Gerry Sutcliffe MP is the new licensing minister, taking over from Shaun Woodward. Sutcliffe - MP for Bradford South - was previously at the Ministry of Justice and Department of Trade & Industry. He describes his interests as watching football and listening to Frank Sinatra tunes.
Lanson grey stock warning
Champagne Lanson has issued a warning to retailers about grey stock. It said a limited quantity of the non-vintage Brut Black Label has been found within the UK. The bottles in question have had the quality control barcodes removed and covered with an export sticker. Champagne Lanson said it had "taken every measure possible to ensure that these bottles have been identified but would like to advise retailers to be aware of the tampered stock. These bottles do not meet with the Wine Standards Board for the purpose of reselling to trade/consumers alike".
Maison Mau launched
Yvon Mau has launched a vin de pays wine brand called Maison Mau. A Sauvignon Blanc, Colombard/Chardonnay, Shiraz, Merlot and Shiraz rosť are available in the range which has been produced in partnership with regional co-operatives. The range is distributed in the UK by Freixenet and retails at £5.99. Its launch will be supported by an ad campaign, sampling and in-store activity.
Tastings dates announced
Next year's Specialist Importers Trade Tastings will be held at Bridgewater Hall, Manchester (Feb 25) and London's Vinopolis (Feb 27). More information and booking available at sittastings.org.
Wine discounts at Morrisons
Morrisons is holding a sale o f selected wines, including rosť and French, this month. The retailer is offering discounts of up to £3 on still wine and £10 off Champagne until Aug 5. Lindemans Winemakers Reserve Chardonnay and Shiraz will also be half price until July 22.
Agency's newcomer focus
Former Darlington Wines associate director Paul Dickinson has formed his own company. Ocean House Enterprises "aims to establish footholds for winemakers who have little or no previous experience of the UK market". Its first agency is Bordeaux winery Lestrille.