The Top Wine Trends of 2016

In 2016, the more traditional ways of producing and drinking wine is shifting into the modern age. The new generation of wine consumers is highly impacted by technology, climate change and global consciousness. Four major trends in wine will be prevalent in the coming year.

Impact of Technology:
The use of wine related apps for the phone and tablet will become increasingly popular as they provide on-the-go expertise in types and brands of wine, price and availability within one’s area and advice for pairing wine with a meal. It’s like having a personal sommelier in one’s back pocket. Technology for serving wine is also available now, like the Coravin, a practically magical device that allows for the pouring of a glass of wine without ever uncorking the bottle. The gadget uses pressurized argon and a specialized non-coring needle to access wine from the bottle, which means that each glass of wine can be enjoyed without any loss of flavor.

Impact of Climate Change:
Climate change means a shift in the average temperatures of areas around the world. Southern England’s average temperatures are warming up as are those in Italy. These warmer temperatures Italy will soon overtake France as the world’s largest wine producer due to the ideal growing conditions which have led to record grape harvests across Italy, according to Bloomberg Business. We will also see more offerings of natural wines, such as those offered by Four Horsemen, as well as many more Pétillant-naturel wines. Shortened to Pet-Nat, this refers to any sparkling wine made in the méthode ancestrale, meaning the wine is bottled before primary fermentation is finished without adding secondary yeasts or sugars.

How We Enjoy Wine:
With the introduction of wine trucks, veritable pop-up tasting rooms on wheels, and wineries stepping up their tours, tastings and overnight accommodations, wine has become the hottest thing on the vacation planning hit-list. We are also seeing an increase in wine-related events, such as wine and painting for the girl’s night out and charity fund-raisers revolving around wine, such as Evanston’s Charity Wine Walk hosted by the Chicago Dempster Merchants Association and Vinic Wine which is in its second year according to an article in the Chicago Tribune.

Shift in What’s Popular and Why:
People’s tastes are changing. They are looking for more flavor and lower cost as well as healthier wines that are rich in antioxidants. Syrah/Shiraz will likely replace Cabernet Sauvignon on shelves and, according to Forbes, red blends such as those with Cab Franc in them will become increasingly popular. Wines that offer good value, good taste, artistic labels and a good backstory will sell best. No longer is the emphasis on brand or exclusivity. Also, wines with lower alcohol content are becoming more popular as they allow one to enjoy more wine with less after effect. People today want to experience the wine itself.