Wine expert Jancis Robinson MW has appealed to Defra to reinstate its funding for the WineSkills Programme for UK wine producers, run at the UK’s centre for wine education, Plumpton College in Sussex.

Vins de Provence has announced the launch of a necktag promotion to support sales and drive further awareness of Provence rosé wines in independent retailers across the UK.

Prosecco producers have failed to create strong individual brands and may lose market share to rival regions, according to wine industry consultant Mike Paul.

Toruńska Vodka, which was established in 1884 in Poland, has been introduced into the UK market backed by a marketing campaign.

Aldi is opening a pop-up wine shop in time for London’s Wine Week, which is sponsored by the German supermarket.

Tasmania, Poland and Sweden could all become more prominent as wine growing nations in the near future, according to experts.

Kingland Drinks is working with Marks & Spencer to create a new sparkling wine; the deal makes M&S the first major retailer to sign up to use Kingland's newly launched carbonation line. 

Berry Bros & Rudd has announced its chief operating officer and MD International, Jeremy Parsons, is to leave the business after 11 years.

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte saw sales increase by 2% in 2015, driven – it said – by its strategy to build brand equity.

BrewDog has revealed plans to build a standalone sour beer facility in Scotland to tap into demand for this beer style.

Stella Artois has unveiled new ‘streamlined’ design across its packaging while also introducing smaller pack formats.

Kopparberg is supporting the roll-out of its new Fruit Lager product with the launch of a new marketing campaign.

German firm Henkell & Co has purchased the remaining 40% of Copestick Murray shares, two-and-a-half years after buying the initial 60%.

Treasury Wine Estates is relaunching Blossom Hill as part of a £2m summer campaign, to include new packaging and the brand’s first appearance on TV for two years.

One of the finalists for OLN’s 2016 Convenience Drinks Retailer of the Year award has opened his second store, combining his expertise in both convenience retailing and alcohol.

Borough Wines & Beers, the London-based independent merchant, has opened a new shop on Islington’s Essex Road, marking the company’s seventh shop in the capital and eighth in total.

AB-Inbev has given market leading lager brand Stella Artois a makeover as it seeks to “elevate the consumer experience in premium drinking occasions”.

Adnams opens new store

23 May, 2016

Adnams has opened an eleventh retail store in the coastal town of Felixstowe that will sell a range of beers, wines and spirits.

Conviviality, the UK’s biggest independent alcohol wholesaler, has reported a 137% increase in sales in the last 12 months, following a ‘transformational’ year.

Spar plans to introduce eight new wines to its range this year as part of its ongoing review of its BWS category.

Pinkster, the premium gin brand, has “substantially surpassed” its £600,000 crowdfunding target in just six weeks.

Tuscan producer Tenuta dell’Ornellaia is converting a ramshackle building in the middle of its vineyards into a winery for its legendary Masseto brand.

Sud de France, the umbrella brand for wine, food and tourism from the newly extended Languedoc Roussillon Midi Pyrenees region of southern France is holding its first ever trade tasting in the city of Bristol.

St Peter’s Brewery has launched a new Crafted range, featuring new products – including its first foray into the cider market – all packaged in smaller 330ml versions of its iconic oval bottle.

The organisers of this year’s London Wine Fair have reported that visitor numbers were slightly down compared to 2015, although feedback from exhibitors has been “overwhelmingly positive”.

Jeroboams, the London-based wine merchant, is to distribute contemporary illustrative maps of the communities they are based in to their customers and beyond.

Pickering’s, the craft gin distiller, has become the first gin distiller to launch a collection of five oak aged gins.

Supermarkets dominated the 2016 International Wine Challenge Great Value Awards, scooping 14 of the 17 gongs given out by the expert panel of blind tasters.

Möet & Chandon has revealed its latest innovation for the Champagne category, which it claims is the first ever Rosé Champagne to be served ‘on the rocks’.

Molson Coors has revealed Carling’s activity in the lead up to 2016’s summer of football. The promotions are designed to help fans enjoy Carling both at home and in pubs during the tournament.

A new small batch gin – one of only three single estate gins distilled in the UK – is set to launch under the Spitfire Heritage brand.

Buckingham Schenk has added two New Zealand producers to its portfolio.

Diageo is urging retailers to mark World Whisky Day as it offers “the perfect opportunity” to make whisky the star in their stores.

Bath Ales’s craft beer brewery, Beerd, has added a new Saison to its range in time for the summer.

Majestic Wine has announced that its own-label Definition range has passed the £5 million sales barrier since its launch in September 2015.

After last week’s negative headlines about hospital admissions among the over 65s, this week the national media painted a gloomy picture of alcohol use among young people.

Half of middle-aged men in the UK are putting their health at risk by drinking too much, according to a leading alcohol education charity.

Waitrose has overhauled its Australian wine range in a bid to grab more attention from its shoppers and drive sales growth.

Hi-Spirits is introducing two limited edition tequilas aged in Bourbon barrels to the UK market.

Heineken has prevailed in a dispute with Alcohol Concern, which complained to the advertising watchdog that a Bulmers promotion giving away trainers would appeal to underage drinkers.

The multiple retailers are going through the greatest upheaval in years in terms of range, pricing and promotional strategy. EDLP and range rationalisation are the current buzz phrases giving some suppliers sleepless nights as the grocers seek to fight back against the rise of Aldi and Lidl.

Off Piste Wines is tapping into the trend for wine cocktails with the launch of a new range.

The Co-op’s Truly Irresistible wine range has picked up five medals at the latest International Wine Challenge (IWC) awards.

Absolut is introducing its latest limited edition bottle design, which features the rainbow flag – an icon of diversity – in a mixed up format.

Tiny Rebel Brewing Co, the award-winning Welsh brewery, has returned to its roots by releasing its first home-brew kit for the Champion Beer of Britain 2015, Cwtch.

Status Quo has teamed up with British producers to create a cider and an ale.

Wild Knight Ultra-Premium English Vodka has teamed up with Hammonds of Knutsford to help extend distribution for the brand.

Louis Latour Agencies has bolstered its portfolio with the addition of Marlborough producer Seresin Estate.

Thatchers Cider has renewed its long-standing partnership with Bath rugby club.

Simpsons Wine Estate, has announced its application to the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) for grant funding to develop a state-of-the-art winery, has been successful.

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COMMENT

Mass entertainment

Do anything too regularly and it soon becomes a chore. Stop sniggering at the back. It’s as true for wine tasting as it is for data entry. I know, poor us. Try telling anyone with a normal job how unlucky we are and I doubt you’ll get much sympathy, but the fact remains that there are thousands of different wines and most of them taste pretty average.

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