Forget natural wines, it is “honest wines” that will create the future

As we reflect on tomorrow’s consumer trends, the wine and spirits sector evokes the need to prove its environmental commitment: “the time for talk is behind us”.

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nbsp; If analyzed and perceived as such, “any challenge can become an opportunity” asks Pierre Mansour, Director of Wine Purchasing for the Wine Society (UK), on Monday 20 June in Bordeaux during the “Act for change” symposium organized by Vinexposium. The UK market expert stresses that there is no crystal ball to predict the future of wine consumption, and shares the same three future trends with Cathy Van Zyl, associate editor of Platter’s Guide (Africa from the South). For her, the three are trends for the future “well-being, authenticity and sustainability”.

In terms of healthier consumption “There is room for low-calorie wines” outlines Pierre Mansour, who asks: “Who knows the place that non-alcoholic wines will occupy in 2030?” Especially since the consumption of meat is declining, which makes it necessary to find new combinations between wines and vegetarian dishes. For the English operator, sustainability and authenticity go hand in hand: “We know that in the vineyard, sustainable practices allow the pure expression of the terroir. This is what I call honest wines, which express the origin of their production environment.” he explains with reference to the case of Beaujolais “where you will find a pure expression of fruitiness, minerality and refreshing acidity. This is a trend that can be found all over the world (in Australia, California, etc.). Authenticity that cannot be replicated invalid.”

Paradox

These honest commitments to sustainability save no wine. “I think that with social networks you have to say more and more what you do and do what you say. The time for talk is behind us » emphasizes Olivier Bernard, in charge of the domain Chevalier (Pessac-Léognan), which weighs immediately : “But at the same time I see more and more wines produced with stars and have commercial success, without it mattering that the wine is organic or biodynamic … Because there is a celebrity. » A pitfall that James Law, director of fire and development for the East London Company distillery, hopes to circumvent the transparency of blockchain technology: “The concept of a collaborative ledger allows people to believe in the authenticity of sustainability requirements. This is a real added value. It’s a great way for companies to prove their claims about sustainability.”

This need for honesty in wines is all the more strong as consumers demand concrete evidence, says Lulie Halstead, director of Wine Intelligence and the IWSR agencies. In a survey conducted this year, 54% of consumers in export markets expect wine and spirits brands to support local causes. That is an increase of 15 points in two years. “A trend accelerated by the covid pandemic” notes the analyst. “We are now committed to providing more information to consumers, in addition to legal obligations. They want to verify that what is said to be sustainable really is.” specifies Pierre Mansour, noting, however, that there is a gap between consumers’ demands and the reality of their consumption. The English operator cites complaints from consumers about high alcohol levels, leading to the proposal for a range offering lower natural grades (with bubbles, wines from Germany, etc.), but consumers have not … not followed. “We can talk a lot about sustainability, but we need to take concrete action. Each brand must demonstrate the correctness of what it claims to represent environmentally and further (also socially) ” analyzes Pierre Mansour, cantor for “Honest wines”.

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