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Wine News

First report on Scotland's Minimum Unit Pricing for alcohol is far from convincing

Scotland introduced Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) on the 1st May 2018, and the latest NHS Scotland report shows alcohol purchased in Scotland fell by 3%.
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Scotland introduced Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) on the 1st May 2018, and the latest NHS Scotland report shows alcohol purchased in Scotland fell by 3%.

The fall saw alcohol consumption in Scotland fall to 19 units per adult per week, the lowest since records began in 1994, however the veracity of the claims has been disputed. Speaking to BBC Scotland, Dr Ewan Forrest of Glasgow Royal Infirmary said it was “probably too early to say” if there had been a reduction in harm caused by alcohol”. The problem stems from the data. Alcohol consumption in Scotland has been falling steadily and it is unsure of the effects of MUP on this trend at this stage. On top of that a number of other initiatives were launched, including stopping multibuy promotions of alcohol and discount coupons from supermarkets being used to purchase alcohol.

The NHS report claims that the sale of alcohol has dropped in Scotland but does not include any information on the purchase of cheaper alcohol in England being taken to Scotland. While a report by The Times in April 2019 pointed to a rise in alcohol sales in Scotland between March 2018 and 2019.

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New Zealand grape harvest remains low for the third year in a row

The small but perfectly formed New Zealand grape harvest will see pressure on prices for the next year at least.
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New Zealand's grape harvest remains low for the third year in a row which, while small but perfectly formed, will see pressure on prices for the next year at least.

New Zealand only accounts for 1% of the world production but punches above its weight in the quality end of the market. The average price of New Zealand exports rose last year as scarcity meant prices stayed firm, raising exports to $1.78bn NZD or £880 million.

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Oddbins shrank by a third while in administration

Oddbins continues it long desperate demise with 13 store closures since going into administration.
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Wine retailer Oddbins continues it long desperate demise with 13 store closures since going into administration.

Oddbins latest administration fiasco has seen its remaining stores shrink from 45 to 32, with 13 closures, 9 of which are in London.
The current owner, European Food Brokers Limited, put the stores into administration in January blaming the economic pressure from Brexit, rising rents and the deterioration of the high street.

Oddbins’ sister company Wine Cellar Trading, which operated more than 50 stores, primarily in the North East and North West of England, under the Booze Buster, Simply Drinks, Oddies and Shop2Go brands, may have also closed a number of stores, but numbers are not available at present.

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Savagnin Blanc has existed for at least 900 years say scientists

Savagnin Blanc, the key wine in Jura's Vin Jaune, has existed for at least 900 years according to scientists.
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Savagnin Blanc (not to be confused with Sauvignon Blanc) is a wine famous in the Jura region in eastern France, best known for its oxidised, yellow Vin Jaune wines. The variety has been around for at least 900 years according to the latest DNA testing on medieval grape seed recovered from Orléans.

Savagnin has not changed in 900 years, making it one of the oldest vines in the world alongside ancient varieties such as Pinot Noir and Gamay. In that time it has created a number of new varieties and is considered one of the parents of Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Trousseau, Sylvaner and Verdejo.

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Soave adds 13 Crus to its vineyards

Soave adds 13 Crus to its vineyards in a move to add more diversity to the once cheerful quaffer.
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If you often think of Soave as a cheap, easy drinking white wine, then think again, because Soave has just added 13 Crus to its appellation. A Cru is a village or sub-region whose name appears on the label as part of Italy's DOC system. This is on top of the Classico system that gives extra status to wines from the region from the original hilly, vineyard area. The Crus and the Classico region will give Soave an opportunity to show the different characters of the Garganega grape in different locations within the Soave DOC.

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Majestic announce surprise loss

Majestic, the UK wine retailer, release their results with a loss of £8.5 million as more money is diverted into online retailer Naked Wines.
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UK wine retailer Majestic released its results with a loss of £8.5 million as more money is diverted into sister company Naked Wines.

Majestic's profit swung to losses as money is invested in its online wine retailer Naked Wines. This week it was announced the losses rose to £8.5 million, down from a profit of over £8 million the year before.

Wine sales at its stores rose 1.5% to £286 million, on heavy promotions that ate into its profits. Its investment in Naked Wines continues, with £19 million used to expand the business by 14.5%.
Its share price has been fluctuating wildly this week, rising by 8% when Elliott Advisors said it was interested in the £100 million portfolio of wine warehouses up for sale, then crashing the next day when this year’s losses were announced.

A number of private equity firms, including OpCapita and Fortress, have also been linked to the deal.

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