In Brief

04 May, 2007

Ones to watch

Diageo has rolled out a nationwide responsible drinking TV ad campaign following a regional pilot last year. The ads will air during prime-time programmes on both terrestrial and satellite channels with the straplines: Don't See a Great Night Wasted, and Make Sure You Like What You See. In an evaluation carried out after the pilot s in London, Manchester and Nottingham for two months, 57 per cent of people said they would reconsider how they drink as a result of the campaign. "The ads are based on the insight that drinking too much can make an individual lose social currency, especially among th eir peer group," a spokesman said.

Virtual reality

Laithwaites has announced plans to develop its website over the next year. Head of buying Peter Greet said the company is building a new web team to enable the company to list more of its wines online and increase sales. Currently 1,000 wines are available to buy online at any one time, but the company lists 3,000. The company now has 10 shops in the UK .

Gardens go French

Loire Valley Wines is to sponsor London's Open Garden Squares Weekend for the second year running. Taking place on June 9 - 10, the event will see more than 160 of London's private gardens and squares open to the public, with visitors sampling a range of white, red, rosé, sparkling and sweet wines from Anjou, Saumur, Touraine and Muscadet at 40 selected gardens. Cleary Garden in the City of London will also be transformed with a Loire-themed makeover. A PR campaign of radio, print and TV ads, website competitions and Underground posters will be rolled out across London.

Licence certificate gears up

Training body the BIIAB has begun work on its new Scottish Certificate for Personal Licence Holders (BIIAB SCPLH), applicable to all licensed premises, which will be a statutory requirement under the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005. Development of the qualification is under way and pilots are expected to be undertaken in the late summer. Director of BIIAB Cathie Smith said: "This qualification will be fit for purpose and, in common with all qualifications developed by BIIAB, it will have the backing of both the trade and the regulators."

Austrian imports

Italian wine importer Astrum Wine Cellars has added a range of Austrian wines to its portfolio. Seven Weingut R&A Pfaffl wines, including Hundsleiten Grüner Veltliner and Riesling Am Berg , are now available. Call 0208 870 5252 or e-mail for details.

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I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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