Thomson & Scott, the company behind Skinny Champagne, has now launched Skinny Prosecco, which boasts just 67 calories per glass.

Amathus Drinks has been appointed as the UK distributor for drinks from the Scandinavian distillery Spirit of Hven.

Armit Wines is launching Digby Fine English Non-Vintage Brut to the UK market for the first time at the London Wine Fair, alongside prizes from Savile Row tailor Cad & the Dandy and quintessential English leather lifestyle brand Aspinal.

Borough Wines has extended its drink-in offering to four of its London sites, along with the launch of a new menu of bar snacks and drinks.

Copestick Murray has added wines from Chilean producer Aresti to its portfolio and believes it can help the firm become a major player in the UK market.  

Sherry Wines UK has revealed the winners of last year’s Sherry Festival and it has also released dates for its 2016 event.

Beam Suntory has released the long-awaited Jim Beam Double Oak, which Maxxium is now introducing to the UK market.

CWF, the wine importer and drinks producer, has added three new varietals to its range of 18.7cl PET wines under its Kissing Tree brand.

Kingsland Drinks has unveiled its new carbonation line, which it claims makes it the first and only UK bottler to sparkle wine.

Badet Clément, a specialist in branded varietal wines and AOCs from the south of France, has created three new ranges, which it will launch at the London Wine Fair.

Asda has secured a deal with 13 Scottish breweries to stock a total of 75 beers, ales and ciders in its stores across Scotland.

Negociants UK has expanded its premium Australian portfolio with the addition of Chaffey Bros Wine Co, which will be exclusively showcased for the first time at the London Wine Fair in May.

Guinness is rolling out a new campaign for its Hop House 13, the latest innovation from The Brewers Project.

Buckingham Schenk has expanded its Spanish portfolio with the addition of Bodega Otazu.

AB Inbev has accepted Asahi’s $2.9bn offer for some SAB Miller’s European premium beer brands, including Peroni, Grolsch and British craft beer Meantime. 

Visitors flocked to this year’s Real Wine Fair at London’s Tobacco Dock’s this week as more producers than ever before showed off their ‘natural’ wines.

Greenall’s The Original London Dry Gin has launched a national on-pack promotion to highlight its partnership with British Horse Racing.

Meantime Brewing Company has launched The Pilot Series, a range of small-batch beers brewed at its new Pilot Brewery in its Greenwich-based headquarters.

Interbev Ltd has announced the launch of Interbev Brands, a new international brand management and distribution business.

Thatchers has agreed a deal to become the Official Cider of Glastonbury Festival for the next five years.

Heineken has released a humorous new advert for Foster’s, ahead of an on-pack promotion which hits shelves on 25 April.

Diageo has launched three new fruit cider drinks under its Pimm’s Cider Cup range.

Leading Turkish producer Kavaklidere Wines is investing in the UK market in a bid to win listings at independent wine merchants.

Tesco has reported a return to profit and its first quarterly sales growth for three years.

Independents can boost profits by mimicking the way restaurants champion top-end Argentinian Malbec, according to a leading supplier.

Premium gin Pinkster has been selected as a flagship spirits provider for the Good Ship Benefit.

Woodforde’s, the award-winning Norfolk-based brewery, has been purchased by a private consortium of investors.

Budweiser has launched twist-off bottle caps to ensure the beer is better placed for outdoor events. 

Jeroboams, is launching plans to strengthen its positioning as a London wine merchant in order to take advantage of the current trend for shopping ‘local’.

Aldi has been the big winner in the wine category over Christmas and the start of 2016, having emerged as the only major retailer in growth (Kantar, 12 weeks to February 28, 2016).

Fears over a Brexit have sent exchange rates plummeting and caused consternation in a UK trade that is now paying considerably more for wines from Europe and South America.

Miles Beale with Scotch Whisky Association boss David Frost

The Wine & Spirit Trade Association is positive the wheels are in motion for a better outcome for wine in the 2017 Budget, following this year’s “disappointing” news of an inflationary duty rise.

Boutinot will display a wide range of Spanish wines at this year’s Wines from Spain event, including those with revamped labels, as well as a collection of Cavas and fortified wines.

Wine drinkers are seeking out more sophisticated rosé and Provence is perfectly placed to capitalise, according to a leading independent.

Drinks trade charity The Benevolent has appointed four new trustees: Diana Hunter of Conviviality, Guy Lawrence of Mast-Jägermeister UK, Rita Greenwood of William Grant & Sons UK and Simon Difford of Difford’s Guide. 

The UK’s wine industry is showing its support for “real wine” by backing the Real Wine Month through April and embracing the event on Twitter.

This year’s London Wine Fair will have the largest and most diverse content to date, according to the organisers.

C&C Group has offloaded some of the Shepton Mallet cider mill to Brothers Drinks, which will use it to expand production of Brothers cider.

Stowford Press Cider has signed a two-year deal to become the Official Cider of Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena.

Pinkster Gin is offering an opportunity to invest in the brand via crowdfunding platform Growthdeck.

Litmus Wines has created a new subsidiary company, Litmus Wine Agencies, to separate the growing wine sales side of the business from contract winemaking and wine production consultancy.

Chapel Down Group has closed its equity crowdfunding campaign for its beer and cider business, Curious Drinks, having exceeded its targets.

BrewDog is close to officially launching its spirits project, named the Lone Wolf Distillery.

Greencroft Bottling has invested £3m to increase its capacity by 25%, meaning the company can now fill up to 90,000 bottles and boxes of wine per hour.

Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands (BBFB) has announced it has taken over distribution of Old Forester Kentucky Bourbon.

Lidl is ramping up its Wine Cellar promotion by offering shoppers a fresh selection of wines every two months from June.

Heineken has launched a new campaign aimed at attracting top talent into its business.

Nisa Retail, the wholesaler and convenience retail expert, has launched a new wine festival event to help drive sales while also encouraging cross-category purchasing in members’ stores.

Morgenrot has strengthened its Spanish offering with the addition of Txakoli Agerre, a slightly sparkling, dry white wine made in the province of Gipuzkoa in the Basque country.

To celebrate Mouton Cadet as the Official Wine of the 2016 Ryder Cup, Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA has partnered with wine lover and legendary golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr, to design this year’s Ryder Cup limited edition.

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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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