Champagne Taittinger has unveiled a modern gifting tin for its Taittinger Prestige Rose NV, which will be available to the off trade from this month.

Calvet, the UK’s leading French wine brand, has announced it has a new advertising campaign to coincide with the RBS 6 Nations Rugby.

The first International Scotch Day, which aims to celebrate and focus on the Scotch whisky category, will take place on 10 February.

Chilean producer Santa Rita Estates has joined the Conviviality revolution by signing a UK distribution deal with PLB.

Booths enjoyed 4.3% sales growth on its own-label wine in December after overhauling the range and championing premium wines and classic regions.

The family that created Kumala and turned it into a leading brand in the UK is targeting the UK with a new bulk wine supply business.

Zymurgorium, the Manchester-based distillery, has teamed up with the UK’s oldest family run marmalade producer to create a new gin.

Budweiser Budvar has announced it is broadening its UK portfolio by forming strategic partnerships with “credible, craft drinks brands” that meet the growing opportunities in the UK market.

Gladwin: beer with a bite

Majestic Wine has demonstrated its continued focus on the beer category by giving a national listing to organic Scottish brewer Black Isle.

Carling has unveiled a refreshed brand identity that will be introduced across its full portfolio.

Pinkster is introducing Gin Jam, a mildly alcoholic preserve made with fresh raspberries left over from the company’s gin production.

Spar plans to run an in-store Craft Beer and Ale event next month to showcase these areas within its beer range.

Box Steam Brewery has added an IPA to its growing range of beers.

World of Zing has anounced plans to rebrand its drinks division to Spirit of Zing, following its successful crowdfunding campaign, which saw it surpass its £150,000 target. 

Hallgarten Druitt & Novum Wines has added to its Argentinean portfolio with the Zorzal Eggo range, a collection of wines which are all vinified in concrete eggs.

Carlsberg UK’s revitalisation of its Carlsberg brand continues with the launch of limited edition packaging for its 3.8% abv beer – called The Kobenhavn Collection – as part of a planned £15m spend to connect with millennial drinkers. 

Conviviality has reported strong half-year results following the major restructure last year, which segmented its business into three separate units.

Tesco has agreed to buy the UK’s biggest food wholesaler, Booker Group, in a £3.7bn deal.

Diageo said sales in Great Britain “were broadly flat” in the second half of 2016 as global sales rose 4.4%.

Borough Wines has appointed Kent Barker as its new commercial director for its wholesale business, the newly renamed Borough Wines Imports.

Michèle Haddon has taken over as managing director for Sopexa UK and Ireland after Anne Burchett left the business in late 2016.

William Grant & Sons UK has appointed two new UK brand ambassadors for its brands The Balvenie and Reyka Vodka.

Funkin is gearing up to expand its on-trade cocktail expertise further into the off-trade.

Hogs Back Brewery is putting its London’s Outback ale into cans, following the success of its Hogstar English Craft Lager in the same pack format.

The Association of Convenience Stores has called on the government to help secure the future of the UK’s 19,128 rural shops, allowing then to continue to provide essential services such as Post Office, for customers that would otherwise be isolated.

Morgenrot, the Manchester-based beer and wine importer, has enhanced its world beer collection with a lager from Malta.

Diageo has identified a number of emerging socialising trends for the year ahead in its first Future Series report, highlighting in particular the growing importance of entertaining at home.

Barwell & Jones plans to launch an “invigorated campaign” to promote its new Rioja wine house, Marques de Riscal, in the UK.

Wolf Blass has announced it plans to bring back its Limited Edition Rugby Label campaign in time for the key winter rugby season.

Litmus Wines has released its 2014 Litmus Red Pinot, the first red Pinot Noir released under this label since 2011.

Ka Tahi Wines is set to introduce its wines to the UK market and multiple retailers sit at the top of its wish list for listings.

Ilkley Brewery has revealed plans to introduce its bestselling beers in a new canned range.

North South Wines (NSW) is to hold its first ever portfolio tasting, as a result of three years of successful trading with case sales now hitting the one million mark.

Berkshire-based Milton Sandford Wines has bought the Secret Cellar chain of wine shops in Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Milton Sandford, which is headed up by John Winchester, has been supplying the on-trade for 26 years.

Jeroboams has revealed plans to expand its estate of London wine stores to 12 over the next four to five years. Managing director Hugh Sturges, who joined the business from Berry Bros & Rudd in 2015, told OLN he wants to open two shops this year, one by the end of 2018 then potentially a new store every 18 months.

Online retailer Virgin Wines grew sales 15.4% in the run up to Christmas, making it the best festive trading period in its history.

Vinexpo is targeting 10 leading UK buyers to be part of a 100-strong annual buying trip taking in some of the most unheralded but progressive regions.

Drinks trade charity The Benevolent has appointed industry veteran Tom Yusef as chairman following the completion of Dan Townsend’s successful two-year tenure. 

The UK’s leading retailers, bar operators and communicators were rewarded for their hard work in making rum one of the BWS trade’s most dynamic categories at OLN’s inaugural Think Rum event yesterday.

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has unveiled a new £4.5m advertising campaign to support Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, which it says is now the fastest growing of the top five cola brands in Great Britain.

Kingfisher Beer Europe is to market and distribute the popular Indonesia beer brand Bintang Beer across the UK and selected European markets.

Vinita Italia is ready to tap into the UK’s Italian wine market with the launch of a new UK base.

Fallen Brewing has become one of the first craft breweries in Scotland to install a canning line and move its entire beer range into cans.

Les Vignobles Foncalieu will launch two new blended wines at this year’s Vinisud show in Montpelier, France.

Pinkster Gin has launched its first limited edition bottle for Valentine’s Day.

Liberty Wines has reached an agreement to become UK distributor for Sogrape, whose portfolio includes Mateus rosé, Sandeman port and various ranges from around the world.

Gin sales grew 14.5% to £420 million in UK supermarkets in 2016, making it the best performing spirits category.

BWS sales grew 5.7% over Christmas and drove the FMCG market to its best festive performance in four years (Nielsen, four weeks to December 31, 2016).

The producer of Skinny Prosecco has revealed plans to expand the business in 2017 following strong growth last year. 

Portsmouth City Council has failed in a bid to outlaw Oranjeboom lager and K cider on grounds they promote irresponsible drinking.

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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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