The battle between buying and selling


See our guide to coverage of the MW Symposium in Florence.

Pierpaulo Petrassi MW, who looks after alcoholic drinks for reasonably upmarket UK supermarket Waitrose, moderated the most commercial session of the recent MW Symposium. The participant that most people were eager to see and hear was probably Annette Alvarez-Peters (below), head of wine buying for the giant CostCo group of 'membership warehouse stores' based in the US. The statistics are impressive. CostCo sells $1.5 billion worth of wine a year with margins 'capped at 14%', admittedly a very small fraction of CostCo's total turnover last year of...