Tesco has unveiled the winners of its 2008 Drinks Awards, with wines and spirits joining beers in the competition for the first time.
gain guaranteed listings in Tesco stores. They include a dark lager, a Lithuanian wheat beer, a Wiltshire ale with infusions of coriander and lemon grass, a golden rum from Guyana and an English sparkling rosé - all of them new to the UK multiple market.
The awards attracted more than 400 entries a nd were assessed by teams of judges led by beer writer Tim Hampson, spirits expert Dave Broom, and Julia Trustram Eve, marketing manager of English Wine Producers.
Dan Jago, category director for beers wines and spirits, said: "The judges spent a long time ploughing through some very exciting and
were more challenging to get your head around than others. There were some that genuinely glowed in the dark."
Jago singled out English wines for praise and said that, like ales, they were achieving good results with Tesco's eight regional buying offices. He said organic drinks "remain a challenge within the BWS industry" and
added the trade
needed to "get away from the idea that no and low-alcohol drinks are products for the socially inept ".
Tesco is to ship wine via canal barge
rather than lorry.
New World wine will be transported
mile s from Liverpool to Manchester, unloaded and driven a short distance to its bottling plant.
National listing winners
Bitter & Ales: Spring Zing Lemongrass Beer
Fruit Beer: Kriek Max, Vertical Drinks
Lager: Bernard Dark, Pivovar
Porters & Stouts: Black Well, Williams Bros Brewing Co
Wheat Beer: Svyturys Wheat, Lithuanian Beer
Cider: Goldfinch, RJ Sheppy & Son
Spirits - International: El Dorado 15 Year Old Special Reserve Rum, Demerara Distillers Europe
Spirits - UK: Pink 47 London Dry Gin, Old St Andrews
English Wine - Sparkling: Balfour Brut Ros é 2004, Hush Heath Estate
English Wine - Still: Celebration Rosé, Wickham Vineyard
Organic Wine: Arrogant Frog Organic Cabernet/Merlot 2006, Les Domaines Paul Mas
Innovation: Kriek Max
Lower and No Alcohol: Harvester Ale, Hall & Woodhouse