10 Alcohol Trends to Watch in 2017-18

The start of a new year is always a popular moment for forecasting upcoming trends to base your new year’s strategy on. However, mid-year is the moment to take a step back, see if the trends are changing and assess whether your strategy needs to be adjusted for the rest of the year. So where are we at right now?

Beverage Dynamics has listed a great overview of current and upcoming alcohol trends.

1) The Rosés Category Broadens

Rosé will remain hot in 2017 as it continues to transition from a hot-weather wine a year-round top seller. And as the category attracts more attention and expands, consumers will look for more than typical sweet Provenance rosé.

Like the Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé from South Africa, a top-ten selling imported rosé in America. “It’s uncommon to have a cabernet sauvignon rosé, but that’s our point of difference,” explains Adam Mason, winemaker, Mulderbosch. “We think it’s a slightly richer rosé, not in the steely style.”

It’s also darker in color than most. Still, Mulderbosch did not want to be way off the rosé bell curve. The company made sure their offering remained light like those of Provenance that have set the market.

Mulderbosch makes a dry rosé, but Mason believes U.S. consumers are comfortably up to speed on that style. And that it’s South African rosé, not exactly common, should not be a consumer turnoff. If anything it’s a unique point of variety. And, at the end of the day, “once consumers are staring at a wall of rosé, what informs their decision is price,” Mason says. He believes the $13-14 SRP of Mulderbosch rosé is a sweetspot.

Offbeat rosé is on the menu at Molyvos, an upscale Greek restaurant in Manhattan. Wine Director Kamal Kouiri is showcasing a dozen rosés from Greece. “They run the full range of style, from dry to fruity to sparkling, covering any palate,” Kouiri says. “Some people think rosé is only made in Provenance and Bordeaux, but others are now looking for new and different rosés.”

“These wines represent the pride of variety in Greek winemaking,” he adds. “Greek rosé is something you can really enjoy while getting a sense of place.”

2) IPAs Continue To Diversify

No doubt the IPA remains the most popular craft beer style. American consumers love bold flavors and the bitter, fruity, increasingly juicy IPA remains king.

While the IPA craze continues, it’s also segmenting. There are session IPA, black IPA, red IPA, white IPA, double IPA, triple IPA — whatever your palate prefers, there’s a style to match. And that increasingly includes regional variants.

West Coast IPAs were the first regional variant to go big. This super-hoppy style was at the forefront of the current craft boom and was what first attracted many new drinkers to microbrews. The shamelessly hoppy West Coast IPA is what many people think of when they imagine IPAs.

But what’s a west-coast trend without an east-coast competitor? New England IPAs have taken the eastern seaboard by storm and are expanding westward. These hazy, yeasty beers have the complexion of orange juice and extreme fruity citrus flavors.

The beer that took this from a new style to a full-blown trend is Heady Topper from The Alchemist Brewery.

“When I started brewing hazy IPAs, people loved the flavors and certainly didn’t mind the haze that was present in a number of them,” says John Kimmich, The Alchemist brewer and co-founder. “We have spent many, many years educating the beer drinking community on the reasons why cloudy is okay. It was not always easy; people used to slam our beers in reviews on the appearance side.”

Those days are over. Heady Topper is commonly ranked among America’s top craft beers. It’s inspired a regional IPA movement that, as rumor has it, includes some brewers scraping yeast off the bottom of Heady Topper cans in an attempt to replicate the famously hazy beer.

Other regional variants have emerged. The Northwest IPA of Oregon and Washington “tends to be fuller bodied and have bigger malt backbones than the drier, less malty and less sweet West Coast-style IPAs,” writes Aubrey Laurence of TapTrail.com.

As craft breweries continue to fight for consumer attention, expect more IPA takes to emerge, with other regions in America claiming certain styles as their own.

“I think a part of what makes craft beer so special is the little differences that can develop regionally,” says Kimmich of The Alchemist. “There are certainly quite a few IPA’s to choose from nowadays. I think you will see the cream thrive, while the less skilled will be pushed aside. You cannot brew a mediocre IPA anymore and get away with it for very long.”

3) Unusual Mash Bills in Whiskey

Like IPAs, brown spirits are booming and also finding ways to attract consumers with new and different flavors. For whiskey, that increasingly means unusual mash bills.

Gene Marra, owner and distiller of Cooperstown Distillery in New York, dislikes Kentucky bourbons for being too sweet. To achieve a flavor profile lighter on sweetness and with more emphasis on tertiary notes, he makes bourbon with wheat, rye and even oats in the mash bill.

“We think that oats are the answer to why our bourbon is so great,” Marra says. “We love the complexity and added creamy dimensions that the oats impart. We don’t just want sugar and honey in the mouth, and burnt sugar in the finish. We want vanilla, clove, allspice, burnt caramel, crème brûlée and more obscure notes. That’s what you get from the oats.”

Gene Marra, owner and distiller of Cooperstown Distillery in New York, dislikes Kentucky bourbons for being too sweet. To achieve a flavor profile lighter on sweetness and with more emphasis on tertiary notes, he makes bourbon with wheat, rye and even oats in the mash bill.

Unusual mash bills are also part of the strategy for the newly opened and aptly named Rabbit Hole Distilling in Louisville, Kentucky. Its Kentucky Straight Bourbon recipe is 70% corn, 10% malted wheat, 10% malted barley and 10% honey malted barley. They also make a straight bourbon, finished in sherry casks, with a mash bill of 68% corn, 18% wheat and 14% malted barley.

“One of the reasons why we got into this business was to add some variety,” explains Rabbit Hole Founder & Whiskey Maker Kaveh Zamanian. “You look at all the mash bills on the whiskey shelf and you see a lot of monotony. So we took inspiration from craft beer and tried to come out with some new recipes in addition to the old classics.”

4) The Return of Lagers

No doubt there are also drinkers fed up with all these hoppy, bitter, hazy IPAs. While such people remain in the minority, there are rumblings of IPA fatigue.

“We’re seeing an upswing in sessionable beers. Anything English, and pilsners. Every brewery has a pilsner now. Five years ago, nobody had a pilsner.” — Jeff Browning, brewmaster for Brewport, a 15-barrell beer pub in Bridgeport, CT

“It’s already showing,” says Jeff Browning, brewmaster for Brewport, a 15-barrell beer pub in Bridgeport, CT. “We’re seeing an upswing in sessionable beers. Anything English, and pilsners. Every brewery has a pilsner now. Five years ago, nobody had a pilsner.”

Which points to another emerging beer trend: the return of lagers.

Ales like IPAs dominate the American craft market. Consumers prefer the more-flavorful ales to their smoother, cleaner counterpart: the lager. But this advantage in flavor is fading fast.

“Now you have breweries like Jack’s Abby [of Framingham, Mass] that are making ale-quality lagers,” Browning says. “Buyers and drinkers are taking note.”

The cleanness of lagers is an alternative to the yeast bombs of New England IPAs. “Every day I hear another person tell me they’re sick of hazy, yeast-filled beers,” Browning says.

5) Classic Beer Styles Reemerge

The resurgence of lagers goes hand in hand with another beer trend in 2017. Brewers are bringing back classic styles that had fallen out of the public eye over time.

“Something I’ve noticed is definitely the call for more unique styles, including older styles that haven’t been brewed for a while,” says Zach Gaddis of Staples Corner Liquors in Crofton, MD. “Altbiers, dortmunders, kvass and lots more. People are always looking for something new and different. And some of these crazy styles are filling that void.”

“Hardly anyone brewed a gose style beer a few years back, and now everyone has one,” he adds.

6) Young Whiskeys With Flavor

One of the issues with the brown spirits boom has been new distilleries releasing products too soon. These companies will bottle whiskeys between one-and-three years old in an attempt to recoup startup costs more quickly. It’s difficult, of course, to sit on aging stock for five-to-ten years for a new distillery with bills to pay.

But whiskey without enough time in barrels normally lacks fully matured flavors. Hence the rise of young whiskeys that taste negatively of cereal: thin, grainy spirits that leave consumers wishing they hadn’t splurged $50 on that craft bottle.

Some distilleries, however, have found balance between youth and flavor. The secret is in forward-thinking production techniques.

Rabbit Hole produces a two-year-old bourbon with plenty of flavor. Beyond its unusual mash bill, which owner/whiskey maker Zamanian says adds to the character, the spirit goes into barrels at 110 proof rather than the traditional 125. “We believed that this would allow more flavor to come forward sooner,” Zamanian says.

Rabbit Hole also ages in special barrels obtained from Kelvin Cooperage of Louisville, KY. This boutique cooperage chars with wood fire instead of gas.

Rabbit Hole Distilling owner/whiskey maker Kaveh Zamanian believes using boutique barrels lends more flavor to his younger whiskeys.

“We think the combo of all that allows the bourbon to have more sweetness and flavor at such a young age,” Zamanian explains. “If the flavor wasn’t there, we wouldn’t release it. We didn’t want to take something to market too early and get a bad reputation.”

Prohibition Distillery produces the 14-month-old Bootlegger Bourbon, which tastes older than its age. Distiller Robert C. Mack believes the 100% corn mash bill allows the whiskey to age better. Also, Prohibition Distillery ages the bourbon in five-gallon barrels, well below the traditional 53-gallon barrel, meaning more oak contact for the juice.

Elsewhere, Berkshire Mountain Distillers recently released a four-year-old bourbon (72% corn, 18% rye, 10% barley) finished in Islay Scotch casks for three-to-eight months. The peaty notes from the barrels provide an excellent backbone for this young bourbon to taste beyond its youth.

7) Vodka and Gin Get Local

As vodka and gin look to benefit from the craft movement, the two white spirits are promoting their regional origins to attract consumer attention.

Seersucker Gin trademarked the phrase “southern style gin.” By this phrase, the Texas-based distillery behind the brand means a gin that is lighter on juniper, with more emphasis on citrus, honey and mint. For instance, the new brand Calamity Gin calls itself a “Texas Dry” gin. It’s made with wildflowers from the Lone Star State, such as Texas Bluebonnets. Up north, Bully Boy Distillers of Boston released its Estate Gin, which contains regionally indigenous ingredients that reflect New England “character and terroir.”

St. George of California has a Terroir Gin made from Douglas fir, California bay laurel, coastal sage and other botanicals, for flavors the company describes as “forest-driven and earthy.”

“Gin now takes provenance to literal level,” says Andrew Mansinne, Vice President of Brands, MGP Ingredients. “These new gins are saying, ‘This is where I’m from and these are my ingredients’.”

Vodka has also embraced the regionalization movement. Like Till Vodka, a new brand from MGP Ingredients. The spirit places place great emphasis on its Kansas origination, and that it uses wheat culled from the Sunflower State.

“When we talked with consumers about Till Vodka, what really resonates with them is the idea of authenticity,” Mansinne says. “Whenever we told them that we buy local Kansas wheat for our vodka, their response was, ‘Tell me more’.”

Mansinne believes this and the bottle’s upscale packaging will allow Till to standout in the challenging and crowded craft vodka market. “With our provenance in the heartland we have a strong story to tell,” he says. “It’s compelling.”

Belvedere Vodka has been comparing farm fields in Poland that produce its rye to the Champagne vineyards of France. The idea being that optimal production locations and methods produce optimal vodka — and that’s what modern consumers and mixologists care about.

8) Gin Hides Juniper

The shift in gin towards local ingredients has come at the cost of juniper flavors. More gins are masking this traditional flavor.

Some consumers believe that “most gins are very juniper-forward,” says Ari Anderman, Tanqueray Brand Manager. And while plenty of people enjoy juniper, there are those who avoid the category because they think it’s dominated by one pronounced flavor.

“Heavy juniper scares people,” explains Mike Howard, president of Southwest Spirits & Wine, makers of Calamity Gin. “You have to mask it.”

Calamity Gin features sweet floral tones with citrus notes and a bit of bitterness. But there’s still juniper as the backbone. This is still gin, after all. “We wouldn’t want anyone to think that we think we’re above the roots of traditional gin,” Howard says.

9) Big Brands Seek Craft Angles

As the craft boom continues, most big brands have upped the emphasis on their craft qualities. Phrases like “handpicked,” “hand-selected,” “hand-labeled,” “artisanal,” “super premium” and “authentic” have become common even for the largest of brands and the most ubiquitous of products. Other brands have highlighted their storied histories as a component similar to “craft.”

“Authenticity trumps craft,” says Colin Campbell, New York market manager for Brown-Forman, in describing Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7, which dates back to the 19th century. “Obviously we see the movement towards craft and welcome all the little distilleries, but there’s still a lot to be said about longevity.”

Jack Daniel’s in recent years has also launched its own craft variants: Gentleman Jack, Single Barrel, Single Barrel Barrel Proof and Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select. It’s a balance, then, in producing spirits for the new wave of whiskey connoisseurs, while maintaining emphasis on flagship products, and finding ways to marry both strategies.

“I remind you, all our premium whiskeys starts out as Old No. 7. The recipe never changes,” Campbell says. “Most people had a little bit of fun with Old No. 7 in college, but then they circle back around to it years later and see its true craftsmanship.”

Patrón Tequila, too, has become adept at this craft/mainstream balance in recent time. While obviously a big brand, the tequila excels at portraying its production as “small-batch on a large scale.” Everything is still done through traditional methods, just multiplied many times over, including crushing agaves with a Tahona stone.

“Though we obviously don’t use a donkey anymore to turn the stone,” says brand rep Jessie Fink.

10) Craft Beer Goes Global

This remains a small trend at best, but more foreign breweries are shipping craft beers into America (and beyond the usual suspects). Everybody knows about the brews of England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Belgium, France and even Japan. But craft beer is gradually growing beyond these countries and Americainto a global phenomenon.

Australian Brewery recently launched in the U.S., as did the Italian craft brewer Birra Antoniana. Chilean craft beer has made inroads. Molyvos, the Greek restaurant in Manhattan, carries six craft beers from Greece, from both Santorini Brewing Company and Siris Microbrewery.

Wine Director Kamal Kouiri of Molyvos, an upscale Greek restaurant in Manhattan, is showcasing rosé and craft beer from Greece.

“There’s a movement overseas with young brewers,” explains Molyvos general manager Kouiri. “It started with young winemakers who have caught up in countries that were behind the rest of the world in winemaking. Places like Israel, Malta, Slovenia, Turkey and Slovakia. Now you’re seeing the same with breweries and distilleries. These are all new boutique places started by young people.”

Craft beer drinkers in America are forever looking for unique flavors. Brews from unusual countries might just be the next trend in taste that piques their interest.

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I am excited to announce the new branding for Coterie has moved from Coterie Australia to Coterie Hospitality.  If you are wondering why, it is because we have gone “INTERNATIONAL!


Last year I did a lot of research on how to continue to help the ‘global’ hospitality industry.  This resulted in some international networking around the globe and travel across the pond to the United States of America.

I set sail across to California last December to (of course, a wise business operator would do their research first) see if there were any opportunities for Coterie in the US hospitality market.  I have personally always had a connection with North America as I started my life in Southern Maryland as a bubba, popping out to meet the world in the Patuxent River Naval base (on this day – 7th April) back in 1980.

This research of the USA hospitality industry has now resulted in two very exciting partnerships for now, Coterie ‘Hospitality’ –


We are by no means leaving Australia, we are just on a mission to help the global hospitality industry – driving Education – which in turn empowers business independence, increases business assets, building stronger more profitable teams, driving profits to the bank, and for the greater good – impacting people’s lives with greater experience for Customers.

Our first stop of the expansion is sunny California.

On Monday and Tuesday (11th and 12th April – PST) I will be flying the Coterie team flag along with representing the Australian Hospitality industry at the Golden Gate Restaurant Association Industry Conference.

I am a guest panelist on two panels for the Conference:

  1. The Tipping Point – discussing America increasing the award rate to $15 per hour by 2019. They are moving to $13 an hour by July 1st.  And exploring the effects of a ‘non-tipping’ structure.

Australia, a non-tipping culture, I am able to share with the California Restaurant community how Australia is still in growth considering the economic climate of high wages, high labour costs, high running costs.

  1. Your Brand Is Your Backbone – America is very much a focus on outward bound Branding and Public Relations. I’m excited to share the strategies that we are using at Coterie and across Australia by building your brand from within your hospitality business (the backbone of success) – increasing the loyalty of customers in a noisy world, how to reduce your costs by learning the steps to do your own Marketing and Advertising – and some of the cool examples that is, again, putting segments of the Australian Hospitality in a position of growth

Check out the conference here if you want a little gander of what we’re doing – http://ggra.org/industry-conference/


Coterie is changing the game in hospitality business away from the consultancy model.  With high running costs for businesses, loads of competition (customers spoilt for choice, even if it’s not of high value, the hospitality market is saturated) we are building foundations that breed loyalty, communities and sustainable business growth all through our education programs – giving YOU the keys to control your own success.

If you want to jump on board, learn more, or simply follow the journey please do stick around.

We’re excited to be Australian, excited to now be spreading our wings in helping more global hospitality businesses live the life they want, and continuing to grow one of our favourite past times – socialising with friends and family – this being in the hospitality industry.

First stop, California!!

On behalf of Coterie Hospitality, I’m excited and proud to be part of the global hospitality industry. Let’s make it one HECK OF A SPECIAL COMMUNITY, uniting together.

Cheers from the birthday girl, embracing the number 36 today!!  And what a great day to announce our international expansion and hospitality partnerships.

Carrie White



CEO and proud Mother to my brain child – Miss Coterie.  Plus team member of our fabulous Partners.

Happy Days!



Image cred: Journalist Francis Lam (far right) moderates a conversation with Chef Traci Des Jardins, Chef Gavin Kaysen, Mina Group President Patric Yumul, and Union Square Hospitality Group’s Sabato Sagaria at the 1st Annual GGRA Industry Conference

2015 Top Digital Marketing Trends for the Hospitality Industry [Recap]

New year, new beginning, new challenges…. with still few more days left before going into another year, let’s take a time to look back of our journey this whole year of 2015, which for sure will take part of what we will be forming in the next year 2016.


From social synergy to the impact of mobile search, digital marketing in 2015 is a new landscape of creative engagement, seamless integration and the customer journey. With our eyes on every algorithm launch and search trend, Milestone has designed innovative strategies for online visibility, content engagement, conversion, ROI tracking and the user experience.

Check out these driving forces in digital marketing 2015.

 Article sourced: Hospitality.net



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New Wines for Summer Wine List

Season change is well and truly underway, which means, for Australia – warm weather – for the most part.  But for our global followers, the key message here is about changing your wine list with the seasons.

Whilst I’m not an ambassador in this post for these listed wines, I think it is important to check out what the Food, Wine and Travel bloggers are trending, check out their point of view and well, of course, broaden your horizon.
I enjoyed this read and the list written by Christine Salins – Food, Wine and Travel Writer.  I thought you may enjoy to read, the list of a few cool options that may suit some Summer Wine Lists.
Would love to know your thoughts – please do come across and drop your comments below.
We are spoilt for choice in Australia producing some absolutely cracking wine.  Please share your favourites with us here so we can keep spreading the word, supporting our talent, and reaching out to our global friends to introduce our countries liquid gold ……….

10 drops for your summer wine list


The weather is warming up and the countdown to Christmas is underway. Christine Salins has compiled a list of some top drops to help you celebrate summer.

As the days get longer and the weather warms up, it’s time to think about tweaking wine lists with styles and varietals that pair well with lighter dishes.  We’ve come up with a selection that hit the right note for summer drinking.

  1. Logan 2015 Moscato, $20
    Logan previously made its Moscato from gewürztraminer but this year, for the first time, it has used muscat blanc à petits grains grapes, which are more intensely flavoured at a lower sugar level. What does that mean for consumers? Well, for one, it means they can imbibe with less guilt, as the wine has just 6.5 percent alcohol. Oh, and it tastes delicious too.
  2. Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch 2014 Riesling, $34.95
    Are you game for this? A fun wine with serious intent, this quirkily labelled wine features a woman and her dog going hunting. Its creators suggest it goes beautifully with wild game and it certainly has the personality to intrigue, delight or divide the most ardent Riesling hounds. It comes from the Strathbogie Ranges in Victoria and is flinty and fresh with notes of lime, lychee and rose petal. It’s an interesting wine, not least because it was fermented on lees in oak, which, although common in France’s Alsace region, is unusual for Riesling in Australia.
  3. Domaine Chandon 2015 Pinot Gris, $25
    Pinot Gris is the fastest growing white varietal in Australia; people seem to love its floral aromatics and interesting textures. When Domaine Chandon bought its Whitlands Vineyard in Victoria a couple of years ago, it came with a parcel of Pinot Gris. “It turns out that this little patch delivers Pinot Gris with wonderful floral aromas,” says winemaker Dan Buckle. “We’re very happy with this one.” Richly textured with bright natural acidity, it comes from one of the best vintages for early varieties in the region since 2002.
  4. Windowrie 2015 ‘The Mill’ Verdelho, $18
    While Pinot Gris is having a dream run, Verdelho is the straggler at the rear. Which is a pity as it is ideally suited to summer drinking with its lime and honeyed notes, and naturally high acidity. Cowra, in the NSW Central Ranges, produces some of Australia’s best examples, and Windowrie is one of the region’s most esteemed producers. With zesty passionfruit and tropical notes, this one’s a great alternative to Sauvignon Blanc.
  5. Briar Ridge 2015 Limited Release Fiano, $28
    This exciting new addition to the Briar Ridge range is crisp, youthful and zesty with lively ginger, citrus and hazelnut notes. Made by talented 2014 Young Winemaker of the Year, Gwyn Olsen, it’s one of only a few examples of this Italian variety in Australia. Definitely one to put on the list for summer.
  6. Bremerton 2013 Batonnage Chardonnay, $32
    Light summer dishes of salmon, tuna and chicken pair nicely with an expressive Chardonnay like this one with its creamy mouthfeel, restrained oak and stonefruit, spice and citrus notes. Battonage refers to the stirring of the lees which gives the wine added complexity and a deliciously long finish, making it stand out in a crowd of upfront one-dimensional whites.
  7. Richard Hamilton 2013 Lot 148 Merlot, $21
    The last thing you want to drink in the height of summer is a heavy, full-bodied red. This Merlot from South Australia’s McLaren Vale has elegance and finesse with subtle oak and soft tannins. With generous sweet fruit, it tastes of cherries and plums with a bit of nutmeg to spice things up.
  8. Margan 2014 Shiraz, $25
    Winemaker Andrew Margan reckons the reds that came out of the Hunter Valley’s Broke Fordwich sub-region in 2014 were the best since 1965. The fruit for his Shiraz comes from 40 year old vines yielding less than one tonne per acre, concentrating the fruit and producing a rich, spicy palate with hints of raspberry. A terrific food wine.
  9. Red Feet 2012 Sangiovese, $35
    Victoria’s King Valley has become one of Australia’s premier regions for Sangiovese and this example from one of the newest producers in the region, Red Feet, is worth keeping an eye out for. Easy drinking and medium bodied, it’s a bright, racy wine with touches of Cherry Ripe chocolate and spice. Great with Italian, lamb and vegetarian dishes.
  10. Topper’s Mountain 2012 Red Earth Child, $38
    Food-friendly Spanish and Italian varieties come together in this rich and velvety blend from the New England region of NSW. About 60 percent Tempranillo, with Nebbiolo, Tannat and Barbera rounding out the flavour profile, it has hints of dark chocolate and cinnamon. You wouldn’t want it for lunch in the blazing sun, but coupled with a hearty pasta dish or risotto it hits the spot beautifully. Cheers.

    Article sourced from: Hospitality Magazine


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Let’s take another look at the Gault&Millau launch Award Winners

The 2016 Gault&Millau Australia Restaurant Guides for Sydney and Melbourne were launched on Monday , and were accompanied by the presentation of a series of industry awards.

We wanted to take a moment to have another refresher look at the amazing restaurant winners in both Melbourne and Sydney, if you may have missed them or would like to peruse again ……………

Vue de monde, Sepia take out Restaurant of the Year award at Gault&Millau launch.

For the third edition of the guide, over 600 restaurants across Sydney and Melbourne were reviewed according to Gault&Millau’s international standards and were awarded between one and five hats.

Gault&Millau Australia’s chief judge, Mark Dorrell said “Since launching in Australia in 2014 we have grown our distribution by 100 percent — proving that Australia wanted another opinion. We have the right mix of produce, culinary talent and creativity to make Australia one of the world’s best dining destinations.”

The guides were launched at ‘Night in Paris’ themed event at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and saw a number of industry awards presented, including Restaurant of the Year, which went to Shannon Bennett’s Vue de monde (Melbourne) and Martin Benn and Vicki Wild’s Sepia (Sydney).

It’s been a stellar year for Sepia, which also took out the 84th spot on the S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, earned to top spot in AFR Australia’s Top 100 Restaurants list, was named Best Fine Dining Restaurant at the Time Out Sydney awards, and earned three hats in the SMH Good Food Guide.

The other big winners at the event were:

Riedel Sommelier of the Year Award:
  • Sally Humble, Lûmé (Melbourne)
  • Simon Curkovic, Marque (Sydney)
Perrier Jouët New Restaurant of the Year Award:
  • Lûmé (Melbourne)
  • Bennelong (Sydney)
PorkStar Professional of the Year Award:
  • Lawrence Ip, Cosi Ristorante (Melbourne)
  • Vanessa Duckworth, Four in Hand (Sydney)
The Yellow Rose Award:
  • Donovan’s (Melbourne)
  • Beppi’s (Sydney)
The American Express ‘Potentialist’ Award:
  • Hugh Allen, Vue de monde (Melbourne)
  • Lauren Eldridge, Marque (Sydney)
V-ZUG Chef of the Year Award:
  • Ben Shewry, Attica (Melbourne)
  • Daniel Puskas and James Parry, sixpenny (Sydney – joint winners)
Lavazza Restaurant of the Year Award:
  • Vue de monde (Melbourne)
  • Sepia (Sydney)


REFERENCE: Hospitality Magazine,

Continuously brilliant to see such quality, class and value coming out from Melbourne and Sydney from both venues and individual talent.  We do know it spreads far and wide across the big island, and what a great presentation of hospitality our country delivers.

HUGE congratulations to all of the winners, and good luck to Gault&Millau Australia Restaurant Guides for Sydney and Melbourne for 2016 for a successful distribution and readership.

Great write up from our friend Danielle Bowling at #hospitaltymagazine – always a great read!



Carrie and the Team At Coterie


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Were you aware that there is such a thing as ‘Beer Nerds’, or beer ‘Geeks’? They could be lurking around your hospitality business putting you under the microscope with your beer products.

 Some mistakes in life are big, like cheating on your SATs or accidentally getting yourself imprisoned and caned for vandalizing a truck in Singapore, but others are THE BIGGEST, like drinking beer all wrong. So, in an effort to avoid getting you mentally caned by beer geeks everywhere, Zach Mack breaks down the five biggest mistakes you’re making, and how to fix them.

1. You’re frosting your glasses

Maybe the biggest myth in the beer-drinking world is the unbridled joy of the chilled glass. Contrary to what your local sports bar may have you believe, your frosty mug is not enhancing your beer-drinking experience. In fact, frosted mugs cause beer to foam, killing their carbonation and nixing the aromas. Instead of popping your favorite glass in the freezer, keep it clean and in the cabinet, give it a quick rinse with cold water to clean out dust and odors, and then perform your perfect pour.


2. … Or you’re still drinking it too cold

As much as people like to brag about their beers tasting cold, beers run the gamut for how they should be served. (And anyway, isn’t it a physical impossibility to taste a feeling?) There’s an entire chart dedicated to the proper serving temperatures for different styles of beer. Even then, most beers are meant to be served slightly above the temperature of your fridge, and most experts recommend taking certain styles out of the fridge 10 minutes or so before you drink them to fully expose the flavors and aromas.


3. You’re storing it in the wrong place (or using the wrong containers)

In terms of beer terminology, “skunked” is maybe the perfect example of a word that is widely used, but entirely misunderstood. The term itself is slang used to describe beer that is “light-struck”, and thus tastes and smells, predictably, like a skunk’s spray. Wondering whether or not you’ve ever had a skunked beer? There’s a simple solution: walk into any store and pick up literally any bottle of beer stored in a clear glass bottle, open it, and take a sip. Congratulations! You’ve just had a skunked beer.

It may sound crazy, but skunking starts within minutes of a beer being exposed to light. You can take preventative measures like only buying beer that comes in brown glass bottles (or better yet, cans!), and making sure that you’re storing any beer that’s not in your fridge in a space where it’s covered (yes, even fluorescent lights damage brews!). If you’re planning on doing some outdoor drinking, consider using an opaque cup, or check out these entrepreneurial Canadians who want to protect your beer from light right down to the last drop.


4. You’re holding on to it for too long

Most people have at least one bottle that has been kicking around their fridge for months, whether you’re saving it for a special occasion or it’s just a cork-and-cage bottle left behind by your beer geek friend during a tailgate party. This unintentional “cellaring” is actually welcome in the case of heavy stouts, Trappist beers, and barleywines. But if you’re sitting on a hop monster, you may be out of luck: just like your good looks and ability to overcome hangovers, hops’ aromatic qualities die off quickly with age. Think twice before tucking away that can of Heady Topper for the “right moment” and just enjoy the beer as fresh as you can.


5. You’re overthinking it

With the sudden boom in interest in craft beer, it’s not uncommon to hear people talking about “IBUs”, “single-variety hop beers”, and “house-cultivated yeast strains”.  And just as in the food world, there is always a time and place to be fancy as all hell. But there is also something to be said about familiarity and unwinding, enjoying beers the way Grandpa used to. Maybe you don’t have that snifter immediately handy. Maybe you don’t have enough cell service to blast out what you’re drinking on Untapped. There is no single right way to enjoy a beer… as long as it’s not in a frosted mug.

REFERENCE: Thrillist
From The Team At Coterie

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Seven Ways To Plate Food Dishes Like a Pro

They say that you eat with your eyes first, and while the quality of ingredients, textures and coupling of flavours are the key elements in a successful dish, presentation comes a close second.

Part of serving great food is presentation.  You don’t have to be a trained chef to learn the basics of plating, which is the art of presenting food in an attractive way. Don’t worry, it’s not about making butter sculptures or radish animals (yet!).

Here are seven simple ways to present your meals like a pro.

1. Set the table properly.

Your day-to-day meals might be free-for-alls, but if you’ve got guests coming over, it’s nice to have the knives and forks in the right places.


2. Choose your plates wisely.

Make sure your serving plates are big enough to let each food item stand out, but small enough that the portions don’t look tiny.

3. Read the clock!

A foolproof way to arrange food on a plate is to place the carbohydrate (rice, pasta, bread, etc.) at “11 o’clock,” the vegetables at “2 o’clock,” and the protein at “6 o’clock” from the diner’s point of view.

4. Be odd.

Don’t be strange, but things generally look more interesting when they’re in sets of odd numbers, rather than even numbers.

5. Play with Height.

This Chicken Stirfry with Broccoli looks more interesting because of the high mound of rice sitting next to it.

6. Play with color and texture.

Even if you’re just serving Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, a green paper napkin can make this simple meal look really special!

7. Garnish appropriately.

Don’t lose sight of the recipe you made in the first place! Any garnishes on the plate should be edible and should enhance the flavor of the main dishes. Grilled salmon might be served with a lemon wedge, for example.

Be sure to add parsley to your weekly shopping list. It not only tastes great, it is also a lovely garnish for just about everything!


From The Team At Coterie


The next public holiday here is Australia Day and we know how much us Aussies love our beer… We have a little question for you……… Do you have beers listed on your menu’s in your hospitality business?


  • 29% of beer customers look to the “menu’s” to make their choice
  • 21% of beer customers look at beer “taps” to make their decisions – Insights from Carlton United Brewery.


Menu’s don’t just live inside your bricks and mortar. Online is where prospective customers – don’t forget those tourists – will search first for something appealing.

Beers on menu’s is a must! And it’s a great leverage tool to have with your suppliers as branding is important to them too!!


If you’re looking for more tips, we’d love you to join our community on LinkedIn and Facebook


Hi there! This is a good message to capatilize on the season that builds communities – how music can impact customer experience. Music is an important ingredient to life, so it makes sense it would have an impact on business too.

How music can make your business sing

Music is an important ingredient to any hospitality business, particularly when considering the way customers perceive your business.

The music played within a venue has many effects: it helps determine the type of people who frequent a venue, it affects their behaviour and it helps them make a sub-conscious decision about whether or not they’ll come back. Music genre, volume, length, tonality and tempo all affect a person’s experience inside a hospitality venue and are measures that can be finely tuned to ensure success.

Music can be used to differentiate two otherwise similar establishments by producing variations in their atmosphere and allowing operators to attract different types of customers. By further tailoring the music played, you can influence the way customers behave. This is an important message for pub DJs; unless people are visiting a venue just to see the DJ, they should think about what they play as it decides how long people stay and how much is spent.

Studies have confirmed that in restaurants there is a significant difference in average spend depending on the music being played; one study concluded that classical music leads to higher spending when compared to pop or no music.

Positive effects of music aren’t confined to hospitality. Further studies have confirmed that popular background music causes people to shop longer and potentially spend more. This is why music needs to be understood as an important business tool and used to drive patronage and spend per head.

Music’s positive vibes don’t stop there; the United Kingdom’s music industry claims (supported by research) that music lifts employee morale. According to surveys from 1,000 small to medium-sized businesses across a range of industries, 77 percent of respondents claimed that playing music increases overall morale at work and enhances the office atmosphere. So next time an employee asks for an afternoon fix of the Smashing Pumpkins, you may want to happily comply – try their 1995 release, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

Australian live music
According to the 2011 National Live Music Research Study conducted by Ernst & Young, live music in Australian pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants, cafes and nightclubs entertains more than 41 million patrons a year and contributes $1.21 billion as well as almost 15,000 full-time jobs to Australia’s economy.

The study examined the value of live music from a venue’s perspective and the figures demonstrate its significant contribution to the Australian economy. The industry also attracts strong audiences with the report finding that 41.97 million patrons attended 328,000 venue-based live music performances at 3,904 venues across Australia in 2009/10.

Data like this demonstrates the need to protect the industry. At the moment in Western Australia, two Perth based institutions, The Bakery and the Fly by Night Musicians Club, are facing possible closure. In Melbourne, iconic live music venue The Palace closed its doors for the last time in May following a buyout from Chinese property developers. Established in 1860 and one of Australia’s longest running live music establishments, the site will reportedly become an apartment block. Nirvana, on their one and only Australian tour, played The Palace in 1992.
If you want to improve the bottom line of your business and your customer’s perception of your business – you need to embrace music. The results of studies, proof of further customer spending and the contribution live music makes to the Australian economy should be reason enough to get on board, if you haven’t already.
Article sourced from Hospitality Magazine


Restaurant & Catering Australia Announce Winners

Looks like Australia is rocking it again with some fantastic world-class quality restaurants.

We’d like to congratulate all the winners around the country. We can’t wait to make our way around to all these fine establishments, checking out the talent that Australia is producing and all the culinary delights it has to offer.

Sydney’s Quay has been named “Restaurant of the Year” by the industry’s peak body, Restaurant & Catering Australia.

The award caps a big year for the restaurant’s executive chef, Peter Gilmore, who has just released his second book, Organum.

Quay took the award over regional finalists including Orana (SA) Ezard (Vic) and Satsuki (WA).

The 2014 Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering HostPlus Awards for Excellence were announced in Melbourne. They recognise both the restaurant/cafe sector and catering.

In various categories, other winners included Gingerboy (Melbourne) for Asian; House of Chow (Adelaide) for Chinese; Eschalot (Berrima) for Contemporary Australian; Pulp Kitchen (Canberra) for European; Cecconi’s (Melbourne) for Italian; and Satsuki (Perth) for Japanese.

Other notable awards went to Brae, in Victoria’s Western District, for the category of New Restaurant while Paringa Estate, also in Victoria, was named best Restaurant in a Winery.

Quay also won the Fine Dining category.

Caterer of the Year, for the second consecutive year, is Customs House, Brisbane.
For more results, see below.

Asian restaurant

  • Wild Duck, Kingston foreshore, ACT
  • Nagisa, Newcastle, NSW
  • Hanuman, Adelaide, SA
  • Spicers Tamarind Retreat, Maleny, Queensland
  • Mylan, Wollongong, NSW
  • Saké, The Rocks, Sydney, NSW
  • Malayan Orchid, Bendigo, Victoria
  • Gingerboy, Melbourne, Victoria (winner)


  • Autolyse, Braddon, ACT
  • Orio Café, Alstonville, NSW
  • Muratti Cakes & Gateaux, Prospect, SA
  • Cafe Brasil, Pemberton, WA
  • Caffe Strada, Ivanhoe, Victoria (winner)

Breakfast restaurant

  • Ricardo’s Café, Macquarie, ACT
  • Talulah, The Junction, NSW
  • Chianti, Adelaide, SA
  • The Gunshop Café, West End, Quensland
  • Green Zebra, Albury, NSW
  • Pavilion Beachfront, Maroubra Beach, NSW
  • Metropolitan Las Chicas, Balaclava, Victoria
  • T42, Hobart, Tasmania
  • Emporium Bistro, Bridgetown, WA
  • Jam Corner, South Townsville, Queensland (winner)

Cafe restaurant

  • Ricardo’s Café, Macquarie, ACT
  • Saltwater, Emerald Beach, NSW
  • Assaggio, Campbelltown, NSW
  • Connors Café, Burleigh Heads, Queensland
  • Ripples, Milsons Point, NSW
  • Mr Burch, McKinnon, Melbourne, Victoria
  • Ambrosia, Bernick, Tasmania
  • Catch 22, Mandurah, WA
  • Terracotta, Murrumburrah, NSW (winner)?

Chinese restaurant

  • China Tea Club, North Lyneham, ACT
  • L’il Buddha, Salamander Bay, NSW
  • Cafe China Seafood, Cairns, Queensland
  • Qi’Lin, Toowoomba, Queensland
  • Chefs Gallery, Sydney, NSW
  • House of Chow, Adelaide, SA (winner)

Coffee shop/teahouse

  • Choux Box Café, Kingscliff NSW
  • Cibo Espresso — O’Connell Street, North Adelaide, SA
  • Vagelis Café & Bar, Hamilton, Queensland
  • Ampersand Café & Bookstore, Paddington NSW
  • Booktalk, Richmond Victoria
  • Boho Espresso, Scarborough, WA
  • Coffee Niche, Wagga Wagga, NSW (winner)

Contemporary Australian

  • Sage, Braddon, ACT
  • Muse, Pokolbin, NSW
  • Jam Corner, South Townsville, Queensland
  • Botanic Gardens Restaurant, Adelaide, SA
  • Appellation @ The Louise, Marananga, SA
  • GOMA, South Brisbane, Queensland
  • Catalina, Rose Bay, NSW
  • Mercer’s, Etham, Victoria
  • Summit Ridge, Falls Creek, Victoria
  • Mojo’s, Bunbury, WA
  • Eschalot, Berrima (winner)

Fine dining

  • Orana, Adelaide, SA
  • Restaurant Two, Brisbane, Queensland
  • ezard, Melbourne, Victoria
  • Quay, The Rocks NSW (winner)?

Article sourced from:
John Lethlean THE AUSTRALIAN OCTOBER 27, 2014 10:00PM