Supplier spotlight: Majestic Wine • Seasoned Events

Supplier spotlight: Majestic Wine

We partner with a number of special suppliers and today we welcome Majestic Wine and their top 6 trends to watch in 2019.

Majestic Wine is the UK’s largest specialist wine retailer, with over 200 stores in the UK. Their customer service, range and people set it apart from a sea of retailers.

Majestic have an expert team of wine buyers who travel the world sourcing wines of excellent quality and terrific value to offer our retail and business customers.

Let us introduce our dedicated Account Manager, Simon, who works with us to review our wine list annually to ensure we cover current wine styles in vogue. He also closely liaises with the buying team and Seasoned to ensure the wines on our list not only cover current popular styles, but also prepare for upcoming trends in the UK market.

2018 has been an impacting year in the wine industry, with new wine trends and predictions taking shape.

Here is Simon’s round-up of top 5 wine trends in the UK for 2019

Eastern Europe makes a brilliant bet to beat harvest blues

Eastern European wines have been steady ships on the choppy waters of dismal European harvests and Brexit-related supply blues. Sales were up +1365% year-on-year in the £5-£10 price band at Majestic in 2017. Reports suggest Hungary’s harvest is down only 3% (compared to an EU-wide average drop of 14%), whilst Romania is looking at a 60% harvest increase.

It might not have the clout of other European favourites like Spain and France, but Eastern Europe is home to some of the World’s oldest winemaking regions. 2019 could be the year that these regions become more attractive to wine buyers looking for a well-priced bottle of something ‘a bit different’ for adventurous consumers.

Look out for our Three Realms Pinot Noir from Romania which offers fantastic bang for your buck.

Bigger = better

Magnums are big news. In 2018  already we’ve seen a 378% increase in year-on-year sales of super-sized bottles under £20 in retail. Rosés and house reds in 1.5 litre measures are proving particularly popular for weddings and parties, where a big celebration warrants big bottles! Wines in magnums also take longer to reach their optimum drinking age; this adds to the intensity, making them the connoisseur’s choice for premium wines.

Although the larger bottle format seems “counter-intuitive” given the increased price point, people are increasingly using these formats to add theatre at larger scale celebrations and parties.

Forget gin, Brits are favouring a new tipple for 2019

Majestic have recorded a 25% increase year-on-year in sales of Sherry in 2017. What used to be Granny’s favourite has dropped its age appeal by 50 years, with it being entirely acceptable for those in their 20s and 30s to be seen with a Sherry glass in hand. And it’s not just Sherry that’s undergoing a renaissance. Other fortified friends are making a comeback with Port sales seeing an 18% volume increase in 2017 and the unsung Madeira currently up 224%, versus the same period in 2016.

Prosecco rivals are turning the heat up on the nation’s favourite fizz

With another difficult harvest in Northern Italy (where some yields are down as much as 30%), sparkling wines from central Italy or French regions will be good value alternatives to stave off price increase pains.

French Crémant is a sparkling wine, which differentiates itself from Champagne and Prosecco. Given the less stringent requirements of making Crémant as opposed to Champagne, bars, restaurants, and wine shops can sell this sparkling wine as an excellent alternative to Champagne. Want to feel extra fancy? Crémant is French for “creamy,” and is considered to have a creamy mouthfeel rather than a fizzy one due to their lower atmospheric pressures.

Check out our delicious Crémant from the Loire Valley: Bouvet-Ladubay, which is a perfect example of Champagne quality at Prosecco pricing.

El Niño hits South American wines

El Niño is an abnormal climate pattern caused by the warming of surface waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, which affects the growing and ripening of grapes. It was the defining factor of the harvest in south America in 2016, with the phenomenon bringing with it a cool and rainy vintage and significantly lower crops.

Argentina’s grape harvest dropped 25% by volume in 2016 in what was described as a “very different” but “very good” year, with delayed maturity resulting in fresher wines with less alcohol. It was a similar story in Chile.

With volumes at a low, the impact on the bulk wine market in particular has been swift, with prices steadily rising over the past year.

I suggest looking at modern alternative styles of New World favourites like the Beauté du Sud Malbec from Languedoc in France which punches well above its price point with lashings of blackberry fruits and savoury complexities.

Wine in a can

Wine will further shed its stuffy image to embrace the canned format.

Wine in a can is already spiking in the US and is a hot topic of debate in the UK’s wine community.

Cans are big business in the craft beer industry; they make packaging cheap, eco-friendly and stylish in one swoop. A quarter of the UK’s craft beer is now sold in cans, and is expected to rise further. Canned cocktails are beginning to line supermarket shelves globally, and industry experts are expecting the format to take over the wine world sooner rather than later. 2019 could be the breakout year for this mould-breaking format.

That’s all from Simon. Until next time, have a Majestic day!