Tesco is taking a stand at the London International Wine Fair and is calling on suppliers and producers to come to its wine team with ideas and projects – in what the supermarket is calling a “Dragons Den-style opportunity”.

Diageo GB is boosting distribution of its Nigerian-brewed Guinness Foreign Extra Stout and non-alcoholic Malta Guinness through Surrey-based distributor Kato Enterprises.

Heineken has launched a multi-million pound ad campaign for Strongbow, positioning the cider as a reward for “men who get the job done”.

Blavod Wines & Spirits is introducing its own spiced rum as a replacement for Cockspur, the agency rights to which it lost in October 2010.

Oxford Wine Co opens its fourth store on Friday.

Carlsberg will have special packs featuring England footballers on sale from late May until the end of Euro 2010 in July.

Online retailer Slurp has launched a microsite in a bid to build sales of corporate gifts of wine.

Graham Mackay is to step down as chief executive of SAB Miller – the group whose brands include Peroni and Pilsner Urquell – in July.

An influential group of local government officials wants to see health experts given a say in the issue of licences to off-trade retailers.

Rapid growth from the new wave of lower-alcohol wines is failing to halt decline in the overall wine market. 

The latest round of increases in drinks duty has failed to dampen the ardour of supermarkets for heavy price promotions, with a range of deals hitting the market since the Budget.

The latest round of increases in drinks duty has failed to dampen the ardour of supermarkets for heavy price promotions, with a range of deals hitting the market since the Budget.

Australian wine producers are to be allowed to cherry-pick the specific marketing activities they want to participate in rather than signing up for the whole annual generic programme.

The All Party Parliamentary Beer Group has launched its own inquiry into beer tax fraud.

A new Community Alcohol Partnership scheme has been launched in Great Yarmouth to crack down on under-age drinking and antisocial behaviour. 

Online retailer Slurp has launched a French site in what it is calling “an audacious bid to beat the French on their own patch”.

Barefoot Wine has signed up environmentalist and adventurer Ben Fogle to front its annual Beach Rescue Project.

Landmark Wholesale has given its Vintners Collection wine range a new look and grown it with a new Italian Pinot Grigio, Australian Pinot Grigio and South African Shiraz/Grenache blend.

ASA bans Budweiser ad

11 April, 2012

A radio ad for Budweiser has been banned for linking alcohol to sexual success.

Lincolnshire Police and licensing officers from North Kesteven District Council have seized £6,000 worth of alcohol from an off-licence after it failed a test purchase sting.

Low alcohol gathers pace

10 April, 2012

Blossom Hill and Gallo are both developing 5.5% abv wines to target the growing low-alcohol wine market.

The generic marketing body for the Rhône valley has earmarked a £1 million investment to push its wines in the UK this year. 

Following the success of last year’s initiative, OLN is again working with Wines of South Africa to target leading independents. We are offering two readers the opportunity to win a trip to the Cape Wine fair, taking place in Cape Town from September 25-27. 

Off Licence News is inviting independent readers to register for a £50 bursary to visit the London International Wine Fair in May. 

The government insists it is determined to step up efforts to clamp down on duty fraud and support responsible retailers disadvantaged by criminal gangs.

Proxy buying increases

10 April, 2012

Proxy purchasing is on the rise and supermarkets are now seen as the most difficult places for under-age drinkers to get alcohol, a new study has found.

Ambitious plans for chain

10 April, 2012

Rhythm & Booze could become a nationwide franchise chain after it was bought by Costcutter owner Bibby Retail Services in a pre-pack administration.

Guy Wilkes, owner of Somerset wine merchant the Wine Shed, has died of pancreatic cancer aged 49.

Tobacco products can no longer be displayed in large stores from tomorrow (April 6).

WKD is set to launch what it says is its biggest ever promotional campaign this summer.

Tesco has relaunched its wine case subscription service Tesco Wine Select with six more pre-mixed cases and new deals for subscribers.

The Three Wine Men are offering independent retailers the chance to show their wares at their shows in Manchester and Edinburgh this summer.

Pernod Ricard UK’s channel director for wine Lee James has been promoted within the group to international brand development manager for premium wine brands EMEA.

Carlsberg UK has launched a £6 million marketing campaign for San Miguel’s Fresca offshoot.

Wines of Germany is calling on independent retailers to run Riesling promotions this July.

Blue Nun is sponsoring women’s comedy competition the Funny Women Awards in its 10th anniversary year.

Heineken back on TV

03 April, 2012

Heineken has launched the second TV ad in its Open Your World campaign.

Stella Artois has teamed up with online film platform MUBI to give consumers the chance to stream a film online instantly in an on-pack promotion.

Brothers cider has announced its biggest ever marketing investment of £5 million this year – including ads on TV and in cinemas.

Speyside distillery Tamdhu is set to reopen and relaunch its malt whisky after it was bought from the Edrington Group by Ian Macleod Distillers last year.

Swedish cider brand Kopparberg is building on its success with fruit ciders by launching an apple cider.

Drinkaware has launched a new version of its mobile site which offers different content during the day and at night – after seeing a 200% increase in mobile phone traffic.

IBC open for entries

30 March, 2012

The International Beer Challenge 2012 is now open for entries.

Swedish cider brand Rekorderlig has launched a new variant – Orange & Ginger.

Marston’s Pedigree is celebrating its 60th birthday with the launch of a special edition bottle.

Oddbins has seen a surge in sparkling wine sales thanks to the unseasonal sunshine.

Rhythm & Booze has been bought by Bibby Retail Services, the group that owns Costcutter supermarkets, after the chain went into administration this morning (March 29).

Wine Rack has announced it will hold its wine, spirit and Champagne prices until mid-April after the duty hike announced in last week’s Budget.

Pernod Ricard is launching a limited edition Beefeater pack to celebrate the London Olympics.

More than 1,000 wines looking for representation will be on taste at the London International Wine Fair as part of a team-up with the International Wine Challenge.

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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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