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You are not logged in.'s 10 most popular stories of 2014

Published:  23 December, 2014

The most popular stories on throughout 2014 cover everything from TescoGate to Bordeaux 2013 to BrewDog and Bibendum PLB.

The most popular stories on throughout 2014 cover everything from TescoGate to Bordeaux 2013 to BrewDog and Bibendum PLB.

It has been a tumultuous year for the wine trade, and the top 10 most-read stories across our site reflect our hard-working news team's drive to bring you the latest breaking news first.

Dan JagoDan Jago


Perhaps unsurprisingly, the year's most-read story was about Tesco's suspension of Dan Jago - which rocked the wine world. Hosts of suppliers were left reeling in shock as the news broke, with many wondering how their businesses would be affected. It happened in October, and there are still a lot of questions unanswered - Jago has not been publicly reinstated nor left the business permanently and its BWS team appears to be in limbo, especially gievn Laura Jewell MW is off to Wine Australia. has been following the story closely, bringing you views from suppliers, insider views from ex-buyers, analysts and consultants, as well as offering insight and analysis on this constantly evolving tale. And it's not over yet - just this week we heard some major consumer goods firms - including Diageo - are to be questioned as part of the Serious Fraud Office's Inquiry. Watch this space into 2015.


Second on the list was news that Bordeaux 2013 en primeur could shake up wine industry: top names, including critics, producers and buyers, suggested back in January that the vintage could well be a "damp squib", thanks  to a poor crop and a lack of interest from top critics. In the end, as April rolled around, these predictions proved right, with sales dropping off a cliff as consumers refused to pay up and negociants put in an awkward spot. We're already hearing calls for a reasonably-priced 2014 vintage. Let's see what happens.

Michael Saunders and Jeffrey Fredericks shake hands on the formation of Bibendum PLBMichael Saunders and Jeffrey Fredericks shake hands on the formation of Bibendum PLB


Third on the list was news that Bibendum acquires PLB to create 'UK's most powerful independent' drinks supplier at the end of October. Although there had been rumours about sales of certain suppliers for quite some time, it seemed most of the trade was caught unawares by this one. The company now operates five divisions catering of the on and off-trades, independents, events, and offering niche spirits and beer. Just this week news that a "small number of redundancies" had been made as a result of the merger broke. Neither company was putting in a stellar performance before the merger, so let's see what their united future holds.


n at number four was news from two respected Masters of Wine that Bees could help speed up the ageing of wine finds new research. Justin Howard-Sneyd and Neil Tully purported to have carried out research that showed "the constant vibration of thousands of pairs of wings has a mellowing effect on wine that is stored inside a beehive". This was published on April 1, 2014. Just goes to show how gullible many of us in the wine trade are - or how clever the MWs in question are...

Dead Pony ClubDead Pony ClubDead Pony Club

Dead Pony Club


We couldn't expect to get through the year without having Scotland's most controversial brewers hit the headlines. BrewDog guilty of breaking Portman Group marketing rules for Dead Pony pale ale came in at number five. BrewDog was rapped on the knuckles by the Independent Complaints Panel over its marketing, which it said linked to "bravado and immoderate consumption". But outspoken BrewDog founder James Watt issued a stinging statement sarcastically apologising for "not giving a shit" about the body's ruling.


California's lack of rainfall is major threat to winemakers in 2014 was number six in the chart, published in January. 2013 was one of the driest years on record in the state, and by May 2014 the whole state of California was once again labelled as suffering from severe drought. Winemakers fear 2015 could be even worse. Keep tabs on this one.


Naked Wines urges suppliers angered by Majestic's funding request to switch supply to them was number seven. It came on the back of specialist retailer Majestic writing to its suppliers to ask for a 4p per bottle retrospective payment to help fund a new warehouse. This drew the ire of Naked Wines, and also Oddbins, whose boss Ayo Akintola launched a blistering attack on his competitors for bringing the trade into disrepute.


UK remains sixth biggest wine drinking country in world despite falling sales says Vinexpo was number eight. Despite suffering another year of falling sales, the UK held on to its number six spot, and signs show levels could pick up again from 2015, said Vinexpo research.


Bordeaux negociants say demand for 2013 wine is 'dead' was the ninth most-read story of the year. Our January predictions that 2013 would be a 'damp squib' held true, with merchants saying it was a hard sell in a soft market, and calling for prices to be dropped 25% to 30%.


Nobu biggest loser as Michelin strips 14 restaurants of their stars was the year's 10th most-popular read. The news was a major blow to London's renowned Nobu, which held its Michelin star for 16 years. Its Berkeley Street outpost, which had its star for eight years, also lost the award.