The consumption of Sparkling wine and its trends
Development in Domestic Wine Consumption
According to a study by A.T. Kearney, the regionality of products is becoming increasingly important. The survey confirmed that, for customers, regional origin as a buying decision criterion is even more important than the organic food qualification.
This development also underscores the current figures: not only has the total volume of sparkling wine* since 2008 - the year before the "Austrian Sekt Day" initiative began - increased by about 30 percent compared to the year 2013 (source :AC Nielsen), but also the share of Austrian Sekt rose to well over 30 percent .
In other words, of every three bottles of sparkling wine consumed in Austria, at least one of them is produced in Austria. This means that the harvest total of Austrian Sekt makes up about 10 % of the domestic wine production. To make sure that a domestic premium product is poured, the sparkling wine producers recommend a careful examination of the label on the bottle: the designation “Sekt Made in Austria” (Sekt hergestellt in Österreich) is not synonymous with “Austrian Sekt” (Österreichischer Sekt). Only when 100 percent of the wine comes from Austria and the production of the wine takes place in Austria, then the product can bear the label "Austrian Sekt" (Österreichischer Sekt).
The Sekt consumer
The latest research shows that typical Sekt drinkers can be characterised as extroverted, outgoing and sociable. Depending on the flavour of the bubbly beverage, consumer groups shift a bit. Those drinking extra brut and brut tend to be men in older age brackets. Dry and mild, however, are in greater demand from female and younger consumers. Also, there is currently a trend towards varietal Sekts, such as Grüner Veltliner, Muscat or Riesling. Also rosé sparklers have been enjoying increasing popularity for years, both in Austria and internationally.
“Sekt-Sommelier” and “Sekt-Connaisseur”
Parallel to the quality guidelines, education and training on the subjects of Austrian Sekt as well as sparkling wine in general will be developed and expanded. Accordingly, there will be close collaboration with the Austrian Sommelier Association, the Austrian Wine Academy, the vocational schools and Austria's Ministry of Agriculture. Training and teaching materials are being created and, moreover, beginning next year, the WIFI Institute in Vienna will be offering an additional course as part of its vocational training. In six days, participants will learn about the entire scope of this highly detailed genre. The history and methods of the Sekt production will also be a part of the programme, which will incorporate a look at the different sparkling wines* of the world. In addition, there will be intensive product training, with important knowledge imparted about storage and optimal service, including appropriate glass selection and the art of using sparkling wine as an accompaniment to specific dishes. Upon successfully passing the exam, graduates will hold the title of “Sekt-Connaisseur”, while certified sommeliers will receive their “Sekt-Sommelier” diploma.
* refers to sparkling wine at least 3 bars pressure in the bottle