2013 March

Vin de France has urged retailers to put French wines on gondola ends as often as possible in a bid to attract younger drinkers with wines in the £5-8 bracket.

Cellier les Dauphins has launched a Côtes du Rhône Blanc to capitalise on the success of its red wines from the region.

Perrier-Jouët has launched a limited-edition metalwork Champagne “flute tree” from award-winning Dutch designer Tord Boontje.

David Cox has taken over as chief executive of drinks industry charity The Benevolent in a bid to help trade members that have fallen on hard times.

Entries are now open for this year’s International Beer Challenge, organised by Off Licence News. 

Costcutter and Palmer & Harvey have formed a joint venture company with a combined buying power of £5 billion in a deal designed to counter the increasing power of the supermarkets.

Morrisons’ new head of wine operations will overhaul its own-label range in a bid to help seize a “fair share” of the UK wine market for the chain.

Brunello and Bordeaux, Bordeaux and Brunello. Italy and France’s most famous wine regions have a lot in common, not least that they both hold high-profile tastings in the first part of the year. If it’s February, it must be Tuscany, invariably in the snow; if it’s April, it must be the Gironde, accompanied by spring flowers and, if you’re lucky, deckchair weather.

A £4 million TV ad campaign for Old Speckled Hen and Greene King IPA will kick off during ITV’s coverage of the FA Cup quarter-final replay between Chelsea and Manchester United on April 1.

Bargain Booze is celebrating the Chancellor’s decision to cut 1p from the price of a pint of beer by following his example and cutting its beer prices by the same amount.

The Co-operative Group has appointed Morrisons buyer Simon Cairns as the new head of its wine team.

A leading brewer believes the UK’s premium bottled ale market will double in value over the next five years.

A golden opportunity

22 March, 2013

The summer of 2012 promised to be the most glorious season of all time for the off-trade, with patriotic drinkers gathering for barbecues on sun-drenched afternoons to enjoy the Olympics, the Diamond Jubilee and the Euro finals, putting away record amounts of beer, wine and spirits.

While the beer industry raises a glass to its new best friend George Osborne, who today scrapped the duty escalator on beer, wine and spirits trade groups are enraged.

Off-licence chain Oddbins has branded the Chancellor’s scrapping of the beer duty escalator a “publicity stunt” and slammed the Treasury for failing to give wine the same break.

Greene King is urging retailers to make the most of double-digit growth in the golden ale category by backing its Love Golden Beer campaign.

Rhône wine volume sales in the UK off-trade rose 6.5% in 2012 compared to the previous year, according to IRI data.

A new Channel 4 TV series fronted by Ruth Watson wants to hear from businesses that have been hampered by negative online reviews.

Berry Bros & Rudd has given over permanent shelf space to four different Chinese wines.

Halewood International has launched two new flavours of Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer.

Torres will show off a number of new additions to its portfolio at the Wines of Spain Fair on March 21.

Morrisons online wine business has taken almost 40,000 orders since it launched in November and is performing better than forecast, according to the man who spearheaded the project.

Champagne House Henriot has ended its partnership with Enotria and appointed John E Fells as its UK distributor.

Wine smugglers jailed

14 March, 2013

Wine smugglers who avoided paying more than £5 million in duty and VAT on illicit Italian wine they brought to the UK are behind bars. 

A scorching summer in New Zealand has created a "perfect" environment for grape production and led growers to predict a bumper 2013 crop.

Spitfire Ale has snapped up the comedy duo behind the Armstrong & Miller Show as brand ambassadors.

Hendick’s Gin hopes its Carnival of Knowledge will offer “intellectual sustenance to all minds” at this year’s Brighton Fringe festival.

Jameson is releasing a limited edition bottle of its Irish whiskey to drive sales in the build-up to St Patrick’s Day.

David Cameron is set to ditch his plans to introduce a minimum unit price on alcohol after a Cabinet revolt led by home secretary Theresa May, according to reports.

The organisers of the London International Wine Fair have moved to reassure the trade that it will be a “solid event” despite “tough trading conditions”.