Spain and Italy are experiencing positive growth

On the one hand they are the source of the best value wines currently, with Spain in particular a great place to look for exceptional quality for price. There is also growing interest in more premium wines such as Albariño, Mencia and Godello in Spain and Lugana, Verdicchio and Barolo from Italy.

In terms of our favourite grapes, don’t write off Chardonnay which is starting to make a comeback. And watch out for price increases coming our way from New Zealand as a result of another small harvest for Sauvignon Blanc. This may benefit France where quality for our top white tipple is said to be very good this year.

Argentina and Malbec are a great success story in the On-Trade. It seems we cannot get enough of Malbec’s succulent, juicy style and I would strongly recommend including this quaffable red on any list.

We will be adding to our existing Malbec’s this year so you can pick from youthful, fruit driven wines through to a more full-bodied, oaked example. The performance of Malbec is a good example of how the greater emphasis being placed on food and wine matching is boosting sales of different grapes. In Malbec’s case it is the perfect wine for gutsy red meat dishes. Think Picpoul de Pinet and fish; Viognier and Asian fusion; Pecorino and seafood, all great combinations.