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The week that was

Published:  15 June, 2018

In case you missed some of the headlines this week on, here’s a review of the top online news, analysis, opinions and features.

Top stories: One the most compelling stories to emerge was the news that the freeze on alcohol duty rise last November has delivered the Treasury £67 million in extra revenue in just four months. Wine remains the top of revenue collections, totalling 37% of duty, up £33 million over the period.

Meanwhile the UKs biggest wine category, Australia, showed strong signs of continuing to pull away from an unsustainable cheap and cheery positioning, with double-digit growth – in the off-trade at least – at all price points between £7 and £20.

India could be the new China in terms of being a market also experiencing fast rising wine consumption, suggested a new report from Wine Intelligence, provoking much comment from our sub-continent readership, among others.

On the home front, both English bubbles and whisky were in the news too. Leading English fizz Wiston Estate signed up with Swig to boost its on trade penetration, while Copper Rivet Distillery revealed plans underway to draw up a quality charter for English whisky to help protect this currently niche but fast growing category.

Wine and spirits bring £67m boost to Treasury coffers

Majestic declares itself fighting fit for tough market ahead

Portman warns against nostalgic drinks marketing

Britain facing ‘gin drought’ if no Brexit deal is found

Cheaper and mid-range Aussie wine imports boom as higher end slumps

India is ‘the new China for wine’ suggests research head

Wiston Estate signs up Swig Wines as London on-trade distributor

Proposed quality charter for English whisky

Analysis and Insights: With wine showing signs of nudging into (very) modest growth in the UK, Andrew Catchpole examined the balance between the fragile trend towards more premium consumption versus global competition from an ever growing number of thirsty markets that are prepared to pay more.

Lisa Riley looked at the commercial benefits of embracing and promoting sustainable credentials, arguing that as consumer awareness and expectation for ‘green’ products grows, the global drinks trade should take its obligations seriously.

Premium territory 

The green view

People and Opinion: Harpers columnist Guy Woodward tackled the tricky subject of getting the balance right between following consumer mores and leading with a list that is heavy on off-piste finds from the latest cool and exciting corners of the globe.

And our Meet the Buyer series continues with Doug Wregg of Les Caves de Pynene whose simple philosophy has driven the most innovative and interesting natural-leaning wine portfolios in London.

Guy Woodward: Are sommeliers followers or leaders?

Meet the buyers: Doug Wregg, Les Caves De Pyrene