Sam Biddle

Veraison Wines is a wholesale distributor of premium Australian and imported wine, founded in 2012 by Sam Biddle, following a career in sales, marketing and senior management with Australian and multi-national alcoholic beverage producers.

Biddle offered PubTIC the following insight to the world of on-premise wine.


The recent Wine Australia survey of wine production, inventory and domestic sales has confirmed what we already knew: that retail wine sales are shrinking. Retail sales of wine shrunk in volume by 0.8 per cent in 2014/15, while sales direct to consumer increased by 1.5 per cent.

Consumers aren’t consuming less, they are tapping into the fast-emerging online market to source their wine.

This highlights the increasing relevance of the on-premise sector to wineries and wine distributors, and there is no more important an avenue than the hotel on-premise category.

Sounds simple, right? Increase your focus on the hotel channel, and watch your distribution grow.

That would be nice, but reality dictates that opportunities exist mainly for those suppliers agile enough to adapt their offering to market trends, in a climate of fast-evolving consumer demand.

While a generalization, it could be said that yesteryear’s wine consumer chose their preferred beverage early and stuck with it. Fast forward to today and the typical 18-30 year old on-premise wine consumer is adventurous in their tastes and an avid follower of trends, always on the lookout for the next hot thing.

Veraison Picnic Rose_LR_smlAnd here’s an example in one word: Rosé.

Nothing speaks more to this phenomenon than the recent surge in demand for Rosé and the ensuing “brosé” movement. (Just in case you’re wondering, ‘brosé’ is the catch-all term for the recent phenomenon of blokes drinking Rosé. In pubs. In quantity.)

Not just any Rosé, mind you – it must be pale in colour and dry in style, and this is where agility comes in. Those who have acted quickly on this trend and either made or sourced wine accordingly are now riding the wave of the trend.

Get your product right and you’ve made it. Well, almost.

Success for wineries and distributors in the hotel sector hinges on not only adapting to the nuances of the market, but also on a strong on-premise offering in the form of price, packaging and wine quality.

The same consumer we are talking about here is also on the lookout for value and an appealing-looking product that speaks to current aesthetic trends.

So really, the message is not a new one; the right product, packaged to appeal to its audience, and promoted at the right price, usually wins the day.

However, it is a message worth reminding ourselves of in today’s fast-evolving consumer environment.


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