European Wine is dominating Canada

New statistics released last month by Canada’s national statistics agency confirm that wine is increasingly gaining popularity. Canadian consumers’ attention seems to be drawn to foreign products. Statistics show that 70% of the total wine consumed in Canada between 2017 and 2018 was imported.

Canada is a market that the European Union cannot underestimate. While beer seems to retain its position as Canadians’ favorite alcoholic beverage (39, 68% of the value of total alcoholic beverages sales), Canada’s national statistics agency has data to confirm that wine is not far from gaining first place (32,43%). This is a tendency arisen within the last 10 years: wine sales in Canada have been consistently increasing year on year (averaging 4,2% a year; 4,6% compared with the previously investigated fiscal year, 2016/17). At a global level, analysis by Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV) on the state of the viticulture in the world market has found that in 2018 Canada was the 13th country in terms of wine consumption, but the 6th for volume of imported wine (joint with the Netherlands). As mentioned above, Canada’s significant wine import rate is confirmed by Canada’s own data, which reports that 70% of the wine consumed in Canada between 2017 and 2018 was of foreign origin.

The Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union played a fundamental role in imported wine’s conquer of the Canadian market. The treaty was provisionally applied on September 21th, 2018, and eliminated 98% of the exporting tariffs between the signing countries. The CETA also signified the official acknowledgment of European denominations of origin, a remarkable achievement for high-quality European products. For the first time, the treaty banned the sale in Canada of imitations of 140 European delicacies, making European designations of origin an unequivocal guarantee of products origin and craft.

However, protecting these products from imitations is not enough. In order to make the most of this opportunity, the European quality system needs to be demystified and communicated to the ordinary customer. According to NGO participant Kurtis Kolt, wine consultant and sommelier, wine experts are aware of the superior craft of EU products marked with quality labels, but the difference is still unclear to the general public: It should not be taken for granted that everyone knows what PDO and PGI mean.

This is precisely why the European Union has created educational programs such as Native Grape Odyssey. Comments from participants confirm that the full potential of European wines in the Canadian market is still to be expressed: “Wine consumption, sales, intrigue and interest are on the rise in Canada currently and it is a great time for the premium wine market. Wine is currently on trend in Canada and it is a great time to focus on more niche or lesser known wines varietals and regions.“ commented Jeffery Osborne, Sales Manager at Grape Brands Ltd. and sommelier.

The situation seems promising for European exports in Canadian market, but these products need to be properly introduced and explained to the consumer. This is a role that only people of authority within the market can undertake. The above-mentioned 25 wine experts have thus found in NGO a way to deepen their knowledge about the subject, so that they can effectively express it to the Canadian market. Joanne DiGeso, wine educator, stated that NGO has perfectly identified what is needed to take European wine sales in Canada to the next level: «I think that NGO is doing great work at educating influencers, sommeliers and educators on the broader range of Italian wines. This, in turn, should ‘trickle down’ to consumers.» Sommelier Jeffery Osborne commented further by praising NGO’s educational activities content: «NGO-organised seminars are fantastic deep dives into perspectives on the grapes and wines which we are typically not exposed to by CMS or WSET. »

The success of this first edition encouraged NGO’s organizers to expand the program: large scale events have already been planned for the months to come, and this time NGO will literally bring European excellence to the world, organizing educational activities directly in the target countries.

About: Native Grape Odyssey is a project financed by the European Union and managed by Unione Italiana Vini and Zante Agricultural Cooperatives Union for the promotion of PDO and PGI European wines abroad, in particular in three countries: Japan, Canada and Russia. In order to achieve this, the Native Grape Odyssey educational program will organize wine seminars, workshops and b2b meetings both in these countries and in Verona, Italy, inviting wine experts and influencers from these countries. These events, realized in the span of three years (2019-21) aim at creating awareness about European native wines abroad, in particular, Italian and Greek wines, which share a long tradition and a high standard of quality.

Source:
Native Grape Odyssey (NGO), an EU-financed educational project for the promotion of European native grapes

Ring the Bell for Gender Equality 2019 at NEO Exchange – Toronto

It was thrilled to attend the #internationalwomensday2019 event at NEO Exchange last week. Many inspiring speeches by Jos Schmit, CEO and President NEO Exchange, Anne Le Guellec, Consul General of the Netherlands and Deborah Frame, CFA – Co-Head Women in ETF.  Followed by an outstanding panel discussing investing in Gender Diversity.  Topics discussed and debated were: women on boards, what public disclosures are required to evaluate companies on GD, and Canadian ETF providers who introduced gender-focused investment products and their performance. Panel participants included: Clare O’Hara, Moderator, Jennifer So, Lindsay Patrick, Florence Narine and Raj Lala.

A Special Congratulations to Heather Zordel who was recently appointed Commissioner at the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC)!

#iwd2019 #genderdiversity #etfs #fairness #equality #diversitymatters #womenonbaystreet #baystreet #speakup #womenonboards #bebold

Wine Review: 2016 Taliano Michele Blagheur Nebbiolo, Langhe DOC, Piedmont, Italy

2016 Taliano Michele Blagheur Nebbiolo, Langhe DOC, Piedmont, Italy

Beautiful ruby-red colour; it reveals perfumes of white flowers, raspberries, and cherries, which carry through to the palate; well-balanced tannins; Approachable now, this will also age well.
Best decanted.

VINE: Nebbiolo 100%
SOIL: calcareous
ALTITUDE: 300m above sea level
EXPOSURE: south
SYSTEM OF VINE GROWTH: Guyot
NR. OF VINESTOCKS PER HECTARE: 4000
RETURN IN WINE PER HECTARE: 63 hl
VINTAGE: first half of October
VINIFICATION: traditional with maceration
REFINEMENT: wood for 12 months
REFINEMENT IN BOTTLE: 2 months
ALCOHOLIC CONTENT: 13,5-14%

PAIRINGS:
Blagheur prefers mushroom dishes, ripe cheeses, second courses which include chicken, rabbit, and game.

93.5/100

Liz Palmer

“PORN STAR MARTINI” NAMED UK’S FAVOURITE COCKTAIL

Knocking the minty Mojito off its perch, the cheekily titled Porn Star Martini is now the most popular cocktail in the UK, according to recent research by CGA Strategy. Porn Star Martini is now the most ordered cocktail in UK restaurants, bars and pubs.

Viewed as a modern classic, Porn Star Martini is made with vanilla vodka, fresh passion fruit, passion fruit liqueur and lime juice, and is served with a shot of Champagne on the side.

Pernod Ricard revealed that Absolut Vanilla brand is now the number one flavoured vodka in the UK on-trade, a spokesperson states “We have been tracking this fantastic cocktail’s rise in popularity and are delighted it has finally been given the crown it deserves. Consumers are increasingly looking for experiences and the Porn Star Martini delivers this because of the theatre the serve provides”

“We have recently seen just how loved this drink is via our Porn Star Martini Townhouse at London Cocktail week, which welcomed over 900 consumers,” said Adam Boita, head of marketing for Pernod Ricard UK.

The cocktail was created in 2002 by bartender and LAB bar founder Douglas Ankrah at The Townhouse bar in Knightsbridge. Ankrah first christened the cocktail Maverick Martini, in a hat tip to a dodgy club in Cape Town, but changed the name to Porn Star Martini.

“I called it the Porn Star Martini because I thought it was something that a porn star would drink. It’s pure indulgence, sexy, fun and evocative,” Ankrah told The Buyer in a recent interview.

Emmanuel Macron Opens Presidential Wine Cellar to Public

France’s Elysée Palace has officially opened its doors to its wine cellar first time

France’s Elysée Palace has officially opened its doors to its wine cellar first time this past weekend as part of a bid by President Emmanuel Macron to promote national heritage.

There were 350 members of the public who toured the cavernous cellar which houses 14,000 bottles, from all the wine growing regions of France.

“This is the first time we’ve opened the cellar to the public,” Virginie Routis, the Elysée’s sommelier for the past 11 years, told Europe 1 radio.

The three-meter high vaulted cellar is two floors below ground level and keeps a plethora of fine wines and spirits, from cognac to top champagnes, at an ideal temperature of 13 degrees Celsius.

The also cellar contains prestigious vintages such as Cheval Blanc, Latour, and Puligny-Montrachet. Its oldest bottle is said to be a 1906 Sauternes.

“The wine is chosen according to the menu. I make a selection…Madame and Monsieur Macron also get to approve the choice. We really have to represent French gastronomy, so you have to choose wines that speak to a given foreign delegation,” she said.

The cellar was designed in 1947. During Jacques Chirac’s presidency in 2013, some 1,200 bottles were auctioned off as the quantities were too small to serve at official dinners.

Unlike his teetotal predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, Mr. Macron is quite knowledgeable on French wines and has confessed to drinking a glass of wine at lunch and dinner.

He has chosen to open the cellars as part of France’s annual Heritage Days, where numerous state and listed buildings are exceptionally opened to the public.