Sparkling wine’s bubble will continue to rise
Sparkling wine showed significant growth in 2015 but, as volume and quality continues to increase, the year ahead looks set to be a bubbly one.
Prosecco is responsible for the bulk of this style’s popularity but value increases as high as 58% were seen across the board (WSTA Q4).
This growing reputation was cemented at the end of last year when Champagne Taittinger acquired land in Kent to establish a UK vineyard and become the first champagne house to invest in English sparkling wine.
Crown Cellars wine category manager, Louise Boddington, said: “Consumers are beginning to notice alternatives, with Cava, Cremants and the delicious wines from Franciacorta starting to gain recognition.
“Even English sparkling wine is causing a stir with an increasing number of wine drinkers appreciating what great quality we can produce closer to home.”
Certainly, there appears to be no sign of Prosecco faltering in the short term but the price increases applied by growers in Veneto may push value-conscious consumers to look elsewhere.
In a continuing trend from last year those classic, usually European, favourites are performing well.
We are seeing good growth in Sancerre +14%; St Emilion +23%; Ripasso +15% and Rioja seems unstoppable. Consumers wanting to treat themselves, especially with a meal, are comfortable ordering wines they recognise and know they can be confident in the quality.
More from the Med
Mediterranean wines from Spain and Italy are experiencing positive growth. On the one hand they are the source of the best value wines currently, with Spain in particular a great place to look for exceptional quality for the price.
In the white wine category, the nation’s favourite grapes continue to be Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc with Chardonnay starting to make a comeback. This may change in the year ahead as interest continues to grow in more premium wines such as Albarino, Mencia and Godello in Spain and Lugana, Verdicchio and Barolo from Italy.
Indeed, people are likely to turn away from New World Sauvignon Blanc with price hikes expected following a small grape harvest in New Zealand. This may work to France’s advantage as the quality of their white this year is expected to be very high.
South American surge
Argentina and Malbec are great success stories in the on-trade as consumers continue to enjoy its succulent, juicy style.
Boddington said: “The performance of Malbec is a good example of how the greater emphasis being placed on food and wine matching is boosting sales of different grapes. In Malbec’s case, it is the perfect wine for gutsy red meat dishes.”
“Indeed, there are many other wines now appearing on more wine lists because of their great compatibility with food – think Picpoul de Pinet and fish; Viognier and Asian fusion; Pecorino and seafood.”