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Educating consumers about wine has become such an ingrained objective in the trade that we never question its value.

It’s been just over two months since the on-trade began to reopen.

This year has not been kind to British brewing.

It’s painfully ironic that, for a product we value above all for its diversity, most of us who sell wine in Britain look unfortunately similar.

If you’re hanging on to a rising balloon, you’re presented with a diffi cult decision — let go before it’s too late or hang on and keep getting higher, posing the question: how long can you keep a grip on the rope?”

Since lockdown began in March, the off-trade has absorbed around half the alcohol volume lost from the on-trade, compared to the same period last year.

At the end of May, news that Roger Ryman had died was met with an outpouring of shock and deep sadness.

Back in the Real World

31 July, 2020

A solitary tasting note sits on the shelf-edge of a promotional fixture.

It goes without saying that few sectors of the British economy will emerge unscathed from the current crisis, but brewing will undoubtedly suffer badly.

On Monday, March 23, independent merchants across the country faced an uncertain future.

In less than two months, wine communication has moved 100% online.

One of the most common questions we’re being asked by our clients is: what are the immediate and longer-term impacts of the on-trade closure on the off-trade?

By John Timothy, chief executive, Portman Group

By John Perry, managing director of leading supply chain and logistics consultancy SCALA

By Nick Gillett, managing director, Mangrove Global

By Nick Gillett, managing director, Mangrove Global 

By Zoey Henderson, #nolo category expert and hospitality consultant, founder of CleanSlateLondon

By Elaine Hindal, chief executive, Drinkaware

By Blake Gladman, strategy and insights director at Kam Media

By Stefan Appleby, trade consultant at Hanover Communications

As storms crash around the UK and we look ahead to the increasingly common March snows, it may seem that to speak about seasons at all is now hopelessly old-fashioned.

Wine experts are fond of saying that there are no wrong answers when it comes to tasting wine. But that in itself is incorrect. Anyone who has experienced any kind of wine education knows that understanding wine means learning that certain attributes are associated with particular grape varieties and specific origins.

We know consumer and market trends come and go. We only have to think back to this time last year, when Greta Thunberg was largely unknown to many, to observe the phenomenal speed of the impact she has had on the sustainability conversation around the world.

Twenty-five years ago I ran a restaurant in Glasgow, where I'd pour the odd glass of wine for a young politics lecturer called John Curtis. Today he's Professor Sir John Curtis, the UK's leading opinion pollster. If I ran that restaurant again, I'd ask him his view on wine. Not as a drinker. But as a pollster.