2015 February

It was in a bar on the other side of the world earlier this week that I first heard whispers Dan Jago might be making a sensational return to Tesco and the BWS department he was suspended from last October.

Diageo is launching Pimm’s Strawberry with a Hint of Mint and backing the new variant with a “six-figure” ad campaign.

Thieves broke into the warehouse at Bolney Wines Estate in West Sussex and made off with around 5,000 bottles of wine.

Robert Parker has said that he will never retire, despite handing over duties for scoring and reviewing en primeur Bordeaux to protégé Neal Martin.

Suppliers welcome Jago return

26 February, 2015

Suppliers have supported the return of Dan Jago to Tesco's BWS division after the supermarket decided to reinstate him following an investigation. 

The world's most famous wine critic has thrown his weight behind Black Forest craft gin brand Monkey 47. 

New wines and vintages from 126 producers representing 11 different Portuguese regions will be poured at a trade tasting in London on March 5.

A lone franchisee is to take on 36 of the 37 off-licences that Bargain Booze owner Conviviality Retail bought from GT News last month.

Carlsberg UK has launched three new flavour variants of its Somersby cider brand to capitalise on a fruit cider market that is growing 30% in the off-trade (Nielsen, year to January 31).

few years ago I requested that a wine back label be changed, getting rid of the word “charcuterie” as a food match. While many of us eat charcuterie, most of us don’t call it that – we talk about cold meats, cold cuts or just ham, salami, or whatever it actually is. I believe that consumers need to be spoken to in their own language, plain and simple.

The newly-launched Glenlivet Founder's Reserve will replace Glenlivet 12 Year Old as the brand's entry-level expression in the UK by June. 

The newly-launched Glenlivet Founder's Reserve will replace Glenlivet 12 Year Old as the brand's entry-level expression in the UK by June. 

Majestic chief executive Steve Lewis has resigned his position with immediate effect and retired from the board after spending 29 years with the business.

Australian Vintage has seen sales in the UK and Europe grow 20% in the half-year to December 31, largely thanks to growth in the McGuigan brand, the company has reported.

Sogrape UK has taken on Meursault specialist Ropiteau Frères and will distribute its wines from across Burgundy and southern France.

Brockmans Gin has reported 78% sales growth in 2014 compared to the previous year, and said it plans to build on this by targeting 20,000 consumers at the Gin Festival.

Concha y Toro has signed a three-year deal to make Chilean brand Cono Sur the official wine of the Tour de France cycling championship.

Fine wine buyers can benefit from a new self-contained area at the London Wine Fair that is dedicated to wines with a rrp of £30 and above.

Music lovers attending the charity gig put on by wine trade supergroup Skin Côntact at London’s Vinopolis next month can enjoy tasting around 50 Côtes du Rhône wines.

Bibendum PLB has added New Zealand producer Ara Wines to its portfolio.

Belgian craft brewer Duvel Moortgat will launch its recently-acquired Kansas City brewer Boulevard at the Craft Beer Rising held in London on February 19-22.

Retailers, wholesalers, producers and TV stars are throwing their weight behind the campaign to convince George Osborne to announce a 2% cut on wine duty in the next month’s Budget.

Italian supplier Caviro is offering shoppers the chance to win a trip for two to Florence in a new on-pack promotion.

Five of New Zealand's most awarded breweries have joined forces in a bid to bring the best beer the country produces to UK shelves.  

Maxxium takes on new brands

16 February, 2015

Maxxium UK has taken over distribution of single malt Scotch whiskies Auchentoshan, Bowmore and Glen Garioch, Japanese whiskies Hibiki, Yamazaki and Hakushu and melon liqueur Midori.

Carlsberg is resurrecting its “probably the best” tagline for a new burst of TV advertising.

Spanish wine: into the unknown

13 February, 2015

Madrid’s main avenues were a sea of blue and purple Podemos flags this month as thousands of the unemployed, the disaffected and the impoverished protested against austerity.

remember when having an undercut with curtains was fashionable. I got mine done at Tony’s Barber Shop in Foster Hill Road in Bedford and, to complete the look, I wore 10-hole green DM boots, baggy jeans and a long-sleeved U2 T-shirt.

Gin sales are booming in the UK off-trade as shoppers seek out premium, boutique and unusual gins, an OLN survey has revealed.

Morrisons has become the second of the big supermarkets to slash its wine range as it cuts slow-selling lines and declutters shelves, OLN has learned.