In Brief

03 October, 2008

Grubb joins ZGM from Laroche

International wine producer ZGM has appointed one-time Oddbins worker Julian Grubb as winemaker. He joins the company - which makes wine in Germany, France, Chile

and Italy - from the Chilean winery Laroche, where he was chief executive and winemaker. ZGM makes wine for Tesco, Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer, as well as marketing its own brands. Grubb started his career at Oddbins before studying oenology at Roseworthy in Australia.

Vineyards Direct goes online

Majestic founder Esme Johnstone has launched his online wine merchant operation Vineyards Direct in Ireland.

The service sells wines directly to consumers from producers in Bordeaux, the Loire, Champagne, Burgundy, the Rh ône, Spain and Italy, specialising in small parcels. The Irish version has its own offices in Dublin, separate from

the UK operation, and is headed by

Stuart Smith who joins from the city's bricks-and-mortar wine merchant Corkscrew.

Co-op Fairtrade wine at awards

The Co-operative

showcas ed its

Fairtrade wine at the Daily Mirror

Pride of Britain Awards dinner 2008

on Sept 30. The retailer

was the sole

sponsor of this year's awards, which celebrate the achievements of the

most inspiring and heroic people in the country.

Sponsorship opportunities

Join the Northern Benevolent Ball on Nov 21 for a Mississippi Mardi Gras -themed night at Tatton Park. Funds raised will go towards the Benevolent charity, financing the Northern Benevolent Homes in Chorley. Tickets cost £115 per person, and include dinner, drinks, raffle ticket and entertainment. Sponsorship packages have also been launched, including drinks sponsor. For more details and tickets, call Louise Benwell on 01928 740366.

Red Top premieres

Heidsieck Monopole Red Top NV is now available to the UK off-trade for the first time. The sec style cuvée is set to retail at between £23 and £25 and has gained its first national listing in Asda. "The slightly sweeter style opens up a number of different drinking occasions," said marketing manager Colin Cameron.

V for Vergelegen

Vergelegen has launched the 2004 vintage of V - its flagship wine -

into the UK market. The South African wine, which

is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (90%), Merlot (7%) and Cabernet Franc (3%),

is distributed by Paragon,

has a retail price of £56 and is targeted at high-end retailers and the on-trade.

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The shops that stand out from the madding crowd

The judges met last week to sort out the winners in the independent categories of our 2018 Drinks Retailing Awards. The results are top secret until the awards dinner on February 6 but it’s giving nothing away to report that the overall standard of those that will be revealed in the shortlist of finalists in the January issue of DRN is higher than it’s ever been.

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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

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