Online retailer and bottler Master of Malt has launched what it says is the world’s hottest chilli vodka.

Sainsbury’s winemaker Clem Yates MW is leaving the retailer to join Off-Piste Wines as sourcing and supply director.

The Scottish government has accused supermarkets of “undermining the spirit” of its alcohol laws by selling cheap drinks.

Paul Braydon has joined Guy Anderson Wines as national account manager.

A 5.8% rise in volume sales of Magners cider in GB in the quarter to November 30, 2011, has been reported by Dublin-based C&C Group.

New sparklers from Distell

17 January, 2012

Brand Phoenix and Distell have launched two new sparkling wines.

The Wine Society has appointed Berry Bros & Rudd chief operating officer Robin McMillan as its new chief executive.

Beefeater gin has launched a limited edition pack to celebrate its London heritage.

Bibendum is to launch 23 new wineries at its annual trade tasting next week.

Central Otago wine brand Wooing Tree has joined Seckford Agencies’ portfolio.

Exportiberia opens UK office

16 January, 2012

Regional Spanish wine specialist Exportiberia has opened a UK office.

Blue Nun has launched a low-alcohol range of wines at 5.5% abv.

Pre-mixed drinks scooped a host of awards in the 2012 Pre-mixed Drinks Challenge, run by OLN’s sister paper Drinks International.

Scotland should consider stopping supermarkets from selling alcohol, a leading Scottish psychiatrist has said.

A man has been found dead at the Glenfiddich distillery in Scotland. According to several newspapers, Brian Ettles died in a 16ft washback.

Pernod Ricard UK deputy managing director Simon Thomas has been named the new chairman of the Benevolent.

Xenia Irwin to leave Spar

10 January, 2012

Xenia Irwin MW is to leave Spar to become commercial manager at ABS Wine Agencies.

Changes at Thierry's

10 January, 2012

Thierry’s has made two appointments in its management team.

New flavour for Lambrini

10 January, 2012

Halewood International has launched a new flavour for Lambrini.

Majestic’s sales grew 8.4% over the nine weeks of Christmas trading from November 1 to January 2, the retailer has reported.

Argentina specialist Las Bodegas is adding 30 new wines to its portfolio over the next two months – all of them new to the UK.

Sainsbury’s is running an in-store campaign to raise awareness of alcohol units, promote lighter-style wines and encourage consumers to manage their drinking responsibly.

Czech brewery Budweiser Budvar has reported record exports in 2011.

Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer is setting up a ski lodge at the Outdoors Show at London’s Excel exhibition centre from January 12-15.

Jacob’s Creek has signed up tennis star Andre Agassi for a three-year global campaign promoting its wines.

Rémy Martin has launched a cask-finished VSOP for the European market.

Codorníu has appointed a new UK brand manager as part of a reshuffle in its sales and marketing departments.

The Oxford Wine Co has appointed Marcia Waters MW as wine buyer.

Accolade Wines has launched a website to help independent convenience stores grow their sales today (January 4).

Fine wine prices fell 15% in 2011, fine wine index Liv-ex has reported.

Naked Wines ad banned

04 January, 2012

A Naked Wines ad offering its customers their money back has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Booker is launching a campaign that aims to draw 2 million extra shoppers to independent retailers.

JTI has launched its first value roll-your-own tobacco brand – Sterling Rolling.

Pessac-Léognan grand cru estate Château Brown has introduced a Quick Response code for its forthcoming vintages.

Eristoff has launched a 70cl bottle price-marked at £11.49.

Girls are being taken to hospital following binge drinking in greater numbers than boys, government figures reveal.

Brighton has created what is thought to be the biggest cumulative impact area in the UK.

England could be about to follow Scotland with plans for minimum prices for alcohol.

The Scottish health minister has come under fire for failing to declare the government’s preferred level for minimum alcohol pricing.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley has rejected the idea of using minimum pricing as a way of curbing problem drinking.

The government remains convinced that minimum unit pricing for alcohol is illegal under European law, despite the Scottish government’s determination to press ahead with the policy.

Medics have repeated their call for the government to use minimum pricing as a way of curbing alcohol misuse.

Christmas tunes annoy shoppers

13 December, 2011

Shoppers feel they are being bombarded with the same Christmas songs over and over again, a new poll has revealed.

Retail awards shortlist out

13 December, 2011

Off Licence News has released the shortlist for our prestigious Drinks Retailing Awards 2012. 

Inflation on wine and spirits has leapt up in the past month, according to the Office of National Statistics and the Wilson Drinks Report.

Sainsbury’s is tipping gin as a top-selling spirit this Christmas.

Wine sales dropped 3% in the past year and the pace of decline has accelerated this autumn as tax hikes bite, the WSTA has reported.

Molson Coors has written to 60 MPs across the UK to challenge the duty escalator on beer by highlighting the relationship between barley farming and brewing.

Diageo has invested £2 million in a digital media and consumer PR push for Captain Morgan’s Spiced.

£2m push for Guinness

12 December, 2011

Diageo has launched a £2 million Christmas ad campaign for Guinness.

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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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