With all eyes on Brazil and the World Cup, can it compete with Argentina and Chile in the wine stakes? Roger Jones, owner of the Harrow at Little Bedwyn, reports
Brazil is investing a lot in its international communication this year, and the UK has been identified as a primary target for Brazilian exports, including wine. But can it compete with Argentina and Chile?
The plus points of these wines are the natural lower alcohol levels, even in reds such as Syrah which, at 12.5% is full of flavour, concentrated and bright in acidity.
The major growing area is in the deep south next to Uruguay, but there is also an area near the equator producing wines which has two harvests a year.
The wine can reflect this, however. So why get involved? Well, these wines will not be for everyone, but if your business will be affected by the World Cup, it may be wise to look into the offers available. It is also a good opportunity to look beyond the norm and have a new option on a promotional list.
The Bibendum Wine Company has certainly done its homework and has been championing these wines for some time. It even promoted one Brazilian wine to great success at the 2012 London Olympics, and it was served at the closing ceremony.
Highlights from Bibendum's list include the Miolo family vineyards. Miolo is possibly the most famous winery from Brazil and is the largest exporter. Besides producing top-quality sparkling wines, it also produces Chardonnay, Cabernet and Pinot.
The first planting on Miolo's site was in 1897. The company introduced international grapes in the 1970s and, more recently, it employed Michel Rolland, the great French flying winemaker, as consultant. Yields are kept low and, due to the soils and weather, irrigation is not needed.
Traditional Brazilian drinks
If Brazilian wine is not your tipple, here are a few traditional drinks from the country CachaÁ§a The national liquor of Brazil, made from distilled sugar cane. It is very similar to rum and can be purchased aged or unaged, white or gold. Aged cachaÁ§a, which is consideredsuperior and is generally sipped on its own, can vary in flavour depending on the type of wood used for the barrels. Many different local trees are used in different regions and by different manufacturers.
Caju Amigo "The Friendly Cashew" combines two of Brazil's favourite flavours: cachaÁ§a and the juice from a cashew nut. You can find bars that produce it using a more entertaining method, which involves chewing a cashew, keeping it in your mouth, and then swallowing it with a shot of cachaÁ§a.
Caipirinha: This is the most famous drink from Brazil and considered the national cocktail. Made with cachaÁ§a, sugar and lime juice, it can either be a refreshing cocktail or a stronger one you might regret… Leite de OnÁ§a "Jaguar Milk" is cachaÁ§a combined with milk and served cold.
Batida This is the name for a cachaÁ§a-based drink mixed with fruit. Any fruit goes, but passion fruit, coconut and strawberry are most popular.
Beer Brazil is the fourth-largest beer market in the world, with over 88 million barrels produced a year. Brahma is the most common name in the UK, but other brands
include Palma Louca, AntÁ¡rctica and BohÁªmia.
Wines of Brasil is promoting its 'Wake up the Brazilian in You!' campaign. Its website has sections on how to 'Drink like a Brazilian' or 'Talk like a Brazilian', along with a guide on where to buy Brazilian wines. The firm will provide promotional material to support its competition, which has a prize of a trip to Brazil.