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Aldi upping the game with their Christmas Showcase!

Aldi always manages to offer a great choice of products at great value prices. The supermarket's latest Christmas range contains their biggest ever premium selection, which includes food and drink, children’s toys, health, beauty and home interior products and even gifts for pets! At their Christmas showcase, which took place in October, I spoke to Andrew Maxwell, Aldi UK, sparkling and fortified wine and spirits buyer.

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Enjoy a beer the Neitiv way!

Wiltshire-based producer Neitiv has launched the UK's first coconut flower beers. Including three distinct variants, the new range is 100% vegan, low-calorie, gluten-free and uses coconut flower drops as a core ingredient. Made with premium British lager, the beers are all sustainably produced in the UK.

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Rooster Rojo Smoked Pineapple Infused Añejo Tequila

I was recently talking to some drinks trade professionals about tequila and mezcal. Two own a bar and the other works in a shop selling a wide range of spirits, wine and beer. The Mexican agave spirits have been feted by the spirits trade for many years now. However, I was interested to know if this passion has really transferred over to the spirits-buying public or remains niche or a difficult hand-sell.

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Toast Ale rises up against climate change!

Toast Ale is an award-winning producer of sustainably brewed beer. Their 'Rise Up' series is a set of collaborations with B-Corp certified companies, highlighting food waste and celebrating different environmental topics to be debated at COP26.

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Wimbushes: St Albans' first vineyard in St Albans for 500 years!

Today, the largest English wine brands are much better known than ever before. However, COVID-19 has given people more time, opportunity and willingness to discover smaller, local vineyards they never knew existed. Many started out as a hobby and remain the wine equivalent of a nanobrewery, typically run by a solo entrepreneur, producing small batches of wine in a 'scaled-down' winery. One example is Wimbushes Vineyard, a one-acre site in the Hertfordshire village of Chiswell Green, just south of St Albans.

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Dima’s Ukrainian Vodka: a quality choice!

Heard of Ukrainian vodka? Well thanks to Dima Deinega, you may already have! He's a man on a mission to tell as many people as he can just how great premium vodka can be and to banish misconceptions about the category. Dima is a passionate advocate of the spirit. Born in Kiev, but raised in London, he was regularly flying to Ukraine to see family there … before COVID travel restrictions struck. So, while looking forward to future visits when able to do so, he can take stock of his achievements and plan for the future.

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Tastin' France: banishing the blues to celebrate the UK's love of French wine!

We've all been sadly cooped up at home for a long time with little opportunity to attend wine tastings. Virtual events have at least allowed us to communicate with fellow wine professionals - a welcome and vital link to keep us all in the loop. However, there's nothing quite like a live event and Business France has been on the case more than once! Following a successful sparkling wine tasting earlier this year, the 22nd June was the date for a tasting of rosé and organic wines in a new venue, the leafy Barbican Conservatory Terrace.

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Making spirits on a traditional Cognac still in the British Isles' most southerly vineyard!

Jersey is an island of contrasts. Part of the British Isles, yet not part of the UK and so not within the EU, it retains its own unique identity. British with a sense of La France, you can use UK currency there but also pay in Jersey pound notes. Close to the coast of Normandy, it even has its own language, Jèrriais (Jersey Norman French). It's also home to a sizeable Portuguese community. Beautiful coves and beaches adorn an island that's small (only 5 miles long and 9 miles wide), yet rich in history with a strategic wartime heritage.

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Warner's Distillery: remaining craft & sustainable!

Last month, I reported on Think Gin's April debate around the growth of craft gin and future gin trends. One successful craft gin brand is Warner's Gin. Founder, Tom Warner, spoke about his eco-friendly ethos and how he manages to balance his company's craft image while also producing at scale.

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