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Friday, January 29, 2010

Andrew Stovers Wine Trends for 2010

Wine Trends for 2010

Say goodbye to that dreary 2009…and hopefully you kicked back some bubbles on New Year’s Eve.

Welcome to the next decade and an exciting decade it shall be. Sometime between 2010 and 2012, the United States will become the world’s largest wine consuming nation, surpassing France. For the last half-century the baby boomers have dominated our consumer world, including wine, with their immense marketing clout. It's time for the Boomers to get out of the way. The Echo Boomers also known as Generation Y or Millennials are taking over. Born between 1979 and 1994, at 70-plus million they rival the size of the baby boomer generation but they have taken to wine at a much earlier age. According to The Wine Council, between 2003 and 2007 Gen Y accounted for 46 percent of the growth in the American wine industry.

A few trends to watch:

Bubbles—this is an exciting trend as sparkling wine sees an uptick in sales here in the United States. Bubbly is no longer seen as just a special occasion wine and many consumers are finding out how versatile bubbly can be with various foods. And with so many value-priced sparklers on the market (remember last month’s grocery store tasting), bubbly is no longer seen as a luxury.

Malbec—will continue to be a hot commodity, especially from Argentina. But expect to see domestic Malbecs rise to the occasion especially from California and Washington State.

Local Local Local—its been a movement for years, but the trend will continue with more local/regional wineries churning out better and better wines. Even the largest wine competition in American saw some daunting numbers recently as the San Francisco Chronicle wine competition featured wines from 23 states. Three gold medals were awarded to wines from….NEW JERSEY!

Value—Value priced wines in the under $20 category will continue to dominate as consumers pull back spending on large ticket wines.

Lower Alcohol—Yes indeed, there is trend toward lower alcohol levels and more judicious use of oak to create more food friendly, versatile wines.