The Licensing Act 2003 could be improved but overall it is “a good bit of legislation”, according to key off-trade representatives who gathered together in Parliament this month to discuss the Act. 

A former government trade minister has urged BWS suppliers and retailers to forge alliances with “influential producers, businesses and trade bodies” across the EU in a bid to secure the best outcome on free trade after Brexit.

Local authorities are no longer making a big noise about new Reducing the Strength schemes but at ground level retailers are still being subjected to requests for conditions on their licenses, according to an expert.  

An Oddbins buyer is one of 13 wine gurus to have secured the revered Master of Wine title this year.

UK craft beers are already on a par with their US counterparts despite their late start, according to a brewer who has swapped Oregon for Berkshire.

The English wine industry’s biggest challenge is protecting quality and maintaining high standards as newcomers jump on the bandwagon, says a top producer. 

Tesco has said its work this year in simplifying its own brand wines has been a success and it will continue to be a key focus area in BWS.

Mateus is set it to be the next retro brand to recapture the hearts of the British public after reporting encouraging sales figures over the past year, according to distributor Sogrape.  

Ardbeg has released its latest Limited Edition whisky, a 21 year-old single malt.

Under Age Sales, the Stockport-based social enterprise, has established a new partnership with Retail Guardian, a software system which aids retailers in the clampdown on sales of age restricted products.

Dan Jago, chief executive of Berry Bros & Rudd, has taken on the role of chairman of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

Rekorderlig Cider is gearing up for winter with the launch of Rekorderlig Spiced Plum.

Burton MP Andrew Griffiths is stepping down as chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group following his appointment as a member of the Government Whips’ Office. 

Heineken has splashed the cash to recruit Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho for a new TV ad to coincide with the new 2016/17 season.

Barwell & Jones it to be the exclusive UK agent for one of Rioja’s oldest and largest wine houses, Marques de Riscal.

Carlsberg UK is partnering with Brooklyn Brewery to distribute Brooklyn’s beers in the UK.

Westons is bringing out a collection of canned craft ciders for the off-trade market.

The Bordelais are seeking to appeal to younger members of the UK wine trade by encouraging wine students to attend the upcoming Crus Bourgeois tasting in London.

The Wine Society’s head of buying Tim Sykes is stepping down from the top job after four-and-a-half years in charge to return to frontline buying.

The Naked Marshmallow Co is set to launch a gin and a vodka infused with different flavours of marshmallow.

The Wine Institute of California has spoken out to reassure the UK trade that it is not abandoning the UK market after news that the London office run by John McLaren and Venla Freeman is to shut.

Meantime Brewing has launched another batch of beers in its Pilot Series collection, including a Belgian-style beer with a touch of Welsh chillies.

South Africa is “the most dynamic wine-producing country in the world”, according to wine writer Tim Atkin.

Sherry producers are getting ready to showcase their wines at the UK’s largest event celebrating Sherry Wine.

Jack Daniels is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, with a range of activity including consumer competitions and the launch of two anniversary bottles.

Quintessential Brands has added to its Dublin Liberties range with a second super premium Irish whiskey.

Graham’s is introducing a new smaller format for its Premium Tawny range.

Chilean producer Vina Ventisquero will be launching its new Root: 1 Sauvignon Blanc in the UK this month.

Pernod Ricard has been a net beneficiary of range rationalisation at UK retailers as sales of premium brands are soaring, according to the firm’s outgoing chief executive.

An Australian red ale was crowned the world’s best beer for 2016 after an elite panel of judges re-tasted every gold medal winner from the International Beer Challenge.

Pierhead Drinks is to distribute Swedish brewer Nils Oscar’s beers in the UK.

Favourite Beers has commissioned a one-off special beer to celebrate Cheltenham Beer Week (CBW) later this month (September 16 to 25).

Viiking Ventures has now made its gluten-free Indian canned beer available for the UK drinks retailers, following growing consumer demand and success in the on-trade.

McGuigan Wines is set to launch its Black Label Malbec at two London foodie festivals this month, where it will demonstrate the wine’s “perfect pairing” with meat dishes.

The sixth Big Peat Christmas Edition will blend whiskies from all active distilleries on Islay, plus the long-closed Port Ellen.

Diageo Reserve’s super premium gin Tanqueray No. Ten has revealed details of its new ‘Perfect Ten’ campaign.

Brothers has launched what it claims is the first recyclable and resealable drinks carton for cider, aimed at the growing festival and outdoor events occasion.

William Grant & Sons is introducing its Glenfiddich Experimental series, which kicks off with the launch of two innovative whisky expressions: Glenfiddich IPA Experiment and Project XX.

Boutinot has added to its Italian portfolio with wines from a vineyard in Sicily.

Litmus Wines has launched its first branded ‘Orange’ wine, produced from English grapes.

A Glasgow off-licence owner who ran a illicit alcohol supply ring has been spared jail but given 200 hours community service and a 12-month prohibition order.

Diageo has hit out at the advertising watchdog after it banned a Captain Morgan ad for implying that alcohol can contribute to an individual's popularity or confidence.

Former Asda executive Barry Williams is joining Morrisons as trading director for ambient in February 2017 and will head up the beers, wines and spirits department.

Majestic Wine is shaking up its strategy to focus once again on exclusive parcels of wine in its stores and online.

Paul Schaafsma is stepping down from his role as chief executive at Accolade Wines less than a year after he was promoted to the top job.

Producers of Loire sparkling wine are gearing up for a push on the UK market in a bid to capitalise on the UK’s ever growing love of bubbly.

Pernod Ricard has warned that focusing on discounts on standard spirits rather than championing premium lines would spell bad news for the drinks trade this Christmas.

Sauvignon Blanc, Prosecco and Malbec have taken gold, silver and bronze respectively as the most popular wine categories among Aldi’s online shoppers.

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Talking terroir

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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