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Rioja rocks London

The new president of Wines of Rioja has pledged to invest in the UK market in a bid to build exports over the next decade.

Spanish buzz boosts sherry

The UK market is benefiting from its most diverse range of sherry ever, according to the Sherry Institute.

Smirnoff ramps up marketing spend

Smirnoff ads will be on TV screens every month except for January in 2014 as the brand ups its annual marketing spend to £7.5 million.

Diageo seeks to reinvent spirits category

Diageo plans to revitalise the UK spirits market by recreating the food revolution led by celebrity chefs including Jamie Oliver.

Merry 'Christ-Moose' from WKD

WKD is wishing retailers a happy “Christ-Moose” with the launch of its Christmas POS kits and deals.

Royal Family's wine merchant to post first loss in recent memory

Berry Bros & Rudd is set to post a pre-tax loss of £7.3 million for the 2012-13 financial year as the 315-year-old wine merchant prepares to overhaul its business.

Merrydown launches blackcurrant cider

Merrydown has launched a 4% abv blackcurrant cider – the first in a planned range of “hedgerow”-flavoured ciders.

Johnnie Walker gets £7.2 million push into UK market

Diageo is relaunching Johnnie Walker into the UK market with a £7.2 million marketing campaign and it hopes the move will revive the UK whisky category.

Wine fraud could be worth £700 million: HMRC

Illicit wine sales could be as much as 11% of the market and may have lost HM Revenue & Customs as much as £700 million, a new report has revealed.

Bourbon struggles to meet demand

The company behind Buffalo Trace bourbon is struggling to keep up with demand as interest in the Kentucky spirit grows in the US and around the world.

Glittery new look for VK

Global Brands has revamped the whole VK RTD range, launching five new flavours and adding edible glitter to its Ice Storm flavour.

Beers of Europe set to expand

Britain’s biggest beer shop is set to expand its shop and add a cafe, bar and new offices after planners in Kings Lynn gave its ambitious proposals the green light.

Whisky from Down Under lands in UK

A whisky range from Down Under is now available to buy for the first time ever in the UK.

Cockburn's given £1.5 million ad boost

Cockburn’s has launched a £1.5 million ad campaign designed to boost growth in the burgeoning port category.

Babycham turns 60

Babycham is celebrating its 60th anniversary with an on-pack promotion, limited edition packaging, a new website and a Facebook campaign.

Little public appetite for minimum unit pricing

A research firm has suggested minimum unit pricing on alcohol would be unpopular and ineffective after its survey revealed the public would prefer cigarettes and fatty food to be targeted by the NHS.

Accolade revamps wine advice site

Accolade has revamped the website it launched two years ago to help retailers sell more wine after reporting that membership to the free site has grown “significantly”.

Lindeman's in £1 million ad campaign

Treasury is investing in a multimillion pound ad campaign for Australian wine brand Lindeman’s.

Leading supplier aims to bring single grain Scotch to the masses

William Grant & Sons aims to see single grain whisky stand alongside single malt and blended as a major Scotch category after launching The Girvan Patent Still Single Grain 25 Year Old.

Batemans wins Sainsbury's Beer Hunt again

Batemans B Bock beat hundreds of new beers brewed across the UK to win a listing at Sainsbury’s after it was named winner of the retailer’s Great British Beer Hunt 2013.

Montes celebrates quarter century

Chilean producer Viña Montes is launching a new wine and releasing special vintages of its icon wines Alpha M, Folly and Purple Angel to celebrate a quarter of a century of winemaking.

City bringing in minimum unit pricing "to make a stand"

The man who is intent on bringing minimum unit pricing to one of England’s largest cities said he is not worried about defying central government’s decision to scrap the measure.

Magnums and iPads to drive Champagne sales

Magnums and iPads will drive sales in a brave new world for Champagne, according to Moët Hennessy.

Retailer feeling heat from Reducing the Strength campaign

A shop that is refusing to join the Reducing the Strength campaign in Ipswich said it is being unfairly blamed for antisocial behaviour and vowed to continue selling strong beer and cider.

Christmas discounting begins in earnest

Major retailers have already begun to run deep discounts on drinks brands as they jostle for position in the pre-Christmas market.

Maxxium pushes Courvoisier with ad campaign

Maxxxium UK is launching a print ad campaign for Courvoisier that will bring a campaign called Here’s to Now to the pages of the Sunday Times, Short List and the London Evening Standard.

New porter honours Britain's last steam train

Box Steam brewery has released a dark porter called Evening Star in honour of the last steam train ever built in Britain.

Call for collaboration between drinks trade and health lobby

The British Liver Trust’s chief executive has called on the health lobby and the drinks industry to work together to promote a healthier Britain.

Bumper year for Thatchers

Thatchers Cider recorded turnover of £42 million in the year to the end of August as the summer heatwave boosted sales from last year’s £40 million. July was the company’s best month since the firm was founded in 1904.

Miliband backs small businesses

The Association of Convenience Stores has welcomed a commitment from Labour leader Ed Milliband to reverse a hike in small business rates due in April 2015 and to freeze the levy the following year.

McGuigan encourages trade-up

Australian Vintage believes that within two years its new McGuigan Black Label Reserve range will account for 25% of McGuigan Black Label sales.

Bargain Booze bolsters range with exclusive wines

Bargain Booze has added seven exclusive wines to the list available to franchisees as it seeks to beef up its premium offering.

PLB's Darbyshire to step down

PLB’s sales director John Osborne is to take over as the agency’s managing director next year, when current managing director Peter Darbyshire steps down.

Halewood launches lower-abv herb schnapps

Halewood International has launched Stukaberg, a 22% herbal schnapps created by Cubic Brands.

Nyetimber new release hailed as best ever

English sparkling wine Nyetimber said its newly released Classic Cuvee 2009 is the finest vintage it has ever produced.

Fuller's launches 2013 Vintage Ale

Fuller’s has launched its 2013 bottle-conditioned Vintage Ale.

Bargain Booze launches Thwaites craft range

Bargain Booze has teamed up with Thwaites to launch three craft ales which had only been available on draught in Thwaites’ pubs so far.

New winemaker at premium Languedoc firm

Languedoc winery Abbotts & Delaunay has appointed Hilde Chevillot as its new winemaker.

Alsace wine exports to UK enjoy sharp rise

Exports of Alsace wines to the UK have grown 27.8% in volume in the first seven months of 2013, according to regional body IVA (Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins d'Alsace).

Big names to return to London Wine Fair in 2014

A host of the UK’s leading wine suppliers have all committed to return to the London Wine Fair in 2014 after an absence of one or more years.

Promotion offers trip to Mozart's birthplace

Mangrove is offering drinkers the chance to win an all expenses paid weekend for two to Mozart’s birthplace in Salzburg via an on-pack promotion on chocolate liqueur Mozart Gold.

On-pack campaign for E&J Brandy

Gallo is running an on-pack promotion on E&J Brandy in the run-up to Christmas – its biggest ever investment in the brand.

Kilchoman releases 2007 Vintage

Islay independent farm distillery Kilchoman is releasing its oldest whisky to date – 2007 Vintage.

£2m ad campaign for Rekorderlig

Rekorderlig is releasing its Winter Cider again this year – this time with a £2 million spend and the edition’s first ever ad campaign.

Fuller's recreates strong ale from 1966

Fuller’s has once again delved into its brewing history to produce the fourth beer in its Past Masters range.

Lambrini sponsors Liverpool Fashion Week

Lambrini is to sponsor Liverpool Fashion Week, which takes place on October 14-19 at Liverpool’s Royal Liver Building.

Brintex reviews dates for future London Wine Fairs

The organiser of the London Wine Fair is reviewing the dates of future shows to maintain its relevance to buyers and suppliers.

Eastern European, Indian and Spanish wine sales soar at Laithwaite's

Laithwaite’s is planning a push on eastern European wines after almost doubling sales from the region over the past year.

Birch: "South Africa in great shape"

Wines of South Africa’s departing head says the country is in its “best position for years” as her replacement prepares to take the reins.

High-strength ban spreads

Beers and ciders with an abv of 6.5% and above could soon be a thing of the past in the off-trade as councils across the UK start to adopt Ipswich’s Reducing the Strength Campaign.