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There’s more to Brazil than Caipirinha and cachaça

Tonight marks the start of Rio 2016, and as the Olympic torch its way back into the Brazilian city and the athletes prepare for two weeks of hard graft to earn those medals, db takes a look at some Brazilian wines you can enjoy while watching the Games (and wondering how on earth it is already FOUR YEARS since London 2012!).


M&S hitched its wagon to Brazil ahead of this year’s Olympic fever, recognizing the World Cup in 2014 as a great opportunity to head to South American’s up and coming wine-producing country, but it has upped the ante in the last few weeks with the launch of Riosecco – a Brazilian version of Italy’s famous sparkler, made from the Glera grape grown in the Serra Gaúcha in Southern Brazil. The retailer describes it as a light and easy sparkling wine that is perfect for picnics or as an aperitif, with notes of peach, apricot and citrus.

You can also order a mixed case of Brazilian sparkling wines form M&S online, comprising three bottles each of Riosecco and….


Coconova Brut

Coconova Brut, which has been on its shelves since 2014, is a dry fizz made exclusively for M&S by its winemaker Jeneve Williams. The wine comprises equal parts of Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Verdejo which have been grown in the semi-tropical Vale do Sao Francisco in Northern Brazil – one of the only areas in the country where it is possible to pick two harvests. The retailer describes it as “fizzing with fresh melon, juicy white nectarine flavours and hints of almond, married with a creamy texture and zingy freshness”.

Aurora Sparkling Moscato NV

Elsewhere on the high street, Oddbins are stocking a semi-dry sparkling Moscato from the Cooperativa Vinícola Aurora in Serra Gaúcha, which it describes as “like drinking pure bottled summer”. So much did it love this Charmat-style soft, delicate sparkler, which clocks in at 7.5% ABV, it inspired it to launch its ‘Listing’, where customers can petition the retailer to stock amazing wines they have come across on their travels.


M&S and Oddbins weren’t the only retailers to see Brazil’s potential – Waitrose has long been banging the country’s drum, and was one of the first retailers to bring out own-label Brazilian wines. But whereas many have concentrated on Brazil’s sparkling wines – which makes up around 40% of the country’s production – Waitrose has showcased the Latin American country’s credentials as a still winemaker.

It currently has five wines in its range which are available in store and from WaitroseCellar – the afore-mentioned own-label Chardonnay and Merlot (RRP: 8.79), an Old World-style Cabernet, Merlot and Cabernet Franc blend from Casa Valduaga Leopoldina (RRP: £13.49) along with a Chardonnay, and a “soft & elegant” Pinot Noir from Riqueza Reserva Pinot Noir (RRP: 11.99), which is only available in 76 stores.

Still Carnival

Completely M&S’s range are two further exclusive still wines. Arancauria – an aromatic Riesling Pinot Grigio blend from the high altitude winery of Miolo Seival in Campanha in South East Brazil, and a medium bodied red from Campahha Gaucha, made from Teroldego, originally an Italian grape, that offers “dark cherry, pomegranate, flowers and herbs”.

Independent spirit

But it’s not just the big players that are catching onto Brazil – indies have seen it as a good opportunity to highlight a less obvious wine producing nation, and thirty have signed up for the ‘Taste of Brazil” campaign being organised by Wines of Brasil to highlight the country through a window display competition. The initiative is being supported by Brazilian winery Miolo and its importer Bibendum and Walker & Wodehouse, which has created a range of wine-based cocktails using Brazilian flavours such as cayenne pepper, thyme, guava and lime.

Nadia Williamson, Bibendum and Walker & Wodehouse supplier manager for South America said the Olympics provided a great opportunity to highlight both the brand and the country.”It will also allow us to grow awareness of Brazilian wine with younger consumers who would normally be drawn to Brazilian spirits or beer,” she added.


According to Wines of Brazil spokesman Judy Kendrick, there has already been a boost for the South American country, on the back of the World Cup in 2014.  Brazilian wine exports have been strong, with the first quarter of the year almost equaling exports for the whole of 2015, she said, while the UK has seen a good uptake, with exports rising 106%.

“The UK continues to be one of Brazil’s priority markets and, amongst these markets, it shows by far the largest increase in exports for this quarter,” she said, adding that there was more of a problem of supply than lack of demand.

“We have a ‘high class problem’ in that the number of companies wanting to import Brazilian wines currently exceeds the number of producers available to export! So those who want to be in the UK are all very well ‘housed,” she added.

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