Vol. 2 No.7  

Changing tastes of consumers

     Without being able to market Romanian wine on a large scale, I would invite those enthusiasts who still have their adventurous spirit, to become advocates for quality wine.
     The “gimmick” would be that wine is like a hidden treasure and thus impossible to market on a mass scale.
     Portugal is a good example of how to follow this technique. The campaign on the Euro-Atlantic market looks something like:
     “Can we give you some friendly advice? Don’t tell your friends – Wines of Portugal. The best kept secret in Europe.”
     A similar approach in Romania would not betray the truth.
     Romania’s wine cellars host witnesses from the 1940s to the present, wines made according to the demands of the palate at that time - sweet Chardonnay is one example - but also successful attempts at making European classics.
     Discovering Romanian wines can equal discovering a book of this country’s economic and political past.
     For example, wines bottled after 1980 are hardly ever use long corks - a testament to the deep economic crisis the country was witnessing.
Today’s offer is substantial, with a satisfactory departure point for all tastes and the absolutely special wines – such as Grasa, Tamaioasa, Busuioaca, Cramposia or Feteasca Neagra – give this country the aura of a ‘wine-growing force’.
     Despite consumers’ meandering tastes – such as the attraction towards semi-sweet and sweet wines and ‘spritzers’ – there is a well-established niche for premium wines, made of conscientious consumers.
     Getting ‘knowledgeable’ consumers is a threshold producers can pass only by offering quality wines.
     Moreover, new types of vines are now slowly being introduced in Romania. A good example is the success of Shiraz, a type of vine that is grown in south-western Romania, in Mehedinti county. There are also attempts to bring back to life pre-phylloxera vines like Zghihara, Novac, Sarba and Cramposie and Feteasca Neagra (in places such as Husi, Dragasani, Odobesti, Dealu Mare).
     The physical thirst – one of the reasons behind the success of ‘spritzers’ – can be converted into the thirst for pleasure. To quench this, delicate ‘rose’ type of wines have appeared. From the Feteasca Alba and Regala varietites one can produce – in a new manner – wines able to furnish the long parties so loved by Romanians and those who visit this country.
     NB: A ‘Top 100’ list of Romanian wines will soon appear. I strongly recommend this rigorous collection, where the selection criteria includes quality, history and international recognition, but not price. I will get back on the subject in due time, but I humbly invite you to step into the virtual shop I hope it is enjoyable and useful, despite the fact that it currently operates only in Romanian - good wines can communicate without any translation.

Catalin Paduraru