Great Eastern Wine Week - Sponsored Ad Leaderboard

Great Eastern Wine Week - Sponsored Ad Leaderboard
Great Eastern Wine Week, 9-18 September 2022

Saturday, 28 May 2022

Bottle of whisky sells for almost $2 million

A bottle of whisky sold at auction this week for almost $2 million - but it is no ordinary bottle. 
The world's largest bottle of whisky, containing 311 litres of 1989 Macallan single malt, was auctioned in Edinburgh, fetching £1.1million. 

Containing the equivalent to 444 standard-size bottles and standing taller than the average Scotsman, it was among the most expensive bottles ever sold.

The bottle - known as The Intrepid - was certified by Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest. 

The Macallan whisky was matured in two casks at the distillery’s warehouse in Speyside, Scotland.

The bottle was sold to a private international collector, who wishes to remain anonymous. local media reported. 

The bottle is a celebration of 11 explorers, including Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

“For me and the whole team The Intrepid project has always been about more than money," said entrepreneur Daniel Monk. "This was a passion project to celebrate the life of my late father, Captain Stanley Monk, who was himself an explorer and achieved many amazing things during his life.”

The sale will provide money for several charities. A dozen 50cl bottles and sets of miniatures containing the 1989 Macallan were also auctioned off.

Founded in 1884, the Macallan is one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland. 

Cashed-up travellers ready to splurge post-Covid

Luxury travel is set to boom in the second half of 2022 in the wake of Covid-19 with more travellers looking at private aviation services, large villas and boutique hotels. 

A new report by GlobalData: Luxury Travel Market Trend and Analysis of Traveller Types, Key Destinations, Challenges and Opportunities, 2022 Update reveals that as luxury travellers resume travelling both domestically and abroad they may begin to seek experiences that are more immersive and more exceptional than in previous years.

“With travellers determined to make up for lost time, 2022 could see an increase in holiday budgets for luxury travellers, with an uptick in demand for ‘once in a lifetime’ adventures," says Hannah Free, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData. 

"According to a GlobalData poll, when respondents were asked if their holiday budgets had changed due to Covid-19, 16% reported that their budgets were ‘a lot higher than pre-Covid-19’, while 12% of respondents stated that their budgets were ‘slightly higher than pre-Covid-19’.”

Despite the demand for luxury travel, there is a growing demographic of socially conscious, high-net-worth consumers who are rejecting overt displays of wealth in favour of inconspicuous and responsible consumption. 

Their approach to luxury is driven by ethical living, artisanship, authenticity and sustainability.

Experiences are the new currency for these holidaymakers, who seek self-fulfillment through greener travel and eco holidays, while wanting to ‘do good’ for people and the planet. 

If luxury travel brands ignore this trend, it could put them at tremendous risk of total disconnect with an audience who are looking for sustainable options, GlobalData says.

“While Covid-19 has changed many aspects of luxury travel, there are still several defining features which sets the sector apart from mass-market tourism," Free says. 

"This includes hyper-personalisation, exclusivity, unique experiences, intuitive service and the ever important ‘human touch’ element.”

GlobalData offers data, expert analysis and innovative solutions in one platform for industries including the healthcare, consumer, retail, financial, technology and professional services sectors.

Friday, 27 May 2022

Airline targeted by cyber criminals

Indian budget airline SpiceJet was this week the victim of a ransomware attack by cyber criminals.

Flight schedules were thrown into chaos by the attack.

SpiceJet said the attack “had a cascading effect on our flights leading to delays.”

The airline says the issue has now been rectified and flights are operating normally.

The disruption left hundreds of passengers stranded across the country with several flights grounded or delayed by several hours.

SpiceJet says it is currently working with cybercrime investigators.

SpiceJet is the second-largest airline in India, operating a fleet of 102 aircraft serving over 60 destinations.

Winter Feast to feature some of the best of Tasmania

Tasmania's Dark Mofo festival is back - and so is the Winter Feast on the Hobart waterfront. 

A huge number of Tasmania's best artisan producers have signed up the June gourmet event. 

“Human beings have been gathering over food to celebrate the end of the winter months for thousands of years,” said new Winter Feast food curator Amanda Vallis.

“One of the things I love about living in Tasmania is the distinct division of seasons, and so I think the Winter Feast is particularly suited to our way of life here.


“We also have an incredibly rich and diverse community who call Tasmania home, so the Winter Feast is a beautiful way to showcase all of the different cuisines that we are lucky to have access to here in Tasmania.


“The last few years have reinforced to me the importance of gathering together for events like Dark Mofo, particularly gathering together over food. It’s something I don’t think any of us will take for granted ever again."


Dark Mofo has announced more than 80 stallholders that will operate at this year’s Winter Feast, including 25 first-time stallholders from across the state like Utizinger Wines from the Tamar Valley, Callington Mill Distillery from Oatlands, La Cantara Artisan Cheeses from Smithton, and Hobart-based OCA Brazilian Inspired Food.


Vallis said the theme for this year’s event was the ancient Roman winter solstice ritual of Saturnalia.


Princes Wharf I's outdoor deck area will be transformed into a roaming Saturnalia-inspired feast, featuring antipasto-style dishes presented by Sirocco South, Roman-inspired honey-spiked desserts by Queens Pastry in collaboration with Tasmanian-based Italian mamma Giuliana White, and the feast’s hero pork dish - handcrafted by guest chef Giovanni Pilu in collaboration with Meat Mistress.

Another "culinary highlight" of this year’s Winter Feast will be the collaboration between palawa kipli project manager Kitana Mansell and guest chef Jo Barrett, with the pair to serve mutton bird grilled over fire with a variety of accompaniments that showcase native Tasmanian ingredients.

Having tasted mutton bird before, I will pass on this "treat". 

The 2022 Winter Feast will also offer a series of special activities for kids, between 4pm and 6pm each night. 

The City of Hobart Dark Mofo Winter Feast will run for five nights, from June 15-19. Ticket prices will be $10 on Wednesday, June 15; $20 on Thursday 16, Friday 17 and Saturday 18 with free entry on Sunday, June 19. See

A uniquely Australian coffee, or complete bunkum?

Fast food people McDonald's are the masters of self-promotion.

And now the people from Maccas are seeking to grab headlines by launching "a uniquely Australian coffee" at their McCafe outlets.

Launched this week, the new drink is called an Australiano and blends coffee with chai and “native wattleseed” in a product advertised as “coffee fit for an Aussie”.

I call nonsense.

No Australians I know add wattleseed to their coffee. And no real coffee lover would go to McDonald's for their caffeine.

Sounds and smells like a publicity stunt to me.

Here's the blurb: "The ‘Australiano’ is Australia’s answer to the Americano, featuring flavours of Australian wattleseed, chai and McCafe coffee".

An Americano, for those not in the know, is what freedom-loving, gun-toting folk call a coffee "made with hot water and espresso". A long black, in other words.

The Australiano is billed as being for a
 "limited time" (probably to see if it tanks or not) .

An ad campaign will reportedly run across TV, radio, digital and social mediums.

McDonald’s group brand manager Lancy Huynh said: “Despite being a nation of coffee connoisseurs, we haven’t had a coffee to call our own. As a champion for Aussie coffee culture, McCafé wanted to right this wrong and craft a blend that Aussies can proudly put their name to.”

OK Lancy. Whatever you say.

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Big guns banking on zero-alcohol wines

Let's be brutally honest. Most zero-alcohol and low-alcohol wines are pretty dreadful.

Despite claims to the contrary, many of them simply do not taste like wine.

But industry global big guns Accolade are betting they can do better.

In announcement that got a lot of traction in Britain and South Africa, but flew under the radar in Australia, Accolade has announced it believes it can do better its rivals with a new label called &Then (which, let's be honest, is a dreadful start).

Accolade says &Then is "driven by a desire to elevate the experience of drinking zero-alcohol wines".

It describes the zero-alcohol chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon as "a visionary new collection from South Australia’s cool-climate vineyards" that is "bottled using a revolutionary new de-alcoholising technology".

The result, Accolade says, is "a premium drinking experience and a credible wine alternative that tastes better than any other zero-­alcohol wine on the market".

A pretty confident claim.

Apparently, &Then’s proprietary de-alcoholising technique, The Zero Tech X technology, treats the wine more gently than other de-alcoholising methods.

This, it is claimed, ensures more of the aroma, body and flavour of full-strength wine is retained.

The process also requires fewer sugary additives compared with existing de-alcoholising methods.

The two varietals will be shortly followed by a "Provence-style" rosé, and a Blanc De Blancs sparkling.

The proof, as ever, will be in the tasting.

&Then will be available from June in 750ml format bottles with an RRP of £8 across retail, pubs and bars in the UK.

No news yet on an Australian launch date.