Asda has stepped up its commitment to helping cut the number of alcohol units sold by introducing nearly 30 new lower-strength products.

The Tesco wine team is targeting fine wine lovers with a 15% off deal on more than 200 lines as part of a “spring clean” of its range.

German brand Black Tower is set to launch a marketing campaign centred around British romantic comedy Walking on Sunshine.

It was only a matter of time before Morrisons’ board-level woes impacted on its drinks team’s aspirations.

The association responsible for promoting Cava is introducing a new classification to emphasise the range and diversity of the Spanish fizz and encourage shoppers to trade-up.

Oddbins has teamed up with Compass Brewery in Oxfordshire to launch an own-label pale ale called Oddbins No.2.

Waitrose has launched a specialist wine e-commerce site called Waitrose Cellar.

Australian supplier McWilliam’s has revamped its entire portfolio to offer the UK market improved packaging and extra higher tier wines.

Scotland’s Arran Brewery has made a bid for the Lowland distillery Bladnoch which entered receivership in March.

Martin Thatcher and Glastonbury owner Michael Eavis

Thatchers is investing in a £6.5 million marketing campaign that sees it on TV screens until September and sponsoring the Glastonbury music festival in June.

Morrisons has abandoned dedicated wine site Morrisonscellar.com, which it launched with great fanfare in 2012 in a bid to add £100 million to the retailer's wine category.

Family-owned farm distillery Kilchoman will release a new edition of its 100% Islay barley-to-bottle whisky brand next Monday.

Quintessential Brands has launched a version of its Bloom premium gin that has been steeped in fresh strawberries.

English vineyards produced a record 33,384 hl in the 2013 harvest, equating to almost 4.5 million bottles.

Supermarket own-brand wines scooped 360 medals at the International Wine Challenge, with Marks & Spencer leading the pack with 138 gongs.

Campo Viejo hosted a Streets of Spain festival in London in a bid to build on growth that has seen it catapult into the top 15 wine UK brands.

AB-Inbev has reported volume sales grew 0.6% over the past quarter in the UK market.

Retail sales at Bargain Booze stores were flat in the past year but owner Conviviality Retail expects full year earnings to be “slightly ahead of expectations”.

Alcohol retailers can benefit from a new Pass 18 card being launched next month that aims to stamp out underage sales.

Convenience store owners have been urged to stock more wine in the £6-£8 category to help add £200 million to the convenience channel in the next five years.

Hunter: extending into Yorkshire

Bargain Booze owner Conviviality Retail’s off-licence empire continues to expand as the group bought 26 Rhythm & Booze stores for £1.7 million.

Grupo Codorníu director Javier Pages has moved to reassure retailers of its commitment to the UK after it announced head Nick Mantella was stepping down.

The 2014 release of Tio Pepe Fino En Rama has arrived in the UK, a week after it was bottled on April 21.

Heineken is running a £3 million marketing campaign to back the launch of New Zealand cider Old Mout.

SHS Drinks has launched an amaretto-flavoured cider which it hopes will build on the popularity of the spirit-flavoured beer category.

McGuigan enjoys a glass with John Torode

Australian wine prices could be pushed up amid fears frost will lead to a short harvest down under.

Lambrini ad banned

01 May, 2014

The ASA has banned a Lambrini ad for promoting the message that alcohol is key to social success.

Frost: "From the outset we said that we believed MUP was contrary to EU law."

The Scotch Whisky Association’s legal battle with the Scottish government over minimum unit pricing has been referred to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

Steve Barton, former director of wine supplier Brand Phoenix, is targeting the off-trade with a new brand of coconut water.

Robinsons has launched 33cl bottles of Iron Maiden’s Trooper ale as the Cheshire brewery seeks to build on the success of the bestselling beer in its history.

Diageo has launched a range of Smirnoff sorbets and frozen pouches and is giving away 1,000 freezers to convenience stores to encourage trial.

Brewdog has responded with typical insouciance after breaching the Portman Group’s alcohol marketing rules for its Dead Pony Club pale ale.

Jack Marland has taken over as lager buying manager at Tesco as part of a reshuffle of the beer and cider team at Britain’s largest retailer.

The drinks industry is on course to honour its pledge to strip a billion units of alcohol from the market by 2015, according to new government figures.

FE Barber has consolidated its Kingsland Wine & Spirits and Legacy Wines agencies under the name Kingsland in a bid to simplify the brand.

Bargain Booze owner Conviviality Retail has confirmed it is in talks to buy several Rhythm & Booze off-licences from rival Bibby Retail Services.

Enotria has appointed former Constellation and Accolade Wines boss Troy Christensen as its chief executive.

Wild Turkey is heading to cities across the country as the bourbon appears in its first outdoor advertising campaign.

Arran Brewery has earmarked £80,000 to triple its production output with a further £80,000 being invested to help it reach new international markets.

Kopparberg: gaining listings and planning beer launches

Kopparberg has landed a listing with Marks & Spencer to become the only Swedish cider on its shelves. 

Sipsmith has responded to increasing demand for its boutique gin by moving to a larger home on a residential street in Chiswick, west London.

Councils are using statistics on 999 callouts, hospital admissions and crime to ban retailers from selling alcohol in “binge-drinking hotspots”.

Call off the dogs: Brewdog is known for its provocative marketing

Brewdog is to open the first in its Bottledog chain of specialist beer shops next week.

Wine Rack deal gave Conviviality confidence, says analyst

Costcutter owner Bibby Line Group could be ready to jettison its loss-making Rhythm & Booze off- licence chain to focus on its core convenience business.

Rosé wine sales dropped 4% by volume, with value sales creeping up less than 1%, in the year to March 1 – behind both white and red wine, Nielsen has reported.

Retailers will miss out on a huge growth opportunity if they continue to leave blended Scotch whisky in the shadow of single malt, according to a leading supplier.

Off Licence News has teamed up with Wines of Brazil to offer retailers the chance to win a trip to the South American nation.

Aldi boosts wine range

17 April, 2014

Aldi has upped the ante in the wine aisles with a range of entry-level products launched in time for the Easter rush.

Waitrose is trialling a deli and wine offer to encourage shoppers to spend longer in its new-look BWS areas and explore the range.

Morrisons breached advertising laws by using a nursery rhyme likely to appeal to children when marketing its range of spirits.

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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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