Constellation Brands NZ hosted an online ‘Trends & Innovation Showcase’ to launch three new products — highlighting sustainability, betterment, and lifestyle across wine and spirits.
I was sent two bottles of wine and a bottle of vodka, all exquisitely packaged (and accompanied by a cocktail glass, a tote bag, a ‘Little Book of Happiness’, and a jar of wild hibiscus flowers) earlier in the week, and then just had to dial in to the event via Zoom.
The Showcase launched three products:
- Round Theory, a new line of climate-friendly, consciously crafted, Vegan Certified “wines for the greater good”, designed to promote sustainable drinking;
- State of Light, a range of low-alcohol wines targeted at those who want to embrace a more balanced lifestyle; and
- Rosé SVEDKA Vodka, a premium Swedish vodka blended with 5% rosé wine.
Hosted by Rowan Dean, Constellation’s Asia-Pacific VP of Commercial Development, accompanied by winemaker Brett Fullerton and Australasian VP of Marketing Nina Stojnic, myself and the other 30 participants were introduced to the concepts behind each of the new products (ultimately: ethical consumerism, sustainability and ‘betterment’), and then invited to sample them each in turn.
The Round Theory range, we were told, are climate- and carbon-positive via their CarbonClick offset program; are made using sustainably grown and sourced products; and feature an innovative bottle shape that uses 30% less glass (therefore requires less shipping weight, consumes less carbon etc).
The wine I sampled was a cool-fermented Pinot Gris from NZ’s Hawke’s Bay region, which displayed primary fruit aromas of nashi pear and green apples alongside floral notes of white jasmine. Crisp and fresh, it would pair well with Asian fusion foods.
Tapping into the trends of mindful drinking and considered consumption observed by the wine industry in recent years, State of Light are wines with 35% less calories and 45% less alcohol than a typical wine, but where flavour and quality has not been sacrificed as a result. Utilising a vacuum steam distillation process called the ‘spinning cone method’ to carefully separate and preserve the wine’s characteristics while de-alcoholisation takes place, the Hawke’s Bay Rosé I tasted was only 7% abv, but still displayed succulent berry fruit flavours and juicy watermelon characteristics. Fruity and with a dry finish, this is definitely a summer quaffer.
The final drink I sampled was a vibrant and flavoursome rosé vodka produced by SVEDKA in Sweden, targeted at ‘palate experientialists’. At only 30% alcohol, this pink spirit nods to the rise and rise of rosé wine but also acknowledges the wellbeing movement and the growing trend amongst consumers for a more balanced lifestyle. Displaying bold fruit flavours of pineapple and strawberry, with hints of hibiscus, this just needed pouring over ice and mixing with sparkling water to produce a refreshing, delicate and perfumed cocktail. Yum.
Jonathan Leeming is a wine industry professional with a background in sales, client development, and account management; partnerships, events, and communications. A member of Mensa, his passions are wine (obviously), dogs, and intelligent conversation. Follow him at @jpleeming, LinkedIn, and Vivino.
Round Theory, State of Light, and Svekda Vodka are available at liquor stores nationally.