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Alliance Wine fed up with navel-gazing wine trade

Published:  15 January, 2014

Alliance Wine is fed up with the wine trade's "self flagellation" and is intent on injecting fun back into the industry with a host of tastings themed around food.

"We need to stop navel-gazing and self-flagellating. The trade is intent on it. We're not engaging consumers etc. Well we're trying to - things aren't that bad. It's more about having fun - we're looking at a bit more of that in 2014," said the firm's wine development director Giles Cooke MW.

Giles CookeGiles CookeAlliance Wine's Giles Cooke MW believes it's time to inject more fun back into wine trade. Its strategy appears to be working with sales up 15% in 2013.

The strategy appears to be paying off: the firm's turnover grew 15% from  January to December  2013, with the on-trade performing particularly well with sales up by 18%.

Last September Alliance ran a trade tasting in Glasgow in a railway arch in the evening, involving food producers from all over Scotland and a Latin theme. "There was a good vibe and 300 people came. This was no stuffy wine tasting, it should be about having fun," said Cooke, adding that Alliance will be continuing in this vein in 2014.

Its London tasting, which takes place on February 5 at the Dragons' Den venue 47-49 Tanner Street, in Bermondsey, will have a street food market feel to it and traders including Jamon Jamon, Breadren, Hogdogz, Morty & Bobs and Fundi Pizza. It will also have an old-style Citroen van serving food, as well as 22 wine producers showing over 300 wines. "We're following on the theme Love Food Love Wine - everything about wine links into food."

Its Edinburgh tasting will have a similar focus on food, and is being held the Galvin Brasserie Deluxe, in the Caledonian Hotel on February 3.

 "It's all pretty serious wine but we're having fun with it. We talk about education and engagement - most people don't want to be educated, they want to enjoy wine. Adults choose if they want to be educated, rather than being preached at," said Cooke.

Alliance's business is split 44% to the on-trade, 38% to wholesalers and independents; 15% to nationals and 3% to exports.  

To register for Alliance Wine's tasting visit or call Rosie Clarkson on 07825 278 548.