Vol. 3 No.1  

European wines could find new friends in Romania

     It is a fact universally acknowledged that Romania is an interesting market.
     Global and regional businesses have scored success in activities from setting up mobile telephony companies to selling razors. Romanians are huge aficionados of consumption and aim for the best in products and services.
     Wine is an essential product in this ascending pyramid. Domestic production has diversified and improved. But imports have also started to arrive. Many specialists were anticipating - and some are still hooked on the idea - that Romanians are attached to local varieties and this is the first step towards a 'marriage' that our countrymen are not keen on annulling.
     However, except for some wines that still carry some taxes, such as those from the New World, EU wines will mark out their own territory in Romania for certain. But, if you are from the EU, are your wines on sale in this country and, if so, are they making their presence known?
     They will be embraced by all segments. For the budget consumer, Italy or Spain's cheap wines will come on strong. Such wines are well placed in terms of price versus quality.
     In the 'upper' segments, varieties operate with different criteria of quality, awareness and how they target consumers. Here connoisseurs will not judge the fame or recognition of a certain 'trendy' brand based just on geographical criteria.
     French wines enjoyed a fairly good acceptance in Romania. But the French have not taken advantage of this. The Italians are the most aggressive in this respect, in the good sense of the word. This is also aided by the many Italian restaurants in Romania.
     Because Romanians work in Spain and bring back drinking habits from the Iberian peninsular, there are many consumption affinities between the two countries. Meanwhile Portugal has not gone further than a couple of niches, because there is less communication between the two countries. Greek and Cypriot wines have better chances – just take a look what a good tourism strategy can achieve!
     Nearby nations such as Hungarians, Bulgarians, Slovenians will start to sell their own wines more often in Romania, some of them similar to our offering. These similarities are a strong point which, when talking about Hungary or Bulgaria, can be exploited. Austria and Germany prove to be forecful competitors and the latter may take the lead in white wine. This is a surprise for conservative connoisseurs.

     To track wines is being sold in Romania, new imports can find their place in the 'Yearbook of Imported Wine' for free. This is an initiative of Vinexpert, the www.vinul.ro portal and of the www.evinoteca.ro on-line shop, and is only on-line at present.

Catalin Paduraru