2018 has been an intriguing year for trends in wine. While traditional varietals continue to hold a significant presence on the market, recent patterns have shown shifts in the wine market. Consumers have shown an increasing interest in unique wine packaging, a willingness to branch out and try international wines, and a higher preference for rosé and sparkling wines other than traditional champagne. Although we still have almost a full quarter of the year remaining to continue to observe new wine trends, below is a list of eight of the most popular trends that we’ve seen so far in 2018.
1. Natural Wine
Natural wines have emerged as a result of trends in the food industry to use only natural, organic, and local ingredients while preparing products. Winemakers produce natural wines using organic farming methods without pesticides. These wines ferment in the wine cellar, and they are exposed to natural air without adding or removing additional ingredients or preservatives. These wines use natives yeasts and typically do not incorporate sulfites as part of the fermentation process. As a result, when these wines finish fermenting, they present a distinct flavor profile that some describe as sour, yeasty, or even gamey. Also, when poured, these wines may possess a cloudier, unfiltered appearance. Some have compared the flavor profile of natural wines as similar to that of sour beer or even kombucha.
2. Canned Wine
2018 has seen interesting changes in wine packaging, including a preference for distributing wine in a can. Canning wine instead of bottling it significantly reduces packaging costs, which is also a major benefit for the environment. Canned wines are especially enticing for eco-friendly consumers. Plus, they taste better than expected too.
Furthermore, Canned wine contains a smaller volume than bottled wine. This means that it’s perfect for occasions where you would prefer to have just a glass or two instead of a full bottle. When you drink wine from a can, you can share a glass with a partner or a friend or limit your intake to just two glasses. When you drink wine from a can, you don’t have to worry about over-imbibing. Also, you don’t have to worry about seeking additional methods to conserve your opened wine, putting it at risk for becoming over-oxygenated.
3. Trendy, Interactive Packaging
Whether you are drinking from a bottle, a can, or a box, many vineyards are stepping up their game in terms of using appealing wine labels, interactive packaging, and even novelty corks. A growing number of wine labels invite even further interactivity with their packaging through smartphone apps. The Living Wine Labels app uses the camera of a smartphone to scan compatible wine labels to generate an augmented reality image on the screen of a compatible device.
Australia’s 19 Crimes wines are a paramount example of innovative packaging features. The wines feature smartphone-activated living labels that display the faces of Australia’s original colonists, who were exiled from England. When used with the smartphone app, the labels virtually come alive. Their faces become animated and each face speaks about the unique history surrounding his or her exile from England. 19 Crimes wines also feature randomly distributed corks, each of which contains a verbatim phrase representative of one of the original crimes that resulted in exile to Australia.
4. Wine on Tap
Wine on tap is an increasingly popular method of serving wine more likely to be found in wine bars and restaurants. Similar to canned wine, wine on tap is an environmentally-friendly method of serving wine in bulk. When restaurants and bars serve wine from a tap, it is guaranteed to maintain its freshness, and you will not have to worry about receiving a glass of wine that comes from the bottom of a bottle or that is leftover from the previous day. Kegs of wine are 96% more environmentally sustainable than bottled wine. Kegged wines reduce packaging costs significantly. In effect, this means a reduction of trash and accumulation in landfills over time.
5. Wines from China
Some will contend that China is not yet prepared to enter a market already dominated by top vineyards from France, Italy, Australia, or Argentina. However, an increasing interest in Chinese wineries indicates that wines from China will continue to maintain a presence on the wine market, especially for those seeking to diversify their wine palates.
The Yantai wine region in China is one of the nation’s most prominent wine regions. Changyu Pioneers and Great Wall, two of China’s most reputable wineries, reside here. These wineries have recently received trademark protection, helping to bolster the production of local wines within the region. Though China still has plenty of room for growth in the international wine market, the nation is known for exporting many popular red wines and blends in addition to unique fruit wines like those produced using mandarins and oranges.
6. Rosé Wines
Rosés are a wine category rising in international popularity for their unique blend of flavor profiles. These wines are formed as a byproduct of making red wine, and they can also be produced as experimental blends that use remainders of excess red and white wines.
Because of their unique combination of red and white tasting notes, rosé wines can present both the light burst of freshness associated with traditional white wines in addition to the unique depth of flavor characteristic of traditional reds.
South Africa, in particular, is capitalizing on the market for exporting premium tasting rosé wines. These wines treat the palate to a burst of floral and citrus flavors, hitting the back of the mouth with longer-lasting savory flavors that are perfect for any occasion.
7. Diversified Sparkling Wine
Gone are the days of Champagne’s dominance as the premier sparkling wine. Trends have shown that consumers continue to diversify their preferences for sparkling wines based on their desired flavor profiles.
Prosecco, for instance, is an Italian sparkling wine that continues to rise in popularity for its affordability and drier, crisper, sweeter tasting notes when compared to Champagne. Brut and Ultra Brut sparkling wines have continued to rise in fame as well. These wines are among the driest sparkling wines available. What makes Brut and Ultra Brut sparkling wines unique is that they feature no perceivable amounts of sweetness because they are made without using sugar as an additive.
8. Mail-Delivery Wine Clubs
The Connoisseurs Wine Club is happy to be part of the movement of mail-delivery wine clubs rising in international acclaim. Many wine enthusiasts find themselves stuck in a rut, afraid of taking risks and always picking up the same wine from their local vendors. Wine clubs provide their members with an ongoing shipment of premier international wines at bargain prices.
Delivery wine services allow their members to continue to expand their palates by branching out and trying wines from internationally-acclaimed and prize-worthy small vineyards. In addition to sending wine directly to a customer’s doorstep, mail-delivery wine clubs like The Connoisseurs Wine Club offer additional services and incentives.
For instance, The Connoisseurs Wine Club prepares each shipment with tasting notes and suggestions for food pairings. The Connoisseurs Wine Club even encourages its customers to share their experiences with friends and family in order to share the love of wine with others and to promote new membership. In the Connoisseurs Wine Club, any member who recommends and maintains three active members as part of the wine club each month receives that month’s wine for free.
By ordering wine by mail, you can be assured that you will receive a constant supply of delectable wines each month. Your membership will help you to expand your palate and sample some of the best wines from acclaimed international vineyards and those produced by smaller, artisanal winemakers. These services will help you find some of the best wines available worldwide and get you excited every month for each new shipment that arrives directly to your doorstep.