Smirnoff ads will be on TV screens every month except for January in 2014 as the brand ups its annual marketing spend to £7.5 million.

Diageo plans to revitalise the UK spirits market by recreating the food revolution led by celebrity chefs including Jamie Oliver.

WKD is wishing retailers a happy “Christ-Moose” with the launch of its Christmas POS kits and deals.

Berry Bros & Rudd is set to post a pre-tax loss of £7.3 million for the 2012-13 financial year as the 315-year-old wine merchant prepares to overhaul its business.

Merrydown has launched a 4% abv blackcurrant cider – the first in a planned range of “hedgerow”-flavoured ciders.

Diageo is relaunching Johnnie Walker into the UK market with a £7.2 million marketing campaign and it hopes the move will revive the UK whisky category.

Illicit wine sales could be as much as 11% of the market and may have lost HM Revenue & Customs as much as £700 million, a new report has revealed.

The company behind Buffalo Trace bourbon is struggling to keep up with demand as interest in the Kentucky spirit grows in the US and around the world.

Glittery new look for VK

11 October, 2013

Global Brands has revamped the whole VK RTD range, launching five new flavours and adding edible glitter to its Ice Storm flavour.

Britain’s biggest beer shop is set to expand its shop and add a cafe, bar and new offices after planners in Kings Lynn gave its ambitious proposals the green light.

A whisky range from Down Under is now available to buy for the first time ever in the UK.

One of the ads

Cockburn’s has launched a £1.5 million ad campaign designed to boost growth in the burgeoning port category.

Babycham turns 60

08 October, 2013

Babycham is celebrating its 60th anniversary with an on-pack promotion, limited edition packaging, a new website and a Facebook campaign.

A research firm has suggested minimum unit pricing on alcohol would be unpopular and ineffective after its survey revealed the public would prefer cigarettes and fatty food to be targeted by the NHS.

Accolade has revamped the website it launched two years ago to help retailers sell more wine after reporting that membership to the free site has grown “significantly”.

Treasury is investing in a multimillion pound ad campaign for Australian wine brand Lindeman’s.

William Grant & Sons aims to see single grain whisky stand alongside single malt and blended as a major Scotch category after launching The Girvan Patent Still Single Grain 25 Year Old.

Batemans B Bock beat hundreds of new beers brewed across the UK to win a listing at Sainsbury’s after it was named winner of the retailer’s Great British Beer Hunt 2013.

Chilean producer Viña Montes is launching a new wine and releasing special vintages of its icon wines Alpha M, Folly and Purple Angel to celebrate a quarter of a century of winemaking.

The man who is intent on bringing minimum unit pricing to one of England’s largest cities said he is not worried about defying central government’s decision to scrap the measure.

Magnums and iPads will drive sales in a brave new world for Champagne, according to Moët Hennessy.

A shop that is refusing to join the Reducing the Strength campaign in Ipswich said it is being unfairly blamed for antisocial behaviour and vowed to continue selling strong beer and cider.

Major retailers have already begun to run deep discounts on drinks brands as they jostle for position in the pre-Christmas market.

Maxxxium UK is launching a print ad campaign for Courvoisier that will bring a campaign called Here’s to Now to the pages of the Sunday Times, Short List and the London Evening Standard.

Box Steam brewery has released a dark porter called Evening Star in honour of the last steam train ever built in Britain.

The British Liver Trust’s chief executive has called on the health lobby and the drinks industry to work together to promote a healthier Britain.

Bumper year for Thatchers

03 October, 2013

Thatchers Cider recorded turnover of £42 million in the year to the end of August as the summer heatwave boosted sales from last year’s £40 million. July was the company’s best month since the firm was founded in 1904.

The Association of Convenience Stores has welcomed a commitment from Labour leader Ed Milliband to reverse a hike in small business rates due in April 2015 and to freeze the levy the following year.

McGuigan encourages trade-up

03 October, 2013

Australian Vintage believes that within two years its new McGuigan Black Label Reserve range will account for 25% of McGuigan Black Label sales.

Bargain Booze has added seven exclusive wines to the list available to franchisees as it seeks to beef up its premium offering.

PLB's Darbyshire to step down

30 September, 2013

PLB’s sales director John Osborne is to take over as the agency’s managing director next year, when current managing director Peter Darbyshire steps down.

Halewood International has launched Stukaberg, a 22% herbal schnapps created by Cubic Brands.

English sparkling wine Nyetimber said its newly released Classic Cuvee 2009 is the finest vintage it has ever produced.

Fuller’s has launched its 2013 bottle-conditioned Vintage Ale.

Bargain Booze has teamed up with Thwaites to launch three craft ales which had only been available on draught in Thwaites’ pubs so far.

Languedoc winery Abbotts & Delaunay has appointed Hilde Chevillot as its new winemaker.

Exports of Alsace wines to the UK have grown 27.8% in volume in the first seven months of 2013, according to regional body IVA (Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins d'Alsace).

A host of the UK’s leading wine suppliers have all committed to return to the London Wine Fair in 2014 after an absence of one or more years.

Mangrove is offering drinkers the chance to win an all expenses paid weekend for two to Mozart’s birthplace in Salzburg via an on-pack promotion on chocolate liqueur Mozart Gold.

On-pack campaign for E&J Brandy

25 September, 2013

Gallo is running an on-pack promotion on E&J Brandy in the run-up to Christmas – its biggest ever investment in the brand.

Kilchoman releases 2007 Vintage

25 September, 2013

Islay independent farm distillery Kilchoman is releasing its oldest whisky to date – 2007 Vintage.

Rekorderlig is releasing its Winter Cider again this year – this time with a £2 million spend and the edition’s first ever ad campaign.

Fuller’s has once again delved into its brewing history to produce the fourth beer in its Past Masters range.

Lambrini is to sponsor Liverpool Fashion Week, which takes place on October 14-19 at Liverpool’s Royal Liver Building.

The Beautiful South will return next year

The organiser of the London Wine Fair is reviewing the dates of future shows to maintain its relevance to buyers and suppliers.

Laithwaite’s is planning a push on eastern European wines after almost doubling sales from the region over the past year.

Wines of South Africa’s departing head says the country is in its “best position for years” as her replacement prepares to take the reins.

High-strength ban spreads

20 September, 2013

Beers and ciders with an abv of 6.5% and above could soon be a thing of the past in the off-trade as councils across the UK start to adopt Ipswich’s Reducing the Strength Campaign.

The government has launched a consultation which could see the end of personal licences.

A leading supplier claims half price wine deals will disappear from shelves and urged the trade to find new tactics to stem haemorrhaging sales.

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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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