One of the questions I’m asked most in my travels is ‘what’s new in wine?’
For many years I would rattle off improvements in active dry yeasts, or bottle closures, and watch as eyes glazed over. Sure there were new brands launching every day, but from the perspective of wine drinkers there wasn’t much real change happening on a visible or consumer-relevant level.
Nowadays, like the list of alerts from my world current affairs app, there’s almost too much major stuff happening to keep up. Below are what I consider to be the important trends in wine right now. Some will endure and shape wine into the future, while others will surely fade or morph – their inclusion a symbol of the changing landscape of wine and wine consumers. There is no argument that the Millennial market (people born between 1981 and 1995, currently 21-35 years old), are the current hot targets for producers and retailers globally. Their spending power and drastically different priorities to former generations, underpin many of the trends below.
The natural wine movement is gaining a foothold in Europe and the US, particularly with Millennial consumers, to whom its ideologies and brand stories are engaging. Natural wine resists being pigeon-holed: There is no universally accepted definition nor a global organization to control standards. However, purists demand that a wine only be called ‘natural’ if it is produced without adding or removing anything in the winemaking process (ironic as there’s nothing natural about the winemaking process). In accordance with this definition true ‘natural wines’ are unstable at bottling because they lack sulphur dioxide (SO2) or other preservatives to kill off any rogue micro-organisms and … Read more >