Stolichnaya is redesigning the primary packaging of its Premium vodka for the first time since its launch in 1938.

Maverick Drinks is launching its hottest chilli vodka yet onto the UK market.

Japanese brewer Asahi is launching Super Dry Black, a dark lager brand into the UK market.

Grand Marnier has announced the latest in limited edition collection range.

Distell, the South Africa-based wine and spirits producer, has repackaged its award-winning range of Nederburg wines.

Corwnall-based Healeys Cyder Farm is launching a new mulled cider with an eye to the approaching winter.

One of the oldest estates in Stellenbosch is returning to the UK with its range of super-premium wines after a seven-year absence.

Shockwaves from the proposed merger between the two largest breweries in the world, announced earlier this week, continue to reverberate around the sector.

The UK market for premium lagers, beers and ciders is likely to grow steadily for the next five years, sector analysts have predicted.

Adnams has opened a shop and café in Bury St Edmunds.

BrewDog, Scotland’s leading independent brewery, has launched what it believes is the world’s strongest canned beer.

Ireland’s Rye River Brewing Company, producer of the McGargles family of craft beers, is to invest €4m over the next three years in a new craft brewery and visitor centre.

Aston Manor Cider is targeting the small-batch premium craft cider market with the launch of Friel’s First Press Vintage.

The board of SABMiller yesterday agreed in principle to accept AB InBev’s revised offer of £44 a share.

Beer, wines and spirits (BWS) has been among the hardest-hit categories as supermarkets culled their ranges this year, according to new research.

A rift between the major shareholders at SABMiller is widening as the deadline for AB InBev’s £70bn takeover approaches.

Carlsberg loses UK CEO

12 October, 2015

James Lousada, chief executive of Carlsberg UK, has left the company.

Former Scottish & Newscastle and C&C Group chief executive John Dunsmore has opened a craft brewery in his home city of Edinburgh.

Waitrose has become the first British supermarket to stock an English dessert wine, after listing Denbies 2014 Noble Harvest Ortega.

Armagnac distillation has begun today (October 8) – a record early start for the spirit.

ASA bans Strongbow ad

08 October, 2015

A Youtube ad for Strongbow in which a drinker refers to the cider as his “other half” has been banned for making alcohol look too important.

A waiter from Kilburn has won Oddbins’ amateur wine tasting competition The Palate, which has been dubbed the X Factor for wine lovers.

The majority of consumers want more action to overturn Reducing the Strength schemes and are concerned councils are limiting the drinks they can buy.

Conviviality Retail boss Diana Hunter has said the group is open to expansion into off-trade wholesaling beyond its core Bargain Booze and Wine Rack estate following the acquisition of Matthew Clark.

The South African wine industry needs to up its game and introduce more brands and premium tiers, it has been warned.

Accolade Wines is recruiting for a new UK head following Paul Schaafsma’s promotion to chief executive officer.

HM Revenue & Customs has delayed the implementation of the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme until the new year because of IT issues.

Aldi is moving into independents’ territory with a growing focus on smaller drinks suppliers and is planning to sell wine online from early next year.

Older drinkers are becoming the target of awareness programmes as charities focus on the “hidden problem” of over-50s drinking.

Spar to expand wine range

02 October, 2015

Spar is responding to demand for more expensive wines and wider choice from convenience shoppers with the introduction of seven new own-label wines to its core range.

The government is being urged to champion the English wine industry after a fact-finding visit to a leading Sussex vineyard by a group of MPs.

Aldi is to start selling wine online in the new year.

Accolade Wines UK general manager Paul Schaafsma has been named the company’s new chief executive.

Majestic has appointed a managing director for its retail division, responsible for the group’s 211 shops including its Calais store.

Heineken has launched a James Bond-themed TV campaign starring Daniel Craig.

The International Wine Challenge has launched a mobile phone app to help consumers baffled by the so-called wall of wine.

Treasury Wine Estates has raised nearly £25,000 for The Benevolent in a massive sponsored walk.

Foster’s has launched a series of ads starring TV presenter Rick Edwards that highlight the brand’s Australian heritage.

Stella Artois and Budweiser owner AB Inbev has announced it wants to take over SAB Miller, whose brands include Peroni and Grolsch.

Accolade Wines has bought Chile’s Viña Anakena – a move it says has made it the first company to have a footprint in all major New World wine regions.

Wine prices are sliding as multiple grocers take on the discounters in a price war, the latest Nielsen figures have revealed.

Online wine sales on the rise

14 September, 2015

UK online wine sales grew 11% by value and 9% by volume in the past three months, the Wilson Drinks Report has found.

A European Commission consultation piece could bring lower tax rates for small wine and spirits producers – but is threatening the UK RTD industry.

New website for sherry

10 September, 2015

Sherry’s regulatory body has launched an updated website – sherry.org – to mark its 80th anniversary.

One of Brewdog’s latest ads has come under fire from a campaigning group that says it is mocking homeless people, trans women and sex workers.

OLN columnist Richard Hemming has been named one of the Institute of Masters of Wine’s latest MWs.

Meantime has created an audio tour of the history of brewing in London that anyone can download.

The health lobby’s claims that alcohol is a costly burden on society have been decimated by a new study showing the government makes £6.5 billion profit a year through the nation’s love of drinking.

The Scotch Whisky Association has landed a major punch in its fight to have minimum unit pricing on alcohol declared unlawful.

More than 60 Australian winemakers will touch down on British soil this month for a series of trade events as the nation seeks to build on impressive growth in the UK.

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Breaking up with Burgundy

Making my way through the recent tranche of Burgundy tastings for the much-hyped 2015 vintage, I found myself experiencing a moment of guilt.


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