More and more people are drinking wine in Britain. According to Vinexpo, the world’s largest wine trade fair, retail sales of wine in the UK will reach nearly £5.5 bn by 2010 – at which point the British look set to be spending more on wine than the French, Germans or Italians. Not only this, but annual average wine consumption in Britain is forecast to grow at 3.7% in the ten years from 2001 to 2010 – three and a half times faster than the growth in world consumption. Although figures aren’t everything they do prove that a boom in the wine market has taken place in recent times.
So how can you take advantage of this? Perhaps you could start exporting and/or importing wine and join the long queue of competition that has lifted Britain to being one of the biggest buyers of wine in Europe? Or you might start your own off-licence. But how about going straight for the drinkers’ throat and opening up a wine bar? Be aware: this is an area that also has stiff competition, particularly from larger corporates. But it is also a market where wine is the core product. So what’s stopping you popping a few corks and taking advantage of this trend? After all, despite the global downturn, sales don’t appear to be letting up. People always appreciate a good tipple. Let startups.co.uk wine and dine you with the how-to.
What is it?
“The definition of a wine bar is quite blurred”, says Michael Davis of Virtualpubs.com, a site that helps people buy and sell licensed properties in the UK and Spain. Davis also owned and ran a number of wine bars in the UK over a ten-year period. He continues: “You could say they’re modern or even glorified pubs but there is a fine line between the two. A wine bar is a more up-market operation, often with wooden floors, subtle lighting and more classical or jazz-related music instead of the piped lift music that some pubs have.”
Wine bars also vary from pubs in others ways. There is generally a larger selection of wines but beer is now also sold in many outlets. The clientele is often younger, from 21- to 35-years-old. There is also a fashionable element to some wine bars: many people frequenting them to be seen in the right place and with the right people. So you will have to decide what image you wish to portray.
*Photo courtesy of Thomas Hawk