The multiple retailers are going through the greatest upheaval in years in terms of range, pricing and promotional strategy. EDLP and range rationalisation are the current buzz phrases giving some suppliers sleepless nights as the grocers seek to fight back against the rise of Aldi and Lidl.

Off Piste Wines is tapping into the trend for wine cocktails with the launch of a new range.

The Co-op’s Truly Irresistible wine range has picked up five medals at the latest International Wine Challenge (IWC) awards.

Absolut is introducing its latest limited edition bottle design, which features the rainbow flag – an icon of diversity – in a mixed up format.

Tiny Rebel Brewing Co, the award-winning Welsh brewery, has returned to its roots by releasing its first home-brew kit for the Champion Beer of Britain 2015, Cwtch.

Status Quo has teamed up with British producers to create a cider and an ale.

Wild Knight Ultra-Premium English Vodka has teamed up with Hammonds of Knutsford to help extend distribution for the brand.

Louis Latour Agencies has bolstered its portfolio with the addition of Marlborough producer Seresin Estate.

Thatchers Cider has renewed its long-standing partnership with Bath rugby club.

Simpsons Wine Estate, has announced its application to the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) for grant funding to develop a state-of-the-art winery, has been successful.

Bell’s whisky is launching a bespoke, limited edition ‘Royal Birthday Decanter’ to celebrate Her Majesty’s 90th birthday.

Diageo Reserve has launched a new Pink Grapefruit variant of its luxury vodka, Ciroc, exclusively for the UK market.

Sharp’s Brewery has unveiled a new bottled Special bitter following “incredible demand” for the existing cask version.

The English wine industry should be able to produce 5.06 million bottles on the back of its second-largest harvest in 2015, according to new figures from the Wine Standards Branch.

Copestick Murray has reported record sales and profit for 2015.

Badet Clément plans to mark the inauguration of its new “ultra-high-tech” winery alongside its 20th anniversary celebrations in June.

Meantime Brewing Company has launched national plans for its ‘Make Time For It’ campaign, celebrating ‘time’ as the fifth ingredient in all of its beers.

Jacob’s Creek has brought out promotional bottle neck tags for its wines, offering consumers the chance to jet to the Australian Open 2017.

Ridgeview has confirmed the launch of new vintages from its limited edition range.

Masi Agricola has released its first sparkling Appassimento wine, Moxxé.

Ancre Hill Estates, one of the top Welsh wine producers, has taken the first step towards tripling production by planting 8,000 new Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines on 11 acres of virgin land.

Hattingley Valley Wines has teamed up with The Worshipful Company of Vintners to offer the UK’s first winemaking apprenticeship.

Makulu, the South African wine brand, is launching a rosé-based wine spritzer along with its Makulu Moments campaign; both in time for the key summer period.  

Carling has announced a three-year partnership with the Premier League, running until the end of the 2018/9 season.

Heineken has launched a new campaign for premium lager brand Kronenbourg 1664, starring Eric Cantona.

Bargain Booze, Thorougoods and Wine Rack franchisees should see margins boosted as they benefit from greater buying power after parent company Conviviality snapped up Bibendum PLB for £60 million, according to its chief executive.

Bibendum PLB is gearing up to unveil the latest addition to its portfolio – a Chinese wine from Chateau Changyu Moser XV in Ningxia.

Prosecco has continued its recent record as the star performer of the UK drinks market and sales growth of 34% over the past year is propping up a struggling wine category.

Treasury Wine Estates is on a mission to evolve from a business led by agriculture to a brand-building FMCG heavyweight and Blossom Hill is a perfect fit, according to its managing director.

Fruit cider will never overtake apple as the most popular cider among UK drinkers, according to a leading supplier.

Market leading single malt brand The Glenlivet has broadened its offering with the release of a limited-edition single cask whisky that called Auchavaich.

Kingsland Drinks launched a new range of fusion beverages at this year’s London Wine Fair this week.

There’s a Beer For That has launched the next phase of its campaign through a partnership with Co-operative Food.

Berry Bros & Rudd will be bring the distribution of its premium spirits portfolio in-house from 1 July 2016.

Magners has introduced a new campaign to shake up the apple cider category.

Welcome to our annual rundown of the 100 most influential people in the UK wine trade, spanning retailers, suppliers, lobbyists, writers, marketers and TV stars.

Conviviality Retail, the owner of Bargain Booze, has announced it plans to acquire wine wholesaler Bibendum in a deal worth £60m.

John Smith’s has revealed details of a campaign to drive awareness of its Golden Ale among its target audience.

London-based beer retailer We Brought Beer is set to open its third store in less than two years, while other craft beer specialists have also revealed plans for expansion.

Kleine Zalze is to mark its 20th anniversary this year with investment in a vineyard analysis programme as well as new wine launches.

Strongbow is set to be the Official Partner of Team GB at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Freixenet will be kicking off the summer season with its new Ice Cava, which has been created exclusively for the UK market.

Vestal Vodka is gearing up for a big push into the UK off-trade and beyond, following the appointment of a new brand development director.

Kingsland Drinks, which acquired Bottle Green in April last year, has now completed the strategic integration of the two businesses.

Bibendum PLB Group has been appointed by Cellier des Princes to distribute the Rhone Valley-based producer’s wines across all channels in the UK.

English sparkling winery Ridgeview has announced it will feature in Michel Roux Jr’s series The Craftsmen’s Dinner.

Premium Swedish cider brand Rekorderlig has launched a “pioneering new range” of Rekorderlig Cider Cocktails.

The Real Wine Fair has been branded the most successful in its five-year history with a 25% increase in visitor numbers compared to 2015.

A criminal gang found responsible for selling alcohol illegally in the UK has been jailed for a total of 19 years.

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COMMENT

Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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