High street pair scoop new awards

04 April, 2008

Tesco and Marks & Spencer have overcome tough competition to win 19 of the 31 trophies up for grabs in the inaugural Own Label Awards.

All major supermarkets and high street multiples, with the exceptions of Sainsbury's and Majestic,

competed to determine which

has the best own-label or exclusively imported products.

Tesco's Finest range was victorious in four of the 10 White Wine More Than £5 classes, and M&S's La Prendina Estate Rosé 2007 scooped the Rosé Wine More Than £5 trophy.

The competition received more than 420 entries and was judged by a panel of experts

including Charles Metcalfe

and Peter McCombie MW. Wine writer Matthew Jukes, who created the awards and chaired the

judges, said the competition would become an annual event.

For a full list of winners and finalists, visit ownlabelawards.com.

In Brief

Pernod secures Absolut

Pernod Ricard has won the bidding war for Sweden's Vin & Sprit in a £4.4 billion deal, giving it control of the world's biggest selling premium vodka Absolut. The deal will see V&S brands exiting the Maxxium portfolio within two years. Ben van Doesburgh, chief executive of Maxxium, said: "Maxxium is committed to building the portfolio of brands of Beam Global Spirits & Wines, The Edrington Group, Rémy Cointreau and V&S. Until the sale process is finalised, it remains business as usual for Maxxium." For more details of the acquisition see page 30.

Call for compulsory advice Diageo is urging the government to make it compulsory for all alcoholic drinks labels to include advice for pregnant women. The call came after

guidance was issued by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence advising pregnant women to abstain from alcohol in the first three months of their pregnancy and only drink up to two units twice a week during the rest.

Spring conference

The WSTA holds its spring conference on April 23 at Gibson Hall, London. Speakers include Barry Clark from the Future Foundation,

asking how much we really know about our customers, and KPMG's Richard Sharman will address environmental sustainability in the drinks sector. For info email sarah@wsta.co.uk.

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When Bordeaux was in fashion, it seemed almost logical that we should fetishise winemakers. Here were people responsible for brilliant acts of blending, across large estates and multiple grape varieties, including superstars such as cabernet sauvignon and merlot. These days, fashion has moved on and pinot noir is ascendant. As a result, the star of the winemaker has fallen and we find ourselves following a new star in the sky: terroir.

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