With the warmer months upon us, and COVID-19 vaccines rolling out to people across the country, we’re hopeful that wine country will once again become a great place to hang out with family and friends.
As times change, the wine industry also has to adapt to those changes in order to stay relevant and continue to appeal to the younger generations. Young adults these days tend to have the view that wine is an old-person’s drink and not something that’s cool or hip within the working professional crowd, but trends this year take aim that just that.
Let’s take a look at some of the trends in the wine industry that you can expect to see in 2021 as the things slowly begin to get back to normal and people are once again able to socialize safely.
5 Exciting Wine Trends for 2021
1. Wine Seltzers
Over the last couple years one of the biggest breakthroughs in the alcohol market has come in the form of hard seltzers. They appeal to both men and women, young and old, and took the market by storm with the great taste and low calories. White Claw became the drink of the summer in 2019 and has spawned countless competitors.
Winemakers have certainly taken notice of the popularity of these hard seltzer drinks and have begun experimenting with their own version of them. Wine Seltzers combine wine, seltzer water, and natural flavors to create a drink that is slightly lower in alcohol (around 4%), more flavorful, and lighter than some of the hard seltzers on the market today. It’s the perfect blend of hard seltzer and wine that you’ll want to keep an eye on this year.
2. Wine Online / Virtual Wine Tastings
After COVID restricted most industries from functioning at full capacity, they had to get creative, and the wine industry was no different.
From virtual wine tastings online to enhanced online sales of wine, our industry had to pivot quickly in order to ensure that we could survive through these unprecedented times.
Moving into 2021, even though we’re hopeful that things will slowly return to “normal”, the online aspects of the wine industry that thrived during the pandemic will continue to trend upwards as we move through 2021.
It will become easier for you to buy wine online and have it delivered to your house, and virtual wine tastings will continue to be a great activity for all wine lovers.
3. Wine in Cans
For the hardcore wine drinker, nothing is ever going to replace a great glass bottle of wine, but for the more casual drinker, these canned wines are perfect.
Canned wine isn’t usually your high quality wines, but more of a fruity wine, sometimes with a mixer or flavor added, that can help appeal to the younger, on-the-go, crowd.
Canned wine has been growing in popularity over the last couple years and we expect 2021 to continue that trend.
4. Cannabis Infused Wines
With the legalization of medical and recreational cannabis throughout various states in the country, we’re beginning to see more products come to market that combine the flavors and ease of one product, with the affects found in cannabis.
When it comes to cannabis infused products, there are rules in place to prevent companies from “overdoing it”, which is why when cannabis with THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) is infused with wine, all of the alcohol must be removed from the product. This will help keep people safer and provide less of an intoxicating feeling that you get when combining alcohol and cannabis, but will still allow for that great wine taste to come through.
Remember, this product is only legal in states where medical/recreational cannabis is legal, and just like any cannabis edible product, it’s important to go slow until you’ve figured out your limits. Cannabis works differently than alcohol, so while you may be able to drink a few glasses of wine without feeling the affects of alcohol, your reaction to these cannabis infused wines may be very different.
5. Portugal as the Next Big Wine Region
Portugal has emerged as one of the next big wine regions in the world and for good reason. Their wines are excellent quality at a great price point. They pair very well with foods and offer a great variety of different wines for all palates.
Wine sales in Portugal rose about 35% in September 2020 alone, which makes them poised for a breakout 2021.
Sometimes wine trends are very predictable and sometimes something we think is going to be big one year, turns out to flop. Nobody could predict the boom of hard seltzers, but once they hit, they hit big. So keep an eye on the wine industry as we move into the spring/summer of 2021 and we’ll see if our wine trend predictions are right. And hopefully we can see all of your smiling faces at our tasting cellar this year as things begin to open back up and vaccines begin to roll out.