Diageo has extended the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project campaign with the release of city and country-themed bottles to selected global markets.

New Zealand’s Ara Wines has launched One Estate, a sparkling wine made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc, in the UK.

Packaging company Rexam is to build a new beverage can plant in Finland.

Pernod Ricard has unveiled Absolut Gustafson at the TFWA in Cannes, a new limited edition for global travel retail.

Diageo has announced plans to step-up its multi-million dollar strategic partnership with social media website Facebook.

Drambuie has reported operating profits of £2.81m – up 2% on last year.

Diageo has announced the launch of Baileys Biscotti to the UK.

Maxxium Travel Retail’s sales grew by 11% last year, outpacing European travel retail growth of 8%, according to findings by International Wine and Spirits Research (IWSR).

Eleven new masters of wine

06 September, 2011

The Institute of Masters of Wine has announced 11 new masters of wine.

Beam unveils new logo

16 August, 2011

Beam Global Spirits & Wine has announced new corporate branding in anticipation of becoming an independent publicly traded spirits company, to be renamed Beam, early in the fourth quarter.

Bacardi USA has announced plans to trial a new gin, Bombay Sapphire East, in the US on and off-trade.

US: Brugal rum brand-owner the Edrington Group, their distributors Rémy Cointreau Travel Retail Americas and retailer International Shoppes have combined forces to promote travel retail exclusive Brugal Extra Viejo Reserva and Brugal Añejo Reserva - starting in New York JFK.

StarBev has announced ‘significant investments’ in its Staropramen brand, as it eyes international expansion.

A bottle of 1811 Château d’Yquem has been sold for £75,000, setting a Guinness world record.

Owners of traditional products such as champagne and cognac need to show some humility in their dealings with new emerging markets, according to the president and CEO of Groupe Renaud Cointreau.

Diageo has appointed a head of its Western Europe division. From September 1, John Kennedy is to become chief operating officer, Diageo Western Europe. Kennedy is currently managing director, Diageo Ireland.

UK cider producer Aspall is to restructure its business and invest £4m following “40% volume growth” last year.

US: Heaven Hill has launched a liqueur called Hpnotiq Harmonie. The new product is an infusion of French vodka, natural fruits, flowers, and cognac.  The mix includes berries, violets and lavender.

Morrison Bowmore Distillers has made five new appointments within its sales and marketing team.

Chivas Brothers has launched a new special edition Beefeater gin. Developed by master distiller Desmond Payne, Beefeater London Market Gin will be available for a limited period from June 2011 in key global markets, including Spain, UK, Turkey and Bulgaria.

Constellation Brands has named Jay Wright, currently president of its North American division, as its new chief operating officer (COO), effective immediately. In his new role, Wright will oversee marketing, sales and operations across the company. This is the first time Constellation Brands has appointed such a role and a statement from the company said “the creation of the COO role is the latest step in the company's evolution to further refine and streamline its organisation”.

Entrants aiming to crack the US market need to take a bold approach, according to a wine importer.

New World brands continue to dominate the global wine sector and now constitute 13 of the top 15 wine brands, according to a recent study.

Irish Distillers, the Irish whiskey arm of Pernod Ricard, unveiled two new single pot still Irish whiskeys today (May 5).

Chivas Brothers has introduced new packaging across its “core range" of The Glenlivet.

SABMiller has launched a new Peroni Nastro Azzurro global ad campaign that celebrates the Italian summer.

Christie’s has conducted a 36-hour wine auction in Hong Kong and New York, with sales totalling US$11.2m.

Finlandia vodka, part of Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands, has unveiled a new global packaging design dubbed ‘melting ice’.

DQ makes UK comeback

30 March, 2011

Swedish vodka brand DQ has re-launched to the UK, following the restructuring of parent company Nordic Spirit.

Jeff Clarke has been appointed chief winemaker at Marlborough’s Ara Wines.

William Grant & Sons has repackaged its Grant’s Sherry Cask Finish and Ale Cask Finish expressions.

Ara, the Malborough-based New Zealand winery, has appointed Matthew Adams to the role of sales and marketing general manager.

Diageo has announced a new global brand director for Guinness. Oliver Loomes has been appointed to the role, following Brian Duffy’s promotion to global category director for beer.

Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard has launched two new whiskeys.

New Zealand: An organic wine group has set a goal for 20% of New Zealand vineyards to be organic by 2020.

Brand Phoenix has been appointed distributors for Angove Family Winemakers in the UK off-trade.

Pernod Ricard has announced the completion of the sale, by its affiliate Pernod Ricard New Zealand, of Lindauer and other New Zealand wine brands from Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay together with their inventories and assets.

First Cape Wines has announced it will sponsor the British and Irish Lions rugby tour of Australia in 2013.

Cider in Russia

30 November, 2010

Russia could be the next growth market for cider, according to a new report.

Pinot Noir named best NZ wine

26 November, 2010

A Pinot Noir from the Central Otago region has been named Champion Wine at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

The European Spirits Organisation (CEPS) has launched a new five-year commitment to promote responsible drinking.

The economic contribution of Europe's spirits industry to the European economy has been revealed in a new report. The report was prepared by Ernst & Young and commissioned by CEPS – the trade body for the European spirits industry.

Irish whiskey Jameson has launched a new expression in South Africa. Jameson Select Reserve is made from a blend of small batch grain whiskey, not found in any other Jameson expression, and single Irish pot still whiskey.

New York is tough

19 October, 2010

New York is tough for a small company trying to get its brand listed and stocked in the city, according to the chief executive of Xanté, the Swedish company with the eponymous cognac and pear liqueur brand.

Pernod Ricard New Zealand has announced the disposal of its Lindauer wine brand. The company has also announced the sale of several other New Zealand wine brands from Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay together with their related inventories and assets.

Treasury Wine Estates brand Coldstream Hills has completed a $5m upgrade of its winemaking facilities

London Cocktail Week begins

11 October, 2010

The inaugural London Cocktail Week (LCW) has begun - a seven-day event of shows, pop-up bars, parties, classes and tastings.

Cognac brand Courvoisier has undertaken a global repackaging of its VS label, starting with the UK and US markets.

SKyy Spirits, Gruppo Campari’s US-based subsidiary, has unveiled a new global ad campaign entitled Skyy Sexy to market its unflavoured vodka brand Skyy Vodka.

Hine launches new cognac

01 October, 2010

Hine Vintage Cognacs has developed a new “high-end” VSOP which will be exclusive to travel retail. The new cognac will be revealed at TFWA Cannes from October 18 -22.

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Nick Strangeway

Bar food's blurred lines

Once upon a time pubs and bars were somewhere you went with the sole purpose of getting pissed and there wasn’t a knife and fork in sight, just a packet of dry roasted nuts.

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