In Brief

22 February, 2008

Derek Patterson OBE dies

Former Mars Confection ery external relations manager Derek Patterson OBE has died. Patterson, who was national president of the Confectioners Benevolent Fund from 1987 to 1988, then director general from 1989 to 1997, died at home on Feb 12. In 1989 Patterson was awarded an OBE for services to charity, and continued as editor of the charity's magazine. Director general of the fund, Malcolm Carter, said: "Derek played an active part in the industry throughout his career, and will be sadly missed."

Thatchers goes for new look

Thatchers' range of single -variety ciders has been given a new look for 2008. A new

shape, lightweight, 50cl bottle is being enhanced with a redesigned label. "We have reshaped the 50 cl bottle for stronger shelf presence, making it lightweight to reduce packaging requirements," said Martin Thatcher, managing director.

Ian Shearer sees Double

Former Scotch Whisky Association director Ian Shearer has set up a consultancy business called Double Scotch designed to help companies cope with increasing regulations. Shearer said there was a niche for a service that could cut through red tape and jargon when companies were faced with the "burden" of increasing policies.

The wine trade's Mastermind

Don't forget to sign up for the Benevolent Buddies pub quiz on March 4. The BBC's Nigel Barden will play quizmaster at the event, in Aragon House, Parsons Green, London, from 7pm. Teams of four to eight people can be entered, and tickets cost £25 in advance or £30 on the door, including food and drink. To book your place, call 020 7089 3888 or e-mail

New look for London Hill Gin

Ian Macleod has repackaged London Hill Gin with a new label design aimed at giving the brand a more modern look.

The new black and metallic silver label is smaller, and has gold touches which aim to boost its premium image. Smaller labels and less wording help to modernise the brand's image, the distiller said. Marketing director Ian Weir added: "The repackage is a more accurate reflection of the gin's superior quality, flavour and excellent value."

Tesco launches three-for-two

Tesco has muscled in on Threshers' turf with a three-for-two promotion on 150 of its wines. The offer includes top brands such as Gallo, Jacob's Creek and Oxford Landing as well as a range of sparklers including Champagne Lanson, Piper-Heidsieck and Lindauer, and some port and sherry brands. Customers get the cheapest free.The promotion is at selected UK stores and runs until Feb 24.

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English wine: a happy harvest for Christmas

All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

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