Spirits set to overtake wine as global drinking habits change

According to a report from the World Spirits Alliance released on Wednesday, global sales of spirits such as vodka and whisky are expected to surpass wine as drinking preferences have shifted.

The report from Oxford Economics and alcohol market research firm IWSR states 2.67 billion cases of spirits were sold in 2022, almost as many as the 2.8 billion cases of wine sold that year.

“Should current trends in both categories continue, spirits volumes will soon surpass those of wine,” the report states.

Trends, including a shift towards drinking fewer, more expensive drinks, notably a growing range of cocktails, have seen spirits displace wine.

The wine industry has faced a global supply glut, difficult weather and falling demand, which has hit a 27-year low. Beer companies are also grappling with a shift to spirits in some markets.

BY THE NUMBERS

Beer accounted for 75.2% of total beverage alcohol volumes in 2022, followed by wine at 10.4% and spirits at 9.9%;

In terms of the value of sales in 2022, spirits accounted for 40% of total beverage alcohol sales followed by beer at 38.1% and wine at 17.6%;

Indian whisky is set to be the fastest growing spirits category between 2022 and 2027, growing by 50 million cases, with tequila, rum and gin all expected to rise between 10 and 20 million cases. Cognac and Armagnac are set to grow the least in the spirits market.

The production and sale of spirits contributed some $730 billion to the global economy in 2022, when activity ranging from farming and manufacturing to shipping and sales in shops, bars and restaurants is included.

Source: Reuters

Clarendelle & Domaine Clarence Dillon named exclusive wine partners of the 96th Oscars®

For the second consecutive year, Clarendelle and Domaine Clarence Dillon, will be the official 2024 wine partners of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, as well as the Governors Ball.

Clarendelle was created by Prince Robert of Luxembourg, representing the fourth generation in a family story that began with his great-grandfather’s purchase of the historic Château Haut-Brion in 1935. While primarily renowned for its excellence in the worlds of oenology and gastronomy, Domaine Clarence Dillon has long been a supporter of the arts, with Prince Robert’s early professional life even including screenwriting. Today, under Prince Robert’s leadership as Chairman & CEO, Domaine Clarence Dillon has grown to include three prestigious wine estates (Château Haut-Brion, Château La Mission Haut-Brion and Château Quintus). In 2015, the company opened a Paris restaurant, Le Clarence, proclaimed one of the 50 Best Restaurants in the World. The elegant and original restaurant has enjoyed its two-star Michelin status since its opening. In the same year, “La Cave du Château” was launched, a unique fine wine merchant with an exceptional collection of wines and vintages that today enjoys four locations in Bordeaux and Paris, including its online presence at www.lcdc.wine.

Like the Academy Awards®, also steeped in a nearly century-long tradition, Clarendelle offers a contemporary expression of our times and the celebrated French “Art de Vivre.” The highly experienced Château Haut-Brion winemakers oversee the blending process for Clarendelle, vintage after vintage, as they do for the notorious Château La Mission Haut-Brion and Château Quintus estates. The Clarendelle bottles are then cellared before being released to the market when they are judged to have reached their ideal drinking age, offering the finest expression of their Bordeaux terroirs to wine lovers globally.

“Since its earliest days, our family company Domaine Clarence Dillon has been a fervent supporter and promoter of the arts both in France and on the international stage,” says Prince Robert of Luxembourg. “With Clarendelle, we are thrilled and honored to be part of the biggest night in Hollywood. We join the millions of viewers from all around the world to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the 96th Oscars nominees.”

“We are really looking forward to enjoying the exquisite menu from Chef Wolfgang Puck and his catering team, expertly paired with our wines,” continues Prince Robert. The list of Clarendelle & Domaine Clarence Dillon wines poured at all the Oscars events, catered by Wolfgang Puck Catering, includes:

La Clarté de Haut-Brion 2017
La Chapelle de La Mission Haut-Brion 2010
Clarendelle Bordeaux Red 2016
Clarendelle Bordeaux White 2022

This year, there will be a special focus on the wines of Château La Mission Haut-Brion by highlighting the exceptionally rare La Clarté de Haut-Brion 2017 and pouring one of the best second wines ever produced at this famous estate: La Chapelle de La Mission 2010.

“The finest La Chapelle de la Mission ever made.” – Robert Parker, 93 points.

Wine News: Trade in Wine and Vine Products Continues to Raise

The first edition of the Vine and Wine World Trade Forum was held a few weeks ago in Dijon, France. It has revealed that international trade in wine and vine-related products has grown significantly over the past two decades.

The market has also become more diversified as consumer tastes have changed. While traditional winemaking economies, such as France, Italy and Spain, maintain their dominance in wine exports, “new world” winemakers, such as Australia, Chile and the United States, are also making major inroads. However, the share of China as an importer has declined following a period of growth, possibly due to global disruptions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the World Trade Organization, International trade in wine and vine products, have almost tripled over the past two decades. Its value steadily rising from US$ 17.7 billion in 2000 to over US$ 50 billion in 2021 and 2022. Wine accounted for the majority of this trade (76 per cent in 2022), while the remaining 24 per cent consisted of fresh and dried grapes and grape juice.

The “old world” continues to dominate wine exports with France, Italy and Spain holding the top three positions in both value and volume. From the “new world,” Australia, Chile and the United States are the main suppliers in terms of value, although their shares in the international market remain smaller than those of the top three.

On the imports side the primary wine-importing countries include Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. They are closely matched in terms of volume, but the United States takes a clear lead in value. A surge in China’s wine imports began in 2005 and peaked in 2017, but it has more than halved since then. This decline may be due to short-term disruptions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as longer-term structural shifts, such as increased domestic production and possible changes in consumer preferences.

For further stats and details: https://www.wto.org/english/blogs_e/data_blog_e/blog_dta_20oct23_e.htm

Source: World Trade Organization

Town of Cardston, Alberta lifts prohibition law after 121 years

Cardston in Alberta, one of Canada’s few remaining dry towns, has recently voted to remove laws forbidding the sale of alcohol.

It was announced that last week the town council voted in favour of allowing “limited liquor sales.” The historic decision resulted in voting 5-2 in favour of a bylaw allowing restaurants and recreation facilities to apply for a liquor license.

The Mormon-founded town has maintained its Prohibition laws long after the rest of the province axed them in 1923, with previous attempts to have the ban lifted, in 1957 and 2014.

“Do I have fears? I do. But I trust the people,” said Cardston mayor Maggie Kronen. “Changes can be good, changes can be bad — we shall see.”

According to the 2021 census, 62% of Cardston’s residents are Mormons, belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which forbids the consumption of alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine.

It will still be some months before the first alcoholic drink is served at a Cardston restaurant as applications for liquor licenses will take some time to process.

Australian government invests $3 million to improve no/low wines

The Australian federal government has awarded a grant of almost A$3m (£1.6m) designed to boost quality and innovation within the burgeoning low-alcohol and alcohol-free wine market.

This grant from the Australian government’s Cooperative Research Centres Projects funding scheme will be used to drive further innovation and improve standards within the no/low category. The project is called ‘Advancement of Australian Lifestyle Wines’.

Australian Vintage, whose portfolio includes McGuigan and Tempus Two, will serve as the project lead for the research. The chief winemaker Jamie Saint said: ‘The grant allows us to conduct research with a key objective of optimizing the flavor and mouthfeel of no and low products, as well as drilling down into consumer and market insights of the category.’

The company will team up with 10 industry partners to conduct the research: Treasury Wine Estates, whose brands include Penfolds and Wolf Blass, along with the University of Adelaide, the Australian Wine Research Institute, Flavourtech, DrinkWise, Tarac Technologies, S. Smith and Son, Danstar Ferment, Mauri Yeast and CHR Hansen.

‘The opportunity to work with a group of leading industry partners to take the growing no/low category to the next level is something we are enormously excited by, improving the competitiveness, productivity and sustainability of the Australian wine industry,’ added Saint.

‘We want to position the Australian wine sector as the largest global producer of no/low wines.’

In 2022, the market value for no/low-alcohol drinks surpassed $11bn among 10 focus markets across the world, according to IWSR analyst data.

IWSR expects consumption to grow by 33% to $14.67bn by 2026, spearheaded by health-conscious adults in Germany, Spain, the USA, Japan and the UK.