The Society of Independent Brewers is to hold its second Beer X event in Sheffield from March 11-15, 2014.

First Drinks has launched the 2006 Vintage Brut mark of its Piper-Heidsieck Champagne.

Off-trade beer sales up 12.5%

01 November, 2013

UK off-trade beer sales rose 12.5% in the third quarter of 2013, driving the largest quarter-on-quarter growth the overall beer category has seen this century.

The UK’s third National Wine Week is to run in the lead-up to Christmas.

Grey Goose has launched a £1.8 million marketing campaign including cinema ads that tell the story behind the French vodka.

The London Wine Fair is targeting small independent importers and agents with a “show within the show” called Esoterica.

Emporia Brands and Père Magloire Calvados have hailed National Calvados Week as a success and plan to run the promotion again next year.

Stolichnaya has released a New Zealand edition of its super-premium Elit Pristine Water Series.

The off-trade enjoyed its best performance in beer for a decade during the third quarter of this year, according to figures form the British Beer & Pub Association.

The world is facing its biggest wine shortage in 40 years according to a report by Morgan Stanley Research in the US.

Magners and Gaymers cider maker C&C Group said the UK market “remains challenging” as it reported a 15.5% drop in revenue in its UK cider business in the half-year to August 31.

An American drinks trade association has urged the UK government to consider a US-style, three-tier distribution system to counter counterfeit and adulterated alcohol.

Ex-Spar wine boss Xenia Irwin MW is to rejoin the retail sector as multi-channel buyer for BWS at Waitrose Wine Direct.

Corky’s is the latest spirits brand to use glitter to add a little sparkle to its liqueur sales.

De Bortoli has added a new blend to its Deen Vat Series, targeted at independents and regional wholesalers.

Brothers Drinks has launched a tequila-flavoured cider called Perro Loco – or “mad dog” in Spanish.

New look for Captain Morgan

25 October, 2013

Diageo is giving Captain Morgan Original Spiced Gold a new bottle and pre-mixed can design.

Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands is offering convenience store shoppers free gift bags with some of its brands to boost trade in the run-up to Christmas.

Ilminster independent Cornhill Wines has shut its doors after 20 years.

Barefoot Wine cleans beaches

25 October, 2013

More than 1,000 volunteers have cleaned up 14 UK beaches thanks to California wine brand Barefoot.

Scottish brewery Brewmeister has launched what it says is the world’s strongest beer – at 67.5% abv.

Italian DOC and DOCG wines can now be closed with screwcaps or synthetic corks after the country’s government caved in to pressure from the trade. 

Drinks trade charity The Benevolent is hosting a Christmas Ceilidh on November 28 and urged industry figures to sign up for an evening of Scottish-inspired dancing, food and drink.

Guinness is taking over all three ad breaks within The Jonathan Ross Show on October 26 in what marks a landmark deal for ITV.

Hi-Spirits said it has suspended activity on the social media pages of its Fireball brand to review its approach after breaching the Advertising Standards Authority code for the fifth time this year.

Origin Wine has appointed Phil Reedman MW to build up its new brand Camden Park in Australia.

Box Steam brewery is set to double its turnover after redesigning its bottles, ramping up its focus on the off-trade and increasing listings at Tesco.

A six-strong range of wines under the Co-operative’s premium own-label Truly Irresistible is to reach store shelves next week.

Suffolk brewer St Peter’s has launched a gluten-free gift pack targeting beer fans with coeliac disease this Christmas.

Jungfrau goes for gold

21 October, 2013

Global Brands has become the latest spirits company to launch a liqueur laced with gold.

Hi-Spirits has launched a cider with tequila and lime flavour called Manzana Loca – or “crazy apple” in Spanish.

Nearly half of 10 to 14-year-olds have seen their parents drunk, alcohol education charity Drinkaware has reported.

Burgundy specialist Domaine Direct has added two Loire growers to its portfolio – Domaine David in Muscadet and Domaine Tinel-Blondelet in Pouilly-Sur-Loire.

Asda ups its game in BWS

18 October, 2013

Asda’s BWS chief has set out her ambitions for the retailer’s drinks offer for the coming year, starting with the launch of a dedicated online wine site and a series of developments in spirits and beer.

A tough year for en primeur was the main contributor to an operating loss and falling turnover for royal wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd.

Glasgow city centre is to become a drinks production hotbed with plans for a new distillery and a brewery.

Frances Brace, judge at the Sainsbury's Great British Beer Hunt final

Sainsbury’s has sold premium bottled ale to 95,000 extra female shoppers in the past year (Nectar Card data, year to September 30).

Morrisons wine sales up 3%

18 October, 2013

Morrisons said it is constantly growing market share of the wine category and sales are up 3% year on year.

Booths trials wine samplers

18 October, 2013

North west England supermarket chain Booths is using a four-week long wine promotion to test the viability of sampling machines.

Current rules governing the drinks industry’s use of social media may not be fit for purpose, according to a concerned supplier.

Cape Legends said it is giving its 20 wine brands a “big push” into the UK market as it sees a huge opportunity to trade consumers up to premium South African wine.

Consumers put grape variety ahead of promotions in deciding which wine to buy, according to a new report from Wine Intelligence.

Rioja rocks London

16 October, 2013

The new president of Wines of Rioja has pledged to invest in the UK market in a bid to build exports over the next decade.

Spanish buzz boosts sherry

16 October, 2013

The UK market is benefiting from its most diverse range of sherry ever, according to the Sherry Institute.

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.

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Talking terroir

When Bordeaux was in fashion, it seemed almost logical that we should fetishise winemakers. Here were people responsible for brilliant acts of blending, across large estates and multiple grape varieties, including superstars such as cabernet sauvignon and merlot. These days, fashion has moved on and pinot noir is ascendant. As a result, the star of the winemaker has fallen and we find ourselves following a new star in the sky: terroir.

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