Mature markets regain their attractiveness

According to a new report published yesterday by the UK based wine industry think-tank, Wine Intelligence, in 2015 wine consumption will be driven by the markets of the developed world.

Assessing markets by criteria including sales trends and consumer attitudes and behavior then adding them to key economic measures, WI has come up with a ranking of the top markets for 2015. Four of the top five most attractive markets for wine in 2015 will be in the developed world, with the USA in pole position followed by Switzerland, Germany, and Canada. Despite last year’s dramatic decrease in wine imports in China caused by the government reduction in gifting (see my post on the Chinese market), China retains fifth place.

One interesting note for European markets is that Germany is showing increased attractiveness. A market with big brands and low prices, it seems the German consumers are slowly accepting to pay more for their wines and, after several years of decreasing consumption, market volumes appear to be holding steady.

According to the report, the UK remains an “Established” market under the model’s classification system but based on current trends this is expected to change to “Mature” next year as the recent pattern for volume consumption declines sets in.

In terms of developing markets, UAE made its first appearance in the top 50 following the development of tourism to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and neighbouring Oman.

As Wine Intelligence CEO summed up “some of the mature markets which were looking unattractive a couple of years ago thanks to recession and exchange rates have become more interesting again, while the emerging markets have not come on as fast as perhaps their behaviour was suggesting”.


Anteprima Amarone 2010 – Presenting a new vintage and status

On the last weekend in January, Verona becomes a buzz with Amarone even more than usual as the Consorzio Tutela Vini Valpolicella organises Anteprima Amarone, the annual presentation of the latest vintage of the Veneto’s flagship wine : this year marking the first to be bottled under the DOCG status.

Anteprima Amarone 2010

Gloriously blue skies, the first real snowfall of the year and a high profile Serie A football match were good reasons to be elsewhere that weekend, yet over a thousand wine lovers and press attended the 11th edition of the Anteprima Amarone held at the majestic Gran Guardia in the centre of Verona. The event created by the Consorzio Tutela Vini Valpolicella to “preview” the new release of Amarone. In reality, each producer crafts their flagship vino according to their own philosophy : some have already started selling their 2010 after the minimum ageing period whereas others arrive with barrel samples preferring to leave their Amarone to rest for longer. The ruling that each of the 60 exhibitors could present 2 vintages however ensured that those who prefer to age for longer than the minimum were also able to showcase the finished product.

This year’s event started with the customary opening presentations by the President, Director and Vice Director of the Consortium, the latter making a very in-depth analysis of the characteristics of the 2010 vintage. A panel of tasting experts had already analysed a number of samples heralding it an excellent vintage with Marano della Valpolicella standing out as the area that gave the best results. Well-known journalist Sebastiano Barisoni acted as moderator providing provoking comments on how producers should examine the long term consequences of their the present-day commercial strategies seemingly attacking the producers that have been caught in a downward price-swirl for this once elitist wine. He also criticized the positioning of Recioto, the deliciously sweet dessert wine, that has seen sales decrease over the past years.

The director, Olga Bussinello, proudly unveiled the new logo of the consortium. A clean modern logo incorporating the V for Valpolicella, T for tradition and territory and C for Consortium. The new-look follows the developement of activities to assist smaller wine producers with expanding on international markets and investments in eco-friendly practices.

Now wanting to forget that wine always needs to go alongside food, the organisers  provided a rich buffet to soak up the alcohol-laden Amarone. Corrado Benedetti, one of the areas most famous salumi and cheese producers laid out a selection fit for a king whilst iconic pattisier, Perbellini, provided panettone, pandoro, sbrisolona (the traditional accompaniment to Recioto) and a millefoglie to die for.