News in brief

02 May, 2008

The deadline for submissions to this year's New Wave Spanish Wine Awards competition is Wed May 7. The event takes place in London on June 10 and 11 and will be overseen by Tim Atkin MW as chairman of the judges. Entry forms and further details from

Josefina Castro at Wines from Spain - or 020 7467 2359.

Award-winning West Sussex winery Nyetimber has appointed Stephen Clark as sales and marketing director. Clark joins Nyetimber after 22 years at Laurent-Perrier Champagne. He said: "Nyetimber is already a world-class sparkling wine, and [owner] Eric Heerema's vision and investment make it ideally positioned to become an important luxury brand. In this dynamic and exciting wine category, I believe Nyetimber has huge potential."

Gear up for National Vegetarian Week on May 19-25 by

sourcing some vegetarian wines. Many wines are not considered to be vegetarian because they are fined with isinglass, which comes from fish, or not vegan because they are fined with albumen. Smithfield Wine (, 0161 273 6070) specialises in vegetarian and vegan wines, and retailers can get free promotional materials from the Vegetarian Society (, 0161 925 2000) if they get in touch before May 5.

Free Run Wines has released two new vintages from Spanish wine producer Pagos del Rey - El Circulo Joven 2007 (rrp 5.49), which is said to be a typical Rioja harvest, and El Circulo Crianza 2005 (rrp 6.99), which Free Run said has been catalogued as excellent. The wines will be on taste at the London wine fair at London's ExCel exhibition centre on May 20-22.

For a full update on Rioja, see our feature on page 29.

Barossa Valley-based Grant Burge Wines is celebrating 20 years in winemaking. Grant and Helen Burge formed the company in 1998 in Moorooroo Cellars on the banks of Jacob's Creek. The pair specialise in Shiraz and are promoting their Benchmark Shiraz 2006 (6.49), Barossa Vines Shiraz 2005 (7.99) and Miamba Shiraz 2006 (10.99) to celebrate the anniversary. The wines are available from Hatch Mansfield.

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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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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

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