dowie doole sparkling red wine

Sales of sparkling red wine from Australia look set to soar this year as producers push their fizz at Brits looking for ‘the next Prosecco’.

Sparkling red has been identified by Bibendum as a big trend for 2017, and export sales soared 33% in the 12 months to 31 December 2016, albeit from a small base, said Wine Australia.

The growth was driven by Pernod Ricard’s Jacob’s Creek Sparkling Shiraz, which accounted for more than 90% of sales. It grew 37.7% in a total sparkling wine market up 12% [Nielsen 52 w/e 31 December 2016].

Pernod Ricard put the increased interest down to Brits having started to look for a “tasty alternative” to Prosecco, combined with a thirst for drinks that provided a “point of difference”.

Dowie Doole, first launched in the UK 18 months ago by UK distributor Armit Wines, is hoping to grab a share of the growing category with the relaunch of Moxie Sparkling Shiraz NV (rsp: £19) after “huge demand” left the original fizz out of stock.

The new rollout would focus on positioning the drink as a food accompaniment to rectify a “general misconception” among Brits of red fizz as an aperitif, said sales manager Simon Stagnell, adding Armit had in the past few years gradually reduced the wine’s sugar level from 120g to 47g per litre to reduce the sweetness.

Other Aussie brands hoping to gain UK ground this year include Taltarni, Peter Lehmann, Turkey Flat and Gatt Wines, which all showcased offerings at Wine Australia’s tasting event this week.