April 17, 2012 — Beer is often the drink of choice at sports venues, but wine could be making a play from behind. 

Riunite and Banfi are taking a step toward changing previous drinking conventions by introducing wine to NASCAR, a MediaPost article says. 

Since 2009, Banfi has taken on sponsorships at NASCAR to provide samples of its Riunite Lambrusco and D’oro Moscato at tracks throughout the country, according to the article. Charles Dellavecchia, European portfolio director for Banfi, told MediaPost that Riunite will be present at nine races held at seven different tracks this year, and projected that Banfi would distribute 80,000 samples over the season.

Riunite provides the samples outside of tracks through branded RV’s and passes around samples inside of the tracks as well. The brand also began selling wine by the glass at some tracks last year, selling about 2,800 glasses during the 2011 season, according to MediaPost.

From MediaPost:

“That, along with data showing significantly increased awareness of the brand among the NASCAR audience, adds up to this being a winning marketing proposition for Riunite, says Dellavecchia. 

‘From race to race, the fans at the tracks come back to us to tell us that they have tried and enjoyed Riunite at other races, and continue to enjoy it,’ he says. ‘And a NASCAR fan’s loyalty, once won, is extremely valuable. Many brands try NASCAR-related sponsorships and give up after a year or two. We’re very pleased with our results, and we’re in this for the long haul.’”