Americans get a taste for Spanish wine
15 November 2004, NEW YORK-Americans are increasingly preferring a glass of Spanish wine rather than French or Italian.
15 November 2004
NEW YORK-Americans are increasingly preferring a glass of Spanish wine rather than French or Italian.
Spanish wine has gained market share in the US from its two largest European competitors, France and Italy, according to US government sources.
In fact, according to U.S. Department of Commerce data, Spanish wine exports grew 16 percent during the first seven months of the year, a figure which stands out even more when compared to the 9 and 10 percent decreases, respectively, in Italian and French wine exports.
Spain now is now fifth among wine exporters to the United States worldwide, shipping 1.99 million cases here between January and July, behind Italy (12.47 million), Australia (12.17 million), France (5.51 million) and Chile (3.2 million).
Despite the quality and prestige of the French wines, Italy holds first place because of the large number of Italian restaurants in the United States.
However, according to wine industry sources, Spanish wines are becoming increasingly common in these establishments, and they include both historically high quality wines from the Rioja and Ribera del Duero, as well as wines from other up-and-coming regions like Priorato and Toro.
Other European countries which have increased their presence in the U.S. market are Germany - which in the first seven months of the year sold 1.09 million cases - a 12 percent increase - and Portugal, which increased 28 percent to 347,000 cases.
Most of Spain's wine sales are sparkling wines - exports of which have increased 29 percent to 419,000 cases - and non-fortified table wines, which went from 1.20 to 1.38 million cases, a 15 percent increase.
If this rate is kept up until the end of the year, as expected, 2004 would be the third consecutive year Spanish wine exports to the United States grew by more than 15 percent.
During the last few months, wine industry magazines and world-renowned enologists have hailed the quality and export potential being developed by Spanish wineries, many of which had been limited to the domestic market until now.
Among them is Robert Parker, considered the world's greatest wine expert, who predicts that in 10 years, Spain will be one of the largest wine producers on the planet, thanks to the quality and variety of its production.
"Spain will be the star," Parker wrote in an article of wine industry predictions, published in the latest edition of Food and Wine Magazine.
Parker says the secret of Spain's success is that Spanish wineries are not trapped in the "historic need" to maintain the status quo, which he says currently frustrates and inhibits so many French producers.
He also predicts that by the year 2015, several Spanish wine-growing regions which are currently expanding, like Toro, Jumilla and Priorato, will have surpassed that country's most famous regions like Ribera del Duero and Rioja.
According to Parker, Spanish wines combine the best of tradition with a modern and progressive wine-growing philosophy, thanks to which he says that Spain is emerging as the leader in "quality and creativity."
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news