Molson Coors has launched a limited edition 2.8% abv, citrus-flavoured version of Carling – Carling Zest.

Wines of South Africa chief executive Su Birch has become the first of 10 people honoured by Wine Intelligence for their achievements in the wine business.

Raisin Social has signed up South African producer Du Toitskloof and will be its exclusive UK representative for a new range of Fairtrade products.

Jeneve Williams is to join Marks & Spencer as winemaker for Bordeaux, Loire, Italy, Chile, Hungary, Argentina, rosé and sparkling wine.

Yalumba-owned Negociants UK is to handle its own sales direct to independents for the first time, after a deal which saw it use third party distribution through Berkmann Wine Cellars came to an end.

Wine and spirits sales have declined in the off-trade as consumers have reined in their spending, according to a report for the Wine & Spirit Trade Association.

First Cape has launched an online wine club as part of its sponsorship of the British & Irish Lions tour of Australia.

OLN’s Tim Atkin MW has been shortlisted as one of the figures in the wine trade who has achieved great things in the past decade, and changed the industry for the better. 

Sourz launches RTD range

05 March, 2012

Maxxium UK has launched an RTD version of its Sourz shots range.

Royal Tokaji stock stolen

02 March, 2012

More than 500 cases of Royal Tokaji wine have been stolen from a lorry parked near the Dartford Tunnel.

Glenfiddich has repackaged its 21 Year Old single malt Scotch whisky and released its first ever vatted vintage reserve, from 1974.

Molson Coors has licensed Global Brands to produce and distribute its Reef RTD brand.

Majestic, Tanners and the Wine Society have been honoured at an awards ceremony for those in the UK who make an outstanding contribution to supporting Portuguese wine.

Thatchers Rosé has been released in a 50cl single serve bottle for the first time.

Highland Park has reintroduced a 21 Year Old single malt to the UK two years after the distillery sold out of the expression worldwide.

Laithwaites has bought a vineyard near the village of Castillon in Bordeaux, where founder Tony Laithwaite first began importing wine into the UK under the name Bordeaux Direct.

Cockspur rum has been named the official rum of West Indies cricket for the team’s tour of England this year.

Majestic wins e-commerce award

29 February, 2012

Majestic has been given an award for its innovative use of online media.

González Byass sales director Melissa Draycott and London restaurateur Abel Lusa have joined the ranks of the Gran Orden de Caballeros.

ASA bans Laithwaites ad

29 February, 2012

A Laithwaites ad has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority for misleading consumers.

New look for Champagne Devaux

29 February, 2012

Champagne Devaux has repackaged its Classics range to bring its look into line with the premium Collection D portfolio.

New look for Snow Queen vodka

28 February, 2012

Organic Kazakhstan vodka Snow Queen has had a revamp.

Fuller’s has bottled its Black Cab stout and will be releasing it to supermarkets next month.

Carling updates iPint app

28 February, 2012

Molson Coors has launched a new version of its Carling iPint app, which lets users pretend to drink beer through their smartphones.

Drinkaware is starting to see “green shoots of behaviour change” among its target audiences.

More than a quarter of tobacco smoked in the UK is non-duty paid, according to estimates from Japan Tobacco International.

Range revamp for Campo Viejo

28 February, 2012

Pernod Ricard UK is revamping the Campo Viejo range in a bid to raise awareness of the Tempranillo grape and the wines of Rioja.

The Portman Group has appointed two new members to its Independent Complaints Panel, which considers complaints about irresponsible alcohol marketing under the body’s code of practice.

New Zealand winemaker Rod Easthope has pre-sold 24,000 bottles of unmade wine worth more than £280,000 in 24 hours after signing up with Naked Wines.

As part of our ongoing campaign against duty fraud – Fight Against Fraud – Off Licence News is calling on retailers to let us know how they’ve been affected by duty fraud.

Pernod Ricard has launched a kit to make an espresso martini at home.

Bigger bottle for St Stefanus

22 February, 2012

Miller Brands has launched a 75cl version of its Belgian craft beer St Stefanus.

One tenth of all beer sales in the UK are illicit, according to HM Revenue & Customs.

New Zealand winemaker Rod Easthope, who recently resigned as chief winemaker of Craggy Range, will make an exclusive range of wines for Naked Wines in a £300,000 project.

Independent push for Portugal

22 February, 2012

Wines of Portugal is targeting independent wine merchants in a new push to enthuse the wine trade about the quality and diversity of Portuguese wines.

Gallo will launch Moscato wines under its Gallo Family Vineyards and Barefoot labels next month, the winery has announced.

Codorníu has extended its Anna de Codorníu range with Anna de Codorníu Blanc de Noirs, exclusive to independent wine merchants and the on-trade.

The agency which organised National Wine Month last year has called on the wine trade to ask if wants to continue the initiative this year.

Outdoor ad push for Stella

21 February, 2012

AB Inbev has launched an outdoor ad campaign for Stella Artois that aims to highlight the brand’s brewing heritage.

The Wine Institute of California and Off Licence News are giving independents the chance to win a trip to the Golden State and an Enomatic wine sampling machine.

Bottled beers are driving growth in the ale market but retailers are missing £20 million in sales due to out-of-stocks, according to new figures. 

Fraudsters face jail terms

17 February, 2012

The owner of an Essex bonded warehouse has been jailed for 10 years for leading a £50 million alcohol and VAT fraud.

Diageo has said a decline in UK sales of its spirits brands in the last half of 2011 was the result of a reduction of its active involvement in deep supermarket promotions. 

Alcoholic energy drink Crunk Juce is set to relaunch as Crunk CJ after the Portman Group banned it in its original format. 

Trade bodies have responded to prime minister David Cameron’s pledge to tackle problem drinking today (February 15). 

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced plans to cut alcohol abuse. A problem he calls "one of the scandals of our society".

A £1 million fund to help local communities tackle under-age and binge-drinking has been launched by the government’s champion for active safer communities, Baroness Newlove.

The Wine & Spirit Trade Association has called on the government to scrap this year’s planned alcohol tax hike to give businesses a boost for the Olympics.

Waitrose has scooped five awards in OLN's Drinks Retailing Awards -  including the Lifetime Achievement Award, which went to Dee Blackstock MW.

A tonic wine which features a naked couple embracing on its label and a cider branded as “hard” have been banned by the Portman Group.

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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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