Harper Wells in Norwich has scooped the top prize in Off Licence News’ and the Wine Institute of California’s independent retailer promotion.

Kingsland has bolstered its agency portfolio by taking on Australia’s Limestone Coast Winery.

Eighty-three percent of suppliers at this year’s London Wine Fair have signed up for the 2015 show, and they will be joined by a host of new names.

Greene King has overhauled packaging on the Old Speckled Hen family in a bid to “target the next generation of discerning beer enthusiasts with a contemporary design”.

Tesco is fighting back against the invasion of Americanised beers by launching an own-label brew that supports the British Hop Association.

Non-alcoholic beer is growing in popularity among British drinkers as one in seven bought into the category in the past year, according to new Mintel figures.

Street artist Bansky’s famous spy booth mural is the inspiration for a seasonal brew from Cheltenham independent Favourite Beers.

Catherine Friend has joined the Tesco wine team as an assistant buyer and will be responsible for the fortified, Portuguese and wine-gift categories.

Health campaigners have attacked the new raft of e-cigarette ads for making smoking seem sexy.

Bargain Booze is expanding into Scotland through a franchisee partnership with Scottish Midland Co-operative Society.

The French Wines with Style campaign has teamed up with salon chain Toni & Guy to match wine styles with haircuts.

Vandals and thieves have caused more than £60,000 worth of damage after breaking into the Arran brewery’s new site in North Ayrshire three times in as many weeks.

Retailers are confident they will enjoy a stronger Christmas trading period in 2014 than last year, citing an improving economy and a healthy year of sales as reasons for optimism.

The explosion of niche, craft and esoteric distilleries opening around the country is set to continue – and they could even take share from bigger players, suppliers have said in OLN's Spirits Report.

Independents are the best prospect for the spirits market, with 29% of suppliers polled in OLN's Spirits Report saying they have the most potential for the coming year.

proliferation of copycat own-labels in supermarkets is stealing share from the original brands and eroding their value, suppliers have warned.

High duty is the main reason UK spirits volumes are declining, suppliers have said in OLN's Spirits Report.

UK leads the way in spirits

07 November, 2014

The UK leads the way for the global spirits market when it comes to innovation, marketing and general sophistication, according to suppliers polled in OLN’s annual Spirits Report.

The public health minister has praised the drinks industry after a new report revealed it is hitting its targets for improving health labelling on alcohol products.

Jewell: maximum of 120 wines on promotion

Tesco is reducing the number of wines it will offer on promotion this Christmas as it seeks to simplify its offer and give consumers more focus.

A wine trade lawyer has urged suppliers to complain to the Groceries Supply Code of Practice adjudicator if they feel mistreated by UK multiples in the wake of the Tesco £263 million “black hole” affair.

The chief executive of the Advertising Standards Authority has told an influential parliamentary committee that self-regulation offers better hope than legislation in tackling rogue online marketing activity on alcohol.

Two younger members of the Symington port dynasty have launched a UK-based online wine business.

Bargain Booze and Wine Rack boss Diana Hunter claims off-licences have become too “formulaic” but remains confident the sector can attract backing from the City for the right proposition.

Convenience store owners need to overhaul their wine ranges if they are to arrest a sales decline that threatens the health of the industry, according to a leading supplier.

Growth in premium tiers will ensure port retains a strong presence in the British drinks industry, according to a leading supplier.

Diageo has launched a range of 70cl flavoured spirit drinks under its Parrot Bay brand.

Oddbins has teamed up with a pair of small breweries to launch two craft beers as part of its own-label offering.

Concha y Toro UK has appointed Jon Rosenthal as sales director.

Wright: delighted by partnership

Online retailer Virgin Wines has teamed up with the UK’s leading supplier Accolade Wines to launch an exclusive range of Hardys wines.

Guinness launches a TV campaign of four videos focusing on legends of rugby union tomorrow (November 5).

Diageo is to sell the Bushmills Irish whiskey brand and distillery in a deal which will give it outright control of Don Julio tequila.

Twinn: campaign confuses obesity and binge drinking

The trade body for advertisers has hit back at the health lobby’s renewed calls for calorie labels on alcohol, saying they “miss the point spectacularly”.

AB Inbev UK blamed a World Cup hangover and poor weather for a 9.8% volume sales drop in the third quarter of 2014.

Retailers stocking Fireball liqueur with cinnamon and whisky have been asked to remove the product from sale and prepare it for return.

The biggest names in the British beer industry have united to launch a £10 million marketing campaign called There’s a Beer for That.

Chancellor George Osborne hailed the impact the drinks industry is having on the UK’s economic recovery after meeting with WSTA chief executive Miles Beale.

Diageo has delayed plans to expand production capacity for Scotch whisky after the world’s thirst for the drink started to drop this year.

Diageo has reversed its decision to axe Pimm’s No.6 Vodka Cup after fans of the drink apparently bombarded the supplier with demands for its return.

Bibendum and PLB merge

29 October, 2014

Bibendum Wine and PLB have announced plans to merge the businesses in a bid to become a one-stop shop for both on and off-trade retailers.

Marston’s and Tesco have teamed up to launch a beer created by injured veterans that will raise funds for military charity Help for Heroes.

The UK government wants a future EU alcohol strategy to promote more research into the possible impact of restrictions on alcohol advertising, according to a top official at the Department of Health.

Trade associations have slammed the government for forcing through a raft of changes to licensing law guidance that will embolden draconian local councils.

Former buyers have spoken out about the culture of “creative accounting” across the big retailers and warned more could have their practices scrutinised in the wake of the financial investigation at Tesco.

Portsmouth council has attacked retailers for failing in their responsibilities and warned that “selling alcohol is a privilege, not a right”.

European wineries unite

24 October, 2014

Nine wineries from across Europe have joined forces to promote the Old World’s heritage through a series of collaborations.

Tesco profits drop 92%

23 October, 2014

Tesco chairman Sir Richard Broadbent is to step down after the supermarket revealed the “black hole” in its accounts was even bigger than had been suspected and saw pre-tax profits plummet 92%.

Diageo aims to grow its luxury reserve portfolio from 12% of the business to 20% after launching the £45 rrp Haig Club whisky in partnership with David Beckham.

Rioja must hold price

23 October, 2014

Deep discounts risk denting the image of Rioja and wineries should resist cutting prices to shift surplus wine, according to Marques de Riscal.

Asda has been forced to recall its own-label Prosecco Spumante Extra Dry after bottles started exploding in stores and in customers’ homes.

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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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