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

The government has given its clearest indication yet that retailers signing up to Reducing the Strength schemes could be breaking competition law.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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.

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

Pernod Ricard chief executive Pierre Pringuet has vowed to take the Scotch industry “from strength to strength” after becoming the new chairman of the Scotch Whisky Association.

Hatch Mansfield has added boutique winery Te Awa to its portfolio after the New Zealand producer parted ways with Bibendum.

The trade can taste wines from a host of niche importers under one roof next year after the organisers of the London Wine Fair confirmed that Esoterica will return in 2015.

Spanish brewer Estrella Galicia has launched a Christmas beer that uses Nugget hops from its home region to create a spicy golden brew.

Accolade has sealed a long-anticipated deal to add Australian wine producer Grant Burge to its portfolio.

Pernod Ricard UK’s wine boss Chris Ellis has been promoted to a role that also encompasses the group’s spirits portfolio.

The Arran Brewery has “declared war” on the “antisocial idiots and thieves” of North Ayrshire after its new site in Dreghorn was again hit by vandals.

Laura Jewell MW is leaving Tesco to take up the top job at Wine Australia in the UK.

Tesco has slashed the price of its exclusive label Champagne to just £8 – the cheapest any supermarket has sold Champagne in recent years.

Buck’s Fizz is the nation’s favourite Christmas tipple, according to a survey of 1,000 people by Waitrose Cellar.

Maison Sichel has teamed up with Amazon to offer UK consumers its flagship brand Sirius Red in an exclusive online deal.

The advertising watchdog has upheld complaints against Morrisons after disappointed shoppers could not find wines advertised in a high-profile three-for-£10 deal.

Maxxium is launching a new rage of fractionals on brands including Courvoisier, Jim Beam and Macallan to drive convenience sales over Christmas.

Aldi has put BWS at the heart of its Christmas marketing strategy and is taking on specialists, online businesses and luxury retailers with cut-price deals on premium lines.

Festive brews from Sheps

24 November, 2014

Kent brewer Shepherd Neame has released two festive brews.

Jon Pepper MW is joining Enotria as buying and retail director in February 2015.

Oddbins boss Ayo Akintola has admitted plans to re-establish the group as a 300-store national chain have stalled, but remains confident of returning the business to profit.

Asda has slashed the price of its exclusive-label Pierre Darcys Champagne to £10 as the Christmas price war heats up.

The Campaign for Real Ale is lending its name to a range of beers sold in Tesco to raise the profile of bottle-conditioned ales.

Off Licence News’ campaign for legal clarity over the swathe of Reducing the Strength schemes mushrooming across the UK has moved up a gear with action in both Westminster and Brussels.

A leading licensing expert says people applying for licences for shops in cumulative impact zones shouldn’t bow to police opposition without a fight.

Maxxium UK has launched four limited edition Courvoisier expressions for luxury retailers.

Gallo releases Autumn Red

20 November, 2014

Gallo Family Vineyards has launched a wine called Autumn Red, and is running an experiential campaign in retailers to support the release.

WKD has launched a Christmas campaign giving consumers the chance to win Christmas presents for their friends and themselves.

The wine industry needs to cut out the jargon and overhaul its marketing to stem falling sales and attract younger consumers, according to Blossom Hill supplier Diageo.

Resisting discounts and pushing gift packs will bring the Scotch category back into growth in the UK, according to a leading supplier.

Harper Wells in Norwich has scooped the top prize in Off Licence News’ and the Wine Institute of California’s independent retailer promotion.

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My Christmas Wishes

As the end of each year approaches, there comes an instinctive urge to start predicting what the future holds. But for the world of wine, where the vagaries mean something as fundamental as production becomes utterly unpredictable, any kind of clairvoyance is probably best avoided.

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