Adopting continental serve ideas can boost sales
Catalonia may frequently outstrip Caledonia in temperature terms, but it seems Scottish operators could benefit by taking inspiration from their Spanish counterparts when it comes to red wine serves this summer.
While many consumers tend to associate white and rosé wines with the summer months and turn their attention to red as autumn gives way to winter, not all red wine drinkers switch with the seasons.
However, wine merchant Bibendum reckons there’s scope for bar and restaurant operators to maintain red wine’s momentum in the coming weeks by adopting a continental approach and serving them chilled.
“If you’re in Spain this summer and drinking red wine, it’s more than likely that it will be cold,” the supplier said.
“According to the Wilson Drinks Report, 50% of red wine drinkers avoid white and rosé and only drink red.
“There is an established red wine drinking demographic that switch to other drinks categories as the temperatures rise. Give your customers something that they know and like, and see the benefits in your till.”
Operators looking to keep up or even grow red wine sales during warmer weather would be wise to pair their chilled reds with food, taking advantage of the current trend for tapas and small plates, Bibendum suggested.
“Pair cool reds with food for an authentic European tasting menu,” said the supplier.
“The trend for small, tapas-style, dishes is showing no sign of slowing down. Enhancing the fresh fruit flavours and crisp acidity of red wine, chilled reds are a great accompaniment to the likes of salamis and fritti di misto.”
For those customers less attached to red wine, rosé offers an excellent opportunity to drive sales in the on-trade, despite a recent dip in performance, according to Bibendum.
“The overall decline is being driven by a slump in sales of cheaper wines as tax increases make these products increasingly uncompetitive compared to the likes of RTDs and off-dry flavoured ciders,” said the supplier.
“At the other end of the scale, there’s unprecedented demand for super-premium rosé from our on-trade customers.”
The ground may be shifting in the rosé market when it comes to the target consumer too.
A growing number of men are said to be drinking rosé, with Bibendum claiming 55% of men view rosé as equally appropriate for both genders.
When it comes to boosting sales of rosé wine, Bibendum suggested operators take the following steps:
• Engage with the silent majority.
Rosé wine customers broadly fall into two groups: wine lovers who are highly engaged with the category and younger consumers who include rosé amongst a repertoire of alcopops and cocktails. In between these two groups is the silent majority, people who could and should be buying rosé but who either don’t understand it or wrongly perceive it all to be cheap and low quality.
• Promote rosé alongside food.
Premium rosé and food go very well together. Drier wines offer the same freshness and approachability that drives sales of white wines such as Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc, whilst those with a touch of residual sugar can be fantastic with spicy, more complex dishes.
• Increase name awareness.
Consumer-friendly names such as Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Rioja have helped people navigate wine ranges and given them a reason to trade up from the most basic ‘red or white’. We need to leverage this for the rosé category too and make more of the big grape varieties and popular regions. Pinot Grigio Blush is a good start but there is more that can be done.