Ehrmanns held its first-ever portfolio tasting in central London to cap a month that has seen it launch a new website and put new sales, buying and marketing teams in place.

Enotria took over the Saatchi Gallery in London’s Sloane Square for its annual tasting yesterday.

Nyetimber’s English sparkling wine will be served during Paris Fashion Week for the first time tomorrow.

Brancott Estate has teamed up with National Geographic to launch a competition designed to celebrate and reward curiosity.

Diageo believes its new range of frozen cocktails will open up “huge” sales opportunities in the off-trade.

Chinese wine on offer at LIWF

25 February, 2013

Buyers attended the London International Wine Fair in May will be able to taste Chinese wine for the first time in the fair’s 33-year history.

The managing director of Mentzendorff has urged retailers not to be panicked into dropping the top ends of their wine ranges as the consumer purse continues to tighten.

The WSTA has warned that a minimum unit price on alcohol would boost crime, harm UK business and damage the health of consumer in its latest attack on the government plans.

Forget cannabis, make wine

21 February, 2013

The world’s first Lebanese Fairtrade wine – hailing from a region historically more famous for producing cannabis – has landed in the UK.

Pernod Ricard has given coconut-flavoured rum Malibu a facelift including a new logo, bottle shape and type font.

Budvar aims to increase its UK business by 40% after its new £3.6 million canning line started churning out thousands of cans at its Ceske Budejovice brewery this week.

Jacob’s Creek is offering drinkers the chance to win a trip to Australia as part of a new promotion called the True Character Series.

A Methuselah of Taittinger Champagne was signed by stars including George Clooney, Ben Affleck and Anne Hathaway at the Bafta Awards and will be auctioned for charity.

Sharp’s brewery is rolling out the first of its Connoisseur’s Choice beers of the year – a range designed to partner food.

The Champagne House which produces Tesco’s Finest Premier Cru and Finest Grand Cru Vintage has opened a new £10 million cellar.

Golden Virginia range revamped

20 February, 2013

Imperial Tobacco has overhauled its Golden Virginia brand with a new name and pack design for its core and smooth ranges.

Brancott Estate has launched an ultra-premium Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc as it seeks to cement New Zealand’s status as a region that focuses on quality rather than quantity.

Dutch brewer Heineken has appointed David Forde as the new head of its UK business – a week after managing director Stefan Orlowski announced he would leave to head its Americas division.

Simon Baile has done a deal to buy back the bulk of his collapsed Excellar off-licence chain from its administrator.

A report into the financial affairs of Thierry’s Wine Services shows it owed just over £5.5 million to unsecured creditors when it entered administration in early December.

WSTA pleads for duty break

15 February, 2013

The Wine & Spirit Trade Association has pressed the government for an end to the duty escalator on alcohol and closer co-operation on deregulation and tax fraud.

English wine innovation

15 February, 2013

A Sussex vineyard is planning to bring what it claims is a new concept in English wine to the market in 2016.

Vodka bootlegger is jailed

15 February, 2013

A West Midlands man has been jailed for 12 months for his part in a fake vodka-making operation in Birmingham city centre.

Next month 2,000 UK buyers will travel to Düsseldorf to sample wines and spirits from around the globe at the world’s largest wine fair.

Wine buyers from across the globe pushed their palates to the limit in a bid to find hidden gems among more than 1,500 wines on offer at the Sud de France tasting in Montpellier.

A group of wine suppliers will trek 50km along the Great Wall of China in a bid to raise £30,000 for a brain tumour charity.

The Duchess of Cornwall declared English wines will one day rival their French counterparts after tasting a range of homegrown sparklings, whites and reds last night.

Carlsberg has launched a 2.8% abv lager blended with natural lime juice that will hit shelves this month.

Oxford Wine Co is to open a café concept in the city at Easter.

A Tesco Express store has lost its licence for a month and two other shops have had to retrain staff and install CCTV after a test purchase sting.

Pop star Paloma Faith was amongst the celebrities who enjoyed the official Disaronno-sponsored BAFTA after-party at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. 

Diageo will launch a cucumber-flavoured version of its Gordon’s gin next month.

The managing director of Bibendum predicts the wine trade will see further casualties throughout 2013 as everyone desperately fights for a larger slice of a pie that is only shrinking.

Carling drinkers can win prizes including cars, designer suits, gig tickets and music downloads in an on-pack promotion celebrating the best of British.

Heineken has launched a new 2% abv Fosters Radler with the aim of dominating a mid-strength lager category it believes could be worth an extra £300 million to the UK drinks market.

Laithwaite’s has launched a new iPad App after reporting that wine orders from tablets rose 300% in December 2012 compared to the previous year.

Gin lovers will be able to see, touch and smell the botanicals used within the production process when Beefeater opens London’s first distillery visitor centre this year.

The UK will leapfrog Germany to become the world's leading importer of sparkling wine by 2016, according to a new report by Vinexpo.

Job cuts loom at Thwaites

04 February, 2013

Blackburn-based brewery Thwaites could axe 25 members of staff as it prepares to overhaul its business.  

Ministers are in talks with the drinks industry about using calorie labels on beer, wine and spirits to combat rising obesity levels in Britain.

UK drinkers are developing a thirst for Lebanese wine as new figures reveal exports to the UK grew 33%.

Australian sparkling wine can plug a gap in the market between Champagne and Prosecco, according to Pernod Ricard.

Glengoyne has donated £15,000 to military charity Help for Heroes after a fundraising drive at Scottish sporting venues.

Italian producer Caviro has secured a deal with Morrisons that will see its Tavernello wine range listed in all the retailer’s stores nationwide.

Winemaker Neil McGuigan has teamed up with MasterChef host John Torode to create a food and wine matching service which consumers can access from their smart phones.

Cockburn's has reclaimed its status as the UK's top selling port after strong sales growth during 2012, according to new Nielsen figures. 

Importer and distributor PLB is following up last year’s inaugural regional roadshow tastings with a second UK tour designed to show off its specialist portfolio.

An online petition is urging the Government to toughen up the penalties available to the authorities when prosecuting producers, smugglers and suppliers of illicit tobacco.

William Grant & Sons has announced it has received planning permission to build a new €35 million whiskey distillery to make Tullamore Dew in the Irish town of Tullamore.

Argentine wine producers united UK and Argentine politicians under one roof with a wine tasting event in the Houses of Parliament this week.

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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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