, left, with the rest of the cast). Tom's segment - a seven minute wine tasting with studio guests - has moved from Thursday to Friday evenings. The Hour is a topical magazine show featuring interviews and specialist segments including cookery, gardening and of course, wine. Interested viewers outside Scotland can still catch-up with the show online via STV's web site too - and the wine segments are viewable across the globe, not just in the UK.

Crushpad does Bordeaux

Crushpad is a Californian custom winemaking facility and 'club' that lets anyone become a winemaker, without necessarily leaving their armchair. Run by a combination of wine industry veterans and technology industry boffins, Crushpad in San Francisco sources grapes from nearby Napa and Sonoma, and will make wine to order for customers anywhere in the world. Clients interact with the winemaking team by email and the web to participate in decision making though all stages of the process, from choosing which grapes to vinify, to deciding on the label for the bottles. Now, Crushpad has opened a European facility in Bordeaux, offering a similar service for those who want to be lords, or ladies, of their own virtual Bordeaux château. Crushpad Bordeaux

Chefs in wine for charity

Charity Action Against Hunger has enlisted the talents of four of the UK's leading chefs to raise money at its Fine Wine Auction and Dinner. Heston Blumenthal, Herbert Berger, Angela Hartnett and Fergus Henderson (pictured) will create the four course meal for the evening, which will take place at City restaurant 1 Lombard Street on 10 October 2009. Money raised will help Action Against Hunger combat poverty and malnutrition worldwide. David Elswood, International Head of Wine at Christies, will host the highly prized live auction with lots up for grabs including a meal for two at Ferran Adria's three-Michelin starred restaurant, El Bulli; a private dining experience for 12 at London's Corrigans and two Jereboams of Felton Road Block 2006 Pinot Noir, worth in excess of £3,000. Tickets for the event cost £160 and can be reserved via Heidi Drummond at Action Against Hunger on 020 8293 6133.   

From Austria to India

Trishna, an Indian seafood restaurant in Marylebone, London is launching an Austrian Wine Club and putting its full weight behind Austrian wines. Trishna will be increasing its already strong Austrian wine offering with an extensive array of wines by the glass and bottle. Among the selection are not only the ubiquitous Grüner Veltliner, but lesser known varietals from Zierfandler to Rotgipfler. Eighty percent of the 'by the glass' selection on the list will be Austrian, and a range of Austrian wine flights will also be available. The Trishna Wine Club will host regular masterclasses hosted by some of Austria's best known wine makers. We suspect Trishna's General Manager, Austrian Leopold Kiem, may have a hand in this!