The fact that Allied Domecq missed out on any of the offal from the decomposing body that was Seagram doesn't mean that we shouldn't take it seriously. Oh no. In fact, the company is very anxious for us all to know that it is Still A Big Player. Not only has it spent millions of pounds on large wineries in the last 12 months - some of them even producing a product vaguely recognisable as wine - but it is even preparing to take on one of the drinks industry's biggest brands head to head.