Beverage Dynamics

Beverage Dynamics Jan-Feb 2016

Beverage Dynamics is the largest national business magazine devoted exclusively to the needs of off-premise beverage alcohol retailers, from single liquor stores to big box chains, through coverage of the latest trends in wine, beer and spirits.

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Page 20 of 71 January/February 2016 • Beverage Dynamics 21 Spain first earned the attention of American wine drinkers in the 80s and 90s on the strength of its bargain reds and sparklers. Today's wine drinkers are just as likely to be splurging on premium Albariños and Tempra- nillos as they are snapping up affordable Cavas and Garnachas, but Spain continues to excel at what matters most to consum- ers and retailers in every tier: price-to-quality ratio. "You can't beat Spain for value," says Dennis Kohl, the beverage consultant for Trig's Cellar 70, located within the stores of an upscale Wisconsin grocery group. "That was true when I fi rst joined the company 22 years ago and it's still true today." However, what he's selling has defi nitely changed from decades past. While early entries like Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Cava still lead the pack, their momentum is shifting upscale and diversifying in style. National fi gures verify these trends. "Exports of Rioja to the U.S. have doubled since 2009," says Rioja's trade director for North America Ana Fabiano. "The most dramatic gains have been in the Reserva category, which represents 28% of YTD shipments – twice its 2010 market share. Rioja Rosado is also up 30% so far in 2015." While many other exporting countries that came on strong in the late 20th century have since fl attened or fallen from fashion, wines from Spain have remained on the cutting edge. "People haven't gotten bored with Spain because there's always something new to try, something unique that can't be found elsewhere." according to retailer TJ Douglas, owner of Boston's Urban Grape. RETHINKING SPANISH WINE "Spain is just as strong in high-quality table wines as it is in specialties like sparkling and fortifi ed wines," explains Will Willis, global brand ambassador for Ferrer Family Wines, part of the Freixenet Group. "The entire spectrum is available, in every color and style, from climates that range from cooler Atlantic areas to warmer Mediterranean zones." For example, white wine was not originally among Spain's strengths in the U.S. market, but the explosion of interest in Spanish white wines like Albariño and Verdejo has helped po- sition Spain as a global wine leader rather than a one-hit won- der. From near obscurity twenty years ago, Albariño has now joined the ranks of the world's top white wines. Exports of Rías Baixas wines to the U.S. have grown seven-fold since 2001, and account for 45% of the region's exports, while exports from T he R eign of S pa i n EXCEPTIONAL VALUE AND A W EALTH OF NATIVE GRAPES . BY MARNIE OLD

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