Sherry is Back in Vogue? I Don’t Believe This, Do You?

 

I remain skeptical that sherry is having a moment. I am out and about a lot, generally at pretty cool places, and NOBODY – and I mean NOBODY – has ever ordered a sherry in my vicinity.

But this week, at Ludlow House, I sidled up to the bar and asked the head bartender about sherry and he became ecstatic. He offered me a glass of Lustau Amontillado. It’s interesting but definitely an acquired taste.

Another comeback I am hearing about is rum. I was equally skeptical, but it turns out that both Lil Wayne and DJ Khaled have liquor deals with Bumbu Rum out of Barbados (launched April 2016?). More on this below.

But let’s start with what’s going on with sherry:

According to Majestic Wine, out of the UK, they’ve seen a 25% increase in sales of sherry in 2017. They claim it’s being newly popularized by millennials who love to be seen, out and about, sherry glass in hand.

Currently trendy in sherry circles: pale fino or manzanilla, served ice cold in a wine glass (as opposed to a traditional sherry glass)

Aldi recently introduced a fino and amontillado to their Exquisite Collection of wines (the surest sign that sherry may actually be a thing in Aldi’s European markets).

And it’s not just sherry that’s undergoing a renaissance. Port sales are up 18% and Madeira is up 224%.

On Google Trends, the uptick for sherry primarily comes from one country (Ireland) driven by searches for “How to make sherry trifle?”

I will keep an eye on this but remain skeptical. But big shout out to the PR team! Good job.

 

Read on below for what’s going on with rum. And as a counterpoint to all this boozery, the growth of Dry January.

 

 RUM SALES ARE HOT

 

Globally, there was a big uptick for rum on google trends:

  • Driven by Barbados and its Food and Rum Festival in 2017
  • The blockbuster brand was Bumbu Rum. Rapper Lil Wayne is now the celebrity spokesperson for the brand along with DJ Khaled.  (Khaled has been very busy – he just signed with Weight Watchers and presumably traded his Ciroc deal for Bumbu?)

 

Rum is booming in the UK. In 2017, rum sales grew to over 1 billion pounds, equivalent to 34 million bottles (on and off premise)

  • Over the last 5 years, rum sales were up 18% in volume and 38% in value
  • The number of rum brands in the UK have grown from 50 in 2006 to 150 in 2017

 

DRY – OR SOBER – JANUARY

In the past, several of my friends have given up booze for Sober January but now it seems to be a major thing in England, where it is called Dry January (trademarked in 2014).

  • According to a YouGov poll, around 3.1 million people in the UK have committed to doing Dry January this year.
  • Dry January is a public health campaign and the term “Dry January” was registered as a trademark by the charity Alcohol Concern in mid-2014
  • Alcohol Concern partners with Public Health England.

The Finnish government beat the UK to the idea, however, They launched a campaign called “Sober January” in 1942 as part of their war effort.

On Pinterest, searches for virgin cocktails increased by 160% last year.

 

So there you have it, sherry and rum are trending – and maybe that’s why more of us are considering Dry January!!

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