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German, Brazilian, and English wine top Majestic’s list of tipples to watch in 2019

Published:  18 December, 2018

Wines from Germany, Brazil, and at home in the UK are being tipped as some of the breakthrough trends to open the door to success for the trade in 2019.

Amid what is shaping up to be one of the most politically charged Christmases for decades, Majestic has come up with a list of winners to help put “clarity” into next year’s drinks lists.

Top tips include mining opportunity in South American via Brazil, which the retailer is looking to introduce via two limited edition parcels in early 2019; and gin from unexpected pastures like Provence, Finland and Pennsylvania.

Majestic has also identified opportunities closer to home.

Sales of wine from the UK were up 25% across the company in 2018 – and this year’s high quality vintage means 2019 will help to cement English wine as a bona fide choice for consumers, the retailer and wholesaler believes. 

Other winners include drier styles of wine from Germany and Austria, which have enjoyed a “turning point” in the past year.

Majestic saw sales from the two countries rise by 63% in 2018, which it puts down partly to evolving tastes and consumers trying to tame their sweet tooth.

“Britain has one of the highest levels of sugar consumption per capita in the world at 0.56 kilos per person per week,” it was pointed out, with the drier styles of Riesling suggested as an alternative.

Meanwhile, Grüner Veltliner is being tipped to further encroach on Sauvignon Blanc’s territory.

The native Austrian grape saw a 41% boost in volume at Majestic in 2018, which Austria buyer Imogen Bowen-Davies puts down to its “fresh, vibrant style - clean and crisp - perfect for the current white zeitgeist. We’re always look to help lovers of Kiwi Sauvignon explore areas they might not have thought of - and time and again Grüner comes out top of their tastes”.

When it comes to spirits and beers, moves towards drinking local and drinking better are also having an impact.

As a result, Majestic is backing beers in the lower abv bracket, going as far as 1-2.5% abv.

It also expects the local versus international trend to continue for gin, with the craze diversifying rather than slowing.

“The genius of gin is that it can really reflect where it is born,” spirits buyer Beth Pearce said. “That can be at an international level - with botanicals and flavours only found in the country of origin. Or it can be even more bespoke, with local gins in the UK reflecting the very landscape surrounding the distillery. It’s what makes gin such a fascinating, unique spirit.”

Britain began 2018 with a record 315 homegrown distilleries - a rise of 127% in five years.

2018 however was the year gin “went global” Majestic said, with gins from Provence, Finland and Pennsylvania, New Zealand, California, and the UK all appearing on its shelves.