2014 November

The Arran Brewery has “declared war” on the “antisocial idiots and thieves” of North Ayrshire after its new site in Dreghorn was again hit by vandals.

Laura Jewell MW is leaving Tesco to take up the top job at Wine Australia in the UK.

Pernod Ricard UK’s wine boss Chris Ellis has been promoted to a role that also encompasses the group’s spirits portfolio.

Buck’s Fizz is the nation’s favourite Christmas tipple, according to a survey of 1,000 people by Waitrose Cellar.

Maison Sichel has teamed up with Amazon to offer UK consumers its flagship brand Sirius Red in an exclusive online deal.

The advertising watchdog has upheld complaints against Morrisons after disappointed shoppers could not find wines advertised in a high-profile three-for-£10 deal.

Tesco has slashed the price of its exclusive label Champagne to just £8 – the cheapest any supermarket has sold Champagne in recent years.

Maxxium is launching a new rage of fractionals on brands including Courvoisier, Jim Beam and Macallan to drive convenience sales over Christmas.

Aldi has put BWS at the heart of its Christmas marketing strategy and is taking on specialists, online businesses and luxury retailers with cut-price deals on premium lines.

Bringing together three of the New World’s most exciting wine-producing countries to debate their similarities and differences was always going to throw up a fascinating exchange of ideas.

Jon Pepper MW is joining Enotria as buying and retail director in February 2015.

Our Christmas Hot List is a guide to the spirits that make the perfect party drinks and are great for gifts.

Festive brews from Sheps

24 November, 2014

Kent brewer Shepherd Neame has released two festive brews.

Over the past couple of years Banbury-based independent wine merchant and regional wholesaler SH Jones has shocked the trade by buying two established online retailers and the wholesale arm of agency Stevens Garnier.

Talk to a customer about wine and you can bet the topics of grapes and vineyards aren’t too far behind. Have a similar conversation about beer, and the natural ingredients that go into a brew, or the rolling British countryside they’re grown in, might be a bit slower to come up – if they do at all.

Whisky's on the ball

24 November, 2014

October 6, 2001, is a date indelibly etched in the minds of diehard England fans. Dreams of qualifying for the Euro 2002 championships were fading fast as the Three Lions trailed Greece 2-1 at Wembley.

It’s nearly reached that time of year when everything’s sparkling: the fairy lights, the gifts under the Christmas tree, the tinsel – even the wines. And all the indications are that bubbly sales will be sparkling this year too.

A leading licensing expert says people applying for licences for shops in cumulative impact zones shouldn’t bow to police opposition without a fight.

Oddbins boss Ayo Akintola has admitted plans to re-establish the group as a 300-store national chain have stalled, but remains confident of returning the business to profit.

As the Oddbins empire crumbled in 2011, a producer found itself on the receiving end of a rather nasty call from the retailer, demanding more wine when it still hadn’t paid for the last lot. It was a particularly unpleasant example of supplier relations going bad.

Asda has slashed the price of its exclusive-label Pierre Darcys Champagne to £10 as the Christmas price war heats up.

The Campaign for Real Ale is lending its name to a range of beers sold in Tesco to raise the profile of bottle-conditioned ales.

Off Licence News’ campaign for legal clarity over the swathe of Reducing the Strength schemes mushrooming across the UK has moved up a gear with action in both Westminster and Brussels.

Hey everyone, ’tis the season to be jolly! And when I say jolly, I mean ... drunk. right? Let’s not be squeamish: for most of the UK population, this is pretty much routine logic. Festivity means celebration, celebration means having a drink, and that inevitably equals inebriation, to a greater or lesser extent.

Resisting discounts and pushing gift packs will bring the Scotch category back into growth in the UK, according to a leading supplier.

Maxxium UK has launched four limited edition Courvoisier expressions for luxury retailers.

Gallo releases Autumn Red

20 November, 2014

Gallo Family Vineyards has launched a wine called Autumn Red, and is running an experiential campaign in retailers to support the release.

WKD has launched a Christmas campaign giving consumers the chance to win Christmas presents for their friends and themselves.

The wine industry needs to cut out the jargon and overhaul its marketing to stem falling sales and attract younger consumers, according to Blossom Hill supplier Diageo.

Harper Wells in Norwich has scooped the top prize in Off Licence News’ and the Wine Institute of California’s independent retailer promotion.