In 2019, the number of millennials looks to continue to outstrip the previous generation as wine drinkers. The age of the average wine drinker has an impact on the coming wine trends for this year.
In this article, I will outline just a few of the wine trends you’ll want to keep on your radar.
International Wine Becomes More Popular
In the age of globalization and niche marketing, this probably isn’t a surprise. More and more millennials want to experience everything the world has to offer. From their taste in clothes to work and study destinations, and yes, wine as well. There are a growing interest in French, Italian, and New Zealand wines. Australian wines are also increasing in popularity. The Chinese wine industry is expected to rise by over one third to $23 billion over the next five years when it will reach a volume of 192 million cases.
Judging a Bottle By Its Label
This year, appearance is everything, and there are no signs of it slowing down. An eye-catching bottle design, color, label or logo, has been shown to sell better. Better than what, you ask. Well, even more than classic brands with a reputation to back them! It appears the younger generation is more interested in trying new, exciting brands rather than old school classics.
But Wait…We’re Still Rediscovering the Classics
Bordeaux wines have recently made a comeback (yay!), thanks to more affordable prices. There has also been a concentrated effort to make them more accessible to consumers, largely by Château Les Carmes Haut-Brion. Whether this encourages the new generation of wine drinkers to revisit other classics or encourages rebranding, is yet to be seen. Either way, it’s sure to stir up some new trends in regards to classic wine.
Cracking Open a New Kind of Cold One
Obviously, wine has typically been packaged in bottles, and occasionally boxes. Boxes have tended to signify a lesser quality of vino. Surprisingly, however, canned wine is on the rise, thanks to millennial drinking. Popular brands are jumping on this trend, and even restaurants have begun stocking canned wines, to offer an affordable, eclectic option for their wine list. With a 43% increase in sales in June of last year, this wine trend is expected to rise.
The Wine Slushie Taps Into The Playful Side
Over the years, I’ve seen many wine trends come and go. Wine flavored ice cream didn’t have much of a shelf life (thankfully). In keeping with the spirit of novelty and fun, comes the wine slushy. It may also be lowkey, a way to make wine more accessible. Regardless, the wine slushy has become a huge hit at cocktail bars and even restaurants. I get it though! It’s fun, delicious, and the perfect way to cool down or let loose after a long day or a great meal.
Staying In Rather Than Going Out
Whether it’s because of student loan debt or simply a more frugal nature, millennials are staying at home. This trend may have an impact on the restaurant business, but it doesn’t seem to be impacting the sale of wine. It’s just a matter of buying or ordering a bottle for your next get together or “girls night in.” Really, what’s better than relaxing in the comfort of your own home with a great game or movie and people you love? Restaurant wine menus are a long way from being a thing of the past, but the new popularity of drinking it more often at home will likely change market selling tactics in the future.
Is the Vegan Wine Trend Here to Stay?
Veganism is having its own impact on the wine industry. Some brands have branched out to vegan wines to meet the growing preference. Traditionally, agents such as casein (dairy protein), albumin (egg whites), gelatin (animal protein), and even isinglass (fish bladder protein) are used. However, more options have become increasingly available to vegetarians and vegan. Bentonite and activated charcoal are two vegan-friendly, clay-based refining agents on the rise.
Trends in any industry can be difficult to predict. As millennial wine drinkers continue to outstrip baby boomers, this is having a huge impact on the wine market. International wines have become more popular, at the expense of American brands. Classic brands are catering to a younger demographic and wine slushies and canned wine are all the rage. The spending habits of the current generation of wine drinkers have clearly made its impact on the market. We look forward to seeing how these trends evolve over the new year.