In brief

18 February, 2011

l Merrydown Cider is celebrating its International Cider Challenge wins by flagging up the gold and bronze medals awarded to both the medium and dry variants on new neck labels. The accolades will also be highlighted on new case designs. Merrydown’s ICC medal awards are also being highlighted on the brand’s website, which has an expanded section devoted to Merrydown and food.??l The John Smith’s Cup, the longest-running sponsorship in flat racing, will continue for another three years following the announcement that York Racecourse is extending its 51-year association with the ale brand. A new race will be added to the exciting July schedule: the John Smith’s City Walls Stakes, a £30,000 race run over the five furlongs on the Knavesmire course.??l Derbyshire brewery Thornbridge has launched Wild Swan, a “white gold pale ale” which like other Thornbridge beers is neither filtered nor pasteurised. The 3.5% abv beer comes in 50cl bottles and is described as “crisp and dry with a hoppy finish”.?

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English wine: a happy harvest for Christmas

All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

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