Let the sunshine in!
With hotter days on the horizon, thoughts turn to refreshing wines to accompany everything from boisterous BBQs to a quiet, sun-soaked evening out on the patio. To make sure you’re well stocked for the summer, here we highlight the latest brand news, bestsellers and innovation occurring within the category
31 July 2023
Whether you’re at a picnic, barbecue, or simply after a decent bottle for a balmy evening, there is an ample selection of whites, reds, rosés and fizz to suit the season. There’s no hard and fast rule for ‘summer wines’, but at this time of year, many consumers are looking for refreshing wine with low tannins, and tons of thirst-quenching acid. Some wine producers are even turning to fruits other than grapes to make their wines. Apples and pears, specifically, are becoming an interesting alternative to grapes in the wine-making sphere.
According to The Wine Market Report 2021 from Drinks Ireland|Wine which was published in August 2022, white wine remains the most popular in Ireland with a 48% market share, with red wine holding a 45% share, both unchanged from 2020. Rosé has become increasingly popular in Ireland in recent years particularly during summer months. While its market share remained static in 2021, it has grown from 3% in 2016 to 7% in 2021.
Meanwhile, Chilean, Spanish and Australian wine are the top three most popular in Ireland respectively, with French wines coming in fourth place. Overall, wine remains the nation’s second most popular drink after beer, with a market share of 29.3%.
With two in five wine drinkers globally reducing their alcohol consumption, Santa Rita is continuing to beat the drum for this category with Santa Rita 120 0% de-alcoholised wine.
Available as a Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon, the range is the perfect alternative for those who choose not to drink alcohol. The wine is made using traditional methods with the spinning cone column distillation process used to de-alcoholise the wine after alcoholic fermentation is completed.
The spinning cones gently and 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 is a very gentle and sympathetic technique which works well in reducing alcoholic content yet retains the delicate aromas and flavours of the wines. Santa Rita 0% is currently sold in Tesco priced at €5.
“Research has shown that regular wine drinkers have been decreasing over the last couple of years and consumer are now shopping with mental and physical wellness in mind,” says 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/no alcohol alternatives. The addition of our Santa Rita 120 ‘0%’ alcohol wines is perfect for those looking for low and no alcohol alternatives without compromising taste, flavour, or enjoyment.”
Yellow Tail, Ireland’s favourite Australian wine brand, has a range of wines suitable for the summer months; From bold reds to pair with sizzling BBQs and refreshing whites to sip on while soaking in the sun. You can spot these distinctive wine bottles in any retail store by their eye-catching coloured labels and new gold medals. These gold labels showcase that the brand has won over 550 awards including “The World’s Most Loved Wine Brand In The World”.
From its launch in 2001, Yellow Tail has grown to be one of the world’s most recognisable wines. Today, Yellow Tail is made by the sixth-generation winemaker of the Casella family at the family-owned winery in Yenda, Australia. John Casella’s vision for Yellow Tail is to demonstrate that wine could be fun, easy to choose, easy to drink and easy to understand.
Yellow Tail wine is an ideal wine to be paired with food and shared with friends. For example, Pinot Grigio, will make your shoppers feel like they’ve made a little trip to Italy – without the long-haul flight! Its aroma is delightfully fresh, with hints of pear, red apples and kiwi fruit. The flavour is fresh and zesty bursting with red apple, pear and passionfruit flavours. It can be enjoyed with Asian inspired food and light salads on a warm summer evening.
Exemplifying Georgia’s distinctive flavours
Georgia, renowned for its ancient winemaking traditions, presents a captivating range of summer wines that exemplify the country’s distinctive flavours and techniques. Notable among these wines are Badagoni Tsinandali, Tsinandali Estate Natella, Nika Ma Fille, Peradze Mtsvane, and Baia Winery Pet Nat’s.
Badagoni Tsinandali is a white wine crafted from the indigenous Rkatsiteli and Mtsvane grape varieties. Its vibrant acidity, coupled with a refreshing fruitiness, makes it a perfect choice for warm summer days.
Tsinandali Estate Natella is another exceptional white wine, skillfully blending Rkatsiteli and Mtsvane grapes to create a harmonious wine with delightful notes of citrus and tropical fruits.
Peradze Mtsvane is a white wine made from the Mtsvane grape variety, known for its aromatic profile and crisp acidity. It offers a refreshing and vibrant experience, with flavours ranging from citrus to green apple.
Nika Ma Fille is a distinct amber wine made by the Nika winery, showcasing the team’s dedication to traditional Georgian winemaking. While there are several vintages of Nika Ma Fille wines, each with its own characteristics, they typically demonstrate the unique qualities of Georgian wines, often using indigenous grape varieties and traditional production methods.
To add some sparkle to your customers’ summer, Baia Winery Pet Nat is a sparkling wine produced using the ancestral method. Made from Tsitska and Aladasturi grape varieties respectfully, it boasts a lively effervescence and brings a playful touch to any celebration.
These Georgian summer wines embody the country’s winemaking heritage, providing a glimpse into the diversity and complexity of Georgian viticulture. Whether your customers choose the Badagoni Tsinandali, Tsinandali Estate Natella, Nika Ma Fille, Peradze Mtsvane or Baia Pet Nats, each bottle offers a distinct and memorable experience that celebrates Georgia’s rich wine culture.
For more information, email Tasteofgeorgiaire@gmail.com and visit
A gem from Provence
Edward Dillon is delighted to announce the addition of Minuty wines to the Moët Hennessy Ireland portfolio of premium wines and spirits, as it becomes the distributor of Minuty in the Republic of Ireland.
Château Minuty’s cuvées express the soul of long summer evenings in Provence. For four generations, the Matton-Farnet family has cultivated excellence, promoting a uniquely Provençal art de vivre with its collection of exquisitely fresh, exceptionally aromatic Minuty wines. From the Gulf of Saint-Tropez to the world’s finest dining tables, a glass of Minuty is the epitome of convivial moments and shared pleasure.
Château Minuty is one of the last estates in the Côtes de Provence where grapes are harvested entirely by hand. Each year, over 100 people join Minuty’s usual team of 20, where hands are kept busy for the duration of “les vendanges”, the cutting of the grape bunches one by one. Buckets fill quickly and are carried to vehicles that transport the fruit to the winery. Tractors are used in vineyards located on the estate, while faster trucks transport grapes from plots farther afield. This method is used so that the precious bunches can arrive at the press intact and in perfect condition, with no maceration or oxidation.
“The addition of Minuty wines to the Moët Hennessy portfolio is a wonderful opportunity for Edward Dillon,” says Andy O’Hara, Edward Dillon CEO. “Rosé wines, and especially Provençal rosés, have seen a huge rise in popularity in recent years. As distributors in Ireland, we will bring increased accessibility to the category for our customers and consumers.”
Minuty has now unveiled its 2022 vintage wines. The new vintages are a jewel, in the purest Minuty style, light and elegant, vibrant and fresh. Although it was atypical, with plenty of unexpected twists, 2022 was a truly exceptional year in the vineyards.
The grape harvest at the family estate began on 16 August, an unusually early start, owing to a year of high temperatures and little rainfall. Throughout the vineyards in the heart of Provence, the sound of secateurs kept up a lively rhythm and the harvest was completed before the week’s end.
The winter of 2022 was unusually chilly, with a water deficit of 50%, but still the spring budburst was helped along by the vines’ resilience and the soil’s residual moisture. The warm weather early in the season fostered rapid flowering. A water shortage coupled with high temperatures during the summer concentrated the grapes, thus limiting yields of juice. Ultimately, the 2022 harvest proved exceptional, producing magnificent wines that are wonderfully light, crisp and fresh.
Minuty Prestige Rosé (RSP: €28) has stood as the symbol of quality rosé for more than 25 years. On the nose, this cuvée stands out for its clear-cut fragrances, ranging from yellow grapefruit to white currant, with hints of blood orange and fresh raspberry. The flavours are clean and direct, with pleasing saline and citrusy notes on the finish. A mouthwatering, instantly appealing wine that pairs well with sushi, grilled fish or stuffed vegetables.
Minuty M (RSP €24) is pure pleasure, pure Provence and pure Minuty in a bottle. Pale pink and pearlescent, this rosé offers immediate pleasure with an intensely aromatic nose that evolves from tangy berry to tropical fruit notes. It is light, lively and refreshing on the palate, with appealing zesty and herbaceous notes. It pairs excellently with summer salads or shellfish.
Cheers to a devilish summer
For those looking for a way to cool down this summer, Casillero del Diablo has the perfect solution for some devilish refreshment. Whether partial to an easy-drinking Rosé, a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or a more versatile Chardonnay, Casillero del Diablo’s range of white wines will be sure to elevate your customers’ perfect drinking occasion.
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.
Casillero del Diablo Reserva Especial Sauvignon Blanc stands out for its freshness, displaying notes of tropical fruit and soft herbal touches. It is expressive with citrus and grapefruit notes, paired with a lively acidity. Perfect to enjoy with fresh grilled fish or creamy cheeses.
Meanwhile, Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay has a fresh and fruity character with delicious notes of pineapple and peaches, balanced with soft hints of hazelnut. It’s well-structured with a fresh and lively acidity. Enjoy with grilled halloumi, fresh from the BBQ.
To highlight this range, the brand will be active in all spaces featuring the “world’s hottest celebrity”, and one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of The Year, actor Pedro Pascal. Pascal, who this year has starred in big box office hits including Sky’s “The Last of Us” and the new season of “The Mandalorian” on Disney+, has helped to grow the visibility and appeal of Casillero del Diablo.
Be sure to keep an eye out on campaigns featuring Pedro Pascal online and out-of-home.
‘Norton Hemisphere’ brilliance
Arguably Ireland’s favourite West Cork native, Graham Norton’s wine brand is a fantastic success with an option for all wine lovers. The Graham Norton wine range is produced in collaboration with New Zealand’s Invivo and Graham Norton controls every aspect of the blending process for his wines, combining southern hemisphere grapes with ‘Norton Hemisphere’ brilliance to create a super range of six wines. Invivo was founded by two Kiwi wine entrepreneurs Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron in 2008. This year, Graham and Invivo will celebrate ten years of making award-winning wine together.
Graham’s range includes his best-selling (and awarded) Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand joined by a wildly popular New Zealand Rosé, Graham Norton’s Shiraz from Australia and the most recent addition to the range is an Argentinian Malbec named He-Devil after Graham’s memoirs ‘The Lives and Loves of a He-Devil’.
“My He-Devil was created to turn heads, break hearts and leave you wanting more… and it has delivered on all counts,” says Graham Norton, chief winemaker.
In relation to bubbles, GN Frizzante Bianco and the GN Frizzante Rosé are hugely popular in Ireland. In fact, the GN Frizzante Bianco is the number one selling sparkling wine in Ireland according to IWSR data.
The Graham Norton range is distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.
Kylie Minogue Wines launched on 28 May 2020 and has since evolved into a worldwide phenomenon with a glass of Kylie Minogue Prosecco Rosé sold every six seconds. This year marks the third anniversary of Kylie Minogue Wines with 9 million bottles sold since launch (that’s over 43 million glasses of Kylie Minogue Wine poured) and is available to purchase in 31 countries.
“I can’t believe it’s already been three years since we launched Kylie Minogue Wines, and I am thrilled that this anniversary not only coincides with the launch of my first single ‘Padam Padam’ from my upcoming album ‘Tension’, but also the imminent launch of Pride Month,” said Minogue. “Thank you to all our amazing winemakers, growers, suppliers and partners who have helped us reach this incredible milestone. Raising a glass to all of you, from Los Angeles!”
In just under three years, the brand has achieved remarkable success with a portfolio of nine wines includes Kylies French Sauvignon Blanc, the best-selling Rosé, Côtes de Provence Rosé, Yara Valley Pinot Noir, Margaret River Chardonnay, Spumante Rosé Prosecco, Frizzante Prosecco and Frizzante Rose and the latest product launch was Kylies Zero Percent Alcohol Free Sparkling Rose.
Kylie Minogue Wines has won multiple awards, including a Golden Vine Award, three golds in the prestigious Drinks Business Wine Awards and Best Côtes de Provence Rosé and Zero Percent Alcohol at the People’s Choice Wine Awards 2023. Proudly distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.
*(Source: Nielsen EPOS volume sales- Total UK Off Trade to 11 March 2023)
McGuigan wines continue to outperform the market and according to a recent report, McGuigan is now the number one Australian wine brand in the off-trade. The Black Label range comprises of a Cabernet, Shiraz, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Rose and Malbec. McGuigan continues to demonstrate solid innovation, having introduced McGuigan Frizzante to the market. This is a light style of sparkling wine, full of lively yet delicate bubbles that give a crisp and refreshing sparkle.
The latest addition to the McGuigan portfolio is McGuigan Zero. Unrivalled taste, zero alcohol – for everyone, everywhere; McGuigan Zero is a trailblazer in its category. The range offers an unparalleled alcohol-free experience both on the nose and palate. Launching with Shiraz, Chardonnay, Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc and Sparkling, McGuigan Zero is created using state-of-the-art spinning cone technology. By drawing the wine into super fine layers for efficient vaporisation, alcohol may be removed at lower temperatures than ever before, thus resulting in a truly beautiful tasting product. McGuigan wines are proudly distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.
Best of both worlds
Villa Maria’s fresh new take on New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has landed in Ireland.
Is it a rosé? Is it a Sauvignon Blanc? Villa Maria has created the best of both worlds with a New Zealand Blush Sauvignon. Ninety per cent Sauvignon Blanc, with just a touch of merlot (10%), Villa Maria Blush Sauvignon delivers the taste experience of New Zealand’s favourite white wine with a beautiful pale pink twist.
“It feels like everyone is drinking pink these days,” says Villa Maria head of marketing and communications Sarah Szegota. “Instagram feeds and social occasions are dominated by the fun-factor pale rosés and pink spirits offer, and data highlights this rapid growth in rosé. Yet despite all the noise, growth and ‘Grams’, the Rosé category remains dwarfed by Sauvignon Blanc. Villa Maria Sauvignon Blush gives you the best of both.”
“We’ve taken the cool, fresh, leap-from the glass energy of our world-renowned Sauvignon Blanc and added a splash of merlot to make a wine with a delicate pink hue, bursting with fresh flavours of passionfruit and cranberry.”
The cool climate within New Zealand’s wine-growing regions provides freshness and natural acidity, making Villa Maria Blush Sauvignon a great choice for an aperitif or alfresco dining. “For a fruity alternative, pour over ice with a raspberry and a basil leaf – it’s delicious!” says Szegota.
“Villa Maria Blush Sauvignon is a toast to moments of joy, to raising a glass when you’re in the moment, loving life and those around you,” Szegota adds. Villa Maria wines proudly distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.
Let’s get Barefoot this summer!
Let’s get Barefoot this summer with Barefoot Wine, the number one USA wine brand in Ireland.
Elevate picnics and BBQs this summer with the ultimate Barefoot Wine pairings. Life’s more fun when we’re together, that’s why Barefoot has something for everyone with delicious wines that will have you reaching for another sip.
For those confused by wine pairing techniques, Barefoot Wine is here to help decide what food goes best with wine. Match citrus to citrus, sweet to sweet or take the edge off and pair sweet wine with spicy dishes. It’s ultimately down to the individual’s taste buds, but to add some flair to your BBQs and picnics, follow Barefoot’s ultimate guide to matching food with some of their favourite wines this summer:
Barefoot Pinot Grigio: Light-bodied and floral, Pinot Grigio is one of the sweeter white wines. You’ll be able to taste the tart green apple, fruity citrus and peachy undertones. Fish and white meats are great food pairings for Pinot Grigio. Enjoy with poultry, spicy pasta, cheese pizza and green veg.
Barefoot Sauvignon Blanc: This popular dry white wine is full of summer notes with fruity honeydew, melon, nectarine and peach. Hints of sharp lime balance the sweet pear. Fresh flavours like green vegetables, crisp apples, citrus fruits as well as potatoes, pasta and even chips all go well with Sauvignon Blanc. Enjoy a chilled glass with smoked fish like salmon, salty oysters and feta or goat’s cheese salad.
Barefoot Merlot: This popular classic is rich in cherry, boysenberry and plum aromas. You’ll find merlot to be one of the sweeter red wines while still being typically mild. Enjoy the warm chocolatey, mocha finish with a smoky vanilla-oak aftertone. A medium merlot is the most versatile out of the reds and can be paired nicely with all red, smoked and cured meats. Merlot can also complement swordfish, grilled tuna and all poultry.
Barefoot White Zinfandel: Fruity White Zinfandel has delicious peach, pears, strawberries, pineapple notes, perfect for drinking over ice. Enjoy a glass with spicy tandoori Indian and Asian food, along with salty bacon, grapes, mild cheese and cured meat. Most seafood and shellfish can also be paired with the sweetness of White Zinfandel.
Barefoot Buttery Chardonnay: Chardonnays have rich flavours and are easy to enjoy, but Barefoot’s Buttery Chardonnay takes it to the next level. This buttery chardonnay is creamy and smooth with delectable notes of vanilla, honeyed peach, and baked apple. It’s the perfect addition to meals which include soft and hard cheese, chicken, pork, salmon, shellfish and potatoes.
Fun, flavourful, and approachable, there is a Barefoot Wine for everyone. The range includes Barefoot Moscato, Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon, Barefoot Malbec, Barefoot Chardonnay, Barefoot Pink Pinot Grigio, Barefoot Buttery Chardonnay and Barefoot Pink Moscato alongside Barefoot Pinot Grigio, Barefoot Sauvignon Blanc, Barefoot Merlot and Barefoot White Zinfandel. Packed with big flavours and gorgeous aromas – there’s plenty to choose from!
Barefoot Wine is available from all good stockists, RRP €10.50.
For more information, visit: