Bibendum has hired sake consultant Natsuki Kiyuka to host trade training sessions that educate retailers about the Japanese drink.

Diageo has launched a Smirnoff TV ad that premieres today as part of new £15 million marketing campaign designed to cement its status as the UK’s leading spirits brand.

Scotch whisky producer Douglas Laing has relaunched its golf-inspired McGibbon’s range of whiskies in a bid to cash in on the impending Ryder Cup.

All smiles for Hunter

Conviviality Retail boss Diana Hunter was given 1.7 million shares in the business as a bonus after its float last year, the company’s annual report has revealed.  

Scotch whisky exports drop 11%

22 September, 2014

Scotch whisky exports dropped 11% in the first half of 2014 as “economic headwinds and uncertainty” hampered growth in several markets.

Wine Rack begins brave new era

19 September, 2014

Conviviality Retail’s first Wine Rack franchisee is aiming to lead the brand into a new era of sampling and customer engagement.

Liberty Wines is looking to extend its reach into the convenience sector as it celebrates strong sales across independents and the on-trade.

Wines of Chile has promised to hit the UK market harder with plans to shake off its dour image and promote the sexier side of the South American nation.

Leading suppliers have warned that South Africa needs to ramp up its focus on premium tiers if it is to maintain impressive growth that has seen sales rise 9.5% to £521 million (Nielsen, year to August 16, 2014).

Two new wine agencies launched

19 September, 2014

The former boss of Stratford’s Wines Agencies has launched a new venture.

The Scotch whisky industry is celebrating the no vote on Scottish independence and hopes it will lead to economic stability in the years ahead.

Visitor numbers at the Wines of the Beautiful South tasting in London last week rose 7.3% on the 2013 figure.

Oddbins has crowned Steve Saunders from Bristol the UK’s finest amateur wine taster after 21,000 shoppers entered its blind tasting competition.

Scottish brewer Innis & Gunn is celebrating after 15% sales growth saw it break through the £10 million barrier for the first time.

WSTA calls for duty cut

17 September, 2014

The Wine & Spirit Trade Association wants the industry to push for a “modest cut” in duty in the last Budget before next year’s general election.

IPA added to Vedett beer range

17 September, 2014

Belgian brewer Duvel Moortgat has added Extra Ordinary IPA to its Vedett beer range in the UK.

Waitrose has launched a sweeping clearance sale offering up to 50% off across 65 lines on its waitrosecellar.com site.

The off-trade BWS market has seen volume and value growth in the past year as strong performances from beer, cider and sparkling wine led the charge.

The Heineken family has rejected a takeover approach from SAB Miller for the Dutch brewery to which they give their name.

Friends and family of the late Michael Cox have so far raised more than £13,000 for drinks industry charity The Benevolent after pledging to run the Medoc Marathon in his honour.

Dan Jago has broadened his role as Tesco’s group wine director to incorporate beers and spirits.

Pernod Ricard UK boss Denis O’Flynn has taken over from Diageo’s Nick Hyde as chairman of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

Scotch whisky producer Douglas Laing and Co has taken inspiration from poet Robert Burns for a new Highland malt called Timorous Beastie.

Champagne Perrier-Jouët has released unveiled a £248 Cuvée Belle Epoque Rosé 2005 which it describes as “the most extravagant wine of the Belle Epoque Collection”.  

French supplier Les Grands Chais de France has snapped up the 59ha Château de la Tuilerie estate in the Costières de Nimes.

Australian brewery Redoak has claimed the Supreme Champion award at the International Beer Challenge for the second year running after thrilling judges with its Chateau Sour.

Anita Jackson has pledged to put consumer and trade education at the centre of her strategy after being instilled as UK director at Wines of Chile.

Diageo is offering £62,000 grants to technology firms that create tools to help prevent retail theft.

The wine trade lost one of its most dedicated and well-respected figures last week with the sad passing of Yvonne May. Many readers will know her best for her four-year stint as the UK and European head of Wine Australia, a role she approached with such passion and energy it was easy to believe it was a job she had longed to do.

Kopparberg is launching a Spiced Apple variant in a bid to boost sales during the typically lean winter trading period.

William Grant and Sons has snapped up the Drambuie Liqueur Company after it admitted it has always secretly admired the firm’s eponymous brand.

An existing Bargain Booze franchisee has become the first to take on Wine Rack stores under a franchise agreement with Conviviality Retail.

Tesco is backing controversial schemes to ban the sale of high-strength beers and ciders, despite ongoing concerns over their legality.

The industry has paid tribute to Yvonne May’s passion and inspiration following news that the UK and European regional director for Wine Australia has died after a battle with leukaemia.

Whisky Shop founder Ian Bankier is among Scottish business leaders who have put their names to a letter opposing Scottish independence.

Retailers need to do more to embrace online shopping and recognise that the market is changing, Pernod Ricard UK managing director Denis O’Flynn has warned.

Virgin Wines is to launch a gift business that it hopes will corner the market for wine presents.

Off Licence News has teamed up with consultant and former Wine Australia boss Hazel Murphy to offer independents the chance to join a two-week trip Down Under.

Waitrose’s online wine site, Waitrose Cellar, has grown sales by nearly a quarter in its first three months since coming on stream.

Guinness launches porters

04 September, 2014

Guinness has launched two porters inspired by 18th and 19th-century recipes discovered in its historic brewers’ diaries.

Liberty Wines has signed a deal with Hess Family Wine Estates to take over distribution of Peter Lehmann Wines from the Barossa Valley and the Hess Collection Winery from the Napa Valley.

Sherry editions from Tomatin

04 September, 2014

The Tomatin Distillery Co has launched two sherry-finished whiskies.

World Beers launches Huber Bock

04 September, 2014

World Beer has launched a dark lager from the USA’s second-oldest brewery, Huber, based in Monroe, Wisconsin.

Ehrmanns is set to release new sherries from Williams & Humbert and Viniberia at the Great Sherry Tasting on September 15.

Castaway returns

03 September, 2014

Nineties favourite Castaway Spritz has returned to the UK thanks to International Wine Services.

Pernod Ricard UK’s brands have outperformed the market in the off-trade, the company has reported.

Sailor Jerry rum has teamed up with rock legend Iggy Pop to design a range of clothing.

London wine merchant Vagabond Wines has won Wines of Germany’s 31 Days of German Riesling retailer competition.

Bargain Booze owner Conviviality Retail has appointed Amanda Jones as its chief operating officer, with effect from December 1.

Berry Bros & Rudd has signed up a Swedish vodka made from virgin new potatoes.

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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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