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Casual Dining turns focus on wine with new dedicated area

Published:  28 November, 2019

The Casual Dining show is gearing up to launch a dedicated wine area as part of a bigger overall focus on alcoholic drinks.

Launched to “sate the growing demand for wine at the show”, The Vineyard area - located next to the show’s new and third theatre for 2020 dedicated to 'Pub & Bar Keynotes' - will boast a raft of wine companies, with sparkling producers expected to "feature strongly", said the organizers, adding it had so far had ”a lot” of interest from wine producers in general, but in particularly from sparkling brands.

In addition to the increased focus on wine, next year’s show will feature a host of new independent distilleries and brewers.

The increased focus on alcoholic drinks as a whole reflected the" essential need for any successful restaurant, pub and bar operator to offer a varied drinks menu full of differentiation, innovative styles, flavours and blends and distinctive ‘brand’ personality", said Casual Dining’s event manager Eva Ellis.

“But where do you start? According to some of the latest industry research this year, wine is the UK’s favourite alcoholic tipple, gin is the number one spirit, sparkling wine is booming, beer trumps wine in pubs, the premiumisation mega trend is helping drive alcohol sales, quality is up but quantity is down, all-the-while more British consumers generally are regularly choosing more low-and-no abv options. That’s a lot of bases for casual dining operators to cover,” she said.

Independent spirits and beer producers making their show debut next year are Belgrove Rum, Faith & Sons Gin, Strawbar (eau de vie spirit distilled from organic Greek strawberries), Southeast Asian dry gin Tarsier Spirit, Binary Botanical - a lightly sparkling table beer aimed at ‘wine lovers’, Freestar, Lucky Saint, Orbit Beers, ShinDigger Craft Beer, Small Beer Brew Co, and The Five Points Brewing Co.

Other new names announced today include Rémy Cointreau, Lyre's Spirits, Soulfresh, Nirvana Brewery, Punchy Drinks, and Love Drinks.

The Emissary Prosecco, and its vegan friendly Doc Treviso Brut 2017, has snapped up the first stand in The Vineyard.

Casual Dining 2020 takes place 25-26 March in London.