There has been one thing that’s been around in human beings minds since before time began - wine. Ever since humans discovered that you can crush a fruit, leave it to ferment, and receive an intoxicating beverage, we’ve been hooked on the stuff. It’s grown all around the world, and even now, we are discovering more and more about it.
Now, while wine has been around for centuries, it’s certainly seen it’s own ups and downs - and at the moment, it’s seeing an incredible rise to dominance. In the UK alone, over 60% of adults enjoy a glass of wine, and it’s worth over £21.3 billion every year. However, despite it’s almost total dominance of the alcohol market, it sees it’s fair share of shifts in drinker expectation. From old vintages coming back into the limelight to cocktails made with sherry, the trends becoming more and more apparent are wetting the appetites of wine experts everywhere…
A light red wine made with Gamay Noir grapes, this fruity wine from a small area in Burgundy, France, Beaujolais wine has been around since roman times - but it’s starting to see a resurgence in popularity. Casual drinkers love it’s fruity body and rich flavours, and relatively low cost due to younger vintages. Sales last year were 760,000 bottles last year in the UK, and sales are only set to rise. A wine that's worth keeping firmly in your line of sight, as it returns to the casual drinking market in a big way.
Innovation has rarely been a part of wine production, as the majority of sommeliers stick to the traditional methods of wine production. However, there is an increasing number of producers who are trying new and exciting ways of ageing their wine, with technology and science replacing old fashioned barrels and cellars. With new methods such as stainless steel or plastic vessels, all the way to roman inspired Amphorae being used in vineyards and wineries all across the country. Producers discover that new flavour profiles can be achieved through different ageing techniques, and it’s fascinating to watch them discover what can be done. Expect interesting new independant vineyards appearing across the world, each with own unique take on ageing.
While traditionally only drunk to celebrate, Wine outlets are finding that its sales are staying fairly consistent throughout the year, with millennial's being the biggest drinkers. Bubbly sales were up nearly 56% over the past 10 years, with sparkling Rosé seeing the most gains in sales. The diversification of the sparkling wine market has been its greatest strength experts think, as lower cost alternatives to champagne line supermarket shelves and tempt in more budget conscious revelers.
While in the past Rosé has been derided as wine for people who don't like wine, it is now seeing a massive jump in numbers of drinkers. In fact, it has become one of the most instagrammable drinks, with over 3 million pictures tagged #rosé on the platform. Aldi sold over 13 million bottles last year, and M&S report that it outsold prosecco for the first time. Rosé is showing no signs of slowing down, and the instagram kings and queens of the world will likely continue to post glowing square pictures of the pink stuff for a long time to come.
No Alcohol Alternatives
Low and no alcohol alternatives to wine are more than just grape juice. With an increasing number of drinkers opting for alcohol free alternatives and the ever growing ‘designated driver’ movement, the no and low wine sector saw an incredible rise of 66% last year, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down!
Oddly, orange wines aren’t actually made with oranges, but instead through the fermenting of mashed white grapes with the seeds and skins still attached. This dry, full bodied wine requires an acquired taste, but it’s on the rise with wine drinkers. Experts expect orange wines to take off quickly, as it pairs beautifully with spicy food and curry.
Sherry is on the rise, and experts reckon growth will see an 18% rise in 2021. An old style of fortified wine, sherry was very popular in the UK for hundreds of years, and it’s once again returning to the limelight. Drinkers are finding it makes wonderful cocktails as well, as it mixes beautifully with spirits and other sweet fruit juices.
Wine is one of the oldest forms of alcoholic drink, and its numbers are not to be balked at. Wine is a stalwart of the industry, and more and more trends are surfacing as it’s popularity continues to rise.