The Government needs to “get a grip” and produce a clear plan to prevent Brexit chaos, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

Sales of sparkling wine grew 12% in the last year, according to the latest figures from the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

Rum Sixty-Six has launched two new expressions: Extra Old and Cask Strength, which are aged for six and 12 years respectively.

Majestic has enlisted three celebrity winemakers to create their own ‘signature dish’, which will then be bottled and sold in stores.

Kokoro Gin has launched a miniature bottle of its Japanese-inspired London Dry Gin.

Xeco Wines is on a mission to give sherry “a total reinvention” by taking it into the aperitif scene.

Jamaica Inn Black Ginger Rum has been “quietly launched” into its Cornwall heartlands, by premium spirits distributor, Mangrove.

Brighton Gin has created 400 limited edition bottles of its gin designed to celebrate Brighton Pride.

Buckingham Schenk has launched a new Malbec blend from Vinalba.

Hambledon Vineyard in Hampshire has been approved as an official programme provider for the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) and will be offering WSET Level 1 and Level 2 courses starting this Autumn.

Fentimans has launched a canned range of its most popular botanically brewed flavours.

McColl’s Retail Group has reached an agreement with Morrisons Supermarkets to supply McColl’s growing estate of 1300 convenience stores and 350 newsagents.

Loch Lomond Whiskies has unveiled two new single malts from its Island Collection.

Aston Manor’s sales grew by 4% to £113 million in 2016 and it now believes it offers a breadth of range that is unrivalled in the cider category.

Diageo has reported that it grew market share in the UK off-trade and on-trade in the past year, largely thanks to the strength of Baileys, Guinness and Gordon’s.

Amazon finished top of the pile as retailers completed a clean sweep in a survey designed to find the UK’s top brands for customer service.

The researcher responsible for a Guardian front page suggesting a soaring alcohol misuse epidemic could kill 63,000 people said the real headline should have been: “slow news day produces unexpected headlines”.

Commentator Steve Topple has ripped into “fundamentally flawed” research suggesting alcohol abuse will kill 63,000 people in the next five years if punitive measures are not slapped on alcohol.

Fine wine merchant BI Wine said British clients are undeterred by the weak sterling rate after reporting its most successful en primer campaign in seven years.

The UK auction market for single malt Scotch malt whisky has enjoyed a record breaking three months, with sales surpassing £6 million between April and June.

Online drinks retailer 31Dover.com has appointed former Naked Wines sales and marketing director James Bagley as its new chief executive.

A prolonged summer heatwave sparked 19% growth in cider sales and a 17% rise in sparkling wine sales in the grocery channel this summer.

The public health lobby has called for off-licence hours to be cut to 10am-10pm, the reintroduction of the duty escalator, minimum unit pricing of 50p and tighter regulations on alcohol advertising.

Outspoken Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin will join Lord Price, the Minister of State for International Trade, on stage at the annual WSTA Conference.

The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland has slammed a “deeply flawed and misleading” survey used by the Alcohol Health Alliance to argue for reduced advertising of alcohol.

A new gin is set to deliver a boost for Hertfordshire rivers.

Moor Beer is preparing to expand its operations following record sales through 2016.

Nine of London’s top craft beer shops will go head to head next month in a collaborative brewing challenge for London Beer City.

Tesco has launched a new Hungarian range across stores nationally and online.

Tomatin has unveiled its “hotly anticipated” limited edition single malt from its Warehouse 6 Collection, the 1972 edition.

Adnams has introduced its Copper House Dry Gin in a ready-to-drink format.

Wimbledon Brewery has created a special lager for local football side AFC Wimbledon to mark the joint heritage of the two institutions.

Thornbridge Brewery has revealed plans for the next stage of development at its site in Bakewell.

Conviviality has more than doubled its full year profits to £22.5m. The owner of Bargain Booze and Wine Rack reported its pre-tax profits grew 147% on the previous year, and it almost doubled sales to £1.56bn.

Deliveroo has attracted more than 400 BWS partners in the past year and is targeting the convenience sector along with specialist indies as it seeks to increase its footprint.

Retailers sold alcohol to nearly one in six teenage mystery shoppers in 2016 without asking for proof of age, according to new data from Serve Legal. 

Birmingham independent Loki is to grow its flagship store and expand across the city with two new shops. 

The new chair of the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group used his acceptance speech to signal a desire to fight the temperance lobby and push for a fair deal on duty.

To the south of Mongolia lies the landlocked region of Ningxia, which has a similar altitude to the peak of Ben Nevis and enjoys 3,000 hours of sunshine per year.

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust is on a drive to increase the trade’s knowledge of the burgeoning spirits category by overhauling its courses and trying to boost student numbers. 

Aldi has launched a £3.99 sake from Nada-ku and says it costs 28 times less than a comparable sized bottle at renowned London restaurant Nobu.

Lambrini has unveiled a limited-edition bottle wrap “to capture the essence of summer 2017”.

The House of Piper-Heidsieck will release a cuvee exclusively for select high-end wine merchants and restaurants.

Pernod Ricard UK has appointed Philip Ainsworth as its new Marketing Director.

Broadland Wineries is launching a new range of wines from Australia's Langhorne Creek, aimed at the off-trade.

Suffolk-based microbrewery St Peter’s has unveiled Without Gold, a hoppy, golden ale that it claims is full of flavour and completely alcohol free.

The Wine & Spirits Association has been called upon to brief Defra ministers on what the drinks industry needs to maintain its number one global position and continue to grow.

Waitrose has brought out a new magazine for its customers called Waitrose Drinks.

The producer of Salcombe Gin is launching a unique delivery service this summer by making its gin available to the yachting community.

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The shops that stand out from the madding crowd

The judges met last week to sort out the winners in the independent categories of our 2018 Drinks Retailing Awards. The results are top secret until the awards dinner on February 6 but it’s giving nothing away to report that the overall standard of those that will be revealed in the shortlist of finalists in the January issue of DRN is higher than it’s ever been.

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