In Brief

New labelling for De Bortoli?Australian wine firm De Bortoli has brought out new packaging for its Deen Vat series of wines. De Bortoli said the labels were designed to communicate the company’s family heritage and make it easier for consumers to differentiate between varieties. The first wines to be revamped are Vat 4, Petit Verdot, Vat 7 Chardonnay, Vat 11 Pinot Grigio and Vat 12 Sangiovese, which are all sold by Oddbins.

Alternative finance sought The Forum of Private Business has called on the government to take steps to reduce small firms’ dependency on bank lending for investment. The FPB wants policy-makers to encourage alternatives including corporate bonds, leasing, invoice financing, supply chain credit and venture capital. This follows a report by the Public Accounts Committee which said banks had broken promises to lend to small businesses in the wake of last year’s banking crisis.

WSET promotes course?The Wine & Spirit Education Trust is to hold a business and commercial knowledge course at the Odney Club in Cookham, Berkshire, from April 13 to 15?.

Details from Sue Crombie or Ian Harris on 020 7089 3800.

Alcohol sparks arguments?A survey by alcohol education charity Drinkaware shows a quarter of British adults have argued with their partners

because of alcohol. The survey also showed 14% had worried about the effect drinking was having on their relationship while 11% suffered embarrassment when a current or previous partner had had too many drinks.

Proxy purchase woman fined?A Perthshire woman who bought a bottle of vodka for a 14 year old has been fined £200. Lisa Hayburn, 22, of St John’s Place, Auchterarder, admitting buying the vodka from Ellie’s Cellar in the town and giving it to the girl, who later collapsed.

Latitude hosts tastings?Leeds-based Latitude Wine & Liquor Merchants has launched a series of customer tastings under the Connoisseurs Club name. Held in Leeds’ Quebecs Hotel, each tasting will explore “the highest-quality products in their field” according to the retailer. T?he first tasting is themed around Champagne on March 4, followed by rums of Latin America on May 6.

Can recycling targets students?Every Can Counts has teamed up with the National Union of Students to launch a recycling programme across 20 universities. It includes the Can Film Festival where students will be encouraged to bring along their empty drinks cans as payment to watch a film.

?Waitrose stocks Liefmans?Liefmans Fruit beer has gained a listing with Waitrose and will be available in stores from March 1. The 4.2% abv fresh fruit beer was launched in July 2009 and has an rrp of £1.60 per 25cl bottle.?