Majestic: Top wine and spirits trends for 2018

Eastern Europe makes a brilliant bet to beat harvest blues

“Eastern European wines have been steady ships on the choppy waters of dismal European harvests and Brexit-related supply blues. Sales were up +1365% year-on-year in the £5-£10 price band at Majestic in 2017. Initial reports suggest Hungary’s harvest is down only 3% (compared to an EU-wide average drop of 14%), whilst Romania is looking at a 60% harvest increase. Your mid-week bottle may increasingly originate from Hungary’s Central Valley – rather than Chile’s.”

It might not have the clout of other European favourites like Spain and France, but Eastern Europe is home to some of the world’s oldest winemaking regions, from Georgia to Hungary and Romania. Bucking the European trend this year by maintaining or, in Romania’s case, vastly increasing its harvest volumes – while those around them have taken a tumble – 2018 could be the year that these regions become more attractive to wine buyers looking for a well-priced bottle of something ‘a bit different’ for adventurous consumers.

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