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London Wine Fair round-up

London Wine Fair round-up 

Last week marked the 35th London Wine Fair – the biggest event in the UK wine trade calendar. As well as over 220 Rioja wines represented on stands throughout the three-day event at Olympia, Wines from Rioja also had the opportunity to share insights with the trade through two on-trade focused seminars.

The first took place on Tuesday 19th May. Wines from Rioja teamed up with the London Wine Fair and Wine Intelligence as sponsor of the second “Carpe Vinum” report – an annual study which shines a light on a different sector of the UK market each year. This year the report focused on the UK on-trade; an area of vital importance to Wines from Rioja. The seminar highlighted the findings of this study, exploring the resurgence of the on-trade following the recession at the end of the last decade, as well as emerging trends – including the trend for more informal dining, which has been integral to the growing popularity of Spanish food in the UK. Part of the Carpe Vinum research explored the current state of Rioja in the on-trade, and opportunities for future growth. Key findings included:

  • Rioja is second only to Prosecco in terms of customer awareness in the on-trade, with more UK consumers having seen Rioja on a restaurant wine list in the last six months than wines from the classic regions of Champagne, Bordeaux, and Burgundy.


  • Rioja is the number one still wine region in terms of conversion in the on-trade – over 10 percentage points ahead of its nearest rival Beaujolais


  • Rioja has higher penetration across all UK wine drinkers of any still wine region – ahead of big names such as Bordeaux, Chablis, Chianti, Cotes du Rhone, and Marlborough


  • Rioja’s overindexes at the premium end in the on-trade, with the traditionally higher value categories of Reserva and Gran Reserva being consumed most frequently


  • Rioja’s diverse range of whites, reds, and rosés are renowned for their suitability for pairing with food – reflecting in the fact that 48% of consumers name this as a key cue in their decision to order Rioja in a restaurant – more so than for any other region


  • Rioja is consumers’ number one choice in bars, pubs, gastropubs, and casual dining restaurants – significantly ahead of Cotes du Rhone, Chianti, and Bordeaux.


  • Consumers are open to consuming Rioja by the glass or by the bottle – with a more even distribution across the categories than any other region


  • As Spain’s flagship wine region, quality is at the heart of production, and this is reflected in more consumers naming taste as a purchasing cue for Rioja than for any other region.


Wednesday 20th May saw Wines from Rioja team up with the Basque Culinary Centre to explore a central theme in Spanish gastronomy: tapas. An integral part of Spanish culture for centuries, tapas has exploded onto the global food and drink scene in recent years. Teaming up with Marcos Moran, Michelin-starred chef behind Casa Gerardo in Asturias, and Hispania London, Wines from Rioja shared insights with LWF visitors on what makes a tapas bar successful, the different tapas bar concepts which have been successful abroad, as well as looking at future trends in this dining phenomenon.