2018 January

Eisberg has linked up with Canyon Bicycles in sponsoring a UCI Continental Cycling Team.

There’s no need for rum to try to shake its pirate image, according to experts who gathered together in London yesterday for DRN’s annual Think Rum event.

Enotria&Coe is gearing up to take over the Saatchi Gallery for its annual tasting event next month.

A vodka designed to be mixed with water is set to launch in the UK.

A fruit beer has been named the winner of a national “Brewed for Morrisons Beer Festival 2017” competition.

Bancroft Wines has appointed Jon Worsley as its new chief executive officer.

Conviviality chief executive Diana Hunter said the group’s half-year results represent a “great result” for franchisees.

Bargain Booze owner Conviviality posted modest like-for-like retail sales growth of 0.4% in the first half of the 2017/18 financial year.

Renault has launched a new Cognac, Avec, which it says has been specially created to drink with coffee.

Mike James is the driving force behind an Aldi wine range that punches well above its weight when it comes to winning awards, earning column inches and growing retail sales. He has a strong track record of making shrewd decisions, exhibiting flair and dynamism in his buying choices and helping to shape the nation’s drinking habits. It has made him a serial number one on DRN’s Most Influential People in Wine list and earned him a reputation as one of the country’s most skilfull buyers. 

Age and beauty

26 January, 2018

In 1780 the good folk living along London’s Old Broad Street were abuzz with the news that a new wine merchant was opening on their doorstep. Edward Bland Corney’s shop sold only a limited range of port, sherry and Bordeaux, but it flourished and evolved into Corney & Barrow, one of the great names on the London wine scene. The old store is now consigned to the history books, but in 2018 the firm boasts thriving sales to private clients and a range of on-trade accounts, with a turnover of £60 million and offices in London, Newmarket, North Yorkshire, Edinburgh, Ayr, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Australia cemented its status as the UK’s number one wine supply country by growing sales 1.5% to £1.7 billion in 2017 (Nielsen).

If you Google “Newcastle minimum unit pricing” you will be presented with a fascinating insight into the machinations of modern day journalism.

Krug has added its rosé cuvée to its Édition concept, whereby it gives a number to each Krug Grande Cuvée expression.

Virgin Wines enjoyed its strongest ever Christmas trading period as sales grew 15% to £8.7 million in the four weeks to December 22, 2017.

Marks & Spencer has agreed to support a record number of students with their wine studies. Plumpton College, which offers a range of wine business courses, has reported that this year 27 students will benefit from a 50% reduction of their exam fees, thanks to the retailer.

Diageo’s GB arm grew sales 7% in the past six months thanks to strong performances from the likes of Tanqueray, Guinness and Johnnie Walker, the firm announced.

The Champagne Bureau has announced the launch of a new event, which will take place at this year’s London Wine Fair.

Seeking collaboration

24 January, 2018

Of all the topics this column has returned to, I wish that anti-alcohol rhetoric wasn’t the most frequent. But it remains one of the most threatening issues the wine trade is facing, and the one which our industry seems to find most challenging to counter effectively.

The joys of January

24 January, 2018

Of all the months of the year, January has the best intentions. It reminds me of Eddie in Ab Fab, late for work, horribly hungover, coming down the stairs in oversized sunglasses to frumpy Saffy sitting at the kitchen table. “Health, health, health, darling!” she sings. But the illusion doesn't last for long.

Fever-Tree ended its spectacular 2017 by becoming the number one mixer brand by value, pushing it ahead of rival Schweppes.

Retail chain Wine Rack has announced a three-year sponsorship deal with hit Channel 5 programme The Wine Show.

The Raw Wine Fair is returning to London for its seventh year and for 2018 it will be supported by #rawwineweek.

Last month DRN surveyed 400 readers on what they considered the greatest threats to the future health of the drinks industry and the anti-alcohol lobby came second.

Midnight plane to Georgia

24 January, 2018

Georgia has been revealed as the birthplace of wine by an international team of scientists that found evidence of viticultural processes dating back to 6,000BC.

The Shetland Distillery Company has launched a new variant of its Up Helly Aa Shetland Reel gin, which it said is the result of a unique ageing process.

Thatchers has eliminated the plastic ring carriers on its multipacks in favour of recyclable cardboard options.

A trio of Pinot Noir wines from a cult Adelaide Hills producer is set to be available in the UK for the first time via Gonzalez Byass UK.

An Edinburgh-based distillery has launched a range of gins that change colour when tonic is added.

Accolade Wines has launched Fine Wine Partners in the UK and Ireland to champion its fine wine portfolio.