Food and Drinks

Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux: 2016 En Primeur wine tasting event

Alice Faure - 04-avr.-2016 15:52:52

On Wednesday 23 rd March , Business France and the Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux – an organisation that improves the quality and ethical practices of 183 chateaus in the Bordeaux region of France – were delighted to showcase nearly 50 crus at an En Primeur press and trade event in London. For the past few years the wine department at Business France has been working with the Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux to organise special wine tasting events at elegant London locations, to which it has been inviting influential represetnatives of both trade and press. This year, the event was held at the famous Méridien Hotel in Piccadilly and over 140 members of the press and trade attended. Marie-Laure Lurton of Château La Tour de Bessan  described this evening as “a rendez-vous that we couldn’t miss.”  She adds, “I have been attending this event for four years now and it’s always a good opportunity to test the waters.”    Regular attendee Jean-François Quenin, President of the Wine Council of St. Emilion, Chateau de Pressac , Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé , has been a loyal attendee for the last five years and reiterated   his desire to develop his business in England.   Despite finding that the English market has recently become more distant towards French wine, he believes that this kind of wine tasting is always a very good opportunity for advertising. “Every year, this En Primeur brings together a growing number of new winemakers interested in the English market and I have found many loyal clients thanks to this event. C HATEAU DE PRESSAC:  A OC Saint Emilion grand cru – This historic estate (it was at the Château de Pressac that the battle of Castillon took place bringing an end to the 100-Year War) was bought in 1997 by Jean-François et Dominique Quenin. In fact, this kind of En Primeur event can be very specific and as Philipe Aubertin (Château Saint-Robert and Château Bastor Lamontagne) explains, “it’s usually an opportunity to meet up with clever and agile restaurateurs, distributors and wine shops, and a chance to taste all the young wines in one place and therefore to create their wine offer for the coming season.” The point is to assess the potential of wines and to buy them at a much lower price than what they will cost at the moment they hit the market. Such moves are considered as an investment, because of a potential increase in price of a wine bottle over the years. “ En Primeur  wine tasting events are a good way to do fundraising or networking while finding your favourite wine. We are very positive and thankful to be a part of this event for the first time,” says Thierry Perdigon of Château de Carles. “A classy and professional event” Attendees were enthusiastic about the range of wines and enjoyed the beautiful Terrace Grill & Bar overlooking Piccadilly. Daniel Loh, who recently took over management of The Strafford Arms was amazed by the quality of the event: “The different wines we’ve been tasting are of a high quality and all the conditions are perfect for a truly nice evening. It is a relaxed yet professional atmosphere here, everybody is curious and really wants to taste the wine seriously; it’s a classy and professional venue.” If you missed this event, don’t worry! Business France is organising a free sparkling wine tasting event on Thursday 21 st April at its offices in London. Around 40 types of crémant hailing from six regions will be showcased by 15 different French producers at this press and trade event. To register, click  here About the Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux The Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux, a new association, came into existence thanks to Alain Raynaud, its president and founder. Mr Raynaud has brought together the wines of the Right and Left Banks under one entity. The Cercle Rive Droite, established in July 2002, has represented a selection of 138 wines for the past ten years. The Cercle Rive Gauche was founded in April 2013. A parallel association to the Cercle Rive Droite, it currently groups together 50 wine estates carefully selected for the quality of their wine. The concept is to take advantage of the drive and efficiency of the Cercle Rive Droite, to promote the fine wines of the Médoc, Graves, Sauternes and Barsac. With almost 200 wines, the Grand Cercle des Vins de Bordeaux showcases a selection of Bordeaux wines selected for their high quality during its trips abroad. Its vocation is to prove that there are superb, top-of-the-range, reasonably priced varieties of wine from Bordeaux! About Business France Business France is the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy, responsible for fostering export growth by French businesses, as well as promoting and facilitating international investment in France. It promotes the companies, business image and nationwide attractiveness of France as an investment location, and also runs the VIE international internship programme . Founded on 1 st January 2015 through a merger between UBIFRANCE and the Invest in France Agency, Business France has 1,500 members of staff both in France and across 70 countries around the world, who work with a network of public- and private-sector partners. For further information, visit:  

Producing the best wine is not enough to survive on the global market

Fran Lambert - 08-oct.-2015 11:57:00

“In 2015, the global wine and spirits market is still thriving and France remains one of the best wine producers and exporters in the world”, says Christophe Commeau, head of the wines and spirits department at Business France, interviewed this week by Business France Radio.   France at the heart of global competition France is facing more and more competitors such as Italy and Spain, but also Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Even if “in the future, consumers will drink less but much better, ”  it is a worldwide competition “to survive on the global market; producing the best wine is not enough, ”  asserts Commeau. The best wine at the best price This is why over the past few years, French companies, producers, makers and traders, have started to improve the quality of their products, and now export the best wine at the best price. The three main strengths of France To face this competition, France relies on its many strengths, ranging from its variety to its quality and price. Boasting regions such as Burgundy, Bordeaux, Loire Valley, South of France, Alsace and Champagne, sparkling and sweet wines, France has “a great many wines at a great many prices for such a small country.” Development of the organic wine market French companies have also been developing one new aspect of the wine market. “800 hundred French wine makers are now doing organic wine”, states Commeau. This is a new and necessary trend, as so many countries now want to import this type of wine. New wines for Asia and champagne for the UK A strategy linked with the ability of France to find new opportunities and develop wines for new markets like Asia; China in particular. “We have to prospect and organise wine tastings in Asia, but not only in Asia," says Commeau.  “ The USA remains a big consumer and our closest neighbours are our biggest clients, especially the UK, the main market for France thanks to its demand for champagne. French wine in this market is becoming more and more sophisticated.” The role played by France in the wines and spirit global market has evolved even further. Every year, France organises wine tours at the biggest trade fairs, master classes and training for cellarmen and sommeliers to learn how to correctly pair French wines with local food. According to Commeau, “exporting and promoting wine abroad is good but we also need to train professionals in the sector.” More information on French wine companies can be found here .

A taste of Italy in England: Pasta chain Francesca® opens five new restaurants

Fran Lambert - 03-sept.-2015 15:21:09

Following its success in France, pasta restaurant chain Francesca® looks set to open five new restaurants in England this autumn. Its flagship restaurant at 215 Baker Street, London, opened in 2012. Francesca® will soon be opening a restaurant in Birmingham’s brand new shopping centre, Grand Central.  People on the move will also be able to enjoy authentic Italian cuisine on the food courts of four motorway service stations: Beaconsfield (M40 J2), Cambridge (A14 – M11), Baldock (A1M J10) and Peterborough (A1M J17).  Whether it’s a little corner of Italy in the heart of Birmingham or just off the motorway, members of the public will be able to sample high-quality, fast casual dining at Francesca® (eat-in or take away), with a choice of up to 18 freshly prepared sauces and three varieties of durum wheat pasta, as well as an assortment of salads, antipasti, lasagne, cannelloni, panini, desserts, real Italian coffees and wine.  Founded in 1998 with over 50 restaurants in France and abroad, Francesca® provides healthy and balanced meals that live up to Italian cuisine’s excellent reputation. Francesca®’s company model proudly reflects the traditions upheld by high-quality Italian food and its respect for consumers and suppliers.  Francesca Albanese, co-founder of the Francesca® franchise, makes it her priority to source top-quality ingredients straight from Italy, which she then transforms into 18 deliciously fresh, homemade pasta sauces. All pasta dishes are free of preservatives or artificial flavours, and are based on traditional recipes and cooking techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation in Francesca Albanese’s family. Francesca Albanese is fond of flavours promoted by the cucina contemporanea Italiana. Restaurants only use Pomi d’Oro tomatoes from the Naples region (southern Italy), extra virgin olive oil from the Puglie region (southern Italy) and GMO-free products. All dishes are served with authentic parmesan cheese imported from Parma (northern Italy). Whether eating in or taking away, Francesca®’s menu offers each customer a diverse range of good, authentic Italian cuisine. The menu includes antipasti, salads, mains, desserts and coffee — all at affordable prices. Francesca® restaurants also offer seasonal menus and regularly add new dishes. Restaurants offer a full and varied range of meals throughout the day. The delicatessen area also allows customers to take home the flavours of Francesca®’s cooking.  Restaurant interiors combine chic décor with a friendly ambience, balancing the simplicity of Italian life with the sophistication of Italian culture. The restaurant chain is currently in the process of expanding into the United Kingdom, and is opening restaurants at the following locations: 1.     Beaconsfield services (24 September 2015) 2.     Grand Central Birmingham shopping centre (30 September 2015) 3.     Cambridge services (22 October 2015) 4.     Baldock services (21 November 2015) 5.     Peterborough services (19 December 2015) The Francesca® brand is offering one free meal to any journalist who wishes to know more about its restaurants, the company and its franchise. Journalists wishing to benefit from this special offer and discover the Francesca® concept are invited to contact Business France – The French Trade Commission in London (details below).  About Francesca In 1997, Francesca Arbogast-Albanese and Bertrand Arbogast decided to share their love of Italian cuisine by founding Francesca®, a traditional Italian restaurant, in Strasbourg (eastern France). In 2004, the company chose to offer takeaway dishes to its customers, which is where the fast casual restaurant idea originated. At the beginning of 2015, there were 50 restaurants across France, Switzerland, Canada and UK. From September 2015, people will not only be able to enjoy authentic Italian cuisine at Francesca®’s flagship restaurant in Baker Street, London, but also in Beaconsfield, Baldock, Cambridge and Peterborough. Birmingham Grand Central will be their first UK restaurant located in a shopping centre. For further information, please visit:    For further information regarding this press release, please contact: Fran Lambert, Communications Adviser Business France - The French Trade Commission in the UK Tel: +44 (0)20 7024 3613 Email:

The Food and Drinks Department (Pôle Agrotech) facilitates trade between France and the UK by enabling French food and drink companies to develop their export strategy in relation to the British market, and British companies to identify French business partners or source specific French products. In an effort to capitalise on international trade opportunities, the Department provides clients with key information on the British market, tailored consultancy advice, and assistance in canvassing British distributors and potential business partners. The Department regularly organises themed B2B events, which represent unique networking opportunities and an ideal platform for French companies to exhibit their products to interested buyers. Besides this, a range of individual partnering services is also available. The activity of the Department is divided into three sub-groups to cover the food, drink and farming machinery sectors. Food and Drinks Department Olivi


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