2014 January

Mateus is moving away from its distinctive flask-shaped bottle with the launch of a new dual varietal wine range.

Pernod Ricard has hailed the UK as a ripe breeding ground for innovation after launching two global exclusives in the market.

Grey is the new pink

31 January, 2014

Grey is the new pink, according to Vranken Pommery.

Drinks producers have committed to promoting responsible drinking at sponsored events in the widest ever partnership between producers, retailers, rights holders and representatives of sport, music and venues.

Diageo Great Britain’s reserve brand portfolio grew 24% in the six months, driving a 1% rise in overall sales at the British arm of the world’s largest spirits supplier.

Thatchers lands Down Under

31 January, 2014

Somerset cider brand Thatchers has landed Down Under after signing a contract with Australian brewery Coopers to distribute Thatchers Gold to the on- and off-trades.

Cambridge Wine Merchants owner Hal Wilson lauded the quality of recent Australian vintages after attending Wine Australia’s annual tasting.

Hampshire’s Upham Brewery is celebrating a year of record-breaking sales by recreating seasonal ale First Drop – the beer it brewed to mark the opening of its new state-of-the-art brewery a year ago.

Arrogant Frog producer Les Domaines Paul Mas is set to launch a new range called Striking French.

Rhône producer Cellier des Dauphins has added a premium “cru” level, rrp £9.99, to its Les Dauphins brand.

Diageo escaped a rap on the knuckles from the advertising watchdog after viewers complained about Baileys ads featuring a woman kicking a man in the face.

Marblehead has signed a deal with Diageo to distribute Brazil’s leading cachaça brand Ypióca in the UK and Ireland.

Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King is to step down after a decade in charge.

Wines of Portugal is offering travel bursaries to help 20 independent retailers get to the annual tasting on March 5.

Birmingham’s director of public health has urged Britain’s second city to adopt the Reducing the Strength campaign pioneered in Ipswich.

UK beer sales grow again

27 January, 2014

Off-trade beer sales grew 3.9% in the final quarter of 2013, leaving the overall British beer in growth for two consecutive quarters for the first time in a decade.

The wine industry must innovate to stave off the growing threat of craft beer, flavoured cider and cocktails over the next 20 years, according to Wine Intelligence.

US craft beers land at Tesco

27 January, 2014

The Winery Exchange has gained listings at Tesco for two US craft beers from its Roscoe’s Hop House range.

Hobgoblin is using bottled beers to promote cask ale.

Halewood International has relaunched Lambrini Light with a new lower abv of 3.5%, just 29 calories per 12.5cl serving and redesigned labels – under the name Luci by Lambrini.

Tsingtao launches cinema ads

24 January, 2014

Halewood International has launched a cinema ad campaign for Tsingtao.

The ale category is firmly on course to return to the glory days of the 1980s after enjoying strong sales growth over Christmas, according to a leading supplier.

A Maori tribe that has farmed the same land for 800 years has launched a range of wines into the UK market after scooping a bunch of medals in New Zealand.

The London Wine Fair has set aside a £40,000 pot to help independent wine merchants and sommeliers from around the UK with travel and accommodation costs.

Pernod Ricard has released a limited-edition flavoured vodka called Absolut Karnival that is infused with passionfruit and orange blossom.

Drinkaware has overhauled its board, resolved to forge stronger relationships with the health lobby and pledged to become more independent from the drinks industry after a damning audit.

California’s fourth-largest winery has ended a decade-long supply deal with PLB to set up its own UK distribution business.

Wines of New Zealand boss Philip Gregan has challenged his nation’s winemakers to justify the expensive price tags their bottles command by producing the best wines in the world.

Pernod Ricard will release three new wines under New Zealand brand Brancott Estate this summer in a bid to show the diversity the Marlborough region can offer.

Champagne shipments dropped 1.5% to 304 million bottles in 2013, but the generic body called it a “satisfactory result” amid difficult economic conditions in Europe.