Oddbins has relaunched its competition to find the UK’s finest amateur wine taster and expects thousands to take part this weekend.

A multi-million-pound centre for English wine and spirits is being planned in Sussex.

Calais Wine Superstore has opened a new tasting room offering booze cruisers the chance to sample 150 different wines.

Burgundy producer Boisset is aiming to prove that the region can innovate by sourcing grapes from new areas and taking Macon in a fresh direction.

Scottish brewer Innis & Gunn has raised £2.5 million towards building its own brewery, bottling line and barrel store through its mini-bond scheme.

Waitrose has seized the Supreme Champion crown at the International Cider Challenge 2015 after judges decided its English vintage perry was the star drink this year.

Bargain Booze is fighting back against the rise of the discounters with an ad campaign straplined Aldi Shmaldi.

Profits dropped by 22.5% in the year to March 30 at Majestic Wine after it purchased Naked Wines and replaced chief executive Steve Lewis with Naked founder Rowan Gormley.

Beer campaigner Robert Humphreys has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to alcohol policy.

Crimes committed under the influence of alcohol have spiked across Portsmouth after it introduced a Reducing the Strength scheme in October 2013, OLN can reveal.

Tesco has doubled its range of golden ales in what it called the “biggest stir in the beer industry since the arrival of lager in the mid-1960s”.

Britain leaving the European Union would be bad news for the wine trade, with exchange rate issues likely to erode already tight margins, suppliers have warned.

More indies visited LWF

15 June, 2015

Visitor numbers at this year’s London Wine Fair rose 4% on 2014, according to the organiser Brintex.

Wine suppliers are bidding to cash in on the success of Gallo’s big, off-dry Californian red wine Apothic Red.

Fruit-flavoured, wine-based drinks will soon flood the UK market and bulk shipping firms can help retailers and suppliers capitalise on the trend, according to a leading wine consultant.

Czech pilsner Staropramen is moving its UK distribution from Carlsberg to Molson Coors. The brewer, which also supplies Grolsch and Cobra, will have exclusive rights to the brand in the UK from December 28. 

Martinique rum Saint James is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year with a special commemorative bottle and a marketing campaign.

Port house Sandeman is aiming to turn around the category’s flagging fortunes with the release of only the second single quinta vintage port in its 225-year history.

Ricard: putting the focus on consumers

Pernod Ricard aims to increase underlying sales and operating profit growth to 5% in the medium-term by focusing on innovation, ramping up its digital strategy and trading shoppers up to premium spirits and wines.

Molson Coors has appointed Martin Coyle as marketing director for its UK and Ireland business.

Westons is targeting retailers with a range of POS as it launches a £2.5 million campaign for Stowford Press cider this week.

South Africa can shrug off falling volume sales by pushing into premium tiers after one of its best ever vintages, according to a leading supplier.

Villa Maria’s Alastair Maling MW is leaving the winery after more than 12 years spent heading up the winemaking side of the business.

Eighteen per cent of suppliers have lost listings as supermarkets scale back their wine ranges, and another 23% say their margins and prices are coming under increasing pressure, OLN's exclusive Wine Report poll of UK agencies and distributors has revealed.

In a year of turmoil for many supermarket buying teams, 71% of suppliers polled for OLN's Wine Report say there is too much churn for them to establish long-term, effective relationships – up from 53% last year and 46% the year before.

Traditional wine agencies will have to change their models, funding or target markets to survive in the current climate, say 38% of suppliers polled for OLN's Wine Report.

Innovation, economic recovery and education have beaten lower duty to become the top tips from suppliers looking at what could bring the UK wine market back into growth.

Supermarkets are not honouring their pledge to move away from deep discounting, according to nearly 60% of suppliers polled in OLN's Wine Report.

Suppliers’ estimation of supermarket own-labels is slipping, OLN's exclusive Wine Report poll of UK agents and distributors has revealed.

Independents remain the sector with the biggest potential for wine suppliers – but they are no longer seen as the unmitigated success story they were a few years ago, according to OLN's exclusive Wine Report poll.

Uco Valley producer Bodegas Salentein is targeting the UK independent trade after celebrating the 40th harvest of its legendary chief winemaker.

Liverpool fan Kevin Clarke said he wasn’t too upset after his team suffered a 6-1 drubbing in the match he commentated on as a prize for winning Carlsberg’s People’s Pundit campaign.

Scotch whisky distilleries broke visitor records in 2014 by attracting more than 1.5 million whisky fans, according to the Scotch Whisky Association.

Jägermeister is spending £1 million on a summer marketing campaign that will see the brand represented at seven music festivals across the UK.

Bibendum PLB has raised more than £75,000 for military charity Help for Heroes by donating £1 in every bottle sold of its Wines for Heroes range.

Thatchers has launched a premium cloudy cider brand called Somerset Haze in time for the summer spike in cider drinking.

Mentzendorff said there is a “thrilling energy” in South African wine after bolstering its portfolio from the rainbow nation with Hamilton Russell Vineyards.

Tesco is teaming up with the There’s a Beer for That campaign for a promotion pairing beer with BBQ foods.

Sales of branded Champagne grew 4.7% to £196 million in the UK off-trade in 2014 as shoppers opted for famous names ahead of retailer exclusives.

Off-Piste has released an international varietal-led wine range called Most Wanted.

Supermarket range culls were “necessary” and “overdue”, according to wine information company IWSR.

North South Wines has boosted its range for cash and carries, a key market for the new agency.

Booker has agreed a £40 million deal to buy the Budgens and Londis brands from Musgrave.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association claims it has saved the industry £350 million in the past 18 months through its campaigning.

Detailing calorie content on labels of beers, wines and spirits is a 20th century solution to a 21st century obesity problem, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

Tesco has teamed up with Marston’s and the Campaign for Real Ale to launch a bottle-conditioned golden ale.

Copestick Murray is set to promote its I Heart wine brand at summer festivals this year in a branded VW camper van.

Free Run Wines has launched Mr Peel’s Manavista, a pink grapefruit-flavoured aromatised wine-based drink.

Tesco is drastically reducing its wine range to arrest haemorrhaging sales as the discounters’ growing dominance forces sweeping changes across the big supermarkets.

South Africa’s golden run of consecutive growth in the off-trade has come to an end as sales dropped 3% in volume and 1% in value to £525 million (Nielsen, year to February 2015).

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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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