Top Wine Trends for 2014
We love wine: We drank more last year for the 19th year in a row -- up 2 percent to 360 million 12-bottle cases, according to wine consultants Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates.
Wine consumption in the United States has been on a steady rise for the 14th consecutive year in 2007. Each wine drinker in America consumes around 2.77 gallons of wine per year according to data collected by the Wine Market Council, a wine analyst group from California.
Late in 2013, a report from Morgan Stanley analysts in Australia made a bold claim: the world is running short on wine. Although wine industry experts and insiders around the world disputed the claim, the meme gathered steam in the media, and, for a few weeks at least, lots of people who wouldn't normally talk about wine were discussing the shortage and picking up bottles. That may have played a part in pushing wine sales higher in the U.S., the world’s largest wine market. If figures show that wine sales increased in 2013, it would be the twentieth consecutive year of increasing per-capita consumption. Indeed, interest in wine remains high, and growing – even economic downturns haven’t derailed the wine train in America. But threats loom, foremost among them craft beer and cocktails. The rising quality of craft beer, often at a lower price than wine, and the rising interest in mixology and flavored vodkas (cinnabon flavor, anyone?) could peel off marginal wine drinkers. Younger drinkers, though, are ecumenical and often like to sample a variety of drinks.
Meet the Super-Somms!
A decade ago, critics bestrode the wine world, swirling wines, spitting out points, and moving markets. Today, a placement on a top wine list can be a bigger boost for sales. Sommeliers, particularly in America, are the new influencers.
The Rise of Social Media
Wineries have, on the whole, been reluctant and late adoptors of social media. But 2013 has demonstrated that Twitter sells. Take, for example, Richard Betts’ "scratch and sniff" wine book, which skyrocketed to number 10 on the New York Times bestseller list thanks to promotion on Twitter. Or Beyoncé’s surprise year-end album. The album's launch was announced via social media on the day it was released and shot to the top of the charts within hours.
Many producers have been all thumbs when it comes to social media but will start putting their digits to better use on their smartphones. Some of that will involve better tracking and engagement on social media; others could implement geolocation such as “geofencing” from VinTank, which helps wineries track the locations of mailing list customers visiting wineries nearby (with their consent).
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