Early last year we posted an article outlining what we believed would be the ‘big’ wine trends for 2016, what we wanted to focus on, the wines that were interesting us and how we saw the year panning out…but did we get it right?
Firstly we thought English Sparkling Wine would have it’s biggest year yet in 2016. So…in a few facts and figures….the UK exported more Sparkling Wines than ever in 2016 across 27 different countries worldwide, including to regions like Champagne. Retail sales at home in the UK of English Sparkling Wine have now hit around the £100 million mark…not bad at all. So verdict? I would say we got this one right!
Secondly we predicted that wine trends would start to move away from New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Argentinian Malbec as people looked for alternatives and began to experiment a bit more. Well…sales of both continued to rapidly rise in 2016. Us Brits bought around 63 million bottles of NZ Sauvignon Blanc and 27 million bottles of Argentinian Malbec combined UK sales of approximately £700 million. That is a serious amount of vino in any language! Verdict? We knew they’d still be the most popular wines but didn’t see growth on this scale coming!
Next we talked about the growing Organic and Natural wine sector, which we felt would start to really hit it’s stride in 2016. It was certainly a talking point in 2016, even if just from an experimental standpoint but we have seen a marked rise in wines named Natural, Orange, biodynamic or organically labelled. It seems like virtually every wine list now has at least one of these on there. Verdict? Well…it’s not clear from a facts and figures side specifically for wine but by all accounts it feels like this has picked up in 2016 and the UK now has it’s very first organic vineyard, so we’re putting this down as a win.
The continued popularity of Prosecco was another one of our predictions last year and sure enough, sales of this light fruity fizz continued to grow in 2016. Overall Sparkling Wine retail sales grew by nearly 16% in the UK market primarily driven by Prosecco. Verdict? Yep, we called it.
Last up we predicted that lower alcohol wines would start to make a splash in 2016. Certainly we have noticed that there has been many more wines specifically made with lower alcohol entering the market, with New Zealand leading the charge. It is not all just for branding though, lower alcohol wines are a great idea. These are not alcohol free or knocking around the 4% mark, they are proper wines, just with lower alcohol. Verdict…I’d say we saw this one coming.
So…all in all a result of 4/5 isn’t bad going. We are now looking forward to a great 2017 and will be watching wine trends develop with interest. Keep an eye out for our Slurp view of 2017 article and we hope you have had an enjoyable 2016 with plenty of top wines to boot!