Australian Vintage has become the latest supplier to launch a low alcohol wine range into the UK market.

Greenall’s Gin has timed its new sponsorship of Lancashire Country Cricket Club perfectly as the biggest match in cricket heads to the team’s Old Trafford home on Thursday.

Tesco has secured an exclusive listing of three new wines from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s restaurant group.

The glorious sunshine that has bathed Britain this month has led to a surge in cider and lager sales, according to various leading suppliers.

Wine merchant Roberson is taking over an old gin distillery in Earls Court and turning it into a boutique winery that will start making wine in September.

Eleven European wine and spirits producing countries have lodged a bid to block Scotland’s plans for minimum unit pricing on alcohol by branding them illegal, unfair and ineffective.

The UK trade will be able to sample the 2011 vintage of Bordeaux wines to gain Cru Bourgeois status at a tasting in London on September 19.

Brewdog has responded with typical defiance after receiving a rap on the knuckles from the Advertising Standards Authority over material on its website deemed to cause “serious offence”.

A new celebratory digital ad that Carling released within minutes of the announcement of the royal birth has already been viewed more than 400,000 times as royal baby mania continues to grip the UK.

How to make a Purple Lady pomegranate-flavoured summer cocktail: 

Brewdog has been sanctioned by the advertising watchdog for referring to itself as a “post punk apocalyptic mother fu*ker of a craft brewery” on its website.

Independent retailers and convenience store owners are missing a “huge” opportunity to sell more sparkling wine, according to a leading supplier.

Copestick Murray has appointed Jo Ahearne MW as consultant winemaker for its I Heart wine brand.

The calibre of supermarket wine buyers has come under renewed fire from suppliers complaining poor expertise could be costing sales.

Multiples continue to grow BWS sales at the expense of smaller retailers, according to the First Drinks Market Report 2013.

The industry needs to overhaul its approach to low-alcohol wine to up its appeal among younger consumers and give the category a more positive image, according to leading suppliers. 

An overhaul of the way drinks companies use social media is expected within two weeks as the Advertising Standards Authority prepares to tighten its laws.

Drinkaware is teaming up with retailers in Glasgow to use POS to urge shoppers to switch their usual drink to a lower strength version.

World Wine Agencies sold

19 July, 2013

New World specialist World Wine Agencies has been bought by Hayward Brothers in a deal to give the European-focused importer a broader portfolio.

Budvar brewery is launching a 3.8% abv beer to join its flagship brand in the UK. Pardal is brewed at the same facility as Budvar but has a lower price point and will debut at Morrisons in the autumn.

Rum sales soar

19 July, 2013

Rum could soon overtake gin to become the UK’s third most popular spirit if retailers tap into its potential, according to a leading supplier.

Bibendum has launched a standalone spirits agency business and is on the lookout for new brands to add to its portfolio.

The owner of Bargain Booze is seeking to rapidly accelerate the chain’s national roll out after it launched a bid to raise up to £65 million by floating the company on the stock exchange. 

The government is expected to formally announce today that it has abandoned plans for minimum unit pricing and a ban on multibuys for alcohol in England and Wales.

Jerobaums of £18,000 Cristal Champagne, first growths and vertical selections of Chateau Margaux and Petrus and a whisky collection worth almost £1 million are on sale at Harrod’s new wine and spirits department.

Labour’s European spokesperson for health has called for alcoholic drinks to feature calorie labels.  

Diageo is targeting young adults with a campaign designed to remind them that binge drinking can lead to “shame and embarrassment”. 

Oddbins is offering holidaymakers the chance to earn thousands of pounds by recommending their favourite wines from their travels under a new scheme called The Listing.

Brintex has reported that 32 out of 35 exhibitors at this year’s London Wine Fair have now rebooked for the 2014 show.

Global Brands has brought Hooch Orange and Hooch Blackcurrant back to the market after a 10-year absence.

The Duchess of Cornwall believes the English sparkling wine category needs to be rebranded with a new name to help it compete with the likes of Champagne.

Former England cricket captains Andrew Strauss and Michael Vaughan have signed up as brand ambassadors to front Wolf Blass’s Ashes broadcast partnership with Sky Sports.

English wine and beer producer Chapel Down is planting new vines in Essex, Kent and Sussex and building a brewery for its Curious beer range after securing £4.3 million in equity funding.

Carling British Cider has made its small screen debut with an ad designed to “champion British sense of humour” as a man attempts to combine bungee jumping with apple bobbing.

Cambridge Wine Merchants is running a wine festival involving tastings, masterclasses, promotions and education on the theme of sustainability throughout July.

Australia’s fourth-largest wine supplier hailed the UK as a key strategic market in the global wine business and said it will not turn its back on Britain in the face of a poor exchange rate and difficult trading conditions.

Robinsons has produced the millionth pint of Iron Maiden’s Trooper ale just eight weeks after the launch.

BWS volume sales among multiple retailers dipped 0.1% year-on-year in the four weeks to June 22, according to the latest set of Nielsen figures.

Bancroft has taken on a new winery that produces premium Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling from New Zealand’s Central Otago.

Stowford Press is making its TV debut this summer with in an ad campaign designed to reach 28 million adults. 

An ad campaign running until the end of August is promoting the cider’s brand’s Swedish heritage on TV and social media platforms.

With the Tour de France in full swing, Gerard Basset MW has made a video designed to educate Off Licence News readers about the wines from each region the world's most famous cycle race passes through.

Treasury Wine Estates has signed a deal to purchase the 116ha White Hills vineyard in Tasmania’s Tamar Valley from Brown Brothers.

A new tasting event that brings together leading producers from Argentina, Chile and South Africa under one roof in London has exceeded its exhibitor target.

Drinks industry charity The Benevolent is launching a scheme to give grants to help existing members of the industry advance through extra training and career support. 

Brewdog is planning to enter the retail trade with a chain of speciality beer shops with the working name Bottledog.

The Drinks Retailing Awards 2014 are now open for entries, allowing independents, specialists, convenience stores and major multiples from across the UK the chance to win coveted trophies and recognition among the leading lights of our dynamic industry. 

Steve Lewis

Support for Majestic’s model among City investors remains as strong as ever despite it posting a moderate profit rise dampened by it’s decision to stop supplying wholesale businesses, according to its chief executive. 

A group of the UK’s biggest brewers have joined forces to launch a multi-million pound consumer campaign to change the image of beer and stem slowing sales.

The president of Europe-wide organisation Wine in Moderation has praised the UK trade for its proactive drive to combat abusive drinking and urged the British government not to punish responsible drinkers with prohibitionist measures. 

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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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