On cloud wine!

After a highly anticipated wait, sunny days have finally arrived on Irish shores. And with the sun comes a panoply of opportunities to enjoy a fine wine or two, so ensure you don’t leave customers disappointed by stocking a strong selection including prominent showings of the bestsellers displayed on these pages, writes Gillian Hamill


Brand Central

21 July 2022 | 0

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Wine is Ireland’s second favourite alcohol beverage with 32% market share, so it’s essential to have a refreshing selection on your shelves now that the summer days are well and truly here at long last, and thoughts turn to relaxing outside with a flavoursome tipple.

The Drinks Ireland|Wine 2020 Market Report, published in August 2021, shows that wine comfortably remains the nation’s second favourite alcohol beverage after beer. In fact, 2020 saw a five-point increase in wine’s market share to 32.2%, mostly at the expense of beer’s market share which fell from 44.9% in 2019 to 38.9% in 2020.

The Covid-19 pandemic saw changing purchasing trends and overall alcohol sales fall by 6.6% in 2020, Drinks Ireland|Wine found. Beer and cider sales were significantly hit as those products are typically consumed in the hospitality sector. However, generally about 80% of wine purchased in Ireland is in the retail sector. Due to the rolling lockdowns of the hospitality sector, an estimated 95% of wine sales were from the retail sector in 2020.

Overall, wine sales in 2020 rose by 12% to over 10 million cases. According to industry estimates, the popularity of rosé continues to grow. It had an estimated 7% share of the wine market, which is double its share in 2016.  White wine is Ireland’s favourite, with a share of 48%, followed by red wine at 45%.

Meanwhile, Chilean wine remains the nation’s favourite for the seventh year in a row, In fact, It’s estimated that one in four bottles of wine sold in Ireland is from Chile, according to the report.

Spanish wine continues to grow in popularity with a 15.4% share of the total wine market in 2020, just ahead of Australia’s 13.8%.  French and Italian wines are the fourth and fifth most popular wines respectively.

Richard Halstead at www.wineintelligence.com, has also previously examined the topic of Ireland’s post-Covid wine renaissance. According to Halstead: “Ireland’s wine drinkers used the enforced stay-at-home rules to indulge in their wine habits – both drinking more and drinking better.”

He adds that the trade is reporting increased interest in higher value wines, and also in more diverse styles and origins. “Trade respondents mentioned that their Pet-Nat, organic and natural wines have been moving well in recent months,” Halstead wrote, “as has their more special interest products from more niche origins such as Portugal, Germany, Austria and Greece, as well as more mainstream offerings from Chile and Spain.”

Delightful low alcohol options

Following on from the launch of the 0% dealcoholised wines earlier this year, Santa Rita is set to introduce three new low alcohol wines. The wines will be sold under the 120 Reserva Especial brand tier as De-Light and include a De-Light Pinot Grigio at 9% alcohol and 80 calories per serving, a De-Light Moscato at 8% alcohol and a De-Light Cabernet Sauvignon at 9% alcohol and 80 calories per serving. The RRP of each is €12.50.

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 the amount of alcohol in the Cabernet Sauvignon.

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. The final wines are a blend of full alcohol and dealcoholised wines.

Dealcoholised choices

Two Santa Rita Dealcoholised wines – a Sauvignon Blanc and a Cabernet Sauvignon, were launched into the Irish market in March 2022. The wines are made using traditional methods with dealcoholisation taking place after alcoholic fermentation is completed. The method used to dealcoholise the wine is the spinning cone column distillation process, with the resulting wine containing 0.4% alcohol and residual sugar of 30 g/L. The RRP of each is €7.50

‘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,” said 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,” he continued. “With this in mind, Santa Rita has launched both a low alcohol – Santa Rita 120 De-Light and a 0% alcohol – Santa Rita Dealcoholised range in 2022.”

Defiant by nature, bold in character

Nineteen crimes turned criminals into colonists. Upon conviction, British rogues guilty of at least one of these 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 to shore, a new world awaited. As pioneers in a frontier penal colony, they forged a new country and new lives, brick by brick. Today, popular wine brand 19 Crimes is borne of the rules they broke and the culture they built. And like the legendary rogues, the brand is confident it’s a taste that’ll live forever in infamy.

19 Crimes has also created a mobile phone app which brings these rogues’ stories to life. When a 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 red blend bears the same traits as those banished to Australia. Defiant by nature, bold in character. Always uncompromising. It is a great bottle to drink with classic barbecue dishes; an unforgettable taste.

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

Blossoming for three decades!

Blossom Hill is celebrating its 30th birthday with the help of TV presenter Laura Whitmore

Blossom Hill began with a revolution. Back in 1992, its 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 were identified in the market for a fresh, very fruity, smooth, crowd-pleasing wine.

From juicy red berries to zesty citrus and wonderful watermelons, there’s a whole world of taste out there with all-natural flavours. Taste is where Blossom Hill started, and a range was created that focused on a taste – the first easily accessible wine style. More than 30 years later, there is 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.

Blossom Hill is celebrating its 30th birthday with the help of TV presenter Laura Whitmore. Turning 30 comes with all types of societal and family pressures to achieve particular life milestones, and Blossom Hill and Laura want to quash these and help customers live life on their own terms.

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

Pure and wholesome grapes

Cono Sur is present in seven of the most important wine valleys of Chile, where each valley’s micro-climate 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 certifications and always believing that high-quality wine production can work hand-in-hand with eco-friendly practices. This sustainable path has led the winemaker to meet the highest standards in terms of social performance, environmental care, transparency, and corporate responsibility, granting us 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 on bicycles as shown on the label.

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 Organic wine range in the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre and Dundrum Town Centre in August.

New free trade deal with the EU is positive for winegrowers

The new free trade deal will “support future growth in the market and encourage exporters to focus on the EU,” said Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers

New Zealand Winegrowers is pleased that wine exporters will benefit from the announcement of a new free trade deal with the European Union (EU).

“Our understanding is that the agreement is positive for winegrowers exporting to the EU,” said Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers. “It will help remove technical barriers to trade, and reduce burdens from certification and labelling requirements in a dedicated Wine Annex. It will also support future growth in the market and encourage exporters to focus on the EU.”

The EU is a significant export market for New Zealand wine, with over 20 million litres of wine exported, valued at over $150 million, over the past 12 months.

“The EU’s complex rules can make market access difficult for winegrowers, so it is encouraging to see some easing of restrictions in this area,” Gregan added. “We look forward to publication of the full text of the agreement, so that we can examine the agreement in more detail.”

Under the terms of the agreement, tariffs on NZ wine will be lifted as soon as it takes effect. The New Zealand Government has estimated this will save NZ wine exporters approximately $5.5 million annually. The removal of technical barriers to trade will also reduce other direct and indirect costs of producing and exporting wine to the EU.

The parties have also agreed to protect each other’s geographical indications (GIs). New Zealand’s GIs for wine (such as Marlborough, Central Otago and Hawke’s Bay) will be protected in the EU for the first time. Some historic wine names such as port and sherry will be phased out in New Zealand over time, as they have been in many other countries that have entered into free trade agreements with the EU.

“We thank Ministers and officials for their support and their ongoing engagement in these negotiations, which at times have been challenging,” Gregan said.

Life’s more fun together!

Barefoot Wine has been a committed ally of the LGBTQ+ community for the past 34 years

Barefoot Wine, the number one USA wine brand in Ireland, has found the fun this summer!

Kicking off the season by celebrating Pride with a striking new rainbow label on its award-winning Pinot Grigio – alongside the return of the incredibly popular Barefoot Beach Sports for festival season – the summer is in full swing for Barefoot Wine.

Barefoot Beach Sports, sponsored by Barefoot Wine, made a highly anticipated return to Sea Sessions in June. Set in the beautiful surrounds of Donegal’s Bundoran, sports fanatics joined headliners Kodaline, Tinie Tempah, Joel Corry and Basement Jaxx at the biggest beach party weekend of the year.

The number one USA wine brand in Ireland, Barefoot has something for everyone

In the spirit of Barefoot Wine, having a laugh is always a top priority with festival goers enjoying a host of beach sports from volleyball to frisbee – with all proceeds going to their charity partners and event hosts Liquid Therapy, a multi award winning charity locally based in Donegal.

For the past 34 years, Barefoot Wine has been a committed ally of the LGBTQ+ community, and this year, the company celebrated Pride the best way it knows how by supporting LGBTQ+ causes and unveiling a fresh new look for its Pinot Grigio.

The eye-catching new label is inspired by the Progress flag, as a mark of Barefoot’s long-standing advocacy of the LGBTQ+ community.

To learn more about Barefoot’s history as an ally, visit www.barefootwine.ie/lgbtq.

Barefoot is in the business of making great wine that has something for everyone, from sweet reds and refreshing whites, find your perfect match and enjoy with friends and family – life’s more fun when we’re together!

Set your summer in bloom

Picnics, garden parties and BBQs alike are sure to stand out this summer, with the limited-edition Fruity White and Rosé wines from Black Tower.

Featuring a beautiful flower design, of pretty pinks and lilacs, the new sleeve bottles are guaranteed to brighten up any al-fresco occasion – whatever the weather!

The newly released wines are sure to delight guests and act as the perfect accompaniment to light, summer dishes and, for those more health-conscious drinkers, Black Tower has a delicious alternative with their low-calorie and low-alcohol B range.

Fruity white summer sleeve

With an elegant sweetness which nods to vibrant orange, passionfruit, peach and pineapple with honey running through, Black Tower’s Fruity White is a favourite all round and perfect for serving up in the summer months.

Delicate, refreshing flavours make this wine the perfect pairing for a feta and watermelon salad or Moroccan vegetable tagine on a balmy evening. Plus, with its beautiful bottle design, this wine is the ideal gift for bringing to a get-together. 

Rosé summer sleeve

Perfect for enjoying on a sunny afternoon in the garden, Black Tower’s Rosé is a fresh wine with delicate hints of summer fruits including strawberry, raspberry and aromatic red berries. Serve with seafood, a Thai noodle salad or a refreshing summer pudding for a dinner that’s sure to impress.

Black Tower Fruity White, Rosé, Smooth Red are available at the following retailers: Dunnes, Costcutter, Carry Out and SuperValu with bottles priced at 8 nationwide.

Lighter way to enjoy

Looking for a lighter way to enjoy the Fruity White or Rosé? Look no further. The B by Black Tower range means consumers can enjoy a lower calorie, lower alcohol glass of wine without compromising on taste. At only 55 calories per 125ml glass, the B range contains over 30% less calories than standard 9.5% vol. wines, perfect when looking for something lighter to enjoy midweek.  

Each Black Tower wine can be served cold or lightly chilled for the most refreshing glass to satisfy your taste buds, whether enjoying on its own or with your favourite foods.

The B by Black Tower range is available at the following retailers: Tesco, Dunnes, Costcutter, Carry Out and Supervalu with bottles priced at 5 nationwide.

For more information, visit www.blacktower.co.uk,  www.instagram.com/blacktowerwine/ and www.facebook.com/BlackTowerWine/.

Cheers to a devilish summer

With notes of lime and peach, the Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc is an ideal choice to pair with summer salads

As we well-know, the Irish summertime can make outdoor planning quite tricky and typically picnics and barbecues tend to be last-minute when the weekend heatwave arrives. One thing your customers can control however is the chilled wine in the fridge, ready to be enjoyed at a moment’s notice. Naturally, consumers tend to opt for more whites and 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. For those who prefer a fruitier wine, the Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio are great options which pair perfectly with seafood and pasta dishes. Of course, for those who aren’t white wine fans, there a plenty red wine options from Casillero to choose from too! The brand’s advice is therefore straightforward: Whichever Casillero del Diablo wine you opt-for this summer, ‘be sure to make it legendary!’

Did you know?

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 shoppers make a more conscious decision in-store. You can soon find the B Corp logo on all bottles and point of sale (POS) materials.





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