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Friday, August 16, 2013

Wine Trends

What's trending in the American wine market? There are often reports of the Latest Big Thing, but you need the perspective of a few years to really see the trends.


Wine sales dipped a bit early in the recession, but picked right back up to where California is seeing record sales. American wine wasn't really hurt by the bad economy or by cheap imports.

What You Drink

Chardonnay has long been #1 and is about one-fifth of American wine sales. A lot of press has been spent on Pinot Noir, Muscat, and sweet red wines, but they are only a small percentage of the market. Sparkling wine sales are growing, also.

How You Drink It

Screw caps are finally catching on. Good wine can be found in boxes, not just bottles, but not very many. Tradition dies hard with corks and glass bottles though neither is required for a good quality wine.

How the Wine is Made

"Natural wines" got a lot of media buzz for awhile and no one seemed to care. Wineries are going organic and sustainably farmed without a lot of PR. Only the folks using biodynamic practices seem to want to show off what they're doing. Perhaps they're just looking for acceptance for some of the wacky things they do.


There has been much noise made about social media. There's some truth to the notion of more people getting their wine opinions from other consumers online rather than relying on print magazines, but the influence of The Wine Spectator, et al hasn't gone away as was predicted. Some wineries thought all you needed was a good online presence to sell your wine. Well, no, it's just another outlet.