Type ‘next big thing in wine’ into your search engine and you definitely won’t be disappointed with the quantity of the results, but perhaps not so much the quality. It’s incredibly easy to parrot a new trend as ‘the next big thing’ but a little bit harder to get said trend to catch on and capture the imagination of the wine-drinking public. Last year we had ‘blue’ wine and orange wine, neither of which I’ve seen much mention of recently, but we can all agree the thirst for Prosecco has been very real. So, how can you tell a realistic trend from something designed to get a bit of press attention and not much else? I’ve taken a not-very-scientific look at some patterns and divided them into four categories in order to get to the bottom of this question…
Re-Inventing an Oldie
Every now and again someone comes along and tries to put a new spin on a classic, claiming all the young folk will be drinking it in the coming months. It can be argued that the Prosecco trend fell into this category (it was around long before supermarkets started selling out), and a more recent example of something being touted along these lines is sherry. So, do they always catch on? This depends on how you would categorise ‘catching on’ – Prosecco has been successful across the board, but I’m not sure sherry can ever have the same sort of appeal. It will always be revered amongst wine lovers, of course, but perhaps the ‘next big thing’ label is stretching it.
A Different Approach to a Familiar Name
Some grapes will never go out of fashion, but as well as consuming them in the way we always have done, we all look for new ways to cultivate and present them. Pinot Noir has its classic home in Burgundy and it’s established New World residences in New Zealand and Oregon, but there’s a been a lot of noise recently about the success of South African Pinot Noir. Whether it will reach the heights of the other countries and regions is yet to be seen, but there’s no denying South African regions have a great track record, so the outlook is positive.
Of course, many of these aren’t ‘new’ wine countries at all. They’ve been cultivating vines for years, but acquired a ‘next big thing’ reputation once we started seeing them on the UK market. The most recent example has been Georgian wine, but wines from Peru and Uruguay have also started to make waves. Most of these countries probably won’t reach the heights of Australian wine sales, but it goes back to the question of how you define success – developing a small but loyal following in the short term is a success in itself.
Now, there are certain ‘next big things’ that gain a lot of press attention but don’t really amount to much when it comes to popularity. The ‘blue’ wine thing is a good example of this, but sometimes it can centre around the packaging or presentation of wine too. One such article that came up in that ‘next big thing’ internet search was talking up wine-in-a-can and I seem to remember wines in tetra paks getting a bit of attention a few years back. So, do they translate into sales? Well, those tetra paks didn’t really catch on and I haven’t seen too many blue bottles on the supermarket shelves, so I think it’s safe to say we can take most of them with a big pinch of salt.
Let’s face it, there aren’t too many wines or ways of selling wine that can really live up to ‘next big thing’ status. No matter how great something is, there might just be a bit too much choice available for it to achieve mass popularity. But then again, the next Prosecco might be just around the corner. We’ll let you know when it does…
***Grabbed from: https://www.rudewines.co.uk/blog/the-next-big-thing-in-wine/