The International Wine Challenge, the world’s most influential, impartial and rigorously judged wine competition, has announced the results of its 2022 competition and India also had its first taste of Gold Medal success, with a sparkling rosé wine Sula Brut Tropicale Cremant De Nashik NV produced by Sula Vineyards. The highest medal previously won by India was a silver in 2015.
Thousands of wines from over 50 countries entered the competition which was judged by an international panel of wine experts in a series of rigorous blind tastings held in London last month and France continued its winning streak as the most awarded country in each medal category, with 75 Gold, 367 Silver and 442 Bronze medals. The Champagne region alone picked up 30 Golds, with Rare Champagne claiming the prestigious Champagne Trophy for its Rare Millésime 2008. Rhône producer Maison Delas Frères succeeded in reclaiming the International Syrah Trophy from New Zealand for the first time in almost a decade for its Les Bessards 2019 and France also retained the International Pinot Noir Trophy for a seventh year in a row. The winning wine, Clos de la Roche Grand Cru Cuvée Cyrot Chaudron Hospices de Beaune 2020, from Burgundy producer, Maison Albert Bichot, was also crowned with this trophy last year for its 2019 vintage.
After being pipped to the post for two years running, New Zealand reclaimed the International Sauvignon Blanc Trophy this year, with Yealands Estate Single Block S1 Sauvignon Blanc 2021.New Zealand was also recognised for its world-class Chardonnay, being awarded the International Chardonnay Trophy for the very first time, a category that has traditionally been dominated by French wines. The top performing wine was the Gimblett Gravels Chardonnay 2020 from Hawke's Bay producer Trinity Hill Wines.
Australia was awarded an impressive 54 Gold Medals in this year’s competition, coming second only to France. South Australian producer, Pinnacle Drinks won the International Grenache Trophy for its The Ethereal One Fleurieu Grenache 2020 - the first time in IWC history that an Australian wine has won this accolade.The Australian White Trophy also went to a Tasmanian producer, with Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay 2020 also claiming both the Australian and Tasmanian Chardonnay Trophies.
Oz Clarke, Co-Chair of the International Wine Challenge commented, ‘It is always fantastic to see award-winners from countries with little to no previous experience of success in the Challenge. As well as the notable Gold Medal for India, we also saw medal winners from Kazakhstan, Wales, Sweden and Switzerland, countries that consumers might not necessarily associate with winemaking. An International Wine Challenge sticker serves as a mark of quality, and gives consumers the confidence to try wines from different countries and in different styles.’
THE WORLD’S 50 BEST BARS LAUNCHES FIRST-EVER SCHOLARSHIP FOR ASPIRING BARTENDERS IN COLLABORATION WITH THE BLEND BY BEAM SUNTORY
The World’s 50 Best Bars today announces the launch of its inaugural 50 Best Bars Scholarship, in partnership with The Blend – the global trade advocacy programme for the hospitality industry by Beam Suntory. This marks the first time in 50 Best’s storied history that the organization will offer a scholarship to an aspiring bartender.
The 50 Best Bars The Blend Scholarship is open to any bartender from anywhere in the world aged 21 or over with fewer than three years’ experience. The winner will be rewarded with a trip to complete two bar stages (internships) in London and New York. The first will take place at Connaught Bar, the two-time winner of The World’s Best Bar title, in 2020 and 2021. The second will be at Katana Kitten, a previous winner of the Best New Opening Award in 2019 and currently ranked No.10 in The World’s 50 Best Bars 2021 list. The winner will then be hosted by The Blend Global Team for an experience of a lifetime in Madrid. Flights between these destinations will be included and the lucky winner will receive £500 per week living expenses to enjoy the host cities.
Applications will open on 19th May via The World’s 50 Best Bars website and close on 20th June. Applicants can find further information to help with their entry at www.theblend.world. The winner of the scholarship will be announced at the ceremony for The World’s 50 Best Bars later this year.
The launch of the 50 Best Bars The Blend Scholarship represents a key moment in the brands’ drive to prioritise development opportunities and experiences for aspiring bartenders across the globe. The theme of the Scholarship for 2022 is Future Positive, which comes with the ambition to cultivate practices and attitudes that will have a positive impact for the planet, for guests and the hospitality community. It will reward bartenders who take a low-waste or local approach to ingredients and push for greater diversity, better representation and balance within workplaces. Applicants will need to show a readiness to contribute to this outlook in order to be selected by the illustrious judging panel as the inaugural 50 Best Scholar (see The Selection Process below).
The team says
Mark Sansom, Director of Content for The World’s 50 Best Bars, says: “We could not be more excited to launch the 50 Best Bars Scholarship, in partnership with The Blend by Beam Suntory. It’s an initiative we have been planning for several years and it is truly excellent to be able to work with a brand such as Beam Suntory, which shares our vision to professionalise the craft of bartending and support bartenders with a future-gazing ideology. We look forward to receiving applications from all over the world as we give this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to someone that will undoubtedly set their career into overdrive.”
Agostino Perrone, Director of Mixology at Connaught Bar, says: "We at Connaught Bar are very excited to host the first-ever winner of the 50 Best Bars The Blend Scholarship for a learning experience with us. I look forward to assessing the applications and giving the opportunity to the deserving winner to take part in this amazing experience."
Further details, including the date and location of the awards ceremony for The World’s 50 Best Bars 2022, where the Scholarship winner will be announced, will be unveiled on 25th May.
Applications to 50 Best Bars The Blend Scholarship officially open on 19th May at 09:00 GMT+1. Enter at: Worlds50BestBars.com/scholarship
The selection process
The 50 Best Scholar will be selected after a three-stage judging process, which will feature leading lights of the bar industry
· Round One: Applicants will be asked to share their vision of Future Positive and what it tangibly means to them as a bartender as part of a video application and questionnaire format. A total of 25 applicants will be selected to go through to Round Two.
· Round Two: The shortlisted candidates will be asked to design a drink inspired by the theme and that heroes one local ingredient as well as documenting the research, development and process that goes into making their chosen cocktail. For this second stage, 50 Best has recruited previous winners of its Sustainable Bar Award and other stalwarts of the bar industry. The guest judges include: Vijay Mudaliar (Native and Analogue, Singapore), Ashish Sharma (The Surf Club, Miami), Jean Trinh (Alquímico, Cartagena), Kelsey Ramage (The Trash Collective, USA), Claire Sprouse (Hunky Dory, Brooklyn) and Luke Whearty (Byrdi, Melbourne), to help select the top five applicants who will make it to the final round.
· Round Three: For the five finalists, the third stage will comprise a rigorous interview process with 50 Best; The Blend by Beam Suntory; a representative from B-Corp; Director of Mixology for Connaught Bar, Agostino Perrone and Masahiro Urushido, Managing Partner of Katana Kitten.
The three finalists will be hosted at The World’s 50 Best Bars 2022 awards ceremony, where the winner will be announced. The internships will take place in
(excerpt from a release)
One of India's top annual bartender extravaganza, Diageo's World Cocktail competition has announced 13 finalists for the 2022 edition.
Here is where you can connect with these bartenders on Instagram or find them behind the bar in action at their place of work.
Aashie Bhatnagar / @tiny_drinks / The Ritz Carlton Pune
Arati Mestry/ @the_negroni_moron / 7 Rivers Brew Co, Bengaluru
Kshitij Goel / @thecocktailtimes / The W; Goa
Kumar Mongalam / @kumar_mongalam / Farzi Cafe; Kolkata
Md Shabaz/ @md._.shabaz / The Saz; Kolkata
Navjyot Singh/@the_baldbartender / Lair; New Delhi
Prakhar Singhal/ @prakhar.singhal96 / Prost; Hyderabad
Pratik Gusain/ @pgmixologist / Elgin Cafe,
Rohil Kalita/ @rohil_kalita / Hotel Four seasons, Bengaluru
Sahil Essani/ @sahil.essani / Tajmahal Hotel; New Delhi
Saurav Samanta / @cocktail_junction / Opa Kipos, Mumbai
Shobith Salian /@mr_liquidchef / Mato Mato, Thane
Sia Negi / @sianegi_ / The Leela Palace, New Delhi.
Australian wine exports decreased by 26 per cent in value to $2.05 billion and 13 per cent in volume to 628 million litres in the year ended March 2022, according to Wine Australia’s latest Export Report released today.
The year-on-year figures continue to reflect the impact of the imposition of high deposit tariffs on bottled Australian wine imported to mainland China in November 2020 and of the exceptionally tough market conditions globally. Exports excluding mainland China declined by 3 per cent in volume but increased by 7 per cent in value to $2.03 billion – the highest value since 2010. Key drivers of the value growth were in markets including Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan indicating that market intensification and diversification is having an impact. In the 12 months ended March 2022, Australian exporters shipped wine to 112 markets and 71 experienced value growth.
Wine Australia General Manager Corporate Affairs and Regulation Rachel Triggs said while the increase in value excluding mainland China was strong at $129 million, it did not come close to offsetting the decline in value to mainland China (a loss of $844 million). “Over the past 15 months, Australian wine exporters have had to navigate through an exceptionally challenging operating environment, largely led by the imposition of high deposit tariffs on bottled Australian wine imported to mainland China, the continuing impact of the global freight crisis, and a counter-swing in some markets after COVID-19 related stockpiling in 2020." Ms Triggs said.
The decline in total wine export volume, excluding mainland China, was most significant to Australia’s two biggest markets of the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (US). Exports to these markets surged during 2020 due to COVID-19 stockpiling for the off-premise trade, but demand has since eased as pandemic restrictions relaxed.
“Low inventory after three small consecutive vintages and delays in getting the record 2021 vintage onto ships from the ongoing global freight crisis also contributed to the decline in volume of wine exports. Shipping industry experts to do not expect these issues to resolve until the second half of 2022 at the earliest,” Ms Triggs said.
In the 12 months to the end of March 2022, the top five markets by value were:
The UK is the number one destination for Australian wine exports in value and volume. In the 12 months ended March 2022, exports to the UK decreased by 2 per cent in value to $449 million and 6 per cent in volume to 246 million litres (27 million 9-litre case equivalents).
A decline of 9 per cent in export value below $5 per litre FOB, to $357 million, outweighed growth within the above $5 FOB per litre segment of 36 per cent to $92 million. The strongest rates of growth came at $10 to $19.99 FOB per litre, up 51 per cent to $21 million. It is the highest value in this segment in this 12-month period since 2009 and the number of exporters in this price point increased from 236 in 2021 to 248 in 2022.
Excluding the UK, exports to Europe declined by 6 per cent in value to $233 million and 7 per cent in volume to 104 million litres. European markets to record value growth included Denmark, up 13 per cent to $40 million, Norway, up 2 per cent to $8 million, and Poland, up 71 per cent to $7 million.
The US is the second ranked destination for Australian wine exports by value and volume. In the 12 months ended March 2022, exports to the US declined 4 per cent in value to $416 million and 5 per cent in volume to 127 million litres (14 million 9-litre case equivalents).
About three-quarters of the value shipped to the US was at below $5 FOB per litre, which declined by 10 per cent to $325 million. There was growth in the price points at $5 FOB or more per litre with a strong increase recorded at $10 FOB or more per litre, up 37 per cent to $53 million – the highest value in this price point in a March Export Report since 2009. There were 27 additional exporters in this price segment compared to the previous year, taking the number to 233, and there are more than 100 additional exporters to the US in this price point compared to a decade ago.
Canada is the third biggest destination for Australian wine by volume and fourth by value. In the 12 months ended March 2022, Australian wine exports to Canada decreased by 13 per cent in value to $171 million and 7 per cent in volume to 51 million litres (5.6 million 9-litre case equivalents). A decline in exports below $10 FOB per litre more than offset growth at $10 FOB or more per litre. Exports at $10 FOB or more per litre increased by 8 per cent to $26 million, the highest for this time period since 2011.
The most significant growth in overall exports in the 12 months ended March 2022 came from Australian wine exports to Southeast Asia, which grew 63 per cent to $281 million. Exports to Northeast Asia declined 70 per cent to $337 million, driven largely by the decline to mainland China.
Hong Kong is the largest destination in the region by value, and exports increased by 24 per cent to $184 million. Australian wine exports to Singapore almost doubled in value to $168 million. The value of exports to Japan rebounded strongly in the 12 months to March 2022, up 15 per cent to $51 million with strong growth at $2.50 to $4.99 FOB per litre and at $10 FOB or more per litre. Exports to South Korea and Taiwan increased by similar rates (almost 30 per cent to $45 million and $28 million respectively) with the $10 FOB or more per litre price segment driving growth to each destination. The price segment accounts almost half the value of exports to South Korea and almost 60 per cent to Taiwan. Other strong performances were to India, up 134 per cent to $15 million, Thailand, up 85 per cent to a record $38 million, Philippines, up 74 per cent to $12 million, and Vietnam, up 82 per cent to $7 million.
(Excerpt from a release)
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