A few years ago, just after the british government had deregulated the gas industry, I spoke to a marketing director tasked with targeting pubs and clubs.
It was rock guitarist Frank Zappa who famously said: “You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline.
Love the sound of hyperbole in the morning. So how about this? Ireland has the world’s most exciting and dynamic drinks market right now. I know, I know…that’s some statement. So let’s see how it stacks up.
At the beginning of the year, British supermarket Sainsbury’s quietly introduced a new Chilean wine brand.
In November 9, 2016, an historic change happened in the us that could have far-reaching ramifications for the wine industry.
By even the soberest of assessments it’s been a crazy few weeks since Donald Trump began his presidency.
Few years ago I attended a press conference hosted by the new chairman and deputy chairman of the Scotch Whisky Association.
Like the Mafia and Royalty, the wine trade sets a great deal of store by the concept of family.
It's a safe bet that a recovery of the Asian market was on the New Year’s wish list of pretty much everybody who has a stake in the duty free retail business
Don't look now but there are stirrings of rebellion on the Twittersphere as online whisky lovers rail against escalating single malt whisky prices and say ‘enough is enough’
Diageo’s announcement that it is re-entering the booming Irish whiskey sector with a brand new brand, Roe & Co, caught most of us by surprise.
For reasons I won't bore you with here, I spent the month leading up to Christmas visiting some of England’s finest pubs and bars
When doomed British mountaineer George Mallory was asked why he wanted to climb Everest, his now legendary answer was “because it’s there”
As the new year gets underway there’s a lot of doom and gloom surrounding the travel retail liquor business
I was never top of the class at maths at school. The teacher only had to mention the dreaded ‘m’ word and start writing numbers on the board and my eyes would glaze over
Dom Roskrow tries to make sense of the last twelve months
So, Danish brewer is spending £15m on revitalising its flagship Carlsberg Export brand (see news story) and at the core of activity is emphasising the company’s Danish origins.
I was never top of the class at maths at school. The teacher only had to mention the dreaded ‘m’ word and start writing numbers on the board and my eyes would glaze over.
When Erik Juul-Mortensen tells you that business conditions in travel retail are as tough today as he’s ever seen, you’d better sit up and listen
Like many people who work in what might be called the ‘non-productive’ side of the wine business (from sommeliers to merchants to writers), i’m often asked if i’d like to try my hand at making the stuff myself.
It’s like a dream. Five years ago we didn’t have a whisky. Now we’re pouring to enthusiastic drinkers at the whisky show in London. It’s hard to believe we’re here.
It’s that time of year. Summer’s finished, the holiday season is over and the drinks industry can look back at the global travel retail (TFWA Cannes) and look forward to Christmas.
It's not exactly glamorous. Indeed, as tempting invitations go, it’s up there with the World Remaindered Books Conference, or the Reconstituted Meat Product Exhibition
This is most odd. I’m standing with two American gentlemen in the corner of a very swish steak bar staring at a surreal painting of what we’re being told is a ship exploding as it sails towards a lighthouse. I think.
I should really know better. It’s the same old story every four years. It’s sunny outside, the lawn needs mowing, the car needs a wash and upstairs in my office I have numerous articles and stories to be getting on with.
Jan Warren weighs up the myriad similarities between bartenders and cooks – and suggests mutual respect
Considering all the different ways that wine gets to be made, the co-operative is the one that seems, at first glance, most out of step with the modern world
Every centimetre of shelf space has to pay its way in travel retail.
So here we go again – I got my first Christmas press release on July 25.
Do you have a recurring nightmare? Mine is very specific. I am speaking before an audience who are just staring at me in total silence. I finish my speech and everyone just stares. I ask for questions. Nothing. I start going red, and redder, and redder…
It’s all too easy to forget these days that blended scotch whisky remains top dog, accounting for more than 90% of the whisky sold worldwide.
The chief executive of the world’s largest premium drinks company expressed satisfaction at the company’s progress at a briefing to journalists and city analysts yesterday (July 28) following the announcement of its end of year results.
It may go against my better nature and political persuasion, but I have to admit that I love new stuff
These are certainly uncertain times we are living in - 51.9% of those who voted in the UK referendum voted for us to leave the European Union
Every time I take an early morning flight from a UK airport in the peak summer travel period it’s always the same
Have you noticed just about every alcoholic drink has its own designated day? What’s that about? Do the people who create these days think it makes a blind bit of difference in the way their target consumers treat the drink on its own special day?
What is the point of a wine trade fair? it’s a question that can take on an almost existential quality when, let’s say, you’re wrestling with the 3am demons in a hotel room with wafer-thin windows overlooking a roaring périphérique in the light-industrial banlieues of a Fench city.
A smattering of the great and the good of the UK wine trade turned up for a debate last Tuesday (June 14), titled ‘What direction should New Zealand winemaking take for the future’, sponsored by Villa Maria and arranged by its UK agent, Hatch Mansfield.
It’s the elephant in the room topic for travel retail.
This time next month we will know if the UK is in or out of the EU.
Question: Which of the following is NOT a valid style of music? Grunge, grime or grit? It is of course grit, grunge being a somewhat passé form of scuzzy rock and grime a beat-based style evolved from British garage music and jungle. We all knew that, right?
Before mid-April, when it was acquired by Constellation in a $285m deal, I can’t say I was all that familiar with the Prisoner Wine Company
THERE’S NO GETTING AWAY FROM IT – cognac has taken a pasting in duty free over the past couple of years.
The menu arrives. It’s what you’ve come to expect from the modern bar – banana butter fat washing, smoke-injected spirits, aromatic mists, lavender foam – except you are in Yangon.
The purchase of Bibendum PLB by Conviviality, operators of Bargain Booze, Wine Rack and wholesaler Matthew Clark, is another development in the continuing consolidation of the UK wine trade.
I know this sounds like the start of a joke, but I walked into a London pub the other day and asked for a pint of lime and soda.
China has dominated the thoughts of the travel retail industry’s decision makers for much of the century.
There’s no doubt part of the attraction of natural wine, both for makers and consumers, is the anti-establishment image.
The Irish ambassador wasn’t just happy, he was positively beaming – and not just because he’d spent the previous hour sampling a range of whiskeys and other irish alcoholic drinks at the embassy in london.
David Williams Author and Columnist for UK National newspaper, The Observer.