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).

Waitrose claims the boundaries between the off-trade and the on-trade are blurring as shoppers enjoy lingering over a glass of wine and a deli board in its busy supermarkets.

Accolade Wines is upping spend on its flagship Hardys brand and setting its sights on further expansion to strengthen its global coverage.

Cambridgeshire craft gin maker Ely Gin has opened a shop in the historic town’s centre. Director James Clark had been eyeing the space for several years as he ran a stall in Ely market square selling his range of fruit-flavoured gins.

Schemes restrict beautifully crafted products like premium cider

Leading suppliers and trade associations have added their weight to OLN’s campaign against controversial Reducing the Strength schemes by demanding action from the European Commission.

SAB Miller has snapped up Greenwich-based brewer Meantime as the trend that sees the world’s largest beer suppliers buying out their craft counterparts continues.

Bulmers is set to give away 5,000 pairs of trainers in an on-pack and social media promotion.

Asda has slashed the price of its exclusive label Champagne to £9.97 as the wine wars heat up ahead of the summer months.

Pernod Ricard is exploring the possibility of releasing white and rosé Campo Viejo into the UK market after its Tempranillo became the UK’s leading red wine SKU.

Sainsbury's has announced Elizabeth Newman will replace Andy Phelps as its head of BWS.

Independent beer merchant Clapton Craft is opening a second store in London after hailing the impact of the craft beer revolution on sales.

Bargain Booze and Wine Rack owner Conviviality Retail has seen takings grow in the past year, it has announced in a trading statement.

English wine producers have reported a record harvest for 2014 that will flood the market with 6.3 million bottles.

Buckingham Schenk is releasing two 8.5% abv fruit wines in flip-top bottles and hopes to win over new consumers to their “sexy kitsch”.

Eakin: building up east London presence

Independent off-licence chain Bottle Apostle has opened a fourth store in the former athlete’s village that housed competitors during the 2012 London Olympics.

Swedish fruit cider supplier Kopparberg has launched a £5 million marketing campaign as it seeks to overtake Bulmers as the UK’s most popular cider brand.

Gerard Michaluk’s war on the “village idiots” of Ayrshire rages on after vandals caused £1,000 worth of damage to the site where he is building the Arran Brewery’s sake brewery.

The Conservatives are the wine trade’s best bet in the general election, an OLN poll of suppliers has found.

Belgium’s largest independent brewery is launching its beers in the UK for the first time.

Surrey brewer Hogs Back has launched a 5.4% abv IPA called Hopping Hog.

Scottish brewer Innis & Gunn aims to raise £3 million to build a brewery line by launching a “mini-bond” investment scheme.

Waitrose has reported a 177% annual increase in English wine sales and now claims to account for three bottles in every five sold in the UK.

Sagar: journey to become the destination drinks company

Kingsland has snapped up wine and spirits supplier Bottle Green as it continues on its journey to becoming a one-stop shop for the retail trade.

The Responsibility Deal is teetering on a knife-edge and the drinks industry faces a series of tough battles after the general election, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

Brookfield Drinks has won a listing at Asda stores across Scotland for its 4% abv Kestrel pilsner after the retailer reported strong sales of its 5% abv lager.

Scottish brewer Innis & Gunn aims to get drinkers’ rocks off with a bottle-conditioned beer called Hot Rocks that takes inspiration from ale brewed in the Stone Age.

Eric Hereema at his Nyetimber estate

Dynastic whisky-producing family the Grant-Gordons head the wealth league in Scotland with a £2.15 billion fortune, according to the new Sunday Times Rich List.

There is still time to buy tickets for the rooftop garden party hosted by drinks trade charity The Benevolent after the London Wine Fair on May 20. 

Stella Artois has signed a deal to become the official beer and cider at Ascot racecourse for the next three years.

Page: criticising drinkers for not choosing real ale is counterproductive

Members of the Campaign for Real Ale have decided to stop criticising drinkers for choosing different types of beer and have instead pledged to get behind the entire category.

Nineteen premium Italian producers will pour their finest wines for the trade at the Boot Up Your Portfolio tasting at London’s Chandos House on May 5.

Sainsbury’s BWS head Andy Phelps is understood to be leaving the retailer after 11 years.

Thatchers has introduced its Old Rascal cider in 44cl cans for the first time in a bid to capitalise on the UK’s growing love of cans.

Fonseca is celebrating its bicentenary with the release today of a Guimarens Vintage Port from the 2013 harvest.

English wine producer Chapel Down reported a 21% sales increase to £6.1 million in 2014 and it also brought in a record harvest to ensure the upward curve will continue.

Manchester craft brewer Seven Bro7hers is planning to expand its production capacity after winning a listing at Tesco.

Brewdog is aiming to raise £25 million to extend its brewery in the latest round of its “equity for punks” crowdfunding initiative.

Bottling firm Lanchester Group is opening its first off-licence in a former Morgan sports car dealership in County Durham.

Plumpton College has launched the UK’s first honours degree in wine business for students interested in a career in the wine trade.

England’s record-breaking bowler James Anderson has launched his own beer in partnership with Marson’s and won a listing at Morrisons.

Heineken has launched a new Pomegranate & Strawberry variant for its New Zealand fruit cider brand Old Mout.

Hi-Spirits has added Langley’s No.8 gin to its portfolio.

A hundred new breweries joined the Society of Independent Brewers in 2014, taking membership numbers past the 800 mark.

Pimm’s No. 6 vodka cup will be back on shelves next month after a successful consumer campaign to reinstate the popular variant.

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust has won The Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade 2015 in honour of its success in reaching international markets.

UK drinkers are swapping bottled beer and cider for cans after embracing the aluminium revolution driven by suppliers.

Strong performances from Prosecco, vodka, premium lager and craft ale led off-trade value sales to grow 2% to £14.5 billion in 2014, according to IRI.

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COMMENT

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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