2008 January

Budget date set for March 12

31 January, 2008

The drinks trade will find out on March 12 whether duty on alcohol will rise as sharply as predicted after the Treasury confirmed the date today.

International wine producer, ZGM has announced it is spending almost £5 million to build its profile and launch more products in the UK.

Rugby-themed TV and press ads featuring Shepherd Neame's premium ale brand, Spitfire are being rolled out to support the RBS Six Nations rugby tournament.

Adnams marketing director, Steve Curzon has announced his departure from the company.

Former wine and spirits buyer, Amanda Heffer has been made business unit director as part of a department shake-up at Sainsbury's.

New MD for Magners

30 January, 2008

Magners owner C&C Group is hoping to drive cider sales in the UK with the appointment of Coors boss John Holberry.

Two retailer support groups have joined forces to petition councils in London against a proposal that would give them the power to stop shops giving free plastic bags to customers.

Bordeaux starts eco study

30 January, 2008

French wine body, the CIVB has commissioned a study to measure the impact Bordeaux’s wine trade has on the environment.

State of independents

29 January, 2008

Graham Holter asks whether reports of the death of the independent sector have been greatly exaggerated

Marks & Spencer is claiming to have introduced the first new port style to the UK since 1970 with the launch of Pink Port.

Western Wines has been handed a record fine of £225,000 for failing to pay for the recovery and recyling of packaging from 2003 to 2005.

Responsible drinking charity, the Drinkaware Trust has appointed a new chairman and its first lay trustees.

The word on the street

29 January, 2008

The old hand: Dave Banks, Fairview Off

Dates for your diary

25 January, 2008

Jan 28 International Wine Challenge Sake Masterclass, Morton's, Berkeley Square, London (julie.campbell@

In Brief

25 January, 2008

Spier adds to Vintage Selection

Spar has relaunched its own-label Discoveries wine range.

Stocking up for Fairtrade

25 January, 2008

Drinks shops are being urged to put ethical drinks in the spotlight for Fairtrade Fortnight.

Breaking out of the mould

25 January, 2008

Trade must convince consumers to opt for mid-range Burgundies, says BIVB

Watching the market

25 January, 2008

After countless trips to Belgium, Chris Gill took a keen interest in the beer. Nigel Huddleston talks to him about his compact stall at New Spitalfields

In brief

25 January, 2008

Coca-Cola has redesigned the packaging for its entire Coca-Cola range to make the brand "simpler, bolder and more modern". The new design is based on the scripted logo and red and white ribbon design that was created in 1886. New packaging will be rolled out this year and will feature in all brand communication including point of sale and fridges. The Recycle Now recycle mark will also appear on all new packaging.

Walkers is ploughing £27 million into a marketing push for Walkers

The Ubuntu Trading Company is rolling out what i t claims is the UK's first Fairtrade cola.

Nestlé Rowntree

Cadbury is going green this Easter with a reduction in packaging and a link-up with the National Trust.

In brief

25 January, 2008

Zara Phillips has signed a two-year sponsorship deal with Chivas Regal, which will see her participate in a number of Scotch

Martell Cognac

25 January, 2008

recently celebrated its partnership with the Ch âteau de Versailles with a dinner for 170 international guests at the palace on the outskirts of Paris. As part of the collaboration, the spirits brand is sponsoring an exhibition that shows what the palace would have looked like when it was furnished in silver. Guests at the event were treated to a private view of the exhibition, before sitting down to a meal cooked by top French chef Alain Senderens. Chris Seale, head of marketing for Cognac, said: "This sponsorship was chosen to reflect Martell's rich, French provenance and the brand's link with French luxury lifestyle. Partnering with Ch âteau

Emporia Brands is targeting the premium whisky sector with Cutty Sark Scotch after taking over distribution of the brand in the UK.

Diageo is giving Smirnoff Black vodka a makeover and increased marketing support in 2008.

Diageo chief executive Paul Walsh says promoting responsible attitudes to drinking and improving environmental sustainability will be key priorities for the Scotch Whisky Association during 2008.

It's been a long time since our last report, and a lot of things have happened in the topsy turvy world of the Premiership. A frantic Christmas period saw Arsenal and Manchester United emerge as title contenders, with Liverpool dropping away from the front pack and Chelsea, minus a large number of their squad, doing their best to keep in touch. Derby already seem doomed, and in the fight for the European places a host of teams have the potential now to challenge for fifth and sixth spot. In the FFL competition James Gillespie from Touchstone Wines has had a fantastic Christmas and now leads the standing with 322 points. Will the January transfer window benefit both him and you?

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