Gallo has unveiled Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato as a new addition to its Californian wine portfolio.

HMRC has launched a 10-week consultation to assess the costs, feasibility and effectiveness of launching a wholesaler registration scheme.

Carlsberg Euro 2012Carlsberg said tough comparisons with last year - when it sponsored Euro 2012 - contributed to a year-on-year sales decline

Brewing giants Heineken and Carlsberg blamed bad weather, tax hikes and continued austerity for declining volume sales in the UK market.

The Whisky Shop is taking on Selfridges and Harvey Nichols by opening its newest outlet in the heart of Manchester’s retail area.

Norwich-based retailer Naked Wines has secured a £6.4 million from German wine seller WIV Wein International to fund a further push into US and Australian markets.

New Zealand Winegrowers has hailed the decision to plant grapes in Marlborough as the “single most important event in the history of the New Zealand wine industry” as the region prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

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21 August, 2013

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Diageo is introducing a liqueur called Smirnoff Gold, which blends Smirnoff No.21 premium vodka with natural cinnamon flavouring and visible flakes of edible 23 carat gold leaf, into the UK market.

Pernod Ricard UK has expanded its premium wine portfolio with the introduction of Graffigna Centenario Malbec.

Croatia is set for a push into the UK wine market after joining the EU this summer and starting to enjoy more relaxed trading conditions, according to Vina Croatia.

Sun shines on drinks sales

16 August, 2013

Soaring lager, cider and sparkling wine sales drove an 18% rise in BWS volumes during the heatwave that bathed Britain in sunshine throughout July.

The Department of Health said it is fully committed to the Responsibility Deal it signed with the drinks industry despite a series of high-profile walkouts by health bodies.

Bargain Booze owner Conviviality Retail is in the process of buying two shops to run as “incubation” stores to sell on to new franchisees.

Brand Phoenix has moved to reassure the trade of its commitment to the UK market after co-founder Steve Barton announced he was leaving to push its First Cape brand into the US.

Oddbins redesign begins

16 August, 2013

The first revamp of Oddbins stores in 17 years is underway with a new fascia starting to appear across the estate and a new-look website.

Energy drinks giant Red Bull has decided to end a dispute it started with Norfolk microbrewer Redwell.

The Advertising Standards Authority said it may clamp down on alcohol suppliers’ and retailers’ use of social media after admitting that age-gating children so they cannot access adult content is failing.

Tobacco manufacturers are fighting EU plans which would ban menthol and slimline cigarettes, all packs of 10 and limit sales of rolling tobacco to 40g pouches.

The man who led Costcutter’s takeover of the Rhythm & Booze off-licence chain is predicting more consolidation in the convenience retailing sector.

Pernod Ricard is rolling out new bottle designs for its range of Absolut flavoured vodkas.

Red Bull has written to Norwich-based brewer Redwell, requesting it immediately withdraws its trademark application, claiming the names are too similar and would confuse customers.

A cocktail zone, beer and wine chillers and iPads with information on malt whisky are among the features in three new-look stores unveiled by Tesco.

Tesco has revamped its Wine by the Case mobile site after discovering that a quarter of its online wine sales now comes from shoppers using their mobile phones.

Baileys Chocolate Luxe

Diageo has released a Belgian chocolate liqueur under its Baileys brand in what it bills as the world’s first fusion of Irish whiskey and real chocolate.

Brains is launching a chocolate and bacon porter

Welsh brewery Brains is launching a bacon and chocolate porter called Aporkalypse at the Great British Beer Festival next week.

Bargain Booze

Bargain Booze owner Conviviality Retail has raided rival Musgrave to appoint a new chief financial officer.

Molson Coors

Molson Coors brewery workers have agreed not to go on strike after signing a last-ditch deal that ends a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

Wales could pursue its own plans to introduce minimum unit pricing after being left disappointed by the UK Government’s decision to scrap plans to implement the measure.

Martin ThatcherMartin Thatcher: record sales

Thatcher’s cider has reported that July was the best month for sales it has enjoyed since the firm was founded in 1904.

Distell has launched a neck collar promotion on its prestige collection Nederburg Winemaster’s Reserve, offering shoppers the chance to win a meal at a top London restaurant.

Brand Phoenix co-founder Steve Barton is leaving the UK business and relocating to the USA to push the company’s First Cape brand into that market.

The largest local authority in the UK has become the latest organisation to leave the Responsibility Deal in protest over the scrapping of minimum unit pricing.

Costcutter Supermarkets Group has signed a £35 million refinancing deal with Barclays to boost its ambitious growth plans.

The Benevolent has appointed three senior drinks industry figures as new trustees.

Australian Vintage has become the latest supplier to launch a low alcohol wine range into the UK market.

Greenall’s Gin has timed its new sponsorship of Lancashire Country Cricket Club perfectly as the biggest match in cricket heads to the team’s Old Trafford home on Thursday.

Tesco has secured an exclusive listing of three new wines from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s restaurant group.

The glorious sunshine that has bathed Britain this month has led to a surge in cider and lager sales, according to various leading suppliers.

Wine merchant Roberson is taking over an old gin distillery in Earls Court and turning it into a boutique winery that will start making wine in September.

Eleven European wine and spirits producing countries have lodged a bid to block Scotland’s plans for minimum unit pricing on alcohol by branding them illegal, unfair and ineffective.

The UK trade will be able to sample the 2011 vintage of Bordeaux wines to gain Cru Bourgeois status at a tasting in London on September 19.

Brewdog has responded with typical defiance after receiving a rap on the knuckles from the Advertising Standards Authority over material on its website deemed to cause “serious offence”.

A new celebratory digital ad that Carling released within minutes of the announcement of the royal birth has already been viewed more than 400,000 times as royal baby mania continues to grip the UK.

How to make a Purple Lady pomegranate-flavoured summer cocktail: 

Brewdog has been sanctioned by the advertising watchdog for referring to itself as a “post punk apocalyptic mother fu*ker of a craft brewery” on its website.

Independent retailers and convenience store owners are missing a “huge” opportunity to sell more sparkling wine, according to a leading supplier.

Copestick Murray has appointed Jo Ahearne MW as consultant winemaker for its I Heart wine brand.

The calibre of supermarket wine buyers has come under renewed fire from suppliers complaining poor expertise could be costing sales.

Multiples continue to grow BWS sales at the expense of smaller retailers, according to the First Drinks Market Report 2013.

The industry needs to overhaul its approach to low-alcohol wine to up its appeal among younger consumers and give the category a more positive image, according to leading suppliers. 

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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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