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Most fathers welcome any excuse to enjoy a glass of their favourite tipple, but Father’s Day is one of the few occasions cemented in the calendar for dads to relax, guilt free.

The Co-operative Group’s BWS trading manager, Simon Cairns, has every reason to be in a bullish mood after the retailer increased its share of the wine market from 9.4% to 10% in the past year (Nielsen). It is the first time the Co-op has ever been in double digits and Cairns says this is just the start.

Solid as a Rioja

11 April, 2016

Reading an Old World wine label elegantly can be a challenge for many Britons, particularly those who can’t boast a language GCSE on their CVs. But despite the fact that “Rioja” clearly has the potential to be pronounced incorrectly, it’s a word and a wine-producing region of Spain that UK consumers have confidently embraced in recent years.

Gin is on everyone's lips

11 March, 2016

A host of leading buyers, producers, bartenders and commentators from across the UK descended on the Hospital Club in London this month for a celebration of all things gin.

In the dog-eat-dog beer market off-licences are taking a bite out of the pub trade – thanks to the growler.

The Australian wine category will nosedive in a brave new retail world obsessed with everyday low pricing if it does not adapt and improve its average price point, according to Hardys supplier Accolade Wines.

Dry and high

21 January, 2016

After the excesses of December the UK has staggered bleary-eyed and pasty-faced into the driest month of the year.

Thought Austria was all about Grüner?

Has there ever been a better time to be a beer wholesaler?

Home Brews

10 November, 2015

Brewers are finally coming to recognise the off-trade’s potential thanks to the craft beer phenomenon, expanding premium bottled ales ranges and an appetite for experimentation among buyers.

Both sides are claiming victory following the latest legal opinion from Luxemburg on the Scottish government’s bid to introduce minimum unit pricing for alcohol.

Back to basics

10 November, 2015

The craft beer trend has woken consumers up to the delights of the brewing world with the taste explosions ofheavily hopped IPAs and the lighter touch of golden ales.

Inspiring Indies: Bier Huis

09 November, 2015

Former TV executive David Jones opened his beer shop in the West Yorkshire town of Ossett in November 2011, with the aim of giving beer fans a go-to store for northern brews where they could park easily.

With 2,600 shops across the UK, each designed to cater for its local market and be a community hub, Spar’s trading managers for wine, Nick Jones and Daphne Teremetz, have got their work cut out.

Cream of the crop

09 November, 2015

Christmas is all about creating an eclectic drinks cabinet, so retailers should ensure those indulgent and unusual cream liqueurs are clearly visible.

Many of the biggest names in BWS started at the bottom. They explain why it is so important to nurture new talent. Christine Boggis reports

Beer: Cheers to Brazil

06 November, 2015

Not everything is quite what it seems. Sitting at a terrace table, taking in mountain views, surrounded by thesort of buildings you see dripping with snow on Christmas cards, it would be easy to think you were in Switzerland or southern Germany. The truth is you are some 6,000 miles away. This is not alpine Europe but Latin America, more precisely a town in Brazil just a couple of hours’ drive from the teeming metropolis of São Paulo.

Sparkling Wine: Bubbling Under

06 November, 2015

The juggernaut of fizzy popularity that is Prosecco is having another good year.

In the enlightened society we live in, it goes without saying that we want our wines to be made by happy, decently paid workers living in sustainable communities where their children can be educated and they get the health and social care they need. Or does it?

There’s no denying the seismic effects Aldi’s inexorable rise – and its growing focus on wine – have had on drinks retailing in general and the big four supermarkets in particular.

It would be overstating things to suggest that Conviviality Retail’s acquisition of Matthew Clark is a game-changer for the drinks industry, but there’s no question that it has catapulted the company previously known only as the owner of Bargain Booze and related brands into a new era.

Satirical website the Daily Mash has invented a spoof academy, the Institute for Studies, to provide expert comment for its fictional reports. It probably wasn’t inspired by the Institute for Alcohol Studies, but it does say something about the media’s craving for a white-coated boffin to shore up their stories.

As the economy finds its feet again and UK consumers start to loosen their purse strings a little, drinks suppliers and retailers are looking forward to an exciting Christmas, with fingers crossed all round for bumper sales.

At Christmas, one must quote Cliff Richard. And as Sir Cliff so correctly informed us in his 1988 number one Mistletoe & Wine, “it’s a time for giving”.

The forecast is in – and it looks like the cider market is going to be cloudy this autumn.

Vermouth: A Bond Revived

08 October, 2015

Shaken or stirred, vermouth is the drink to be seen with this season.

Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads.” Those were the immortal words of Doc Brown to Marty McFly, as he powered up the flux capacitor and headed from 1985 to October 21, 2015, in Back to the Future Part II.

Sales of premium wine are soaring in multiple grocers and struggling convenience stores are in danger of being left behind, new data has revealed.

Restraint is not a word readily associated with the USA, the land of Man v Food, Muscle Beach and skyscrapers galore.

What about Cava?

10 September, 2015

The past few years have seen Cava passed over like the ugly step-sister to Prosecco’s Cinderella, looking on while Italy’s flavour-of-the-decade fizz goes from strength to strength.