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America threatens trade war with the EU with wine in the firing line

Th US this week announced plans to start a new trade war by threatening $11 billion tariffs on a number of goods, including wine.
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America threatens trade war with the EU with wine in the firing line, but how much US wine is sold in the EU?

Th US this week announced plans to start a new trade war by threatening $11 billion tariffs on a number of goods, including wine.

According to the Washington Post the US side argues that the measures are in response to EU subsidies for the European aerospace corporation Airbus — subsidies that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has said create a disadvantage for Boeing. The threatened US tariffs could still be avoided if the EU ended those controversial subsidies, a US official said.

The balance of wine trade between the US and EU is biased in the EU's favour. In 2017 the EU exported €3.5 billion ($3.9 billion) to the US, while in 2018 the US exported €529 million ($469 million), with the EU being the largest importer of American wine.

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Vermouth back in fashion

Vermouth is among the most fashionable drinks in London’s top high-end bars, according to the latest CGA and DrinkUp. London's 2018 Influencers Report.
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Vermouth is back in fashion in London’s top high-end bars, according to the latest CGA and DrinkUp. London's 2018 Influencers Report.

Vermouth has been identified by 21% of the most influential bars in London as one of the most fashionable drinks, marking it out as a big trend for 2019.

Vermouth is an aromatized, fortified white wine flavoured with various botanicals. It is an essential ingredient in a martini accompanying gin as well as Negronis, another gin based cocktail. Vermouth can be drunk neat, but is often served on the rocks with a twist of orange peel.

There are different types of vermouth made around the world. Historically, there have been two main styles - sweet and dry. Responding to demand and competition, Vermouth producers have created new styles, including extra-dry white, sweet white (blanc or bianco), red, amber (ambre or rosso) and rosé.

Vermouth is produced by starting with a base of a neutral grape wine or un-fermented wine must. Each manufacturer adds additional alcohol and a proprietary mixture of dry ingredients, consisting of aromatic herbs, roots and barks, to the base wine, base wine plus spirit or spirit only – which may be re-distilled before adding to the wine or un-fermented wine must. After the wine is aromatized and fortified, the Vermouth is sweetened with either cane sugar or caramelized sugar, depending on the style.

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UK wine producers grow, but it’s not all in the vineyard

Both Denbies and Gusbourne are investing in expanding their business in the vineyard and also in the winery.

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English wine producers Denbies and Gusbourne are investing in expanding their business both in the vineyard and the winery.

Plans are underway for Gusbourne to continue expanding their plantings in West Sussex from 89 to 135 acres. This will give them a total plantings across West Sussex and Kent of 288 acres.

Meanwhile, Denbies has increased its contract winemaking facilities with the installation of a fully-automated disgorging line and riddling cages. Speaking to The Drinks Business last month, CEO of Denbies, Christopher White, said: “We’ve now got a fully automated disgorging line and we can process up to 5,000 bottles a day. We do a lot of contract disgorging for people, and this investment will make us a lot more competitive.

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Judgement on 2018 Bordeaux vintage arrives at a mixed time for wine

Bordeaux En Primeur tastings are underway but the market has some very mixed messages.

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Bordeaux En Primeur 2018 tastings are underway but the market has some very mixed messages.

En Primeur is when Bordeaux producers pre-sell their wine before it is finished being made. The wines then arrive in bottle a couple of years later.

Before the wines go on sale and prices are set, many key buyers and journalists taste their way through the wines in Bordeaux to assess the vintage. This is drawing to a close this week.

Key points:

• Overall harvest size was about average.
• Mildew and hail where significant problems in some areas.
• It was a long harvest for red wine makers with good quality potential.
• Hot weather from August to October meant that alcohol levels presented a potential challenge in the cellar.

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Alcohol may increase the risk of strokes

A new study looking at Chinese drinkers claims that consuming alcohol does not increase your risk of heart attacks but does not protect people from strokes as previously thought.
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A new study looking at Chinese drinkers claims that consuming alcohol does not increase your risk of heart attacks but does not protect people from strokes as previously thought.

About 100,000 people a year in the UK suffer from strokes and studies had shown that moderate consumption of alcohol may have decreased your risk of a stroke. However, researchers looking at a specific group of Chinese, found that alcohol may increase the chance of stroke. 1-2 drinks a day increases your risk of having a stroke from 0.15% to 0.17% or as the medical people like to say, between a 10-15% increase in the chance of a stroke. Drinking above government guidelines of 4 units a day increase your risk of a stroke from 0.15% to 0.21% which is a 35% increase.

The research has several limitations. It is based on the Chinese population, not typical Westerners, and the alcohol consumed was mostly spirits and beer. Wine, and red wine in particular, has anti-oxidative effects that were not examined.

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Gallo buys 30 wine & spirit brands from Constellation

E&J Gallo has purchased 30 wine brands and 3 winemaking facilities from Constellation brands, including Clos du Bois, Black Box and Ravenswood.
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E&J Gallo has purchased 30 wine brands and 3 winemaking facilities from Constellation brands, including Clos du Bois, Black Box and Ravenswood.

The brands will sit alongside other E&J Gallo brands which include Barefoot and Gallo Family Vineyards as well as premium box wines The Naked Grape and Vin Vault. In general their wines are entry level but Constellation claim they want to focus on the faster-growing, more premium end of the market.

Founded by brothers Ernest and Julio Gallo in 1933 in Modesto, California, Gallo claims to be the world's largest family-owned winery.


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Also this month

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In the current economic climate are you cutting back or spending more on wine?