Australian Winery Mitchelton has been sponsoring an award for artists specialising in print-making since 1982, the winner's effort gracing the bottle of its flagship wine, Print Shiraz. The 1995 is the latest release to hit our shores, with Melbourne artist Dale Hickey's work on the label. His "untitled" piece supports the wine, that whiffs of plum pudding. Contact John E Fells (01442 870900), £90.32 excluding VAT for a six-bottle case.
Since wine supplier Matthew Clark Wholesale began its training programme two years ago, more than 300 passes have been achieved by staff sitting the Wine & Spirit Education Trust exams, with an admirable 94% pass rate. The powers that be have worked out that if its team knows more about wine, it'll help them sell more to customers. Way to go.
Playing on sushi success
Japan's best-selling beer is trying its hand in UK bars. Asahi has beaten Kirin to the number-one slot in Japan and is hoping to cash in on the explosion of sushi bars in the capital.
Bored with Chardonnay?
Then get in to Groner Veltliner, Austria's star white grape. Top of the tree is Weingut Brondlmayer in Langenlois with its superb expression of the grape. The 1996 Grner Veltliner Alte Reben is a luscious mouthful of fat lychee and pineapple fruit with a good kick of acidity. Available from Bibendum Wines (0171-722 5577) at £132 for a 12-bottle case excluding VAT.