in brief

24 April, 2009

Licence lost to under-age salesAn Oxfordshire off-licence has had its licence revoked after being caught repeatedly selling drink to under-age youths. Didcot? magistrates found that McColl’s in Millbrook Square, Grove, had sold alcohol to 14 and 15? year? olds five times between 2003 and 2009. They said McColl’s had committed a “grave breach” of its licence.

?Cigarette smugglers chargedTwo truck? drivers caught trying to smuggle 7 million counterfeit cigarettes into the UK under a cargo of mushrooms have been jailed for five years. Denis Bugler, 43, from the Irish Republic and Conor Caherty, 30, from Northern Ireland, were convicted of attempting to evade £1 million in duty before Maidstone Crown Court.

?Wine pair set up events coWine industry consultant and ex-Somerfield buyer Angela Mount has teamed up with writer and broadcaster Susy Atkins to set up a wine events business in the south west. The pair will focus on organising bespoke wine tasting and corporate events in the region, where they both live. Atkins said: “?We know there are a lot of wine consumers both living in? and travelling to this region who would love to find out more about wine in a relaxed environment.” To find out more email or

Gear up for Vegetarian WeekNational Vegetarian Week runs from May 18-24 and is a great time to promote your vegetarian wines, beers and spirits. Hatch Mansfield has picked out a selection of animal-friendly wines for the occasion, including Cune Crianza 2005 (£8.25), Errazuriz Max Reserva Shiraz 2006 (£9.99), Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages 2007 (£8.05), Grant Burge Barossa Vines Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2006 (£6.99), Lourensford Three Peaks Shiraz/Viognier 2006 (£7.49), Grant Burge Barossa Vines Sauvignon Blanc 2007 (£6.99) and Taittinger Brut Reserve NV (£31.99).

Benevolent seeks participantsThe Benevolent Triathlon is to take place in Keynes Country Park in Cirencester? on September 6, and is looking for individuals to compete in a 750m open?-water swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run. Entrants need a minimum sponsorship of £350 for individuals or £1,000 for a team of three?.

See for details.

UK tops Fairtrade pollsAn international survey ahead of World Fair Trade Day on May 9 found that the UK had the highest awareness of Fairtrade of any country polled. Eighty-two per cent of those polled said they recognised the Fairtrade mark, with 94% of them saying they trusted it. The poll said estimated retail sales of Fairtrade products in the UK topped £700 million in 2008.

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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

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