Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Matthew Clark turns to Italy and Oz

Published:  23 July, 2008

Italy and Australia were the main focus at the annual tastings of Matthew Clark - Constellation's on-trade arm - which were held in London and Southampton earlier this month.

More than 80 new wines were on show, and the new arrivals aim to capitalise on a number of trends and changes in the on-trade scene this year, including the forthcoming smoking ban.

Italy was very much to the fore with three new agencies on show - Ruffino, Fontana Candida and Bigi - in response to strong growth for the country at Matthew Clark, whereas France's performance has been mixed. The additions have a threefold aim of boosting the choice of ross, offering more Pinot Grigio wines (both buoyant categories in the UK market) and broadening the range of Italian regions and indigenous grapes.

Turning to Australia, the new lifestyle focused' Melbourne Lounge range (a white, ros and red) targets young professional women in the on-trade.

Robin Knapp, Matthew Clark's director of wine, said: New World countries have been replacing Old World countries on wine lists - especially Australia and Argentina. Southern French wines are in the area just above house wine (13-17) and this is a very competitive area. They have been hammered by the New World in recent years, despite the South of France producing some really exciting stuff.'

He added that the classics' such as Burgundy, Sancerre and the Loire had stood their ground and that the growth of Champagne was unabated'.

He concluded: This year, we are hoping for consistent growth in our areas of strength (Australia, Chile, New Zealand and Italy) and more diversity on customers' wine lists.'

Further Matthew Clark tastings are due to take place in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, on 27 March, Edinburgh on 29 March and Birmingham on 16 April. For details, telephone 01275 890587.