2017 January

Pinkster is introducing Gin Jam, a mildly alcoholic preserve made with fresh raspberries left over from the company’s gin production.

Spar plans to run an in-store Craft Beer and Ale event next month to showcase these areas within its beer range.

Carlsberg UK’s revitalisation of its Carlsberg brand continues with the launch of limited edition packaging for its 3.8% abv beer – called The Kobenhavn Collection – as part of a planned £15m spend to connect with millennial drinkers. 

World of Zing has anounced plans to rebrand its drinks division to Spirit of Zing, following its successful crowdfunding campaign, which saw it surpass its £150,000 target. 

Hallgarten Druitt & Novum Wines has added to its Argentinean portfolio with the Zorzal Eggo range, a collection of wines which are all vinified in concrete eggs.

Conviviality has reported strong half-year results following the major restructure last year, which segmented its business into three separate units.

Box Steam Brewery has added an IPA to its growing range of beers.

Tesco has agreed to buy the UK’s biggest food wholesaler, Booker Group, in a £3.7bn deal.

Diageo said sales in Great Britain “were broadly flat” in the second half of 2016 as global sales rose 4.4%.

Michèle Haddon has taken over as managing director for Sopexa UK and Ireland after Anne Burchett left the business in late 2016.

Borough Wines has appointed Kent Barker as its new commercial director for its wholesale business, the newly renamed Borough Wines Imports.

William Grant & Sons UK has appointed two new UK brand ambassadors for its brands The Balvenie and Reyka Vodka.

Hogs Back Brewery is putting its London’s Outback ale into cans, following the success of its Hogstar English Craft Lager in the same pack format.

Funkin is gearing up to expand its on-trade cocktail expertise further into the off-trade.

Diageo has identified a number of emerging socialising trends for the year ahead in its first Future Series report, highlighting in particular the growing importance of entertaining at home.

Barwell & Jones plans to launch an “invigorated campaign” to promote its new Rioja wine house, Marques de Riscal, in the UK.

Wolf Blass has announced it plans to bring back its Limited Edition Rugby Label campaign in time for the key winter rugby season.

Litmus Wines has released its 2014 Litmus Red Pinot, the first red Pinot Noir released under this label since 2011.

The Association of Convenience Stores has called on the government to help secure the future of the UK’s 19,128 rural shops, allowing then to continue to provide essential services such as Post Office, for customers that would otherwise be isolated.

Morgenrot, the Manchester-based beer and wine importer, has enhanced its world beer collection with a lager from Malta.

Jeroboams has revealed plans to expand its estate of London wine stores to 12 over the next four to five years. Managing director Hugh Sturges, who joined the business from Berry Bros & Rudd in 2015, told OLN he wants to open two shops this year, one by the end of 2018 then potentially a new store every 18 months.

Picking up the Pais

18 January, 2017

It’s always exciting when a new movement comes along, be it social, political or cultural. So it is with wine. When a movement arrives, it signifies a new direction and a potentially important future trend. It’s in the interests of everyone who works with wine to keep abreast of the latest developments – and besides, unearthing the newest trends is an exciting part of the job.

Looking back to look forward

18 January, 2017

Wine is a liquid time capsule. Drinking older vintages not only recalls the weather conditions and winemaking styles of the past, it encourages us to reflect upon our own histories. Such reminiscence often inclines towards romanticised nostalgia. Especially after the second bottle. But looking back is a great way of learning about the future.

Core Objectives

18 January, 2017

There’s nothing stale about the cider category at the moment. In the past year we have seen the growth of craft canned cider as well as a concerted effort from producers to flag up the authenticity of their brands, ranging from highlighting traditional English apple varieties to pinpointing the actual orchard and apple grower.

Formats: The future of cans

18 January, 2017

Not so long ago cider was all about ice, but now much of the buzz surrounding this category is about small, or craft, cans and other new formats. Of course, these are not limited to cider – beer is streets ahead when it comes to diversifying into 33cl cans, and it’s a trend that shows no sign of abating.

Making more of France

18 January, 2017

Although value sales continue to slide for French wines in the off-trade (down 2.5% in the year to October 2016, according to IRI data), the one time of year when it fares better than most is at Christmas. And early reports indicate the 2016 festive season was no exception, with many Britons seeking out and trading up to well-known names such as Chablis, Sancerre and Côtes du Rhône.

Concha y Toro believes it now owns more hectares under vine than anyone else on the planet, with 9,194ha in Chile, 1,142ha in Argentina and 468ha in California. It is a colossal player in the wine world, dwarfing all other South American producers, and its largest market is the UK.

Online retailer Virgin Wines grew sales 15.4% in the run up to Christmas, making it the best festive trading period in its history.

Vinexpo is targeting 10 leading UK buyers to be part of a 100-strong annual buying trip taking in some of the most unheralded but progressive regions.

Berkshire-based Milton Sandford Wines has bought the Secret Cellar chain of wine shops in Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Milton Sandford, which is headed up by John Winchester, has been supplying the on-trade for 26 years.