Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference French Sparkling Cider has won the International Cider Challenge 2012.

Booker’s wine category manager, Rob Hart, has left the business to start his own microbrewery.

MSPs have agreed a sunset clause in proposed minimum pricing legislation which will see the measure automatically expire after six years unless a specific order is made by ministers for it to continue.

Bargain Booze joint managing director Matthew Hughes has left the business after owner ECI Partners called off its search for a buyer for the franchise chain.

HM Revenue & Customs has stepped up its work with local councils to strip retailers who sell duty-defrauded and counterfeit alcohol of their licences.

Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands has launched a trade support programme for convenience stores.

Gallo’s E&J Brandy has launched a scratchcard promotion for independent convenience stores.

Peroni is taking a giant cube installation on a UK tour as part of its new advertising campaign.

Molson Coors has launched a £2 million ad campaign for citrus-flavoured 2.8% abv lager Carling Zest.

Accolade Wines has launched a new range of canned, pre-mixed cocktails based on its Hardys, Banrock Stations, Echo Falls and Stone’s wines.

Bargain Booze owner ECI Partners has called off its search for a buyer for the franchise chain.

A competition for consumers to win a trip to a number of exotic locations around the world will appear in an on-pack promotion for Courvoisier Cognac this summer.

González Byass is set to release a special edition of Tio Pepe En Rama, its unclarified, unfiltered fino, to celebrate the 200th birthday of the winery’s founder Manuel Maria González.

New look for Nyetimber

27 April, 2012

English sparkling wine Nyetimber has revamped its packaging in time for the UK’s summer of celebrations.

Islay’s Bruichladdich distillery has boosted its operating profits by 19.6% to £1.4 million, it has announced in its latest results.

Westons’ Henry Westons cider has become the official sponsor of the Cheltenham Jazz & Literature Festival for the next three years – and is celebrating by offering OLN readers tickets to the jazz festival on May 4-7.

Tesco is taking a stand at the London International Wine Fair and is calling on suppliers and producers to come to its wine team with ideas and projects – in what the supermarket is calling a “Dragons Den-style opportunity”.

Diageo GB is boosting distribution of its Nigerian-brewed Guinness Foreign Extra Stout and non-alcoholic Malta Guinness through Surrey-based distributor Kato Enterprises.

Heineken has launched a multi-million pound ad campaign for Strongbow, positioning the cider as a reward for “men who get the job done”.

Blavod Wines & Spirits is introducing its own spiced rum as a replacement for Cockspur, the agency rights to which it lost in October 2010.

Oxford Wine Co opens its fourth store on Friday.

Carlsberg will have special packs featuring England footballers on sale from late May until the end of Euro 2010 in July.

Online retailer Slurp has launched a microsite in a bid to build sales of corporate gifts of wine.

Graham Mackay is to step down as chief executive of SAB Miller – the group whose brands include Peroni and Pilsner Urquell – in July.

An influential group of local government officials wants to see health experts given a say in the issue of licences to off-trade retailers.

Rapid growth from the new wave of lower-alcohol wines is failing to halt decline in the overall wine market. 

The latest round of increases in drinks duty has failed to dampen the ardour of supermarkets for heavy price promotions, with a range of deals hitting the market since the Budget.

The latest round of increases in drinks duty has failed to dampen the ardour of supermarkets for heavy price promotions, with a range of deals hitting the market since the Budget.

Australian wine producers are to be allowed to cherry-pick the specific marketing activities they want to participate in rather than signing up for the whole annual generic programme.

The All Party Parliamentary Beer Group has launched its own inquiry into beer tax fraud.

A new Community Alcohol Partnership scheme has been launched in Great Yarmouth to crack down on under-age drinking and antisocial behaviour. 

Online retailer Slurp has launched a French site in what it is calling “an audacious bid to beat the French on their own patch”.

Barefoot Wine has signed up environmentalist and adventurer Ben Fogle to front its annual Beach Rescue Project.

Landmark Wholesale has given its Vintners Collection wine range a new look and grown it with a new Italian Pinot Grigio, Australian Pinot Grigio and South African Shiraz/Grenache blend.

ASA bans Budweiser ad

11 April, 2012

A radio ad for Budweiser has been banned for linking alcohol to sexual success.

Lincolnshire Police and licensing officers from North Kesteven District Council have seized £6,000 worth of alcohol from an off-licence after it failed a test purchase sting.

Low alcohol gathers pace

10 April, 2012

Blossom Hill and Gallo are both developing 5.5% abv wines to target the growing low-alcohol wine market.

The generic marketing body for the Rhône valley has earmarked a £1 million investment to push its wines in the UK this year. 

Following the success of last year’s initiative, OLN is again working with Wines of South Africa to target leading independents. We are offering two readers the opportunity to win a trip to the Cape Wine fair, taking place in Cape Town from September 25-27. 

Off Licence News is inviting independent readers to register for a £50 bursary to visit the London International Wine Fair in May. 

The government insists it is determined to step up efforts to clamp down on duty fraud and support responsible retailers disadvantaged by criminal gangs.

Proxy buying increases

10 April, 2012

Proxy purchasing is on the rise and supermarkets are now seen as the most difficult places for under-age drinkers to get alcohol, a new study has found.

Ambitious plans for chain

10 April, 2012

Rhythm & Booze could become a nationwide franchise chain after it was bought by Costcutter owner Bibby Retail Services in a pre-pack administration.

Guy Wilkes, owner of Somerset wine merchant the Wine Shed, has died of pancreatic cancer aged 49.

Tobacco products can no longer be displayed in large stores from tomorrow (April 6).

WKD is set to launch what it says is its biggest ever promotional campaign this summer.

Tesco has relaunched its wine case subscription service Tesco Wine Select with six more pre-mixed cases and new deals for subscribers.

The Three Wine Men are offering independent retailers the chance to show their wares at their shows in Manchester and Edinburgh this summer.

Pernod Ricard UK’s channel director for wine Lee James has been promoted within the group to international brand development manager for premium wine brands EMEA.

Carlsberg UK has launched a £6 million marketing campaign for San Miguel’s Fresca offshoot.

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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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