The world of wine is a place of contrasts that highlight the tensions between tradition and innovation. In 2019 the wine industry has to work harder to keep consumers and at the same time attract new ones, here are some of the trends that I expect to see during the year ahead.
Sparkling wines will grow in popularity. Sparkling wines are not just cava and champagne, there are many other wines such as Prosecco from Italy and Moscato based sparkling wines from Valencia.
These styles of wine communicate a different message to consumers than other wines because they are easier and are associated with celebrations, prestige and style. Sparkling wines offer brand owners an excellent opportunity to engage directly with their customers particularly on social media.
Traditionally in Spain most wines are sold by the region such Rioja, Ribera, Rueda. Apart from Albariño there are few grape varieties that are widely known. With more than 70 regions to choose from and many indigenous grape varieties, the trend towards discovering new areas will continue to grow. A fun thing to do this year would be to try a new wine from a new region or country every week, keep a record of what you bought and what you thought.
One of the least understood wines is Rosé. A well made Rosé is a versatile wine suitable for many occasions and to combine with different styles of food. Wineries from all over the world will be offering more premium quality Rosés, so add this style of wine to your ‘wines to taste in 2019’.
The wine industry is struggling to attract younger consumers into the category because of the strong competition from lower alcohol beverages and artisan beers. In the USA, UK and Scandinavia wines in cans is a growing category, particularly sparkling rosé. For younger consumers, this is a good way to begin their journey into the wine world. Different forms of wine packaging will become more evident.
Increased awareness in what we eat and drink will mean continued growth for organic, biodynamic and natural wines. Nowadays there are many excellent wines to choose from. In our wine club more than half the wines are either organic or natural. When tasting I do not make an exception for how a wine is made, while I strongly support minimal intervention in wine making the final product has to be good quality and well balanced.
The category of lower alcohol wines will continue to grow.
Over the last couple of years Food Trucks burst onto the scene and are present at many events. Expect to see Wine Trucks and Pop Up Wine Stores as a way for wineries or particular styles of wines to make wine more accessible and fun.
Wine education will continue to grow. At this point I must declare self interest as I own a wine school in Valencia. More people call in to ask about courses, tasting and learning about wine. More wineries and restaurants than ever before are seeing the value of wine education when training their teams to be able to talk with customers.
Better communication is one of the key trends in the year ahead.