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Watchdog looks at rapid drinking'

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Portman Group, the marketing watchdog of the drinks industry, has questioned whether the promotion of shooter' and slammer' shots should be curbed, as it prepares to publish its latest Code of Practice.

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Constellation fears trouble ahead for 2008

Published:  23 July, 2008

Constellation Brands, the world's biggest wine producer, has warned investors net sales could fall by up to 14% in the next financial year as it continues to be hit by a combination of the glut of wine in Australia and intensifying private label competition in the UK.

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Diageo shares up despite UK slump

Published:  23 July, 2008

Diageo's shares have risen by 23% in the past year and its figures for the half-year to 31 December show why.

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A flavour of the nation

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Italian Trade Commission (ICE) will hold a UK trade tasting for the first time in eight years on Wednesday. With no generic body, Italian tastings in the UK have focused on single Italian regions that wanted to promote their wines, but now ICE has united more than 60 producers from the north, south and islands. Every producer will send a representative, and there will be a tasting in Dublin two days before the London event.

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The spirit of success

Published:  23 July, 2008

If there has been one undisputed champion of the UK drinks market during the past decade it has been vodka. The clear viscous liquid with no discernible colour and little in the way of aroma or flavour has won over legions of (mostly younger) consumers, and in recent years has grown to become the UK's largest spirit category, accounting for around 28% of the UK market. The previous champion, blended whisky, has been sent sprawling on to the canvas by the young upstart and now holds just 25% of the total market (AC Nielsen total market MAT to end of December 2006). Overall, the vodka market has grown by 55% since 1997 (Euromonitor), reaching 75 million litres last year, an astonishing compound growth rate of around 5% each and every year.

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The Interview: Chris Connolly, managing director, Connolly's (Wine Merchants) Ltd

Published:  23 July, 2008

Tucked under a railway arch beneath Snowhill station is a rare gem, Birmingham's only independent retail wine specialist. The Connolly family have been involved in the wine trade for over four generations, but the current business was established by Pat Connolly in 1976. Chris, then training as an estate agent, joined his father in 1979, simply to provide cover. Now 47, he has succeeded his father as managing director, and last year Connolly's celebrated its 30th anniversary.

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Nyetimber set for huge expansion

Published:  23 July, 2008

Nyetimber Vineyards, the English sparkling wine company, is considering building a new winery to cope with its heavy planting programme.

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Bordeaux bucks UK trend with 7% sales increase

Published:  23 July, 2008

Bordeaux sales in the UK were up 6% by volume and 7% by value in 2006, following a poor performance in the previous year.

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EU grubbing-up plan rejected four to one

Published:  23 July, 2008

European parliamentarians have voted 484 to 129 against Commission grubbing-up proposals, showing the strength of feeling against reducing the size of the European vineyard.

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Hungary's coming of age

Published:  23 July, 2008

Hungary lays claim to possibly the worst evening of my wine-buying career on a visit to a newly privatised winery back in the early 1990s. In spite of memories of spectacularly nasty wine and even grimmer food, it was clear then that the country's great strength was, and is, its people.

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Grahm to focus on aromatics

Published:  23 July, 2008

Randall Grahm of California producer Bonny Doon is to start producing Grner Veltliner, Chenin Blanc and Riesling in large quantities from next year.

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Drinkaware Trust board announced

Published:  23 July, 2008

The new Drinkaware Trust has named its first-ever board of trustees. The charity's 10 voluntary trustees will be responsible for creating a programme to tackle alcohol harm and promote responsible drinking in the UK.

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Yalumba picks Rose as chief winemaker

Published:  23 July, 2008

Award-winning winemaker Louisa Rose is the new chief winemaker at Yalumba, Australia's oldest family-owned winery, based in the Barossa. She was quietly' appointed on 1 December, taking over from Alan Hoey, who has been made manager of wineries and operations.

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California crop down by 20%

Published:  23 July, 2008

California's crop last year was 20% down on 2005, preliminary figures showed, calming fears of another grape glut.

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South Africa growers face up to oversupply

Published:  23 July, 2008

Growers in South Africa are being paid not to harvest grapes, while others are selling up their farms as severe oversupply hits the industry.

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New 80m distillery for Speyside

Published:  23 July, 2008

Diageo has announced plans to invest 100 million to increase its production of Scotch whisky.

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Beam bucks trend of declining spirits

Published:  23 July, 2008

Beam Global, whose brands include Courvoisier Cognac, Harveys Sherry and Cockburn's Port, has reported growth of more than 10% by value, despite almost every category being in decline in the UK.

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Port Institute to focus on Tawny

Published:  23 July, 2008

Tawny Port will be the focus of the 2007 programme of the Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e do Porto (IVDP).

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Portugal struggles to crack the UK market

Published:  23 July, 2008

There should be great opportunities for Portugal in the UK, but despite the fact that the country's winemakers have started to make great red wines and decent whites, it has yet to fulfil its potential. At this month's 50 Great Wines of Portugal event there was more interest than ever before - the wines had run out by 4 pm - and the event will move to a bigger venue next year.

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Online sales give lift to mail order

Published:  23 July, 2008

Were you sent flowers this Valentine's Day? Maybe you ordered a present for your loved one via the Internet, or perhaps you had the ingredients for a special meal home delivered. Chances are that, even if you didn't, you have used - or will use - your computer for buying goods and services.

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