Summer Wines

What should you be recommending to your customers seeking Summer wine refreshment? We offer a few suggestions.

If there was one category of alcoholic beverage that benefitted from Lockdown it was the wine category.

People took to it in their droves and with the trend towards trading up, wine values have now surpassed those of 2019 although overall global category volumes are expected to continue on their downward trajectory.

In its latest global beverage alcohol report IWSR points out that global volumes of still wine were down 2% last year but value was up by 5% as the ‘less but better’ trend continues to underlie the trajectory of the still wine category.

“Noteworthy gains in wine were seen in the sparkling category as consumers returned to celebratory occasions in full force with the lifting of Covid restrictions,” notes IWSR, “Champagne posted volume growth of 24% last year and other sparkling wines were up 7.5%.”

Over the next five years, the global wine category is forecast to continue on its trajectory of long-term volume decline with volumes decreasing 1% from 2021 to 2026, but this will continue to see value gains of 5%.

What’s more, “Globally, wine in the Premium-and-above price band (over $10) grew by 12% in value last year and is forecast to increase in value by 16% between 2021 and 2026. “Millennials – and in some cases Gen Zs – are amongst the highest spenders on wine in markets such as Australia, Sweden, the US and the UK. It remains to be seen if this trend continues, with governments withdrawing Covid support packages and a probable increase in unemployment rates in many markets.”

Wine in Ireland

Here in Ireland, sales of wine in the on-trade have been a steadily declining phenomenon.

And Lockdown closures of the on-trade didn’t help hospitality hold onto its share of this market.

The on-trade witnessed a significant fall in its wine market share, plunging from a 17% share in 2019 to just 5% in 2020.

In pre-Covid days, hospitality would hold around 18% to 20% of this market.

On the upside, however, this means that there’s all the more potential for the hospitality trade taking back share from the steadily growing tranche of wine sales that had been amassed by the off-trade by offering on-trade customers a selection of quality wines for their delectation this Summer.

Spirits drinkers and beer drinkers will happily sample the odd glass of vino in a change of pace from their usual order if given encouragement from the bar staff – especially if food has been ordered and especially during a pleasant Summer period.

Chilled wine can have particular appeal for consumers during those balmy Summer evenings that have come to characterise the height of an Irish Summer.

Offering a chilled rosé or a crisp Sauvignon blanc can help balance the warmth of the Summer being enjoyed by your customers on evenings like that.

Wine is also viewed as a daytime/early evening category by consumers, with only a fraction of respondents choosing to drink still wine (10%) and sparkling wine (8%) when out after 11pm according to on-trade research undertaken by market insight consultants CGA by NielsenIQ.

But first the bar staff have to allay the very real consumer fears of being ‘found out’ when it comes to ordering an appropriate Summer wine.

Research undertaken by CGA has found that there’s often a feeling that choosing wine is “high-risk” and “intimidating” for some consumers who’d otherwise be happy ordering a bottle of Barolo at the bar.

“Without the fallback of trusted brands and with long, complex menus, consumers do not have the necessary wine knowledge or confidence to be able to explore the category,” states CGA’s Research & Insight Director Charlie Mitchell, “As a result, we often see consumers plumping for the ‘second cheapest’ option or sticking with a trusted and popular varietal or style, potentially leaving money in the customer’s pocket having not encouraged a trade-up.

“This is where suppliers and operators can work closely together to help customers to navigate wine options, be it from helpful cues on menus, tasting events, or ‘Wine of the week’-style offers. Similarly, widespread staff training, so that genuine recommendations can be delivered from bar or wait staff based on customer preferences, can also overcome the barriers that consumers face when looking to choose wine, but opting for an easier choice of well-known beers or spirits.”

Alternatively, wine-by-the-glass technology has come on in leaps and bounds and such a means of selling wine should be kept all the busier during the Summer months.

Add to this the opportunity that all the “catch-up celebrations” (such as postponed weddings and other missed-out-on events during Covid) provide for the likes of Champagne and there’s surely cause for tentative optimism.

One County Louth publican (see Main Story) pointed out that after-weddings and similar functions have taken increasing prominence as the main driver for his premises these days, so wine could play a more significant part in what’s an attractive margin product if only vintners would spend a bit more time marketing a more comprehensive wine range to customers.

Summer wines have two big winners in white and rosé which generally tend to grow their share of the overall wine category (mostly at the expense of red).

Sparkling wine has performed well since Lockdowns ended too and sparklers should enjoy a decent Summer, predicts CGA by NielsenIQ.

In its Reach 2022 survey it finds that white wine is the most commonly consumed type of wine, with 65% of respondents choosing to drink it when out. This is followed by red wine at 51%, sparkling wine at 38% and rosé wine at 29%.

White wines are perfect for Summer sipping, with Sauvignon blanc a popular choice, whether from the Old World or from the New World.

But rosé has the most loyal drinkers, with 13.5% consuming rosé wine every time they visit cafes, bars and restaurants or similar venues.

There’s also a willing base of consumers who don’t always consume rosé, but 55% state that they drink rosé occasionally – higher than any other wine style for this frequency, reports CGA by NIQ.

In short, rosé is currently fashionable on a global scale, especially dry rosés which don’t overpower the palate. Together with the sweeter rosés, they’re perfect accompaniments to any Summer occasion being good on their own or with food – but serve these wines chilled on a hot Summer’s day for maximum customer enjoyment. Sparkling wines should also be served well chilled, presented in an ice bucket for that cooling effect under a hot sun (hopefully).

Santa Rita 120 ‘De-light’

Following the launch of the 0% de-alcoholised wines earlier this year, Santa Rita is introducing three new low alcohol wines. Sold under the 120 Reserva Especial brand tier as ‘De-Light’ these include a De-light Pinot Grigio at 9% ABV and 80 calories per serving, a De-light Moscato at 8% ABV and a De-light Cabernet Sauvignon at 9% ABV and 80 calories per serving.

Each wine is made according to traditional winemaking practices, with the Pinot Grigio and Moscato picked early to achieve lower alcohol and the spinning cone method used to reduce alcohol in the Cabernet Sauvignon.

The spinning cones gently & repeatedly spin the wine out into thin liquid films, simultaneously a cool vapour created from the wine itself rises from below and carries off all the lightest molecules in the liquid. The process is repeated until the desired level of alcohol is reached. This very gentle and sympathetic technique works well in reducing alcoholic content yet retains the delicate aromas and flavours of the wines. The final wines are a blend of full alcohol and de-alcoholised wines.

Santa Rita 120 ‘De-alcoholised’ wines

Two wines – a Sauvignon blanc and a Cabernet Sauvignon, were launched into the Irish market last March, made using traditional methods with de-alcoholisation taking place after alcoholic fermentation is complete. The spinning cone column distillation process is used to de-alcoholise the wine, with the resulting wine containing 0.4% ABV and residual sugar of 30 g/L.

“Research has shown that regular wine drinkers, except possibly during the pandemic, have been decreasing over the last couple of years and consumers are more conscious of the negative effects of excessive alcohol,” comments Terry Pennington, Export Commercial Director of Santa Rita Estates, “Current trends are towards healthier lifestyles and more moderate alcohol consumption with the younger generations looking for low alcohol alternatives.”

19 Crimes

19 Crimes turned criminals into colonists. Upon conviction, British rogues guilty of at least one of the 19 Crimes were sentenced to live in Australia rather than death.

This punishment by ‘Transportation’ began in 1788 and many of the lawless died at sea. For the rough-hewn prisoners who made it ashore, a new world awaited.

As pioneers in a frontier penal colony, they forged a new country and new lives, brick-by-brick.

19 Crimes is born of the rules they broke and the culture they built. And like our legendary rogues, it’s a taste that’ll live forever in infamy.

This red blend bears the same traits as those banished to Australia: defiant by nature, bold in character. Always uncompromising. It’s a great bottle to drink with classic barbecue dishes and it’s a taste you’ll never forget.

19 Crimes has also created a mobile phone app bringing these stories to life – when the phone’s camera is pointed at a bottle in the app, the character on the label becomes animated and begins to tell their story.

This Summer, 19 Crimes will be sampling at Big Grill Festival and showing us how to make the most of the BBQ season.

Blossom Hill

Blossom Hill began with a revolution. Back in 1992 our first winemaker passionately believed that wine should be enjoyed and certainly not debated. Complex terminology and vintages were drowning out what mattered most, taste – and a gap was identified in the market for a fresh, very fruity, smooth, crowd-pleasing wine. From juicy red berries to zesty citrus and watermelons, there’s a whole world of taste out there with all-natural flavours.

So taste is where we started and a range was created that focused on a taste – the first easily-accessible wine style. More than 30 years later, there’s a Blossom Hill wine to suit all tastes and occasions – from classic crisp whites to fruity reds and fresh rosés; everyone can find something to love in Blossom Hill which celebrates its 30th Birthday with the help of Laura Whitmore.

Turning 30 comes with all types of societal and family pressures to achieve particular life milestones, so Blossom and Laura want to quash these and help consumers live life on their own terms.

This Summer, Blossom Hill will celebrate its birthday in Ireland with exclusive invites to brunch in Brother Hubbard.

Cono Sur

Cono Sur is present in seven of the most important wine valleys of Chile, where each valley’s microclimate-determining factors such as abundant luminosity, significant daily temperature variation, dry weather during ripening season and fresh Andean irrigation water, contribute to the production of pure and wholesome grapes.

Since its beginning, Cono Sur has been deeply committed to taking care of the environment by developing practices such as natural vineyard management, organic production and ISO certification. It has always believed that high-quality wine production can work hand-in-hand with eco-friendly practices.

This sustainable path has led it to meet the highest standards in terms of social performance, environmental care, transparency and corporate responsibility, granting it the B-Corp certification.

These good practices are reflected in its Organic line which was born in 2012 as a tribute to the vineyard workers who daily attend their workplace by bicycle.

The creative use of technology, the orientation towards quality and the respect for the environment are part of the fundamental values of Cono Sur to create quality and innovative products from South America, on whose western edge lies Chile and its gifted wine valleys.

To highlight the importance of sustainable winemaking,  Cono Sur will be sampling its Orangic wine range in the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre and Dundrum Town Centre this August.

Cheers to a Devilish Summer

As we well know, the Irish Summer can make outdoor planning quite tricky. Typically picnics and barbeques tend to be last-minute when the weekend heatwave arrives. One thing we can control however is the chilled wine. Naturally, consumers tend to opt for more whites & rosés in the warmer months and these varieties will take the lead during this time in all brand communications both above- and below-the-line, from online and TV to in-store.

Starting with rosé, this wine is the perfect accompaniment to any Summer event. With its fresh flavours of red berries, it embodies the perfect balance between acidity, minerality and delicateness. Casillero del Diablo Rosé is sure to be a real crowd-pleaser.

Fans of a more traditional white wine will enjoy a Sauvignon blanc, providing notes of Lime and Peach, the ideal choice to pair with Summer salads. If your customers prefer a fruitier wine, try the Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio which pair perfectly with seafood and pasta dishes.

Of course, if white wines aren’t for your customers, there are plenty red wine options from Casillero to choose from too.

Concha y Toro is a certified B Corp company. As consumers are now looking to reduce their environmental impact when shopping, knowing that Casillero del Diablo wines are part of this movement will help consumers make a more conscious decision in-store. You can soon find the B Corp logo on all bottles and POS.

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