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Wine Digest (November 15)

Wine Digest (November 15)

Thomas Anthony

English-language Editor

15 november 2021

Overview of Top Stories in the Russian Wine World.

Every week we identify for you the top stories in Russia about wine, spirits, restaurants, beer, cider, etc. We provide an English-language summary of each of them, as well as a link if you want to learn more. 

Written by Evgeniy Kotelevsky, edited by Thomas Anthony. 

A new rating – «Forbes Top 100 Wines» is coming soon

According to the latest press-release from the new Russian wine rating «Forbes Top 100 Wines», 162 Russian wines have received 90+. These wines are produced by 57 wineries located in the Krasnodar region, Crimea, Rostov region, Dagestan, Volgograd region, and North Ossetia. The final list of the 100 best Russian wines will be released on December 13 during the «Forbes Wine Assembly» at Moscow’s Metropol Hotel. It will also be published on the Forbes website and distributed in the printed version of Russian Forbes magazine. Read the whole article in Russian.


Photo: © Top 100 wine Forbes


Alcohol distributor Luding is launching production of its own vodka, called «Tchaikovsky». As you may guess from the name, this vodka will mainly be sold abroad. The retail price of «Tchaikovsky» on is 970 RUB per half-liter bottle. The average price of this vodka on the American market will be $15–20. Read the whole article in Russian.

Wine from Dmitry Kiselev

And here’s another piece of news about Luding. This company has become the official distributor of Crimean winery «Cock t’est belle,» one of the owners of which is TV presenter Dmitry Kiselyov. They produce a traditional-method sparkling wine. The distributor’s price for this wine is 3800 rubles, while in restaurants prices start from 5000 rubles. Luding's representatives say that for now it is the most expensive Russian sparkling wine. Read the whole article in Russian.

About Beluga Group firsthand

On October 27, Timofey Martynov's YouTube channel published a 90-minute interview with Alexander Mechetin, the owner of the Beluga Group company, which produces the renowned «Beluga» vodka brand and owns the VinLab chain of stores. Here are some insights:

  • They plan to increase the number of VinLab stores in Moscow and St. Petersburg. So far, they have more than 800 stores nationwide. They are opening 40-50 new stores per month, with a focus on Moscow and St. Petersburg, and plan to reach 2400 stores by 2024.
  • VinLab will not sell food and won’t become a convenience store. They plan to remain a wine specialist, so they don't see the «Krasnoe i Beloe» («Red and White») chain as their competitor.
  • 40% of the store's revenue is wine. More expensive spirits are also a high proportion of the store’s revenue.
  • Their consumer has an average to average-plus income.
  • Figures: 25 billion rubles revenue in 2020 with 4% provided by e-commerce.
  • The average purchase offline is 500 rubles, while the average purchase online is 3000 rubles.

Watch the whole video in Russian.


Photo: ©

About the Russian wine consumer

This week the portal published an article with Wilhelm Lerner, an expert from the Wine Intelligence research company, with some interesting insights about the Russian wine buyer’s persona:

  • The focus group of this study consisted of 7.5 million wine consumers from Moscow and St. Petersburg (46% of the adult population), of which 2.1 million Muscovites and 0.8 million Petersburgers consume wine weekly.
  • In 2020, Russia became one of the top 10 most attractive markets for wine imports for the first time. TOP-3: USA, South Korea, and Germany
  • The wine audience is growing through the impact of millennials (born in 1981-1995, aged between 25 and 40). In 2014, they were 19% of wine drinkers, and now 26%.
  • Millennials show a fairly high confidence index when buying, 41-45%. For older people, this index is just 35%.
  • What do millennials choose on the shelf? The countries most attractive for this category of buyers are Italy and France (chosen by 82% and 81% of respondents). Spain and Georgia score 79% each, and Russia closes the top five with 78%.

Read the whole article in Russian.

Expansion of the «Krasnoe i Beloe» and «Bristol» network

Last month the Krasnoe i Beloe chain celebrated its anniversary 10,000 stores. Krasnoe i Beloe is part of the Mercury Retail group, together with the Bristol store. Together they have about 15000 stores. The co-owner of Mercury Retail told «Wine Retail» that he sees potential for the chain to grow to 50,000 stores. Impressive! Read the whole article in Russian.

Domaine Ganevat has a new investor from Russia

One of the top producers in the French region of Jura now has a Russian investor, according to the «Real Authentic Wine» importer's Telegram channel. This is businessman Alexander Pumpyansky, who has been involved in the Languedoc project Prieure Saint-Jean de Bebian since 2008. Read the whole article in Russian.


Photo: © Real Authentic Wine

Roust sells its Polish business and says goodbye to the Zubrovka vodka brand

Rustam Tariko’s alcohol holding, the owner of the renowned «Russian Standard» vodka brand, is selling its Polish asset — the CEDC subsidiary. It is CEDC that produces Żubrówka, the third-largest vodka brand in the world (after Smirnoff and Khortitsa). Read the whole article in Russian.

The Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI France Russie) presented its rating of the best Champagne in Russia

On October 29, CCI France Russie announced the results of the «Best of France 2021: Champagne» competition. The competition was participated in by 25 Russian distributors, who provided about 80 wines. 94 points, the highest score of the competition, was given to five wines: Andre Clouet Grande Reserve Brut NV, Maurice Vessele Grand Cru Cuvee Reserve Brut NV, Nicolas Feuillatte Selection Brut NV, Chapuy Tradition Rose, Devaux "D" Rose Brut. Full results of the competition.

Cover Photo: © Andrey Kovalev.

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