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Six hundred Californian wines will be poured for the trade at the Dream Big California Wine Fair in London on September 27.

Reigning European champions Saracens are now sponsored by South African cider brand Savanna Dry.

Carlsberg is celebrating its 170th birthday this weekend by launching a range of celebrations across its hometown of Copenhagen.

Diageo is targeting Scotch aficionados and cocktail lovers with three new experimental whiskies launched under its Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch brand.

The Macallan has increased its dominance over the rare Scotch whisky auction market and now accounts for 29% of sales at Rare Whisky 101.

The makers of Collagin have hit out at industry watchdog The Portman Group after it warned retailers not to stock the collagen-infused gin.

Greene King is commemorating iconic British sporting moments from recent times in a range of limited-edition bottles of its flagship IPA.

A gin infused with collagen and described as “the elixir of youth” has had two complaints against it upheld by industry watchdog the Portman Group.

Kingsland’s fruit wine brand, Mr Gladstone’s Curious Emporium, has fallen foul of industry watchdog the Portman Group for not clearly labelling itself as alcoholic and appealing to children.

Diageo is using cutting edge technology to target consumers with Smirnoff cider ads when the mercury hits 19°C.

Ethical beer brand Toast has gained a listing at the UK’s largest retailer for its Much Kneaded craft lager and Bloomin’ Lovely session IPA.

Tom King joins WSTA board

21 August, 2017

Treasury Wine Estates’ European managing director has joined the board of the Wine & Spirits Trade Association.

Ardbeg has announced that its highly anticipated new expression, An Oa, is launching next month and will join its permanent range.

The International Bulk Wine & Spirits Show in London has been pushed back a month to new dates of February 26-27.

Cognac exports to the UK grew 3.6% in the year to July 31, 2017, and it held onto its position as the fourth largest export market for the spirit.

Morgenrot has added two IPAs from Swedish brewery Pang Pang to its range in a bid to cause “mayhem” in the UK craft beer market.

Celebrating women in wine

15 August, 2017

Celebrating the record of the business community on gender equality can be a trying endeavour as women are still massively under-represented in boardrooms. Female chief execs run just 7% of FTSE 100 companies and that percentage drops for the FTSE 250. Women account for a quarter of seats on FTSE 100 boards, but the increase has mainly been among non-executives who do not have their fingers on the buttons that matter. The notion that middle-aged, rich, white men run the show is impossible to ignore, and the issue has tongues wagging again after the BBC published details of its highest earners and revealed that two-thirds of top earners are male. 

South Africa secured a resounding victory when DRN recently polled 200 independent merchants in a bid to find which countries’ wines are performing best in the sector. It finished ahead of Italy, Argentina and Spain as the country growing sales in the strongest fashion and it is easy to see why. Quality has improved drastically in recent years. Classics from well-established regions are winning plaudits, a dynamic new wave of winemakers is pushing boundaries and producing intriguing offerings and at the very top end scores from critics speak for themselves. 

Diageo has continued the pipeline of new releases under its Cîroc vodka with the launch of a French Vanilla variant.

A peloton of riders raised £13,000 in a charity bike ride that honoured the life and times of Dan Townsend, the late managing director at Treasury Wine Estates.

Majestic Wine has appointed former Sainsbury’s buyer Julie Buckley as senior buyer responsible for New Zealand, Spain and Burgundy.

Retailers have been warned to invest heavily in their digital offerings as online could soon overtake the convenience channel as the easiest way for shoppers to buy beers, wines and spirits. 

Britain’s largest online beer retailer is ramping up its wholesale arm and has launched a new website targeting bars, restaurants and retailers. 

The team behind There’s a Beer for That has called upon smaller retailers from across the UK to work with it to spread the word about great beer.

San Miguel is seeking to build on impressive UK growth figures by rolling out a wider portfolio of SKUs, including gluten-free and no-alcohol variants. 

Last week columnist Guy Woodward launched a quite extraordinary rant in our sister title, Harpers, in which he railed against the Scotch Whisky Association and argued in favour of minimum unit pricing. He called the SWA “shabby” for fighting MUP and threw his weight behind the anti-alcohol lobby. The basis for his argument was a press release put out by the neo-prohibitionist brigade and he bought its claims hook, line and sinker, without holding them up to the scrutiny they deserve.

Chris Porter is taking over from retiring incumbent David Cox as chief executive of drinks trade charity The Benevolent.

Aston Manor’s sales grew by 4% to £113 million in 2016 and it now believes it offers a breadth of range that is unrivalled in the cider category.

Diageo has reported that it grew market share in the UK off-trade and on-trade in the past year, largely thanks to the strength of Baileys, Guinness and Gordon’s.

Amazon finished top of the pile as retailers completed a clean sweep in a survey designed to find the UK’s top brands for customer service.