There was only one (wine) show in town last week and that was the party held at the Tate Modern by Alliance Wine to celebrate its 25th anniversary. You could be forgiven for wondering who on earth Alliance is because they’re not high profile wine merchants but a national distributor, one of those unsung heroes that rarely, if ever, get a press mention because they sit in the shadowlands between supplier and retailer. Yes, the wine trade and the press know who they are because some of them, like Richards Walford and Alliance themselves for instance, have a strong portfolio of suppliers.
Shortly before South Africa announced it was looking for a new coach to help its footballers side make a fist of things as World Cup host nation next summer, a group of singers crooned ‘happy birthday to you’ (South African wine was 350 years old) and offered cup cakes an champagne to the slightly bemused visitors to the mega Wines of South Africa tasting at Earls Court last week. The wines certainly seem to be doing a better job than the footballers.
Following Tory Party chairman Eric Pickles’ lead in imposing a champagne ban at the Tory Party conference in Manchester, a Tory government will increase taxes on champagne and, in an effort to crack down on late-night licensing, bring in stringent new anti-crime measures members to stop Tory party members getting drunk on bubbly and stealing bottles of champagne.