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In brief

By Rob Allanson
New York bids again
Liquor connoisseurs will soon be able to bid on rare distilled spirits from around the globe at auctions in New York, legalized recently by Governor Eliot Spitzer, according to the Distilled Spirits Council, which lobbied for the bill.Christie’s, the world’s leading art business and a supporter of the new law, immediately announced plans to hold the first liquor auction in New York through NYWines Christie’s. This will be the first such auction in New York since Prohibition began in 1920.“Having followed the passage of the bill very closely, we are now able to formally announce our plans for an auction to include collectible spirits this December. We are currently accepting consignments of vintage cognac, armagnac, Scottish, Irish and American whiskies, bourbon and other traditional spirits,” said Richard Brierley, head of Christie’s Americas Wine Sales.The Distilled Spirits Council estimates that millions of dollars in exclusive spirits sales have been lost to London, Paris, Glasgow and other auction centres around the globe because spirits auctions have been against the law in New York, costing the state large amounts in lost sales taxes.“New York is the global trend-setter, and it’s entirely fitting collectors have the ability to conduct business in New York,” said Distilled Spirits Council president Peter Cressy.Welsh wonders
When Marc Botes, the head sommelier at The Boxwood Café in London, went to a wedding in South Africa, he was surprised by the gift - a miniature of Penderyn, the Welsh single malt whisky - that was given to all the guests. While the family did have Welsh connections, he had not come across the whisky before. However, he was so impressed with the taste, he made a mental note to get in touch with Penderyn on his return to work.Within hours of Marc getting back to work after his holiday, Penderyn sales manager Rob Whitaker was on the doorstep to ask him to try Penderyn in his restaurant.Rob said: “It was a weird surprise for Marc, as he was going to contact us anyway but I beat him to it! He wasn’t sure if this was a bit of Welsh magic, coincidence or planning. Well, of course, I couldn’t possibly divulge that; but, guests at the Boxwood Café can now enjoy a Penderyn after their excellent dinner and we are delighted to be seen in such a prestigious restaurant.”