Dom Pérignon has released its vintage 2009 cuvée and chef de cave Richard Geoffroy is raving about its quality.

Kopparberg has extended its fruit cider range with the launch of a Blueberry & Lime variant.

Blossom Hill has launched an on-pack promotion offering consumers the chance to win discounts on bestselling make-up brands like Rimmel and Clinique.

UK agents that shun the London Wine Fair deserve to be questioned by the brands they represent about a missed opportunity, according to Patrick McGrath MW.

Berry Bros & Rudd is opening a new retail store opposite St James’s Palace as it aims to position itself as “a one-of-a-kind destination for wine and spirits in the heart of London”.

Soaring sales of lager, ale, gin and sparkling wine have helped the off-trade BWS market grow by 2.3% to £16.1 billion in the past year (Nielsen, year to April 22, 2017).

Conviviality has quadrupled its turnoverin four years after buying Matthew Clark, Bibendum PLB and Wine Rack, but chief executive Diana Hunter insists it is not “deal hungry”.

Welcome to our annual list of the 100 most influential people in the UK wine industry, covering retailers, suppliers, wholesalers, writers, TV stars and lobbyists.

In 1863 Abraham Lincoln was in the White House abolishing slavery, Queen Victoria was at the height of her power and William Ewart Gladstone was chancellor of the exchequer. The Football Association had just been founded, the very first London Underground tube was embarking upon its maiden voyage and Archduke Franz Ferdinand was born.

Off Licence News has been rebranded to better reflect its position in the market and will now be called Drinks Retailing News as it champions the off-trade in 2017 and beyond.

Marks & Spencer has started selling 32 wines bought en primeur from the 2014 Bordeaux vintage as it aims to set itself apart from rival multiples. 

Sparkling Pinot Grigio in 20cl cans is the latest innovation from Off-Piste Wines in its bid to modernise the UK wine category.

Drinks trade charity The Benevolent will auction a 13-strong collection of vintage Champagnes from Taittinger at the 2017 International Wine Challenge awards dinner.

Marston’s has consolidated its position as Britain’s leading ale producer by purchasing the Charles Wells brewery and brands for £55 million.

Marks & Spencer was the most awarded retailer at the 2017 International Wine Challenge as it scooped 146 medals, including 12 golds.

SITT founder Judy Kendrick has re-joined the fold and will serve as brand ambassador for the tasting after it was purchased by OLN owner Agile Media.

Bertrand Steip is taking over as managing director of Moët Hennessy UK to replace the outgoing Jo Thornton.

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte has appointed Christophe Juarez as managing director, replacing the outgoing Julie Campos.

Asda has revealed ambitious plans to become the UK’s leading craft beer retailer after bolstering its range with more than 100 brews from across the world.

Hannah Tovey is taking over as event director at the London Wine Fair after Ross Carter announced he was leaving the post to join Fresh Montgomery.

Copestick Murray is expanding its I Heart range with a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, a Mendoza Malbec and a Rioja.

Brooklyn Brewery’s has chosen the UK as the international market to debut its Scorcher IPA, a 4.5% abv brew made with Amarillo, Simcoe, Cascade and Bravo hops.

Heather Graham and Guy Ritchie have launched a coconut-flavoured rum, but these are drinks industry stars rather than Hollywood icons.

Brockmans gin saw UK sales grow 245% in 2016 after it gained listings with Marks & Spencer and Harvey Nicholls, among others.

The team that rejuvenated Kestrel lager and Diamond cider is now targeting UK retailers with a Finnish cider called Fizz.

Leading online craft beer retailer Beer Hawk has appointed Russell Clarke to head up efforts to boost sales to the trade.

John Timothy has taken over as chief executive at the Portman Group after a decade in senior public affairs roles at Tesco.

Suffolk producer Aspall has launched canned cider to satisfy growing demand for consumers for “mid-strength cider that doesn’t compromise on quality or taste”.

Australia has long been head and shoulders above the other wine producing countries in UK volume and value sales, but sales have finally started to dip slightly. The only top 10 countries of origin in growth – New Zealand, Argentina and Chile – all have a higher average bottle price than Australia, so it is arguably time for the industry to come together to drive value into the Australia category to preserve its long-term health.

More than 250 wines will be poured at the Wines of Germany trade tasting at the Hospital Club in London on May 9.

A leading cider producer has challenged the anti-alcohol lobby over the unsubstantiated claims it has been making about white cider in the national media.

Lanchester Wines has bolstered its sales team in a bid to re-establish itself as a quality supplier and target numerous trade channels with “boutique bulk” wine.

One million vines are being planted across England in 2017 to meet soaring demand for homegrown bubbly and still wines from grapes such as Bacchus and Pinot Noir. That is enough to fill Hyde Park, and the names of the producers planting the vines gives cause for excitement. 

Australian winery Oxford Landing has launched a premium tier called Marty’s Block to honour the estate’s long-serving vineyard manager.

Spanish wine sales can return to growth in the next year thanks to its diversity and ability to compete at both ends of the market, according to a leading importer.

Morrisons' wine buying manager Andrew Ingham is leaving the retailer to take over as category manager for wine at Greene King.

Majestic ran a blind tasting exercise with 1,100 shoppers and found that 66% preferred its new Majestic Loves range to supermarket wines of a similar price.

Sogrape has strengthened its bond with UK distributor Liberty Wines by purchasing a minority stake in the business.

Oxford battled to victory over bitter rivals Cambridge in the Boat Race yesterday and the winners celebrated by spraying jeroboams of Chapel Down all over each other.

Tesco has been named the brand most associated with Brexit in the wake of a feud with Heineken that saw the supermarket delist 22 of its SKUs.

The first episode of wine podcast A Glass With featured pop superstar Pink, and producer Richard Hemming MW has revealed they became friends after she followed him on Twitter.

OLN’s resident MW Richard Hemming is teaming up with wine personality and all round jolly good fellow Olly Smith for a new podcast.

Sainsbury’s has completed its biggest wine range review in years after seeking to answer shoppers’ desires for more unusual styles, make the fixture easier to navigate and simplify pricing. 

Prosecco sales are forecast to grow 17.3% to 8.3 million cases by 2020 and Brits’ insatiable thirst for the Italian sparkler will prop up an otherwise declining category.

Fine wine specialist Friarwood is putting the focus firmly on retail and e-commerce as it celebrates its 50th birthday this year.

Peter Bowen started the business in 1967, when he began importing top Bordeaux direct from the châteaux and supplying the UK on-trade.

Heineken is launching a 0% abv lager under its eponymous brand in response to the growing consumer trend for moderation.

Treasury Wine Estates has appointed Tom King as managing director for Europe after Dan Townsend sadly passed away.

The soaring popularity of gin and fruit cider has been cemented as the Office for National Statistics including the drinks in the virtual basket it uses to measure inflation.

Treasury Wine Estates’ European managing director Dan Townsend has sadly passed away.

The Rothschild Collection will make its London Wine Fair debut this year and a special invitation-only tasting will see one bottle of 2010 Chateau Lafite opened.

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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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