Supplier’s grape expectations

Portuguese whites and Austrian reds likely to prove popular

PREMIUM wines, Portuguese whites and Austrian reds – those are just some of the trends operators can expect to see this year, according to Bibendum.

• Red wines, particularly those from Austria, are expected to grow in popularity this year.

The supplier predicts sales of premium wines will continue to grow “at pace” as consumers continue to “drink less but better” – a trend it says is also evident in the spirits and beer categories.
Premium white wines from the USA are expected to perform particularly well, with Bibendum noting a pattern for US Chardonnays appearing at the “top end of the list at industry-leading restaurants”.
The supplier also expects to see further growth for Portuguese white wine, which it said “exploded in the on-trade” last year with sales up 25% in value terms. Acknowledging that as a wine nation it accounts for a “comparatively tiny share of the market”, Bibendum said Portuguese wine featured on 40% of the wine lists it analysed.
White wines from ‘red regions’ are also expected to grow in popularity during 2017, with Bibendum expecting to see more white Rhones, white Bordeaux and white Beaujolais hitting lists, as well as white Riojas – a style which the supplier said can “succeed at all price points”.
And it’s not just white wines that are expected to enjoy a buoyant 12 months.
Reds – particularly those from Austria – are likely to prove popular this year, according to the supplier.
“Austrian wine has been trending for a while now, but recently the trend has particularly evolved into Austrian reds,” said Bibendum.
“Over one in three of the wine bars analysed list an Austrian red. Austrian whites are still present on lists, but now they are joined by reds. This growth has been led by premium Austrian wine and is undoubtedly linked to the rise in popularity of Blaufrankish and Zweigelt.”
Sparkling red wine is also expected to appear on a growing number of wine lists as more outlets diversify to “offer customers a taste of something different when it comes to sparkles”; and demand for both red and white wines from Loire is likely to remain strong, especially those from smaller regions such as Touraine, Anjou, Saumur and Vouvray.
“All in all, 2017 looks set to be a busy year in terms of new regions, unexpected varieties and enjoying premium drinks,” said Bibendum.