The South African wine industry needs to up its game and introduce more brands and premium tiers, it has been warned.

Accolade Wines is recruiting for a new UK head following Paul Schaafsma’s promotion to chief executive officer.

HM Revenue & Customs has delayed the implementation of the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme until the new year because of IT issues.

Aldi is moving into independents’ territory with a growing focus on smaller drinks suppliers and is planning to sell wine online from early next year.

Older drinkers are becoming the target of awareness programmes as charities focus on the “hidden problem” of over-50s drinking.

Spar to expand wine range

02 October, 2015

Spar is responding to demand for more expensive wines and wider choice from convenience shoppers with the introduction of seven new own-label wines to its core range.

The government is being urged to champion the English wine industry after a fact-finding visit to a leading Sussex vineyard by a group of MPs.

Aldi is to start selling wine online in the new year.

Accolade Wines UK general manager Paul Schaafsma has been named the company’s new chief executive.

Majestic has appointed a managing director for its retail division, responsible for the group’s 211 shops including its Calais store.

Heineken has launched a James Bond-themed TV campaign starring Daniel Craig.

The International Wine Challenge has launched a mobile phone app to help consumers baffled by the so-called wall of wine.

Treasury Wine Estates has raised nearly £25,000 for The Benevolent in a massive sponsored walk.

Foster’s has launched a series of ads starring TV presenter Rick Edwards that highlight the brand’s Australian heritage.

Stella Artois and Budweiser owner AB Inbev has announced it wants to take over SAB Miller, whose brands include Peroni and Grolsch.

Accolade Wines has bought Chile’s Viña Anakena – a move it says has made it the first company to have a footprint in all major New World wine regions.

Wine prices are sliding as multiple grocers take on the discounters in a price war, the latest Nielsen figures have revealed.

Online wine sales on the rise

14 September, 2015

UK online wine sales grew 11% by value and 9% by volume in the past three months, the Wilson Drinks Report has found.

A European Commission consultation piece could bring lower tax rates for small wine and spirits producers – but is threatening the UK RTD industry.

New website for sherry

10 September, 2015

Sherry’s regulatory body has launched an updated website – sherry.org – to mark its 80th anniversary.

One of Brewdog’s latest ads has come under fire from a campaigning group that says it is mocking homeless people, trans women and sex workers.

OLN columnist Richard Hemming has been named one of the Institute of Masters of Wine’s latest MWs.

Meantime has created an audio tour of the history of brewing in London that anyone can download.

The health lobby’s claims that alcohol is a costly burden on society have been decimated by a new study showing the government makes £6.5 billion profit a year through the nation’s love of drinking.

The Scotch Whisky Association has landed a major punch in its fight to have minimum unit pricing on alcohol declared unlawful.

More than 60 Australian winemakers will touch down on British soil this month for a series of trade events as the nation seeks to build on impressive growth in the UK.

Sussex independent wine merchant South Downs Cellars is running an Oktoberfest promotion for the first time after seeing its beer sales soar this year.

Wine merchant Tanners has opened a new store in a former auction house in Chester, bringing its estate up to seven and putting it in competition with fellow northern chain Corks Out.

Mezcal is the latest spirits trend set to excite discerning drinkers in cities across the UK, according to retailers.

Retailers have been warned not to give in to the temptation of buying illicit booze after a series of raids led to seizures of counterfeit spirits laced with dangerous chemicals.

The investment and collecting market for rare Scotch whisky is booming with auction sales of bottles of single malt up 35% in the first half of 2015.

New brews from Black Sheep

27 August, 2015

Yorkshire’s Black Sheep Brewery has launched three brews designed to appeal to experimental craft beer drinkers.

Australia’s Barramundi is targeting younger drinkers after a brand overhaul to position the brand as “the beach in a bottle”.

Innis & Gunn has launched a Bourbon Pale Ale, aged over bourbon-infused American heartwood oak. 

Molson Coors is giving Coors Light drinkers the chance to win adventure holidays in an on-pack promotion.

Kingsland Drinks has decided to merge its business with Bottle Green after buying the Leeds-based supplier in April.

Surging sales of Champagne and Irish whiskey helped Pernod Ricard grow sales grow 2% in 2014-15 but profits were lower than expected due to a €400 impairment on Absolut vodka, the firm’s full-year report has revealed.

Buckingham Schenk has added Chilean producer Garcés Silva Family Vineyards to its portfolio.

Surging summer sales of vodka, gin and sparkling wine have led the total off-trade BWS market into 0.7% value growth on the previous year (Nielsen, 12 weeks to 15/8/15).

Earthquake-hit Chilean farmers will see a wine produced from their Carignan grapes launched in the UK next month by Walker & Wodehouse.

Tesco is shutting down its online wine community after less than four years.

Innis & Gunn has raised £3 million through a mini-bond and is set to build a state-of-the-art brewery in south east Scotland.

Top chef launches ale

20 August, 2015

Tom Kitchin, chef of Michelin-starred Edinburgh restaurant The Kitchin and gastro-pub The Scran & Scallie, has teamed up with the Isle of Skye Brewing Co to release premium brew Yer Ben.

Prosecco charges ahead

19 August, 2015

Prosecco has chalked up its third year as the nation’s favourite sparkling wine, with sales in supermarkets, off-licences and convenience stores up 72% in the past year – and is showing no sign of slowing down, IRI has reported.

Tesco looks set to drop half-price deals on wine in a bid to drive profits and restore consumer trust in its business.

Innovation in the cider market is being stifled by Reducing the Strength schemes, which are preventing producers from launching products in the UK.

Award-winning Surrey independent The Wine Reserve has been bought out by its store management team.

Two leading independent chains have expanded their footprints in the on-trade with new openings.

Conviviality Retail has launched two initiatives which it says will improve franchisee involvement in the group.

A retailer claims foreign companies are damaging his business by targeting UK shoppers with beers, wines and spirits that do not include duty or VAT.

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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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