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Top five drinks you can’t do without

We ask our social media friends what alcoholic drink they would panic buy, if there was a shortage.

The nation is becoming gripped by a petrol crisis. Panic buying before Easter is now the new vogue thing to do.

It got the drinks business thinking.

What alcoholic drink would drive the country into panic buying mode, if stocks were running low?

Burgundy allocations are strained due to increasing demand from Asia, meanwhile, the news coming from California is that grape growers are facing a shortage of vines as they rush to plant by May and recent studies appear to show that the wine world may be soon be facing up to a global shortage.

The crisis at the forecourts is still the hot topic of discussion in the UK, after David Cameron’s spokeswoman said drivers should make “contingency plans” in case of industrial action by tanker drivers.

But still, we asked our social media followers and the top five alcoholic beverages ‘you couldn’t go without’ are…..

Sherry was the overwhelming winner, with two varieties fighting it out. Fino was the first to get a mention, closely followed by manzanilla. Sherry’s burgeoning popularity, particularly for the fresher finos, is very much on-trend at the moment, largely driven by the huge popularity of Spanish cuisine as seen in the tapas and Sherry bars all over town. For more on Sherry’s recent on-trade success, see the April edition of the drinks business.

Champagne was a close second with people thinking ahead to a landmark year with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Summer Olympics 2012. Champagne has recovered quite a lot of the ground lost during the recession years of late, particularly for rosé and prestige cuvées, but market share is slipping in the face of renewed competition from sparkling wines. However, as was pointed out in db‘s predicted top 10 trends for 2012, Champagne still has the odd trick up its sleeve.

Sparkling wine is very popular and it is no wonder people are keen to have a bottle or two in the fridge. Sparkling wine is closing the gap on Champagne as Prosecco, Cava and the New World sparklers offer good value for money – and ever better quality – in these straitened times. English sparkling wine too is looking to capitalise on this summer’s celebrations, and db has already pondered whether this is the year that English sparklers gain greater recognition.

The first still wine on the list is rosé, which may say something about the sunny weather we are currently having. Rosé is refreshing, showing no particular signs of waning popularity and that it is beginning to shake off its seasonal image, a continued boom throughout the year is expected.

Pinot Grigio is beginning to creep up the wine popularity charts to vie for top spot with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Pinot Grigio has experienced a 16% rise in volume lately and holds an 8% market share in the UK, putting it at level pegging with Sauvignon Blanc. The clamour for Chardonnay also supports db‘s prediction that a new wave of more refined and less oaky Chardonnay’s stand ready to make a whole new generation of Bridget Jones’ fall in love with the variety all over again.

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