Retailers are ramping up their Romanian wine ranges in the hope the wine’s “phenomenal value for money” will win over shoppers and turn it into a bigger player in the wine aisles.
Singling the category out as having “real growth potential”, Asda said it was gearing up to extend its offer from 2,500 cases of Romanian wine a month.
“We’re hoping to travel to Eastern Europe later in the year to see what other great wines we can source for our customers, with a view to expanding the range in the following months,” said Asda Eastern Europe wine buyer Emma Flannigan.
Its exclusive Bradshaw brand, launched in October, had started to gain real traction because of its “easily recognisable grape varieties, striking labels and a price point that represented real value for shoppers”, she added.
There was potential for a resurgence not just in Romanian, but also Hungarian and Bulgarian wines, added Tesco. “UK consumers are increasingly willing to experiment if the marketing, price and packaging are right,” said wine buyer James Griswood.
Wholesaler Halewood International said sales of its Romanian portfolio had grown fourfold since 2010 to around 90,000 cases, with consumers attracted by its “phenomenal value for money”. “On Romanian pinot noir, you get an £11 wine selling at £8 a bottle,” said wine business unit controller Matt Johnson.
The UK is Romania’s top export market accounting for 19% of its exports, up from 5% in 2010, according to the Association of Romanian Wine Producers and Exporters (APEV).
However, more education was needed to establish the country’s reputation, said Johnson, as the market was polarised between higher-priced wines and the house varietals sold in the mults without provenance.