Keeping a close eye on fizz – and much else

Patrick Schmitt, Editor-in-Chief of The Drinks Business and a Master of Wine, will be looking out for the latest industry news at this year’s Vinexpo Paris. We asked him to tell us about thedrinksbusiness.com.

Our website is an extension of The Drinks Business magazine, which serves the trade with independent, expert news and commentary. Our online offering is far more immediate – we run originally sourced stories and breaking news hourly, and provide a free daily e-letter.

What are you looking for at Vinexpo Paris?
I’m primarily looking for stories, but also to re-establish contacts, meet new people, and catch up with peers. We have a stand at the fair, and are using this to launch a new printed product, a list of 100 top winemakers for 2020, based on the results from our Global Masters series of wine tastings.

What are they key wine/spirits trends you are following?
In wine, I’m focused on trends in sparkling wine, particularly Champagne and Prosecco, and English fizz. We also closely follow fast-growing if relatively niche sectors, such as CBD drinks or low/no alcohol wines and spirits. We are closely watching the rise of celebrity-backed drinks, the maturation – or saturation – of the gin sector, and the development of upmarket rosés.

What are the industry’s biggest challenges and opportunities?
Shifting to more sustainable business models is a challenge and an opportunity. And so is the trend towards moderation by a younger generation. More immediately, and in terms of challenges alone, tariffs on drinks caught up in trade wars are a serious concern, as is social unrest.


Photo: Patrick Schmitt, Editor-in-Chief, The Drinks Business