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Why increasing duty is counterproductive to raising a new generation of educated drinkers

Published:  08 March, 2017

There seems to be little expectation in the trade that duty rises on wines and spirits will be frozen in this coming Budget, let alone cut by the 2% that the Scotch Whisky Association and WSTA have been calling for (on spirits, and wines and spirits, respectively). 

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Lidl reports rapid growth for wine category

Published:  08 March, 2017

With a global turnover of over £70billion, and trading operations in 28 countries, the Lidl empire is continuing to grow in the UK, with 35 new stores opening in 2016, and a further 50 planned for this year.

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Think Gin 2017: Mapping out gin's future

Published:  06 March, 2017

When something gets too big or grows too fast, it's only a matter of time before the wolves gather, waiting for it to fall - or trying to knock it - off its pedestal. This is true of gin, where the spirit's unprecedented rise has made it a target for gleeful mutterings that it's finally past its peak.  

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Shop Rioja

Published:  02 March, 2017

he month of October is quickly becoming synonymous with Shop Rioja - Wines from Rioja's month-long promotion which brings the full diversity and dynamism of Spain's foremost wine region to the UK's independent retailers.

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Jumping Juniper

Published:  01 March, 2017

Yes, I published a book about gin last year (I promise that's it for the shameless promotion), but I have no reservations about confessing that I didn't see this current trend for gin lasting so long. Whether it was an over-saturation of the market, familiarity-bred

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The changing face of Portugal

Published:  28 February, 2017

Portugal is on the crest of a wave. Heard that before? Sceptics will find succour in recent statistics pointing to a downturn in UK exports.

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Taking Chile's Temperature

Published:  24 February, 2017

"Chile needs to simplify the message, but our diversity makes it difficult - Argentina has Malbec, meat and Mendoza to talk about, and that's it." 

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By design: A message in a bottle

Published:  23 February, 2017

Start with a quote, is often the advice given when preparing for a presentation or seminar, and when it comes to design, there are lots to choose from. For example, Joe Sparano, graphic designer for American company Oxide Design Co, said: "Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent."

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Think Rum 2017: The year for rum?

Published:  20 February, 2017

Rum may not be generating quite the column inches when compared with the ongoing explosive growth of artisanal gins and it remains a minnow when compared with the volumes of vodka consumed in the UK.

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Marginal returns: How to manage those post-Brexit increases

Published:  17 February, 2017

According to some leading UK independent wine merchants, the cost of wine to their businesses has increased by anything from 10% to 16% since June's European referendum vote, depending on supplier.

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Stand up, then SITT

Published:  15 February, 2017

SITT, the Specialist Importers Trade Tasting, which aims to give a platform to independent merchants and specialist importers is returning to the UK next month - this year as part of Harpers' own event portfolio. 

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Battle of the Bubbles

Published:  13 February, 2017

For decades, the very mention of the word Champagne conjured up almost mystical properties for UK consumers in the market for premium sparkling wine.

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Suppliers under pressure

Published:  10 February, 2017

The words of one well-established wine distributor resonate strongly in the current climate, particularly for those seeking the lure, however challenging, of large-scale distribution via supermarkets and on-trade buying groups.

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Keeping it convivial with Diana Hunter

Published:  08 February, 2017

The acquisition of Bibendum-PLB for £60 million by Conviviality last May, perfectly poised to coincide with the London Wine Fair, caused a tsunami-scale reaction across the trade. 

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Indies: Calm before the storm?

Published:  07 February, 2017

Christmas appears to have arrived on time and with good cheer for many independent merchants, with an early survey of businesses suggesting that sales were generally comfortably up on last year's festive period. 

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R&D raising the bar on cork versus screwcap

Published:  01 February, 2017

As we take our first steps into 2017, the industry brings with it the old battle of cork versus screwcap as the two closures continue their struggle for supremacy. 

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Lebanon: The lure of the east

Published:  31 January, 2017

If the people of a winemaking region impart an element of the local terroir then Lebanon surely offers up one of the most entrancing possible blends of culture, climate and place as a backdrop to its wines. 

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Beyond spirits: Premium mixers and adult soft drinks

Published:  30 January, 2017

Premium mixers caught up with premium spirits in 2016. Where to next? 

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Educating your premier crew

Published:  27 January, 2017

London may be the wine capital of the world, with arguably the best selection of wines available to buy in every bar, restaurant, shop and supermarket, up and down the country, yet the majority of staff that work in these places know little or nothing about what they're supposed to be selling.

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New Zealand Pinot Noir comes of age

Published:  24 January, 2017

At home in the cooler regions of Wairarapa, Nelson, Marlborough, Waipara and Central Otago, Pinot Noir is New Zealand's most important red variety, representing 70% of all red plantings and 15.4% of New Zealand's total vineyard. 

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