At Event Wine Solutions, we reckon we have Reasons To Be Cheerful about the year ahead. We invite you to join us to demonstrate to consumers that the events business is overcoming the Brexit challenges dumped on us by responding with a rebel yell! Read on to find out why…
Who’d have thought it? The Chancellor of the Exchequer did not raise excise duty on wine in the autumn budget of 2017! This means that we only have to contend with the shortage of wine in Europe, resulting from the intense heat of the 2017 summer in France, Italy and Spain (which has, of course pushed bulk wine pricing up by 25%). But, let’s bank any sensible decision by the Government to acknowledge that virtually the only household spending that isn’t going down is that spent on trips to events, restaurants and other family treats. After all, the new washing machine can wait – we always have that large flat rock at the local duck pond for the dirty rugby kit.
Okay, so Reason One wasn’t TOTALLY cheerful, but here at Event Wine Solutions we have been scouring the wineries of Spain and BULGARIA to ensure that our supply lines and quality are as strong as ever. There was a gloomy air at the 8 wineries visited in November in Spain, however. They had committed most of their bulk wine already, leaving, shall we say, not the best in tank for buyers that hadn’t committed at the point of harvest. We’ve never encountered this before. There were German supermarkets doing deals before a single grape had been picked, banking on European wine shortages for this and possibly next year.
So, we headed to Bulgaria, where for the past 18 months we have been cultivating relationships with some key wineries, anxious to show off their spanking new winery stainless steel tanks, sophisticated laboratory equipment and well-tended vineyards. Our investment in vineyard miles travelled, insane quantities of local grape brandy consumed and endless Shopska salads (virtually every Bulgarian meal seems to start with this palate cleansing mix of cucumber, onions, tomatoes, olive oil, wine vinegar and finely grated feta-like cheese), has paid off. We were shown elegant, complex Pinot Gris, Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Rosé and a whole pile of delicious discoveries from indigenous grapes, such as Melnik, Mavrud and Misket. These guys are anxious to please, excited by the opportunity to re-enter the UK market and will be our preferred source of wines for our core ranges in 2018. It seems that our anticipation of the effect of the devaluation in Sterling, plus the continuing climatic changes happening to many of the main European vineyard areas has paid off by us making new friends in Bulgaria. Sorted!
It seems that, after 2 years in the development stages, we have a 375ml PET Half Bottle of Sparkling Wine to offer in 2018. It’s been a dream, then frustration (oh boy, were there some technical issues to grapple with) and now a cautious reality for Event Wine Solutions. We can now respond positively to the most popular enquiry through our website – for a Sparkling Wine in PET! Okay, it’s not Prosecco, but that was never possible with Italian wine law forbidding bottling elsewhere than the region of production and other than in glass. However, our French supply partners for this project (we’d tried others beforehand) have come up with some truly moreish blends that (and we know you think that this is what we do all day) wowed our focus groups during the initial tasting trials. The wines are soft, elegant, very drinkable and with a nicely judged, not overly bubbly character, that will make a real impact on the market.