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Chris Losh

Comment - Wine - There's Trouble in the Land Down Under

16 November 2010 | Chris Losh

Recently back from a trip to Australia, Chris Losh has found time to grab a shower, stick a wash on, and describe for us what he sees as a challenging time all round for the country's wine producers.... read more

Comment - Wine - New Zealand: Walking the Walk

5 October 2010 | Chris Losh

You may want to sit down for this. Chris Losh is in upbeat mood for the first time in quite a while. And, it's New Zealand that has him admiring a half-full glass.... read more

Comment - Wine - Back to Vines, Back to Reality

18 August 2010 | Chris Losh

Winegrowers in the northern hemisphere will be coming to the end of their holidays any day now, and returning to their vineyards. Here's hoping their breaks were relaxing, because, according to Chris Losh, they've some deep soul-searching ahead of them.... read more

Comment - Wine - So Much Still To Learn From Spirits

3 August 2010 | Chris Losh

Our resident wine columnist Chris Losh has had his eyes opened. All it took was to put the wine and the spirits industry in the same room, and compare and contrast. Guess who lost?... read more

Comment - The Losh Cause - Pernod's Montana Gamble?

8 July 2010 | Chris Losh

Last month, Pernod Ricard announced that it will change the name of its New Zealand wine brand Montana to Brancott Estate. What does the move say about today's wine consumer, and what chances does Pernod have of getting the change through smoothly? Chris Losh considers.... read more

Comment - The Losh Cause - It's Nifty to be Thrifty

1 June 2010 | Chris Losh

The ideas of rebirth from death, or purification through pain are as old as human life itself. And, certainly, this recession has been pretty merciless about sorting the wheat from the chaff. Poor businesses have gone under, over-leveraged ones have had to get economically realistic pretty fast, and even fairly solid businesses have had to reassess what they thought they were about. Those that are left now the dust has settled can probably congratulate themselves on being leaner, meaner and generally healthier than they realised.... read more

Comment - The Losh Cause - Foreign Exchange Hell

11 May 2010 | Chris Losh

It’s rare to find a topic in the wine world where everyone agrees. Still rarer when it’s a bad-news story, and where everyone is prepared to admit it. Chris Losh thinks he's found one, however.... read more

Comment - The Losh Cause - Chile, After the 'Quake

13 April 2010 | Chris Losh

You have to admire the resilience of the Chileans. At the end of February, the country was rocked by the seventh biggest earthquake on record. That, a mere six weeks later, Chris Losh is able to write a column about how this natural disaster has affected the wine industry without it looking grossly inappropriate is testament to the country’s ability first of all to plan for such an eventuality, and secondly to pick up the pieces and soldier on.... read more

Comment - The Losh Cause - Gallo's Pinot No-No

2 March 2010 | Chris Losh

There are certain sentences I never thought I’d write, and the following is one of them: I feel sorry for Gallo.... read more

FRANCE: Bernard Magrez bids for Bordeaux chateau

24 February 2010 | Chris Losh

Wine magnate Bernard Magrez is believed to have made a six-figure offer for the prestigious Bordeaux estate, Chateau Beychevelle.... read more

Comment - The Losh Cause - USAviour for wine?

2 February 2010 | Chris Losh

Economic talk of late has suggested that the world is about to turn the corner after a tumultuous 18 months. Chris Losh considers what the prospects look like for wine producers, and sees the US as the promised land – if it can first pull out of its nosedive.... read more

Comment - The Losh Cause: What's (not?) going to happen in 2010

5 January 2010 | Chris Losh

The one consistent prediction coming from everyone's crystal ball is that 2010 is going to be a tough year for the global wine industry. Chris Losh, however, believes that the next 12 months will still throw some surprises up for us. And some might be darn near unbelievable.... read more

The Losh Cause - Time for biodynamic?

17 November 2009 | Chris Losh

In these days of pile 'em high and sell 'em cheap for wine, it would be understandable if the idea of a biodynamic calendar would cut little cloth with the larger retailers. Not so, as Chris Losh reports.... read more

The Losh Cause - South Africa's wine marketing misses a beat?

27 October 2009 | Chris Losh

A fortnight ago, Wines of South Africa held its biennial tasting event for the country's wine producers in London. At the show, the trade body unveiled its latest marketing tool: ‘DNA SA – a Brand Blueprint for South African Wine’. Will this approach help the nation steal greater share from its competitors? Chris Losh looks for holes.... read more

Focus - Any Port in a storm for Portuguese wine

13 October 2009 | Chris Losh

Those who have visited the Douro valley in Portugal will agree that it is a unique place. But scratch beneath the surface of this beautiful region and that uniqueness runs deep. So deep, indeed, that the laws of market forces appear not to apply. Chris Losh takes a look at the beneficio system, and the hornets nest it has stirred up in the Douro.... read more

Comment - The erosion of brands

29 September 2009 | Chris Losh

How long can a brand hang on to its image while acting in a way that contradicts it? How long before the drink-buying public cotton on that there is a dislocation between the fine words and the grubbier deeds? Chris Losh considers the damage done to a brand when price becomes a selling point.... read more

The Losh Cause - Empty handed Europeans at wine awards

15 September 2009 | Chris Losh

Earlier this month I allowed myself to be invited along to the presentation dinner of the Decanter World Wine Awards. It was the usual mix of entertaining and excruciating: a good chance to catch up with a lot of colleagues, contacts, etc beforehand, followed by several hours of unutterable tedium as award after award was handed out to a backdrop of god-awful food.... read more

The Losh Cause - Questioning the consumer; commercial suicide?

18 August 2009 | Chris Losh

As the power of brands grows, two approaches by smaller wine producers has left Chris Losh somewhat puzzled. Has he missed something, or could it really be that the consumer isn't always right?... read more

The Losh Cause - Small the next big thing in wine?

4 August 2009 | Chris Losh

As the economic downturn supposedly slows down, could one upshot of these troubled times be an upturn in popularity for the smaller players, when it comes to wine? Chris Losh thinks the little guys are coming back with a vengeance.... read more

The Losh Cause - England, our England

23 July 2009 | Chris Losh

Following a recent visit to a new, English vineyard project, Chris Losh returns full of pride for our once great nation. Could our sparkling wine make us great once more?... read more

Focus - Time for wine on the internet?

7 July 2009 | Chris Losh

Late last month, just-drinks reported that, according to the head of Vinexpo, the internet would never become an alternative to traditional sales circuits for wine. Try telling that to the e-commerce sector. Chris Losh considers the potential offered from e-tailing, going forward.... read more

The Losh Cause – EU lacking moral courage, again

25 June 2009 | Chris Losh

With tough market conditions at home and a strong euro hampering exports, Chris Losh believes European wine producers need policymakers to make bold decisions rather than resisting or fudging changes that are in step with modern consumer demands..... read more

Focus - Trouble at the top but not a meltdown

9 June 2009 | Chris Losh

The drinks sector boasts some big-ticket, luxury products, like very old single malts and the most exclusive Bordeaux wines, and some very wealthy, high end consumers to go with them. Chris Losh looks at how this end of the market is faring during the downturn, and to what degree the big spenders are cutting back.... read more

The Losh Cause – Exhibiting worrying symptoms

27 May 2009 | Chris Losh

A major trade show can offer telling clues as to the health of an industry. Chris Losh went to the London International Wine Fair in search of positive signs but found few.... read more

Focus - Champagne looks beyond recession to long-term growth

14 May 2009 | Chris Losh

The downturn has not surprisingly caused a dramatic slide in Champagne sales but the Champenois are less perturbed than some might expect, continuing to plan for long-term growth through the expansion of the vineyard area. But Chris Losh wonders whether extending the appellation is really the best way forward.... read more

The Losh Cause – On-premise, wrong premise

23 April 2009 | Chris Losh

While all channels of the drinks trade have been affected by the downturn, the on-trade has been hit the hardest. But Chris Losh believes restaurants in the UK could be doing more to help themselves through the tough times.... read more

The Losh Cause – Spanish wine in flux

14 April 2009 | Chris Losh

The Spanish wine industry is facing long overdue restructuring under the reforms of EU wine subsidies, while sales are being hit at home and abroad by the recession. Although there has been some growth in exports, this has been mainly in bulk wine, and Chris Losh expects things to get worse before they get better.... read more

The Losh Cause – New measures that come up short

26 March 2009 | Chris Losh

Proposed new legislation in Scotland aimed at tackling alcohol abuse has sparked huge debate. Chris Losh believes the plans display muddled thinking and fail once again to address the real cultural problems behind alcohol misuse.... read more

The Losh Cause – Fire damage

12 March 2009 | Chris Losh

In addition to exacting a terrible human cost, the recent bushfires in Australia caused significant damage to the vineyards of the Yarra Valley in Victoria. And Chris Losh wonders whether the fires may represent the final straw for some of the region’s beleaguered wine producers.... read more

Focus - China growth cannot hide US meltdown

26 February 2009 | Chris Losh

Both China and the US have in different ways been exciting growth markets for the drinks sector in recent years but for obvious reasons neither is quite what they were. Chris Losh looks at how both markets are faring in the downturn and assesses what we can expect from each in the year ahead.... read more

The Losh Cause – Wine industry must explore new dimensions

10 February 2009 | Chris Losh

Wine companies are fond of trumpeting comparatively minor changes in packaging design but, Chris Losh believes, have been far too timorous when it comes to embracing more substantial packaging innovations. But the adverse economic conditions could prompt a more radical approach at least in one area.... read more

The Losh Cause - Australian wine

27 January 2009 | Chris Losh

The best laid plans, as they say, can go awry. However, for Chris Losh, the Australian wine industry’s Direction to 2025 plan has not only been overtaken by events in the country’s main markets but was overly optimistic and ill-conceived to begin with.... read more

Focus - Global warming: Wine producers face new world order

13 January 2009 | Chris Losh

The doom and gloom of the economic downturn has for many eclipsed the long-term global problem of climate change, at least temporarily. But, writes Chris Losh, wine producers could be facing far greater turmoil for many years to come, after this and future recessions have come and gone, as a result of global warming.... read more

The Losh Cause - Christmas madness

19 December 2008 | Chris Losh

Christmas is naturally a time when alcohol retailers, pubs and restaurants do well but it is also a time of aggressive price promotion among retailers. Chris Losh bemoans the damage being done to the wine trade by aggressive discounting in the off-trade and asks why price promotion becomes even more frenzied at Christmas when even in a downturn the market will be relatively buoyant.... read more

Focus - Armagnac’s turn to put Cognac in the shade

11 December 2008 | Chris Losh

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.... read more