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Wine prices spiralling and Chancellor won't care, says analyst

The average price of a bottle of wine rose 3.4% in December despite UK inflation increasing by just 0.5% during the month, according to Office for National Statistics figures crunched by industry analyst Tim Wilson.

Vidrala completes Encirc purchase

Spanish firm Vidrala has purchased bottle manufacturer Encirc in a deal speculated to have cost up to £400 million.

Treasury Wine boss becomes chairman of drinks trade charity

Treasury Wine Estates boss Dan Townsend has been appointed the new chairman of drinks charity The Benevolent.

Durham takes top job at Buckingham Schenk

Buckingham Schenk has promoted sales director Craig Durham to managing director after boss Jon Pepper MW left to join Enotria.

Encirc subject to takeover bid by Spanish firm

Bottle manufacturer Encirc is expected to be snapped up by Spanish firm Vidrala in a takeover worth up to £400 million.

New expressions from Isle of Skye

Family-run distillery Isle of Skye has launched two limited editions of its blended Scotch whisky.

London gin showcase launched to educate and inspire the trade

The dynamic gin category will be the focus of a new OLN event that aims to educate the drinks trade and help everyone boost sales.

Retailer warning after illicit alcohol centre discovered

Retailers have been warned not to give into the temptation of buying illicit booze after police discovered a distribution centre for counterfeit alcohol.

Lucas Bols plans Amsterdam IPO

Dutch spirits supplier Lucas Bols plans to raise around £98 million by launching an Initial Public Offering on the Amsterdam stock exchange.

Liberty Wines reports record December sales

Liberty Wines has reported a record December as it grew sales by 15.8% on the previous year.

Chene Bleu aims to broaden appeal with new release

Boutique French producer Chene Bleu has released a cuvee called Astralabe to give more people the chance to enjoy its award-winning wines.

Majestic Wines' margins hit by rivals' aggressive Christmas promotions

Majestic Wine’s share price sank this morning after it revealed that margins took a hit as it invested 50 basis points of gross margin to remain competitive over Christmas.

Liberation Group targets supermarkets after buying Butcombe brewery

Channel Islands drinks business Liberation Group has bought Bristol brewery Butcombe to form a company that brews 30,000 barrels a year.

Casillero del Diablo sponsors Sky Movies

CyT hopes to reach 44 million consumers with a yearlong TV ad campaign for Casillero del Diablo that will run on Sky Movies, Sky 1 and Sky Living from March.

Burgundy region launches dedicated website for UK tastings

Burgundy generic BIVB has launched a website promoting en primeur tastings hosted by the region across the UK.

Charles Wells Ltd posts 24% rise in profits

Bombardier supplier Charles Wells has posted a 24% rise in profits for the year to September 27, 2014.

Lebanese wine legend Serge Hochar dies

Lebanese wine industry legend Serge Hochar has died at the age of 74.

Co-operative expects to sell three bottles of Prosecco per second for new year

The Co-operative Group expects to sell three bottles of Prosecco a second today – continuing a rush on the Italian sparkling wine in the run-up to Christmas.

2015 retail growth will be slow says think tank

Political uncertainty caused by the general election threatens to hamper retail sales growth in 2015.

Glengoyne tour highlights impact of wood on whisky

Scotch whisky producer Glengoyne has unveiled a new tour experience designed to show the whisky’s close connection with wood.

'Millennials' lead demand for alcohol-free beer - report

Research for AB-Inbev UK has shown that 18-34 year olds are eight times more likely than over-65s to replace full-strength alcohol with alcohol-free beer in January

Campaigners rekindle fight for ban on alcohol support for sport

Leading doctors and health campaigners have used the heavy holiday sports programme to restate calls to ban alcohol sponsorship.

ASA rules against Belvedere vodka ad

A press ad for Belvedere vodka has fallen foul of advertising regulations.

Fake vodka alert after raids

Retailers across the country are being alerted to a proliferation of fake vodka over the Christmas period.

Lager drives beer market back into growth

A report from Mintel says the beer market will end 2014 back in growth after five years of decline.

Drinks industry smashes targets by cutting more than a billion units from the market

The number of alcohol units sold in the UK dropped by 1.9 billion between 2011 and 2013, according to new Department of Health figures.

Jeff Stelling to present "King's Speech" for Carlsberg

Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling will address the football nation on Boxing Day in a “King’s Speech” as part of Carlsberg UK’s Mid Season’s Greetings marketing campaign.

Craft beer sales soar by 300% at Ales by Mail

Online retailer Ales by Mail said it sold 300% more craft beer during November 2014 than in the same month last year.

LGA: Retailers risk breaking competition law over Reducing the Strength schemes

The Local Government Association has indicated that retailers signing up to Reducing the Strength schemes could be breaking competition law.

Pinkster gin catches the eye of leading wholesalers

Premium gin brand Pinkster has signed distribution deals with Coe Vinters and Gordon & MacPhail as it steps up expansion plans following second round financing.

Spar brings back Shop & Win promotion

Spar is giving away drinks brands including beers from Heineken and Molson Coors when it brings back its Shop & Win mobile promotion in January.

Godfather of booze cruising stabbed to death

The godfather of booze cruising Dave West has been stabbed to death in central London, and his son David has been charged with murder.

Bargain Booze launches loyalty app

Bargain Booze is launching an app called As If It Wasn’t Cheap Enough to offer customers exclusive deals and competitions.

Trade bodies call for 2% cut on wine and spirits

A 2% cut in duty on wine and spirits would give the Treasury a £1.5 billion boost, according to new independent research commissioned by the drinks industry.

Trade predicts 2015 business boost

Retailers are convinced that business will be better in 2015 than this year as consumer confidence and spending power rises, according to OLN research.

MP calls for low-alcohol tax flexibility

A junior Tory heath minister has told a House of Lords committee she would like to see “flexibility around taxation” on lower- alcohol wine-type products made a priority in discussions on alcohol strategy in Europe.

Style and price both key to beer

Beer consumers are as likely to buy on style and product heritage as price, an exclusive OLN retailer poll has shown.

Retailers snubbing Reducing the Strength scheme

A local council that is trying to banish beer and cider above 6.5% abv has admitted the scheme is struggling as retailers stand firm and refuse to join.

Campos: Champagne is a "hostage" in retail price war

Retailers are jeopardising the future of Champagne by slashing prices and using it as a loss leader to drive footfall, according to a leading supplier.

Echo Falls releases first non-alcoholic drink

Accolade Wines has launched a non-alcoholic sparkling drink under its Echo Falls label, which it says will provide a “credible substitute” for Prosecco.

Own-label Champagne beats big brands in taste test

A Which? report has found own-label Champagne matches big-name brands in a blind taste test involving leading wine writers.

Wine trade supergroup to raise money for Comic Relief

OLN columnist Richard Hemming is joining forces with MWs Anne McHale and Alex Hunt, Bordeaux Cellar founder Matt James, Concha y Toro PR boss Ben Smith and PR Helen Chesshire to form a wine trade supergroup called Skin Contact.

Fruit puts the squeeze on apple and pear cider

Fruit cider is still driving growth in the cider market while pear and apple struggle, the latest Nielsen figures have revealed.

Cordoniu managing director appointment falls through

Codorníu is back on the hunt for a new UK boss after the appointment of John Hearn fell through.

Alcohol wholesaler registration scheme to come into force

The Federation of Wholesale Distributors is celebrating after news that a wholesaler registration scheme on alcohol it has long campaigned for will be included in the Treasury’s 2015 finance bill.

Borough Wines opens sixth London shop

Borough Wines has opened its sixth London shop in Clerkenwell’s Exmouth Market.

Formula 1 stars team up with Diageo to combat drink driving

Formula 1 stars Mika Häkkinen, Jenson Button, and Kevin Magnussen are the faces of Johnnie Walker’s new campaign to cut out drink driving.

Wine Fusion signs exclusive deal with Conviviality for New Zealand brand

The Wine Fusion has signed an exclusive deal with Conviviality Retail to supply its stores with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc brand Bay of Plenty.

Global Brands launches 66cl Amigos bottles

Global Brands is launching 66cl bottles of its tequila-flavoured beer Amigos in a bid to tap into the growth of big bottle formats in the off-trade.

Hallgarten marketing boss moves to Enotria

Enotria has appointed Hallgarten Druitt’s Helen Munday as its new marketing director.