Vicky’s wines have arrived in Ireland (get them HERE) and that’s a very happy news . Why? Because more people get to drink my wines, because I love Ireland and because Paul and his team look fun and serious from where I am, on the other tiny side of the Atlantic. This is not a big surprise for when you go to Curious Wines website, first thing you learn is that your happiness is 100% guaranteed.
Before going to meet the Curious team in Cork, here are a few words about Curious wines, the Irish market and Vicky’s wines. Have a sip… and stay tuned!
Vicky : Do you remember how it all started between you and me?
Paul : Curious Wines has been pretty active on social media since the company started back in 2008, so I think I’d just seen you here and there online since then, thought the brand/wines looked great, and just decided to send you an email. The rest is history!
I love your name, but what is so curious about Curious Wines?
Most wines in Ireland are sold through just a few supermarkets and, as you can imagine, the diversity (and quality) of wines on offer in these places can be pitiful. Although we do of course offer mainstream styles (we’d like to stay in business!), we also pride ourselves in offering more unusual bottles that you won’t easily find elsewhere in Ireland. For example, we sell a Lebanese Cabernet-Syrah, a Uruguayan Tannat, a Languedoc Bourboulenc and a Friulian Ribolla-Gialla – see, curious! In the future too we will probably list a white Beaujolais, which would also be very curious
I guess when you sell wines online, you always get surprised. Do you remember any wines that has sold much better than you expected? Can you explain why?
We display our top-selling wines on our website and, yes, the list (which is updated twice a year) does occasionally throw up surprises. For a long time a Galician Mencía was included in our most-popular reds – that would’ve been a hard one to predict in advance. We find that shoppers are more conservative when it comes to white wines – our top sellers list here is dominated by Sauvignon Blanc!
We know how the Irish are with beer or Whiskey… but how are they with wines? Is France a favourite? What is the best seller in Ireland?
Ireland went from being a relatively poor to a fairly rich country between the late 1980s and the early noughties and in that time people started travelling to Europe, got a taste for wine and had the money to spend on it. Unfortunately over the course of the recession wine has been hit repeatedly with extra duty/tax (easy to do in a country that doesn’t make wine), which has damaged the market, dragging it downwards. Things are starting to ease, but it’s been a hard 7 years for many wine merchants here. Although French wines are very popular in Ireland, the market leaders are Chile and Australia, on account of a few key massive brands – Santa Rita, Jacob’s Creek and pals. As far as I know, ‘Blossom Hill’ is the top-selling ‘wine’ brand in the country. But when people want to spend a bit more money, perhaps at Christmas or if they’re buying a gift, France seems to be their ‘go to’ country.
How did it all go with the first bottles of Vicky’s wines sold and opened?
Yes, the reaction was of course very positive! The bottles are so eye-catching that immediately people were looking at them and asking questions about them. The summer is a good time of year too for introducing lighter styles of red like Beaujolais. Anyone who tasted them loved them, basically!
How do you think the Irish will adopt Vicky’s wines?
It takes time for a brand to build a following but I am certain that our customers will come to love Vins de Vicky. What’s not to love? Brilliant packaging, fair prices and – most importantly – delicious juice! Fleurie and Mâcon-Villages are two well-known, popular appellations here, as well, which helps. And we’ve definitely noticed an increase in people’s interest in organic wine over the last 18 months, so that will be a great plus for the Vicky Beaujolais Bio.
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Cheers to Curious Wines!