December 15, 2008
just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
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Christmas has officially arrived here at just-drinks, following our attendance at a brace of festive lunches last week, as guests of Pernod Ricard for one and Diageo GB for the other.
A pack of pale and slightly worn-looking drinks journalists duly vacated their coffee-stained desks and turned out for a bite of something other than the usual hunks of bread and baked beans.
Are those violins I can hear?
We would not stoop so low as to offer direct comparisons between the two outings in the weekly newsletter. No, you'll have to read the blog later today for that. But, we did feel that there was certainly a stronger sense of prudence to proceedings this year.
Considering the economic adventures of the last 12 months, this should come as little surprise to you all.
Back to the site, meanwhile, and we are proud to announce that, for the first time, just-drinks will be running a four-pronged 'review of the year' in the lead-up to Christmas. Starting this Thursday (18 December) and running through to a week tomorrow, you'll be able to read our reviews of the global beer, wine, spirits and soft drinks & water sectors. These will be available free of charge to just-drinks members, so if you're not signed up yet, click here.
On the news front, Cobra Beer dominated the latter half of last week. just-drinks spoke to sources close to the group and also sussed out a few potential buyers.
Also in the UK, tough times continue for the country's beer and pub sector. Industry leaders will be meeting Treasury minister Angela Eagle this week to appeal for more support.
Also last week, influential wine merchants told just-drinks that Bordeaux's annual wine futures sale is under threat, Anheuser-Busch InBev shrugged off the crunch to complete its rights issue and Rexam highlighted the knock-on effect of poor soft drinks sales in the US with the announced closure of another plant.
We also spoke to Australian wine officials about a “painful” period of readjustment around the corner.
It's surprising we found time for lunch.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
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Neither economic gloom nor the presence of an illustrious neighbour appear to be overshadowing Armagnac, France’s less well known brandy denomination. Chris Losh found the region’s producers to be in an upbeat mood.
Protecting local markets, traditional names and long-established production methods have long been important elements of the international drinks trading system. However in recent years, efforts have been made to bring some order and liberalisation to what was once a plethora of local laws that restricted trade on the one hand, and allowed cheap shoddy copies of drink classics, on the other. Here just-drinks examines the state of drinks production and marketing laws worldwide and examines how governments and international organisations are trying to balance protecting excellence with the need to allow free trade and competition within the sector.
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