The X Factor winner Ben Haenow is a Beaujolais drinker – something the 33 year-old British singer revealed to WLC this week at the launch of a brand that ‘breaks from wine convention’.
The revelation came at the unveiling in London on Tuesday of Château Jacked, a new aromatised wine-based drink from Concha y Toro, comprising a white and red designed to attract a younger UK audience who currently consume spirits, ciders and beers.
Haenow, who had been invited to the launch, was part of an audience of ‘influencers’ who might represent the target market for the new product, which has been created “to break from wine convention”, and comes with the slogan, “less rules, more flavour”.
However, speaking to WLC after the new brand had been launched, Haenow said that he was already a wine drinker, and liked red wines, primarily from Beaujolais, but also Rioja.
News that he not only likes wine, but from traditional wine regions such as Beaujolais and Rioja, came in contrast to the findings of research by Concha y Toro, and highlighted at the event, that younger UK consumers aren’t drinking wine because it’s not cool.
“Wine is seen as old fashioned – it’s what their parents drink”, said Clare Griffiths, who is commercial director at Concha y Toro UK, when discussing the findings from extensive consumer research by the wine producer, which was focused on a 22-29 unisex audience.
While Haenow described Château Jacked as “fantastic”, he admitted that he would not be its target consumer, because we was already a wine drinker, and liked red wines – something not yet offered by the new brand from Concha y Toro, which has just two lines in the range: a Sauvignon Blanc flavoured with ginger and a rosé with added lychee.
He also told WLC that he had progressed to red wine from spirits, having previously been a lover of Scotch and brandy, which he said he liked to consume neat, and not mixed as a long drink.
His admission that Beaujolais is his preferred tipple may come as a surprise to many in the wine trade considering this region’s fall from an extremely popular position in the UK several decades ago.
Famous in the 70s and 80s for the annual release of Beaujolais Noveau, the region saw exports decline dramatically during the nineties, in part due to changing tastes, particularly the rise of richer, fruitier wines from the New World, above all Australia.
However, Beaujolais has re-established itself as a wine region of note over the last 10 years, helped along by a run of strong vintages since 2009 and a focus on quality wines, as opposed to the light and short-lived Beaujolais Nouveau.
Nevertheless, if ever there was a region associated with the older generation of UK wine drinkers, it is Beaujolais, so it was refreshing to hear that Haenow was a fan of this area, which produces delicate styles of red, based of course on the Gamay grape.
In 2014, Ben Haenow won The X Factor, a British reality television music competition, and went on to release an album in his own name.