Is time to ask ouselves what are the wine trends in line to shape our drinking in 2020? Crystal balls and telescopes out! Well actually, market reports, observation, research and paying attention to what industry insiders are doing and saying regarding the wines we’ll be drinking in the new year.
The trends listed below are a combination of styles and occasions, form and function, and global and local elements influencing our wine options and choices.
THE WINE BAR BOOM
Dublin’s wine bar scene continued to expand during 2019, and wine lovers will be spoiled for choice for a place to enjoy a glass in 2020.
Venues such as the highly acclaimed Allta on Frederick St, the new Ely Wine Store in Maynooth, and the vegan-friendly Beo Wine Bar and Kitchen in Stoneybatter, are a few of the options waiting to be explored in the new year, if you haven’t already tried them out.
With Dublin’s thriwing wine bar scene, chilling at a wine bar will be increasingly popular in the new year and beyond.
MORE AND BETTER ONLINE SHOPPING
With more shoppers choosing to go online to get wine into their carts, it makes sense that retailers are paying more attention to their e-versions and to their overall digital experience.
According to a report from International Trade Fair Prowein, “retail channels through which wine gets sold to consumers are in an unprecedented state of flux” and one constant across many key markets is the growth of online-based shopping models.
The three main variations of said model include the standard online shops, but also “click and collect” services from brick and mortar retailers and direct-to-home specialists (including wineries themselves).
ROSÉ GOES HIGH-END
While rosé has done more than enough to earn its reputation as a cheap and cheerful drink, the growing popularity of the style (especially the pale, Provencal version), has paved the way for premiumisation.
A key example of this is how last November, Moet Hennessy, LVMH’s wines and spirit branch, acquired a 55% stake in Chateau d’Esclans, the French Producer behind the highly popular Whispering Angel rosé. The posh pink wine comes to join a portfolio that features legends such as Bordeaux’s Chateau d’Yquem and Cheval Blanc, as well as Dom Perignon Champagne.
While we’re not likely to splurge every time we buy a bottle of rosé, it will become more common for consumers to buy high end bottles and to appreciate rosé wines as a quality option, and not just a pretty face.
A MORE INCLUSIVE WINE SCENE
More than one single trend, this could be seen as the cummulative effort of a number of micro-trends summed up together, for example: a backlash on sexist tone and language in wine communications and marketing, the addition of non-alcoholic alternatives to more portfolios and menus, the movement in favour of kinder working environments across the hospitality industry and of course, a growing sensibility about the value and power of women and minorities within the trade and as consumers.
While we saw a cultural shake-up in 2019, the new year will give time for more pieces to fall into their new places.
Locally, an example of this could be the creation of Wine Spirit Women, an organisation seeking to support, mentor and inspire women in the Irish wine and spirits industry, which was created in 2019 and features ambitious 2020 plans.
THE REST OF SPAIN
When it comes to grabbing a reliable bottle of reasonably priced, high-quality wine, some of Spain’s top regions are our safe choice: Rias Baixas, Rioja and Ribera del Duero, to name a handful. But the country’s lesser known regions have so much to offer: independent producers, sustainable techniques, reasonable prices and outright cool stories. What’s not to love?
Places such as Ribero, Valencia, Ribeira Sacra, Tenerife, Monterrei and Toro are proving quite rewarding to the wine lovers willing to drink out of the box. Yes, we can always go back to a comforting Tempranillo-soaked happy place, but in 2020, grapes such as Listán Negro, Godello, Mencía and Bobal, will become more widely available and we can only take advange of that.
Convenience, sustainability and different drinking occasions where glass bottles are not allowed (think festivals, picnics, etc) are driving a demand for wine beyond the classic glass bottle.
While consumers in Ireland are still quite traditional about their packaging preferences, small steps are hinting at where things will continue to move towards. Last year, we saw the successful launch of colourful canned wine spritzer Ramona, as well as more wine on tap than ever, in fact at newly opened The Wine Pair on Clanbrassil Street, one can buy 500ml or 1L refillable bottles of wine to take home.
While this trend is moving faster in bigger markets, we’re likely to see a timid increase in the variety of wine that comes in any other format than the standard 750ml glass bottle.
WINE EXPERIENCE AMPLIFIED BY SOCIAL MEDIA AND AIRBNB
Wine has always been an “experiential” product, but this is now amplified by social media. According to a Nielsen report on drink trends for 2020, “memorable and unique experiences for consumers is an enduring trend” that will be a driving force for the on-trade in the new year.
Expect Instagram-friendly pop-ups, wine trails, interactive tastings and many other experiences that blur the lines between IRL and URL.
On a related note, since the sharing economy giant AirBnB launched its “experiences” section in 2016, it has gone from offering 500 options to over 30,000 around the world. For oenophiles this means a variety of options that range from the good old winery tour and tasting to wine spa days, sipping and stargazing evenings, and of course, a wine country road trip on a Tesla.
Mulled wine and sangria are just the tip of the iceberg. A spike in wine cocktails, including spritzers and sparkling drinks, comes as a logical answer to our growing collective thrist for lighter cocktails. Expect to see wine-based variations of harder cocktails such as a Sbagliato in lieu of the Negroni (swap the gin for Prosecco, keep the Campari), or a White Port and Tonic, with about half the ABV of its gin0fuelled counterpart.
Both at venues as well as for home entertaining, we are expecting to see more wine-based cocktails and mixed drinks. Looking for inspiration? Try any of these easy wine cocktail recipes for quick and tasty glass with a twist.
For a while, Californian wines in Ireland would tend to sit on both extremes: on one side, the cheap and cheerful types you’d find on supermarket sales and convenience shops, and on the other end, the very high-end bottles with tripple digit prices on the top shelf of boutique retailers.
Over the last couple of years, initiatives such as the California Wine Week Ireland and the California Wine Fair, have helped educate consumers about the wines from the Golden State and have exposed out palates to more variety. This has contributed to an expansion of the offers, filling the formerly neglected middle-priced range of quality wines between €15 to €30 that budget conscious wine lovers can afford.
BUBBLES ARE THE OCCASION
While rosé is going through a rags-to-riches storyline, sparkling wine’s journey has been one of democratisation. Being knocked off its pedestal is possibly the best that could have happened to the category, as it is no longer reserve for New Year’s Eve and other special ocasions; the fizz IS the occasion.
Sales are on the rise across different price brackets and categories, from Champagne to Prosecco, and also, New World Bubbles, Cava and much more. According to a report by Statista, the market for sparkling wine is expected to grow annually from 2019 to 2023 by 3.2%. In Ireland, sales of Sparkling wine doubled between 2017 and 2018, even as overall wine consuption decreased slightly.
ARTICLE BY GABY GUEDEZ