ruling by magistrates in Leeds could alter the way licensing committees and other courts measure the suitability of garages for drinks licences.

Fraud or suspected fraud may have cost UK wine companies as much as £1.3 million since last May, the Wine & Spirit Trade Association has revealed.

The Jubilee gave retailers a sales boost in June according to the Confederation of British Industry.

Ireland’s C&C Group has said sales of Magners cider plummeted in the second quarter of this year because of the poor weather.

Malt whisky the Macallan has launched a new range exclusive to the UK – the 1824 Series.

Molson Coors UK has confirmed plans to reposition it Grolsch lager away from the mainstream premium lager category and into the booming world beers category.

The Portman Group is looking for a new chair for its independent complaints panel, which rules on complaints about irresponsible alcohol marketing.

Romanian wine exports to the UK nearly trebled in 2011, latest figures have revealed.

Kent’s Community Alcohol Partnership scheme is being rolled out across the county after successful pilot schemes in Edenbridge, Canterbury and Thanet.

Hastings, in East Sussex, is cracking down on alcohol-related antisocial behaviour and under-age drinking in a new Community Alcohol Partnership scheme.

The makers of a herbal liqueur have been asked to change their marketing because it made medical claims about the drink.

Bacchus wines scooped five trophies in the English & Welsh Wine of the Year competition, run by the United Kingdom Vineyards Association.

Naked Wines is investing £526,000 to help Marlborough winemaker Mike Paterson set up his own label.

New look for Echo Falls

20 June, 2012

Accolade Wines has given Echo Falls a new look as part of a year-long campaign for the brand with an unprecedented spend.

Rhythm & Booze’s new owner believes its plans for the chain could breathe new life into a “tired” high street off-licence sector.

Is your operation the best in the business? Then enter Off Licence News’s Drinks Retailing Awards and get the trophy and the recognition you deserve.

More indies at LIWF

15 June, 2012

The number of independent retailers visiting the London wine fair was up by 12% this year, while the number of visi- tors from off-licences was up 7%, according to organiser Brintex.

Online drinks retailer Slurp is to introduce daily deal promotions in a move it hopes will appeal to supermarket wine shoppers.

Online drinks retailers risk selling alcohol to under-18s because there are not enough policies and checks in place to prevent it, a new report has warned.

A new company has been set up to provide marketing and sales support to overseas craft brewers.

Heineken buys Stassen

15 June, 2012

Heineken has bought Belgian cidermaker Stassen in a move to boost its production capacity and bolster its new product development capability.

Diageo boss Paul Walsh has described a planned £1 billion investment in distilleries and warehousing as a “pivotal movement” in its participation in the global Scotch whisky market.

Wine and spirits prices have risen by more than twice the level of inflation in the past year, and sales are declining in shops, the Wine & Spirit Trade Association has reported.

Frosty Jack's ads banned

13 June, 2012

Three Youtube ads for Frosty Jack’s have been banned for appealing to under-18s.

Cockspur rum is introducing a spiced version in the UK, the first major product launch since the distribution rights switched to Whyte & Mackay in October 2010.

Oddbins is launching a national competition to find the UK’s best amateur wine tasters.

Chilean winery Santa Rita is looking for retail partners for sales of a wine to raise money for the armed forces charity Help for Heroes.

Miller Genuine Draft lager is being backed by new TV advertising and sponsorship.

Chilean wine brand Casillero del Diablo has launched a press and Facebook campaign based around the legend of the “devil’s cellar”, which is what the brand’s name means.

Brand Phoenix’s Etienne Dumont and First Cape brands will be the exclusive Champagne and wine sponsors of the Jubilee Family Festival which takes place in Hyde Park on June 2-3.

Lower-alcohol wine sales will grow but will never be a huge slice of the wine market, Wine Intelligence has predicted.

Champagne Jacquart is launching a cooler bag for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the picnic season.

Wells & Young’s marketing director Chris Lewis is to leave the business to set up his own marketing consultancy.

Visitors to the Taste of London festival will be able to try an unfiltered and unpasteurised version of Pilsner Urquell, the original golden pilsner-style beer from the Czech Republic.

OLN's Tim Atkin MW has won one of Wine Intelligence's 10 for 10 Business Awards.

Around 95% of human beings' decision-making process is done subconsciously, according to Wine Intelligence - and the wine trade needs to be aware of that in its marketing.

Australian wine brand Brown Brothers has signed a deal to be the official wine partner at this year’s Kew the Music season of concerts.

Proof Drinks has launched a 35% abv Irish whiskey and American grain whiskey, infused with green apple juice.

Patriarche Wine Agencies has revamped its Australian portfolio, bringing in boutique producers from Western Australia and New South Wales.

Australian Vintage has launched a 5.5% abv wine that comes in a clear pint bottle with crown cap.

Off-Piste Wines has launched new ranges from Australia, Italy and South Africa at the London International Wine Fair.

Treasury Wine Estates has launched a range of wines from Beringer that are designed to be the entry point for the winery's premium California portfolio.

Gaymers Cider is set to relaunch with a new look and two new fruit flavours – Pear Cider with Raspberry and Pear Cider with Cherry and Apple – in June.

Supermarkets need to stop concentrating on deals and discounts and sell wines for their own sake, according to Paul MacKenzie, chief executive of consumer research company The Source.

Lighter-style wines, a greater awareness of environmental issues and a growing interest in quality and variety are among the key trends shaping the global wine industry today, according to writer and broadcaster Jancis Robinson MW.

Fine wine could become much more attractive to investors if the crisis in the Eurozone deepens, according to FT investment columnist John Authers.

Molson Coors-owned Sharp’s has created three bottled beers to be partnered with food.

Malibu will be targeting shoppers in Cardiff, Liverpool and Birmingham with cocktail sampling between June 28 and July 15.

Sierra tequila is to be advertised on perimeter boards at Roy Hodgson's first match as England manager on May 26.

Irish cider producer C&C Group has seen revenue growth from its Magners cider brand in GB for the first time in five years.

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Faith in fakes

One of the most fascinating stories in wine, fit to stand alongside the Judgement of Paris, is that of Rudy Kurniawan, a man who managed to fool friends, auction houses and experts into believing they were drinking some of the world’s most expensive wines.

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