With 2021 finally in the rear view mirror, it is time to look forward to the wine trends of 2022.
There are a few key themes expected to dominate in 2022. For example, in our mid-Covid world, the skills we’ve developed for finding and buying wine remotely are now reaching a high level of refinement. That is great news for the online retailers who have polished their web site AND their product selections as they draw customers away from those sites offering a less than ideal experience. Another trend is consumer demand shifting from high-end, in-restaurant wine purchases to a more broadly distributed array of wines at a more “drink on Tuesdays” kind of price. Supply chain issues and the resulting price inflation for flagship wine names presents an opportunity for small, local wineries to attract and keep a new following.
Two segments of the wine galaxy are especially benefiting this year: natural wines and sparkling wines. Natural wines suffer from a lack of clear definition, but in general a natural wine is produced using simple/historic methods and may (or may not) be made from grapes free from pesticides and herbicides. A bit of research is recommended if you are venturing into this area for the first time to be sure about what is really in the bottle. More familiar is the segment of sparkling wine. Quite a few grape varietals are now offered as a sparkling. Prosecco in particular has been enjoying marketplace gains, growing market share by nearly 5%. Enjoying continued growth, this is expected to be the year that sparkling wine consumption will exceed that of traditional beer!
Another wine segment enjoying new prominence is rosé. Not just for pool parties any more, many varietals are now being offered in a rosé treatment adjacent to their regular full bodies red offering and enjoying strong sales all year long. Ready to stretch your wine horizons a bit beyond rosé? Try an orange wine! Yes, orange. Grapes that would normally produce a perfectly lovely white wine can be treated to extended skin contact during the fermenting process, resulting an a wine that is unmistakably orange. This segment has shown great acceptance internationally and is expected to explode in the U.S. this year.
Another trend worth watching is a growing focus on sustainability. Although this is difficult to define, there are some emerging strategies. The excessively heavy bottles that have traditionally been associated with premium wines are a real burden to ship without adding to the quality of the inside. Expect to see a lot of marketing to highlight how wineries are changing their approach to winemaking to reduce their carbon footprint. Some of this is just marketing fluff, of course, but we can all benefit from reduced shipping costs and a bit more space in our wine fridge.
So do any of these trends resonate with your wine goals for 2022? Whatever direction your wine takes you, cheers to a happy and healthy 2022!
About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?