Operators are increasingly turning to the New World as they look to re-engineer their wine offerings as a result of the strong euro.
The strength of the euro and weakness of the pound have meant European wines have become significantly more expensive, with one major operator claiming that negotiating a new two-year deal with its wine supplier would cost £250,000 more now for the same wines
As a result, restaurants are looking to source New World wines, even those offering European cuisine.
Iain Donald, operations director of the Individual Restaurant Company, which owns the Piccolino Italian brand, said he was now looking at areas of the New World that offered Italian varietals such as Sangiovese at a good price.
“They won’t be Italian wines but they’ll be grape varieties that customers associate with Italy,” he said.
Hannah Bass, operations director of ETM group, whose portfolio includes The Gun, and Oliver
Peyton, who runs the National Dining Rooms in the National Gallery, have also confirmed they are sourcing wines from the New World as a direct result of price increases from Europe.
Peyton said that all his wines until now had been sourced from Europe but the exchange rate had changed that.
Changing purchasing patterns are already having a huge impact on the UK’s fine wine merchants. The FT reported that UK suppliers were selling wines back to merchants in Bordeaux, as sterling continued to weaken and consumer demand for expensive wines declined.