Christmas could be a hard sell this year

So here we are again. At the back end of the year in the make or break season that will decide what sort of year our pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants are going to look back upon.

Chateau Haut Gleon Blanc 2012 released

Les Vignobles Foncalieu’s AOC Corbieres Chateau Haut Gleon Blanc 2012 has launched, targeted at the on-trade in Germany, China and the UK.

Opihr Oriental Spiced unveiled at Imbibe Live

Quintessential Brands unveiled Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin yesterday at UK on-trade show Imbibe Live.

Bibendum's Saunders braces for 2013 storm

Bibendum CEO Michael Saunders has warned the UK wine trade that business conditions will remain “tough” in 2013 and voiced his “violent objections” to minimum unit proposals.

Lower-alcohol Wines: The Lowdown

There is increasing awareness and demand for low and lower-alcohol wines. Christian Davis checks on who’s doing what

Bergersen becomes Pilsner Urquell’s International Master Bartender

Bartender Kim Daniel Bergersen of Norway prevailed from a field of 11 finalists at Pilsner Urquell’s International Master Bartender (IMB) competition.

Pusser's targets tiki bars and younger drinkers

Pusser’s Rum will target younger drinkers in the UK this winter with a new on-trade promotion.

Cape 2012

You have to hand it to Wines of South Africa. They know how to organise an event. To say Cape 2012 is just another trade show, would be a great injustice and understatement.

International Wine Challenge results

The International Wine Challenge held is annual bash at the Hilton on London’s Park Lane last night at which all its trophy winners were announced.

Team America: World Cup winners

Bacardi has named Team USA winners of the 42 Below Cocktail World Cup 2012, which took place at the vodka brand's home, New Zealand.

Pilsner Urquell crowns UK Master Bartender

Pilsner Urquell has awarded Paul Seagraves from Tweedies Bar in Grasmere, Cumbria with the title of UK Master Bartender 2012.

EU delays lifting LAG restrictions

The European Commission has postponed next year’s deadline to lift EU airport security restrictions on air passengers carrying liquids, aerosol and gels (LAGs) in their hand luggage.

Distell reports 15% revenue growth and 9% sales increase

Distell, South Africa’s leading wine and spirits producer, has reported a 15% growth in revenue for the year to June 2012 and a 9.9% increase in sales volumes across its portfolio of wines, spirits and RTDs in both domestic and international markets.

Jacob’s Creek in major UK chat show sponsorship

Jacob’s Creek, the leading Australian wine brand, is to sponsor the UK’s leading chat show.

Angostura opens Global Cocktail Challenge 2013

Angostura is on the lookout for bartenders to take part in the national heats of its Global Cocktail Challenge 2013, a competition which culminates in the selection of its global brand ambassador.

Gin

Gin is trading on the complexities of its flavour profile to cash in on the cocktail boom. Patience Gould finds a booming super-premium sector

New management structure at Accolade

Accolade Wines, which is the fifth largest global wine company, is to split the existing role of European commercial general manager into two, covering mainland Europe and UK & Ireland, to focus better on these two strategically crucial markets.

Chilean wine

Despite a strong peso, consumers are prepared to pay the price for quality Chilean wine. Christian Davis reports

Wild Geese land in UK cities

The Avalon Group has announced distributor Emporia Brands will roll out its Irish Whiskey brand The Wild Geese to the UK market.

UK consumers open to untraditional wine packaging

UK consumers' openness to new forms of wine packaging could mean the traditional glass bottle’s stranglehold on the market is relaxed, says Wine Intelligence.

Accolade Wines revamps Echo Falls

Accolade Wines has unveiled a new look for its Echo Falls Californian wine brand in key European markets, including the UK, Netherlands and Spain.

Treasury and Accolade pack for each other

Treasury Wine Estates and Accolade Wines has announced that TWE will pack wine for Accolade in Australia with Accolade will pack wine for TWE in the UK.

Trade challenges Scottish minimum pricing

UK and European drinks trade organisations have announced they are challenging the Scottish government’s minimum unit pricing (MUP) legislation.

Cox has left New Zealand Winegrowers

David Cox, director – Europe for New Zealand Winegrowers has left the organisation to pursue other interests and projects.

Toorank launches three-member Rebellion

Toorank Distilleries, owners of Sloane’s Dry Gin, has launched a trinity of rum styles under the brand name Rebellion to the UK, Holland, Poland, Spain, France and Turkey.  

Kleine Zalze hatches independents plan

South African wine estate Kleine Zalze has signalled its intention to target the independent retailing channel in the UK by moving its entire portfolio of wines to Hatch Mansfield.

Scotch infrastructure

Asian demand for whisky has boosted investment in Scotland, says Lucy Britner

Inver House reports strong results, releases new Balblair vintages

Inver House Distillers, the Scotland-based spirits arm of International Beverage Holdings has reported a 28% increase in turnover for the year ending December 2011.

Vinho Verde exports booming

Despite challenging Portuguese economic conditions, Vinho Verde exports are on the increase and will become more competitive in the global market place, according to the Vinho Verde Commission (CVRVV).

Diageo launches a Chinese white spirit to the UK market

Diageo, has launched Chinese white spirit brand, Shui Jing Fang, onto the UK domestic market.

International varietals could be the future for Portuguese wine

CEO of Sogrape Vinhos, Francisco Ferreira, has ventured that the planting of further international varietals could help to attract more consumers to Portuguese wine.

Maxxium UK to distribute Cooleys

Irish whiskey producer Cooley Distillery has appointed Maxxium UK to distribute brands, Kilbeggan, Connemara Peated Irish Single Malt, Tyrconnell Irish Single Malt and Greenore Irish Single Grain, in the UK.

The Macallan unveils new range

The Macallan has unveiled a new range, the 1824 Series, which is being rolled out into the UK market this autumn.

South Africa’s flagship wine producer unveils new wine

Vergelegen, one of South Africa’s best wine producers, has unveiled a new wine, DNA.

UK: Holly Valance to be the face of Gallo Moscato

Gallo Family Vineyards has partnered with Australian celebrity, Holly Valance, to publicise its newly launched Moscato wine in the UK.

Bacardi Martini announces new md for the UK and Ireland

Bacardi Martini BV has announced the appointment of Rich Andrews as managing director of the UK & Ireland Business Unit and a member of the European Leadership Team under regional president, Europe, Stefan Bomhard.

Atkin MW and Chester Osborn get Wine Intelligence Business Awards

Wine journalist, Tim Atkin MW and d'Arenberg owner and winemaker Chester Osborn, were both named as recipients of the Wine Intelligence 10 for 10 Business Award.

UK government pledges to intervene in alcoholics’ lives

The UK government’s Work and Pensions Secretary and former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith, is due to  announce today (May23) that “alcoholics rendered unable to work by their condition will face active intervention in their lives to make them clean and employable”.

Wine to be packed in cartons in the UK for the first time

Tetra Pak, the world leader in its eponymous packaging, has announced that wine can be packed in its cartons in the UK for the first time

Charles Heidsieck champagne moves to Liberty

UK: Charles Heidsieck champagne is to move to a "fine wine-orientated partner" in the UK. Distribution is to shift from First Drinks Brands to Liberty Wines from June 1, 2012 .

UK: BBFB in £2m JD Tennessee Honey push

Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands has announced a £2m first-year investment for the launch of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey in the UK.

Campari swaps Cellar Trends for Catalyst Brands

Campari Group is set to place its UK distribution in the hands of Matthew Clark's new business arm, Catalyst Brands, following the cessation of the Italian group's contract with Cellar Trends.

UK: Pernod appoints new wine director

Pernod Ricard UK has promoted Chris Ellis to the role of commercial director of wines, with effect from July 1, 2012. 

MyCocktails are frozen

The Manchester Drinks Company’s RTD line, MyCocktail, is set to be extended with the UK launch of frozen pre-mixed cocktail pouches.

Sauvignon Blanc de Loire ambassadors 2012

InterLoire, the interprofessional body for Loire wines has announced that 18 wines from AOC Touraine and Vins de Pays du Val de Loire 2011 vintage have been selected as “Ambassador wines” for the Sauvignon Blanc de Loire project this year.

Cognac Ferrand and Wondrich's Curaçao arrives in US

Pierre Ferrand Cognac's orange liqueur, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao - created in collaboration with cocktail historian David Wondrich - has been rolled out to the US.

Vedett offers new back-label takeover

Belgian beer company Duvel Moortgat has announced the launch of a marketing campaign that will see the back labels of its Vedett beer bottles given over to its consumers’ artwork and blogs.

Brintex optimistic despite LIWF absentees

Events firm Brintex has voiced optimism ahead of this year’s London International Wine Fair (LIWF) and Distil despite the absences of Pernod Ricard, Percy Fox (Diageo’s UK wine division) and PLB.

UK proposes 40p per unit minimum price

The UK government has pledged to introduce a minimum alcohol price of 40p per unit and the ban of by-one-get-one-free deals in a bid to counter binge drinking.

UK budget sees alcohol prices increase

UK: The Chancellor has added another 41p to a bottle of spirits and 11p to a bottle of wine in the latest Budget.