2013 August

With just under two weeks to go, the Beautiful South Tasting is now open for online registration.

The overwhelming majority of drinks are packaged responsibly, the Portman Group has announced. 

Halewood International’s Crabbie’s alcoholic ginger beer has taken over title sponsorship of the Grand National and Grand National Festival at Aintree.

A Cheshire councillor has called on his own local authority to scrap plans for a minimum unit price on alcohol.

Wine Rack has opened a shop in Hampstead - bringing its estate to 20. 

The Wine & Spirit Trade Association will tackle how digital technology and increasing regulation are affecting drinks consumers at its 2013 conference on September 25.

The Co-operative has expanded its premium own-label Truly Irresistible into wine.

Gallo has unveiled Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato as a new addition to its Californian wine portfolio.

Maison Louis Jadot has snapped up the 8ha Resonance Vineyard to produce Pinot Noir in Oregon’s Willamette Valley for an undisclosed fee.

New Zealand wine exports to the UK slipped by 2% in value in the year to June 30, according to New Zealand Winegrowers.

HMRC has launched a 10-week consultation to assess the costs, feasibility and effectiveness of launching a wholesaler registration scheme.

Brewing giants Heineken and Carlsberg blamed bad weather, tax hikes and continued austerity for declining volume sales in the UK market.

The Whisky Shop is taking on Selfridges and Harvey Nichols by opening its newest outlet in the heart of Manchester’s retail area.

Norwich-based retailer Naked Wines has secured a £6.4 million from German wine seller WIV Wein International to fund a further push into US and Australian markets.

New Zealand Winegrowers has hailed the decision to plant grapes in Marlborough as the “single most important event in the history of the New Zealand wine industry” as the region prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

testing

21 August, 2013

sas

Diageo is introducing a liqueur called Smirnoff Gold, which blends Smirnoff No.21 premium vodka with natural cinnamon flavouring and visible flakes of edible 23 carat gold leaf, into the UK market.

A taste for adventure

20 August, 2013

Not so long ago, British beer was the envy of the world, while three virtually identical brands accounted for the bulk of sales across the pond. But then mass-produced bitter and lager took over the UK market and the scene began to look equally lacklustre.

It’s not so long ago that all the chatter about Bargain Booze was whether it was destined for a sell-off and who would be brave enough to take it on.

Pernod Ricard UK has expanded its premium wine portfolio with the introduction of Graffigna Centenario Malbec.

Croatia is set for a push into the UK wine market after joining the EU this summer and starting to enjoy more relaxed trading conditions, according to Vina Croatia.

Bargain Booze owner Conviviality Retail is in the process of buying two shops to run as “incubation” stores to sell on to new franchisees.

Oddbins redesign begins

16 August, 2013

The first revamp of Oddbins stores in 17 years is underway with a new fascia starting to appear across the estate and a new-look website.

I’m not sure if Peter Lehmann and Tim Hamilton Russell ever met, but I like to think they would have got on, despite their very different personalities. One was a slightly gruff, chain-smoking winemaker who never went to university, the other an urbane, Oxford-educated advertising executive. What they had in common – and would, I hope, have established a bond between them – was a love of wine and an ability to take risks, flouting rules if necessary.

Bye-bye Booze Britain?

16 August, 2013

Assuming reality has anything to do with it, those screaming headlines about young people and their binge drinking should swiftly become a thing of the past. Research and statistics from every angle are revealing a new generation that’s gone off the booze and in the UK is driving the second-largest fall in alcohol consumption in the world.

Brand Phoenix has moved to reassure the trade of its commitment to the UK market after co-founder Steve Barton announced he was leaving to push its First Cape brand into the US.

The Department of Health said it is fully committed to the Responsibility Deal it signed with the drinks industry despite a series of high-profile walkouts by health bodies.

Sun shines on drinks sales

16 August, 2013

Soaring lager, cider and sparkling wine sales drove an 18% rise in BWS volumes during the heatwave that bathed Britain in sunshine throughout July.

Pernod Ricard is rolling out new bottle designs for its range of Absolut flavoured vodkas.

Energy drinks giant Red Bull has decided to end a dispute it started with Norfolk microbrewer Redwell.