We talk to Richard Siddle, former editor of Harpers Wine & Spirit, who is now the co-founder of a new wine and spirits website for the premium on-trade.
Please tell us about your new publishing project.
The Buyer-net was launched three years ago as a new online digital platform for the premium on-trade aimed at connecting producers, importers, distributors, buyers and sommeliers. We don’t do news, but instead look to provide insights and analysis focused on bringing the key decision makers in this growing part of the industry closer together.
What are you primarily looking for at Vinexpo?
The chance to meet and talk to so many of the leading players in the global wine and spirits industry and get under the skin of the key issues facing the sector.
What are the key wine and spirits trends in the UK?
In what is an increasingly challenging market the stand out performers in wine are sparkling and rosé. Sparkling is still driven by Prosecco, but there has been a resurgence in Cava in the last couple of years and growing interest in English sparkling wine. The growth in spirits is still coming from ever more specialist and craft styles of gin. Golden and premium rums and niche spirits like Mezcal are also doing well.
You have attended a number of Vinexpos – what have been the stand out highlights over the years?
One of the key aspects of Vinexpo is the quality of its content and conferences. In 2017 there was a vital debate on Brexit and the potential impact it could have on the wine industry.
What do you see as the industry’s biggest challenges and opportunities?
Brexit is still as relevant today as it was in 2017. Two of the other big issues are a key part of this year’s Vinexpo: climate change and e-commerce. The growth in bulk wine and private label is also responsible for so much of the demand we are now seeing in imported wine going into emerging markets such as China and the US.
Richard Siddle Editor-in-Chief, The Buyer-net