Argentinian wine on the up in the UK
The Argentines got us into salsa and now it seems our interest in their wine is stepping up too.
According to the latest figures, the UK is importing over 18 per cent more Argentinian wine than a year ago in value terms, which brings the total to nearly £18.5 millon. And we’re happy to spend on average £3.74 a bottle, which is more than for wine from the country’s South American neighbour Chile.
Argentina’s flagship variety Malbec and rosé are the star performers as far as volumes are concerned. Imports of Malbec are up 50 per cent to just over 3.6 million bottles. Even more impressively, rosé imports have doubled to nearly 1.2 million bottles. This is set against overall volume figures, which have only risen a smidgen, at just under two per cent.
Wines of Agentina UK director James Forbes explained to ThirtyFifty why he thought there has been such strong growth for the country’s wines. ‘Consumers like these wines,’ he said. ‘It is clear from the tastings that we’ve done that when you put a glass in people’s hands, they like the fact that they are fruit-driven but structure is behind them. They are serious wines.’
But this goes hand-in-hand with availability, said James. ‘Two to three years ago availability was a problem but now consumers have more of a chance to buy,’ he explained.
Of course, there is one other factor - Argentina can offer something different in Malbec, Torrontes and Bonarda. Although more mainstream varieties, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Syrah are also performing very well, he said.
And the future looks bright, according to Julie Buckley, who buys Argentinian wine for Oddbins. She says that, based on this year’s tasting, ‘I do not believe Argentina can be beaten in terms of the quality and value delivered at under £10.’