American wine drinkers trading up 2017 year of grenache

US drinkers trading up

Bill Swindell, writing in The Press Democrat on 26 January 2017, says US wine shipments grew 2.8 per cent in volume last year. Domestic wine sales increased 4 per cent, mainly due to consumers trading up. The average retail price for a 75cl bottle passed US$10 ($13.25) for the first time.

Swindell draws his information from a report by Santa Rosa-based consulting firm BW 166, which revealed selected figures during a presentation at the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium. Other points from Swindell’s article:

  • US wineries sold a record 383 million cases of wine in 2016, according to preliminary figures released by BW 166.
  • A strong US dollar is making premium imports a good deal for US retailers.
  • Brexit will likely decrease sales for French, Italian and Spanish wine producers in the UK, forcing them to look toward the US.
  • President Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership upset the California wine industry, which had hoped for passage because it would lower tariffs for American wine sold in Japan.
  • Sales of packaged imported wine increased 3.2 per cent by volume and 3.1 per cent in value during the 12-month period to November 2016, according to BW 166.
  • Sales of Italian prosecco have led growth in the sparkling category, increasing more than 25 per cent annually. It now accounts for 17 per cent of the dollars spent on bubbly.
  • Rosé has been growing nearly 50 per cent annually and now represents 1.5 per cent of the table wine market. The French led this sector with a 62 per cent share in sales, while the US followed well behind at 30 per cent.

The trading up Swindell refers to is based on US wines. The latest Australian wine export report, shows Australian wine is following the same trend, exports up 3 per cent mainly in the upper price sectors.

Yellow Tail goes for touchdown

Yellow Tail has booked a 30-second advertising spot in this year’s Super Bowl, which takes place between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons at Houston’s NRG Stadium on Sunday 5 February.

A 30-second ad spot during the Super Bowl is said to cost about US$5 million ($6.6 million), not including the cost of production.

Yellow Tail will be among some big names on the day, including Skittles, Snickers, Bud Light, Fiji Water, Lexus and Mercedes- Benz.

The opening national anthem will be sung by country singer-songwriter Luke Bryan. Bets are being taken on how long he will take to perform it. He appears to be one of the slower singers. Lady Gaga will do the half-time performance, or, as it’s officially known, the Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show.

It’s the first time in 40 years that a wine brand has advertised on the Super Bowl coverage. Well done, YT. We hope it works for you.

The Max and Sarah show

Last month Max Allen wrote a piece putting forward the argument that grenache might be a better grape to represent Australia than shiraz. It appears Sarah Ahmed agrees.

Sarah Ahmed hosted a masterclass on McLaren Vale grenache at Wine Australia’s Australia Day Tasting in London last week. The eight wines she chose:

  • Wirra Wirra ‘The Absconder’ McLaren Vale Grenache 2015
  • Serafino Wines ‘Serafino Reserve’ McLaren Vale Grenache 2014
  • Bekkers Wine ‘Bekkers’ McLaren Vale Grenache 2014
  • Yangarra Estate ‘High Sands’ McLaren Vale Grenache 2013
  • Nick Haselgrove Wines ‘The Old Faithful Northern Exposure’ McLaren Vale Grenache 2013
  • Caught Redhanded ‘Oscar Reserve’ McLaren Vale Grenache 2012
  • Chapel Hill Winery ‘Bush Vine’ McLaren Vale Grenache 2010
  • D’Arenberg ‘The Beautiful View’ McLaren Vale Grenache 2010

It’s all about ageing ability and freshness, according to Ahmed. This could prove to be a pivotal year for Australian grenache.

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