In Brief

18 April, 2008

Direct appoints McMurtrie

Laithwaites owner Direct Wines has appointed Simon McMurtrie chief executive. McMurtrie, who has been a director at the company since the beginning of last year, took up his new role on April 10 following the departure of Oliver Garland. Direct Wines is the parent company for Laithwaites, the Sunday

Times Wine Club,

Averys of Bristol and Virgin Wines.

Heineken closer to takeover

Heineken has moved another step

closer to taking over Scottish &

Newcastle UK's brands after the

European Commission announced


joint takeover bid with Carlsberg had

been approved by competition authorities in all member states except

the Republic of Ireland.

Oddbins spring wine deals

Oddbins has published details of single-bottle promotions for spring. Deals include £2 off Perrier-Jou ët Grand Brut at £22.49, Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc 2007 reduced f rom £7.99 to £6.99 and Obere Steigen Gr üner Veltliner reduced from £8.99 to £7.99. The offers run until April 27.

Independent policy

Insurance broker Endsleigh has launched an insurance policy especially for independent retailers. The new package covers a range of risks including buildings, contents, stock and public liability. For

an online quote visit

DD adds to portfolio

North London-based Burgundy specialist Domaine Direct has added two Chalonnais growers to its portfolio - Domaine Menand Père et Fils and Domaine Jean-Baptiste Ponsot. The importer is selling Domaine Menand's 2006 Mercurey 1er Cru Les Champs Martin for £17.50 and Ponsot's 2006 Rully 1er Cru Montpalais for £14.50.

UK sparklers put to test

East Sussex wine merchant Oliver Wines

will be asking customers to compare English sparkling wine Ridgeview with Champagne at a special tasting on St George's Day (April 23). The tasting is being held to demonstrate the improving quality of English sparkling wine.

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Rosé tinted glasses

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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