Move over Prosecco. Italy has more fizz set to sparkle in 2017
DRINKS distributor to the hospitality industry, Matthew Clark, is predicting that the demand for aromatic-infused drinks, expressive sparkling wines and festive craft beers will soar over the Christmas period and the trend is set to last well into 2017.
The Italian sparkling wine category has continued to enjoy a 48% growth year-on-year and it isn’t all down to Prosecco.
Look out for expressive, food friendly sparkling wines made from the Ribolla Gala grape from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, North East Italy or wines made from the Aglianico grape, found in Campania and the Basilicata regions of Southern Italy.
Matthew Clark wine supplier manager Tiffany Mogg says: “These styles are ‘attractive to the classic wine drinker delivering on depth of flavour and food-match ability.
“Over the festive season and into 2017 we can expect consumers to demand sparkling wines which aren’t just a flash in the pan, or the pop of a cork. They must be able to handle the bar, the toasts and see through an entire three course meal.”
“Old and new world quality méthode traditionelle wines, spumante or English fizz will also create a talking point and last out the festive season,” she says.
Matthew Clark predicts an interesting year for craft beer with a renewed focus on beer and food pairing.
Beer, cider and soft drinks category manager Justin Wylde says that the current exchange rate and shortage of American hops will fuel the growth of traditional recipes, dark beers and home-grown UK craft beers.
“There’s no reason for lager and light beer drinkers to be afraid of a couple of pints of the black stuff,” he says.
“Stouts and porter-style beers can range in depth and flavour, so there’s something for everyone and for any occasion.
“Roasted malt and barley come into their own in porter-style beers and stouts, transmitting vanilla, coffee and chocolatey notes.”
2016 saw the aperitivo culture (an Italian ritual) take off in the UK with vermouths and bitters increasingly appearing on pre-dinner drinks menus. The spritz (Prosecco, Aperol or Campari, and soda water), was hugely successful in 2016 says Matthew Clark category manager for spirits and RTDs Ceri Lewis.
This was down to a “trend to turn away from a sweeter palate and towards a more sophisticated, bitter palate with many brands incorporating an array of unusual aromatics, which fascinated consumers.”
Traditional brands such as Aperol and Campari still rule but 2017 will see international and small-batch vermouths penetrate the market.
The botanicals trends is already at large in the spirits market with customers asking for more unusual infusions and hand-foraged aromatics but this trend is not limited to gin.
Flavoured and infused vodkas are on trend to capture consumers’ senses in cocktails and new serves.