News in brief

23 August, 2007

Leeds-based supplier Bottle Green is planning to expand its French Connection Classics range. "We're looking at the Loire and other selected AOCs," wine director Nick Butler told OLN. The brand's appellation wine tier currently consists of AC Costières de Nimes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes du Rhône Villages.

The UK's top retailers will present their Rioja ranges at a press-only tasting organised by Wines from Rioja on Sept 26. The tasting, which will be held at The Hospital in London's Covent Garden, will be open from 10am to 5pm.

A light buffet lunch will be provided for visitors and exhibitors from 1pm to 3pm. Contact or call 0207 759 7414 for further information or to register.

Emporia Brands will distribute Bodegas Domecq's full range of sherries to both the UK on and off-trades from Sept 3. This decision follows the appointment of Emporia Brands last year to handle the UK distribution of the Pernod Ricard-owned bodega's range of Brandy de Jerez. James Rackham, chairman of Emporia Brands, said: "My father, Arthur Rackham, was a big fan of La Ina, which he sold in all his London shops 40 years ago and it is a brand that I know very well."

Bibendum will distribute Journey's End South African wines from the farm owned by Western Wines founder and Bibendum non-executive director Roger Gabb. The supplier describes the wines as "premium, boutique expressions of the excellent terroir". The range consists of Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz from the 2005 vintage.

Australian winery Leeuwin Estate has released its 2004 Art Series Chardonnay and 2005 Prelude Vineyards Chardonnay. The Art Series, made from the estate's "best Chardonnay wines", has an rrp of £35 to £40, while the Prelude sells for £14.50 to £15.50.

The wines are imported by Domaine Direct. For further details contact Sara Muirhead at Wineprose on 07736 364460.

Foster's wine brand Rosemount is to sponsor The Times/British Film Institute London Film Festival from Oct 17 to November 1.

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Lifting the spirits

I were to sum up alcohol sales over Christmas 2017 in one word, it would be “gin”. At Nielsen, we define the Christmas period as the 12 weeks to December 30 and in that time gin sales were £199.4 million, which means they increased by £55.4 million compared with Christmas 2016. There’s no sign the bubble is about to burst either. Growth at Christmas 2016 was £22.4 million, so gin has increased its value growth nearly two-and-a-half times in a year. The spirit added more value to
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