Tesco has added an English sparkler to its range ahead of the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics.

The Scottish government has set its preferred minimum unit price for alcohol at 50p.

Bacardi-Brown Forman Brands is running a free branded glass promotion on 500,000 bottles of its spirits brands in grocery accounts and convenience stores.

AB Inbev is set to launch a pear variant of its Stella Artois Cidre.

Oddbins has launched what it says is “the world’s first synchronised wine and music-matching event”.

Adnams has opened a new Cellar & Kitchen shop in Norwich.

Marks & Spencer is introducing 15 wines from six eastern Mediterranean countries.

Online retailer Naked Wines is moving into the US and Australia with low-key retail operations setting up in both countries over the summer.

The amount of land under vine in England has grown by more than 60% in just five years, according to the latest figures from the Wine Standards Branch of the Food Standards Agency.

Specsavers is looking for women in drinks retailing to enter its Everywoman in Retail awards.

D&D Wines has collapsed after running into cash flow problems, OLN has learned.

A West Midlands wine retailer is hoping to expand with franchised shops.

Ireland’s independent off-licence sector will go out of business in five years, warns the chairwoman of the National Off-Licence Association, unless the Irish government enforces legislation to curb aggressive price promotion and introduces structural segregation of alcohol.

It has emerged that the number of people who lost their jobs in last year’s collapse of Simon Baile’s Oddbins was almost twice that stated by administrator Deloitte at the time.

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.

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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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