At the beginning of the year, industry experts and wine enthusiasts have weighed in on what they think are the top trends in the wine industry. But here at WINEDEPOT, we also love hearing from regular people who simply just enjoy drinking good wine.
Last month, we posted on our social media accounts asking our followers to share wine trends they are currently seeing. So today, as we approach the middle of the year, we’re looking at interesting trends raised by our engaged fans.
For years, screw caps have gotten a bad rap, especially among wine snobs and traditionalists. They were usually associated with cheap and low-quality wines. Corks were hailed supreme because of the charming and romantic appeal they add to the drinking experience. They are also known to allow wines to “breathe” and age better through oxygen ingress.
However, experts have found very little difference in taste and aroma between cork and screw cap bottles. Plus, unless 100% pure cork is used, spoilage or cork taint occurs often in wines which renders bottles undesirable and negatively affects wineries’ production and revenues.
Today, vintners focus more on the quality of wine instead of wine closures. In fact, the majority of Australian and New Zealand wine brands, including premium and higher-price point ones, have converted to screw caps and consumers are loving them for their convenience and affordability.
Wine brands are indeed discovering the huge influence wine labels have on consumers’ shopping behaviour. Design plays an important role in capturing people’s attention, especially in a cramped bottle shop.
Labels set apart $100 bottles from $10 wines. They also provide winemakers with a space to share their unique story. While some prefer bold and modern designs, older wine companies find success in returning to their roots and using old labels to inspire new ones.
Shoppers expect to see a broad range of information— from the ingredients, winemaking process to the vintner’s history—on a bottle. But how do you fit everything on a small piece of paper? Some have turned into technology including augmented reality.
A quick Google search reveals that in 2018-2019, a few wine blogs were still making a case for half bottle wines but weren’t sure if the trend was ever going to catch on. Fast-forward to 2020, the 375ml bottles are growing in popularity and the market is asking for more.
The small-format bottles are usually preferred by people who don’t want to consume an entire bottle in one night, wine drinkers who prefer to sample different varieties instead of sticking to one and even by wineries who are transitioning to virtual tastings.
However, though smaller in size, these bottles don’t necessarily mean low in price. Half-bottle wines have the same, if not more, costs when it comes to production, delivery, and logistics as their bigger counterparts. Demand will need to be significantly higher for sales to outweigh the costs and risks and for wineries to cash in on profits.
A recent study by the ISWR reveals that demand for low or no alcohol beers and spirits are increasing significantly in markets such as the UK and the US.
Though not rising as fast as the other categories, no alcohol wines are slowly yet steadily catching up, with Germany, France, and the UK as the biggest global consumers. Meanwhile, Australia’s consumption of booze-free wines is expected to grow from 0.4% in 2018 to 18% in 2023 and the industry is already seeing a high intent to purchase from consumers.
Driven by the younger market’s preference for healthier options and sober lifestyle, low and no alcohol wines create both an opportunity and challenge to the wine industry. The growing demand allows winemakers to offer a new breadth of products to address a gap in the market and forces them to look for ways to maintain their wines’ quality and flavour.
Trends come and go and wine experts and enthusiasts will always have their own predictions. But if your consumer base is telling you this is what you want and it matches your brand, that’s enough for consideration!