Wine Training – Institute of Hospitality Endorsed

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Jascots Wine Training-31

We are hugely honoured and absolutely delighted to be the first wine merchant in the UK to have its wine training endorsed by the Institute of Hospitality.

We have spent the last 12 years developing our bespoke hospitality courses to the highest level in response to feedback from our customers who wanted to provide their staff with a more contextualised and practical expertise in wine.  The result is two training courses open to those working in the hospitality industry; Wine Training (for hospitality professionals) and Jascots School of Wine – (for managers in hospitality).

 

The Jascots heartland is in the quality casual dining sector which is enjoying strong growth and whilst some superfluous aspects of traditional wine service have been abandoned in this area what remains is a relentless focus on quality and relevant knowledge.  This means that all members of staff need a basis in wine and wine service knowledge, and customers expect everyone to know enough to help them make an informed choice.  Hence prospective students will be any customer facing colleagues at every level from floor staff to management.

Most importantly, the Institute of Hospitality’s report on the training highlights that:

The delivery of both courses is clear and modern to reflect how the training is unique and industry leading within the on-trade. The main teaching method comprises practical classes to ensure a strong learning experience and also stimulate interaction”.

Maria Lockwood FIH, Accreditation and Endorsement Manager at the Institute of Hospitality was particularly impressed with Jascots approach to training:

Jascots’ training courses go beyond imparting product knowledge, they focus on how to relate wine to customers and colleagues in a meaningful way to provide an effective and profitable wine service; which is why we are proud to award our endorsement. We are also delighted to extend affiliate membership of the Institute of Hospitality to anyone taking Jascots courses”.

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The Wine Training course provides students with a broad practical wine knowledge, tutoring in hospitality service standards, as well as covering food and wine matching principles and advising on an effective overall approach to wine service. Once they have completed the course students will be able to serve wine competently, describe wines confidently, and effectively and elegantly up sell.

Jascots School of Wine will equip managerial students with a more advanced knowledge of wine, tutoring them in the highest standards of service and food and wine matching principles. By the end of the course they will be able to serve wine expertly, describe wines in detail, analyse food and wine matches and the commercial and logistical performance of the wine category in their venue.

Jascots has always taken great pride in being able to go that extra mile for its clients; in 2013 we were awarded Drinks Business on-trade supplier of the year for our proactive and innovative approach and this new commendation is a further testimonial to this. What’s more the benefit to students of the endorsement is that it provides evidence in their CPD of a creditable training scheme of which they can be rightfully proud.

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The Institute of Hospitality is the professional body for managers and aspiring managers working and studying in the hospitality, leisure and tourism (HLT) industry. The Institute has been in existence since 1938 promoting the highest professional standards of management and education in the sector.

www.instituteofhospitality.org

Why Vino Vispo is perfect for the casual diner

First came the screw cap, now it is wine on draught that is causing a stir in the wine press and Jascots has firmly entered the debate by turning on the taps of Vino Vispo; our brand new Italian sparkling wine on draught.

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Being a specialist supplier to restaurants, hotels and caterers, the Jascots heartland is the quality casual dining sector where branding and differentiation have become key to success. This is exactly the kind of market that Vino Vispo has been specifically created for!

In this fast paced and booming casual dining sector the wine industry needs to keep up and strip back its pretensions; gone are white table cloths and sommelier table service. We believe it’s time to start thinking outside the bottle and put the spotlight on making wine accessible, fun and appealing.

There is an onus on these casual dining outlets to stay innovative on product and branding, and where much has been made of food trends and menu adaptations, the wine offering can sometimes get lost. We think Vino Vispo presents an exciting opportunity for operators to portray their personality as well as offering a quality product.

We have developed Vino Vispo with our partner producer Enrico Bedin from the Veneto Italy, who already supply our Prosecco range. However athough Vino Vispo is made from Glera which is the same grape variety that makes Prosecco, it is a separate product entirely.  It has a lighter spritz than bottled Prosecco and is a totally different proposition; handled well, it can be fresher and better than wine by-the-glass served from bottles that may have been open for some time.

In the fast paced world of rotating covers that makes up the casual dining scene, this latest technology is important for improving service times and the efficiency of wastage. The sparkling wine kegs eliminate waste from unsold wine in open bottles allowing trade outlets to sell wine by-the-glass in a much more efficient and environmentally friendly way. What’s more, the kegs are light-weight and totally recyclable which means they are really kind on the environment reducing carbon footprint. Given that space in these quirkily decorated outlets can often be limited, the kegs also save on storage; as the wine is served through refrigerated lines every glass is the perfect temperature and the wine doesn’t lose its sparkle.

We are also introducing a range of still wines on tap including a white and rosé which will be perfect for summer. From existing Pays d’Oc producer Mas de la Source these wines represent a quality offering for draught flow and are exclusive to Jascots in the UK on-trade.

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We want to make wine accessible to everyone and encourage its popularity in all its counterparts. Although we don’t think that these tap wines will be seen in “Le Gavroche” any time soon it’s just the sort of “quality without the fuss” product that suits the thriving casual dining/wine bar sector down to the ground. Ciders and fruit ciders have seen huge growth in restaurants and bars over the last few years and at Jascots we think that Vino Vispo has a similar appeal.

It’s fun, refreshing, light in alcohol and easy to drink without food – perfect for the casual dining market and a chance for wine to move back into the spotlight.

Vino Vispo Video

Interview with Alessandra from Enrico Bedin, Veneto

In the midst of our launch of Vino Vispo our Italian sparkling wine on tap, we speak to Alessandra from our producer Enrico Bedin in the Veneto about this exciting new product. Enrico Bedin have worked in partnership with Jascots for many years and supply our Prosecco range which includes a Frizzante, Spumante, Superiore and David ‘Rose’.

Alessandra from Enrico Bedin with Jascots Head Buyer Alastair Pyatt

Alessandra from Enrico Bedin with Jascots’ Head Buyer Alastair Pyatt

 

Enrico Bedin are based in the small region of Asolo DOCG in the Veneto, can you explain what makes this region so exciting and exclusive?

Well first it is important to understand the different classifications in the Prosecco area which indicate different levels of quality standards for Prosecco wine. Generally if you just see Prosecco on the label it means the Glera grapes can come from anywhere in the Veneto, then there is Prosecco DOC which includes regions within the Veneto – such as the popular Treviso region. Then if you go even smaller inside the Treviso region you have the Prosecco DOCG regions which is the highest quality denomination available.

(Treviso includes Conegliano-Valdobiaddene DOCG which is the most famous region that everyone recognises now when they think of Prosecco, but right next door to this is the lesser known Colli Asolani DOCG where Enrico Bedin is based).

When the DOCG of Asolo was created in 2010 there were 14k hectares marked out for production of Prosecco and so far only 1k of these has been planted on. Contrastingly In the popular Conegliano-Valdobiaddene 6.5k of its 7k hectares have been planted.  So Conegliano-Valdobiaddene is almost full! This is why Asolo is such an exciting place to be based – the location and the quality are just as good and there is so much potential.

So it is the next big thing in the world of Prosecco?!

Absolutely!

Of course although our delicious Vino Vispo does come from Enrico Bedin in Asolo it does not fall into these classifications…

That is correct. Since Prosecco is a protected region it means that anything that has ‘Prosecco’ on the label must be analysed and tasted by government officials before they are bottled. They are then sealed across the cap or the cork to show this quality control has taken place and packaged into the regions particular glass bottles. Of course with a keg you do not have this criteria and so you cannot call the product inside it Prosecco, even though the juice can often be similar and made from the same Glera grape, it does not reach ‘Prosecco’ status and that it was people struggle to understand.

I suppose the most important thing for people to understand is that Prosecco in bottles and Vino Vispo sparkling on tap are completely different products with different propositions for the consumer?

I think that is absolutely the most important thing to understand. One is a more traditional product and the other is an innovative product that represents a lot of opportunity in the future.

Is wine on tap common in Italy?

Yes, and it has been for many years! I would say that 80% of bars and restaurants in Italy have a sparkling wine on tap. It is very common to have the house white and red on tap which can then be served easily and profitably in a carafe, adding sparkling wine on tap was just an extension of this.

Italians understand the wine on tap demand – if you are going for a quick drink or cocktail with friends then you will have a glass of sparkling wine from the tap, if you are celebrating a special occasion then of course you will order a bottle of Spumante!

Well that’s reassuring to know! And do Italians also have the same issue naming the product as seems to have happened in the UK?

I think they understand better what the product is on offer, and why it is not called Prosecco. You see people who have come up with their own brand names like “Probello”, I think “Vino Vispo” is better than any of the Italian ones I have seen!

Thank you! A good name for a good product!

So where do the grapes for Vino Vispo come from?

Well to produce the Prosecco DOC range there is a maximum yield of 18 tonnes per hectare but at Enrico Bedin we produce about 20% extra so the grapes from this surplus production is used in a lower classified product – such as Vino Vispo. The vineyards on the plane give a generous yield which can be used for this, and the grapes grown on the hillside are saved for Spumante Prosecco.

So is the grape still Glera, the same grape that makes Prosecco?

Yes, we still use 100% Glera for our products. Some other companies will probably use keg products as a chance to mix some Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio into the blend but we want to stay true to the character of Prosecco even when making different styles of products.

Does this philosophy also apply to the production methods for Vino Vispo?

Yes we use the same method of production for Vino Vispo as is traditional in the region of Prosecco. This is called the charmat method when the wine undergoes secondary fermentation in tanks to produce the bubbles. If you are making traditional Prosecco then the wine is bottled under pressure, for Vino Vispo we transfer it to the kegs under pressure.

So no CO2 bicycle pump method of carbonating at the point of serve……!

No, never!

But the fizziness is still the same?

The level of fizziness is always going to be slightly lower than bottled Frizzante because of the surface area of the keg. But we have kept this very close – our Prosecco Frizzante is 2.5 bars of pressure and the Vino Vispo keg is 2.2 bars. So all the lovely spritz is still there for Vino Vispo.

What are the advantages of using kegs for you the producer?

Well it is very eco friendly as the kegs are recyclable and it saves on glass bottles. Mostly it is quicker and simpler for the customer.

So overall do you agree that Vino Vispo is a good thing for Jascots to offer its clients?

I think it is a really exciting thing for Jascots to be offering to its customers – as we said earlier the kegs offer many solutions for your restaurant and bar customers as well as giving Jascots a good position of difference in the market. Of course the fact that the quality is so good just makes the whole proposition even more great!

You can hear more from Alessandra and see Vino Vispo in action in this video from our February Trade Tasting 2015.

Summer Wine Lists – Top 5 Tips

Summer Wine Lists

  1. More rosé – boost your rosé selection in time for summer and make it visible. Everyone loves rosé we’re just waiting for the first cork to pop and we’ll be choosing it all summer.
  2. Lighter styles – as the weather warms up refreshment is what the doctors order. List whites that are light, crisp and thirst-quenching.
  3. Keep it cool – stock up on ice so you can cool down whites and rosés fast. Also ensure you have metal coolers as wine will warm up fast in the summer months.
  4. Reduce your top end reds – average purchase price on red wines in particular reduces in the summer so don’t go long on expensive reds. Load up the value end of your selection.
  5. Chilled reds – try serving some light red wines slightly chilled. Beaujolais or NZ Pinot Noir are good choices, don’t serve them freezing though or you’ll lose all the flavour.

Summer wine list

 

Carbon Footprint down again by 20%

CarbonFor 2014 Jascots’ carbon footprint was 90.9 tonCO2e, as independently verified by the Carbon Trust. This represents a further 20% absolute reduction from 113.5 tonCO2e on top of last year’s reduction of 10%.

This is the third year in a row Jascots has reduced their carbon footprint. CO2 that could not be reduced has once again been offset through the purchase of carbon credits.
Jascots currently recycles 90% of office waste and has reduced its usage of paper by 25% in the last 4 years. For example, the proportion of customers receiving paper invoices has been reduced from 43% to 3% since 2009. Overall Jascots has reduced the volume of its waste going to landfill by 50%.
Dated: 5th January 2015

News from the Jascots Buying Team

With Christmas around the corner, it’s a good time to remind you all of some of the product development that’s been going on over the last few months. Below are some highlights of recent and forthcoming product news, followed by a short look at wine production around the world in 2014.

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Tarabilla Tinto 2013 is an award winner!

At the recent Decanter World Wine Awards, Bodegas Gallegas, the Galician winery responsible for Jascots’ exclusive Solano and Tarabilla Spanish ranges, scooped a Silver Medal for the Tarabilla Red 2013, available now.

Vinho Verde ‘Perola de Lima’ 2013, Portugal

New to the list and at only 10.5% abv, this has the advantage of lighter alcohol, an exclusive label and of course, is delicious!

Montefresco Rosato di Veneto 2013, Italy

Our new entry level Rosato di Veneto from Italy. Light and pretty in colour, and full of juicy strawberry fruit, this ticks the box for rosé fans and offers an interesting alternative to Southern French rosés.

Villa Ste Croix Pinot Noir 2013, Pays d’Oc

Our new Pinot Noir from the Pays d’Oc, offering terrific value for money & delicious fruit character along with a touch of oak, perfect for the winter months.

Prosecco Superiore Millesimato 2013 & ‘David’ Spumante Rosato, Enrico Bedin

The Millesimato vintage Prosecco is a new product to the range, expanding our offering from our partner in Asolo, Prosecco Enrico Bedin. The ‘David’ Rosato blend has been improved to offer a slightly richer fruit character and an attractive, candy-floss pink hue.

Chateau Tirecul de Graviere 2004, Monbazillac & ‘Les Pins’ 2012, Chateau Tirecul la Graviere, Monbazillac

The first and second wines of Chateau Tirecul La Graviere, offering two choices of sweet wines at different levels, both from this outstanding producer – highly appropriate wines for the coming season.          

 

FROM THE RANGE

What’s great value at the moment?

Argentina and Italy have had tricky vintages this year, making our ranges from Valcheta and Prosecco Enrico Bedin very good value respectively. Bodegas Gallegas’ quality has been recognised by an award at the Decanter World Wine Awards – our relationship with the guys in Galicia means we’re able to continue to offer great value for our Solano and Tarabilla ranges, despite the ever-increasing global demand for Spanish wines.

What’s absolutely delicious at the moment?

In two words, Bordeaux & Burgundy! The Merlot-dominated Chateau le Joncieux 2009, from Blaye, on Bordeaux’s right-bank, is a must for any claret fans – it’s from the fabulous 2009 vintage and has a high proportion of Merlot in the blend, making it perfect to drink right now.

Meanwhile from Burgundy, take the chance to get hold of Gerard Seguin’s 2009 Gevrey-Chambertins – delicious, 5 year-old Burgundian Pinot Noir just crying out to be snapped up before moving on to the early-drinking 2011s.

Lacrimus

 

NEW LABELS:

Lacrimus Rioja – from November / December


• Bespoke & exclusive design
• Incorporates Lacrimus or ‘tear’ design

 

Vaquero Cabernet Sauvignon & Chardonnay – from January

  • New & exclusive design

 

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Clarence River Sauvignon Blanc – from 2014 vintage, due December / January
• Exclusive design
• Deeper blue colour and fish motif and ‘Marlborough’ now in embossed silver foil

 

 

 

EUROPEAN VINTAGE OVERVIEW:

France
Languedoc & Southern France – yield for the 2014 harvest is set to be 40% lower than in 2013, with hail & floods decimating many vineyards across the region. Those vineyards which survived have yielded small harvests and much work will be required in the winery to mitigate the impact of rot and diluted sugars.
It was imperative to act quickly to secure volumes for the year, but producers were reluctant to fix prices until the vintage had been completed.
Bordeaux – A positive start to the vintage with a dry and sunny Spring, but followed by a wet and rather mixed summer period, saved at the very last by a very dry & sunny September. Quality is good.
Burgundy /Loire/Rhone /other regions– the rest of France has had a reasonable harvest. Figures show that the crop is up by approx. 10% on 2013 (depending on what you read), but this only indicates a return to the overall average for recent years.

Spain
A larger than average harvest in 2014, though smaller than both 2012 and 2013. Poor harvests in neighbouring European countries such as Italy and Southern France have increased demand for Spanish wine, particularly at the entry and bulk level from regions such as La Mancha. These two factors have combined to result in prices either stabilising or seeing slight increases.

Italy
Generally speaking, low yields across the whole of the country. The situation further south was considerably better, but in the northern regions such as Piemonte & the Veneto, a very tricky vintage was had by all and prices are expected to rise.

 

SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE & USA:

South Africa
South Africa has held steady with an average size crop reported in most regions, in line with the previous 2 years. Quality is good and the market is relatively stable.

Chile
Chile experienced a very dry and hot summer, leading to very high quality but low yields. Along with two major earthquakes in the north of the country, this has led to expected price rises.

Argentina
Weather has been a key factor in Argentina in 2014, with high rainfall during the early stages of harvest effecting sugar levels. Many producers were forced to harvest earlier than usual, compounding the problem of low sugar levels, and resulting in wines with lower than average ABVs. Initial reports suggested the harvest could have been as much as 30% down on 2013, but diligent work in the vineyard and winery, coupled with high sunshine late in the season saved the vintage to some extent, and final figures now have the vintage 8% down from 2013. Average prices are expected to rise as a result.

USA (California)
Vintage is now all but finished in California, and reports are of an average sized harvest, except for Zinfandel which has seen mixed results.

Domaine Vincent Grall

Jascots’ Christmas & New Year Deliveries 2014

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Autumn Trade & Press Tasting 2014

Trade Tasting

Leading figures in the London hospitality industry flocked to our Autumn/ Winter Trade & Press Tasting to sample a selection of the portfolio – including scores of new vintages, some improved blends, and 16 brand new wines.

As well as fine tuning ranges for the festive season, there was also a sneak preview of our latest new world concept wine – the Spinnaker, which we hope to launch in January.

The Spinnaker is a great example of our relentless focus on the on-trade – developing an exclusive wine to sit at the top of wine lists and deliver great quality, incremental profit and improved surety of supply.  In fact, 95% of the wines we displayed are exclusive to Jascots within the London on-trade.

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Other highlights on the day included Riedel glassware master classes and a tutored tasting with Alessandra from Bedin, our exclusive Prosecco supplier.  We were also pleased to welcome representatives from key on-trade publications including James Stagg – the Caterer, Jamie Coles – Harpers and Fiona Beckett from matchingfoodandwine.com.

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We’re currently working hard on an even bigger and better event in the new year that will help our clients transform their wine offerings – more on this soon!

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Going Back To Your Roots

The eating out sector has changed dramatically in recent years, casual dining has grown its share of the market and formal full-service dining has had a hard time keeping up. At Jascots we have a strong client base of casual dining outlets and to ensure we are spearheading this new trend, we act as the sommelier to those restaurants who do not have their own.

What we have witnessed in the market in recent years is a dining devolution; stripped bare, the bells and whistles of fine dining have been replaced with the back to basics approach of the casual restaurant scene. Out with white table cloths and in with chunky wooden counters, exposed brick walls and naked light bulbs dangling above your head.

Stipped back & rustic.

What’s most interesting about this trend shift towards informality is that, despite the disappearance of the maitre d’, the standards and service levels demanded are higher than ever. The recession may have spoilt our taste for ostentation, but not for experience. As consumer confidence is re-built, in the current market the focus must be on good value and this is exactly what the casual dining sector is providing.

Clipboard style wine list.

Simple & short, creative wine lists.

It is about prioritising the things that matter. Within the food-centric casual dining scene, consumers will accept no compromise on quality of ingredients, and authenticity is essential. The popularity of transparency even translates to the open grill kitchens and rotisserie counters where you can see exactly where and how your food being cooked. It is just as important that the wine choice reflects this authenticity as consumers are preferring wines sourced on quality not reputation. Provenance and value are key and big brands are out – at Jascots we buy on quality not reputation, if a wine is not a ‘hero’ then it stays off our list. When it comes to presentation, long and pretentious notes for wine are obsolete – wine is for everyone, not just for poets! Descriptions should be relevant and accessible to the customer to entice them to make a more adventurous choice. We don’t believe in flowery tasting notes – just simple and fun. This also goes for the wine menu itself – simplicity, quality and commerciality are the focus. Shorter lists are more concise and less daunting for the casual dining customer, and a wide ‘by the glass’ offering is an important introduction of your wine selection. These wines should give the consumer more choice by featuring ‘old favourites’ as well as something a bit different for those who like to experiment.

With the disappearance of the sommelier in casual dining, prioritisation of service and experience is more important than ever for every quality outlet. Guests expect their server to know the wine list just as well as they know the food menu, and be ready to advise on what goes well with what. An important aspect of this is food and wine matching – giving the customer a recommendation and the chance to choose the right wine, not just the house wine, enhances their confidence, satisfaction and overall experience. Jascots believe that staff training is at the beating heart of the hospitality industry and so provide the sommelier service precisely for this style of casual dining outlet. Our industry leading training course has been created and is taught by ex-Michelin sommelier Raul Diaz, and emphasises relevant, practical training that will improve service skills and product knowledge. Successful operators are investing heavily in wine training and are setting the new standards for this style of dining.

It’s fast paced, innovative, and unstoppable. With the overall trend on quality of product and service, and the exclusivity of experience, the casual dining trend is getting diners more interested in food and wine and the occasion of eating out. This refreshing ‘back to your roots’ approach is certainly a revolution we are encouraging.

The Caterer recently published an article on the subject: “Fancy-Free”. Click here to read it in full.