Summer is just around the corner, which means more weddings, parties, weekend getaways, and more time spent drinking wine overall. Here are the Top 5 Summer Wine Trends on everybody’s radar for 2019 and how you can incorporate these trends into your wine program today.
Don’t be surprised to hear your guests ask if their wine selection is vegan. It may come as a shock, but a lot of wines are not inherently vegan. While the wine itself doesn’t contain any meat or dairy products, agents derived from these products are often involved in the fining process to speed up production.
During this phase, a “fining agent” is added to the wine, which binds itself to unwanted substances such as tannins and proteins. This reaction creates larger molecules that settle to the bottom much faster than traditional methods. The most commonly used fining ingredients are Isinglass (from fish bladders), Gelatin (from boiled cow/pig parts), Egg whites, and Casein (animal milk protein). Vegan wines, in contrast, replace these animal product additives with clay or charcoal-based alternatives.
When fining is complete, the wine is filtered to separate it from the sediment layer at the bottom, which is why “fining agents” are never listed on the label of ingredients. Vegan wines have gained popularity as consumers become more concerned with additives and are more conscious of the winemaking process.
One type of wine that often uses little to no additives is orange wine, which has gained popularity over the last few years. Although orange wine has been around for centuries, dating as far back as 5,000 years to Caucasus (modern-day Georgia), it’s recently received more attention because it is believed to have a more natural process of production.
Orange wine is a bit of a misnomer because it’s not actually made from oranges. The wine is made from white grapes but has a much different flavor from regular white wine. The taste has been described as being “robust and bold, with honeyed aromas of jackfruit (a fleshy tropical fruit), hazelnut, brazil nut, bruised apple, wood varnish, linseed oil, juniper, sourdough, and dried orange rind” (WineFolly.com). The flavors in orange wines are very subtle when served chilled and open up as the wine gets warmer. Orange wines are best served at “around 55º F,” making it a great alternative to regular white wines this summer and a fun offering to pop in your WineStation for guests to sample.
Cannabis Infused Wine
If you’re looking for an even more fringe alternative to white wine this summer and you live in a legalized state, you can now try cannabis-infused wine.
Most of these wines are available as white wines like Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, but unlike regular white wines, these cannabis wines do not contain any alcohol. California Assembly Bill No. 2914 prohibits “a licensee from selling, offering, or providing a cannabis product that is an alcoholic beverage, including, but not limited to, an infusion of cannabis or cannabinoids derived from industrial hemp into an alcoholic beverage.” Cannabis wines have been described as having a taste reminiscent of white wine, but with the effects of marijuana.
Cannabis-infused wines are still a very new and very hazy industry, but as the stigma around marijuana has decreased, so has consumers’ apprehensions of trying such products.
Tech – Wine Apps
Buying wine can be tricky for newbies and connoisseurs alike. Finding a wine to go with your meal, trying to remember the name of the bottle from the night before – these are just a couple of challenges wine buyers face regularly, but these days when there’s a problem, there’s probably an app out there that can fix it.
Vivino makes wine buying easy by giving its users access to an expansive bank of wine information. Users scan wine labels to get details like ratings from experts and other users, prices, food pairings, and the nearest locations to buy. They can also order directly from their phone.
The app has become immensely popular since its inception in 2011, growing its user base from 12,000 to over 35 million and receiving 20,000 new members and 100,000 wine ratings per day. Referred to as the “Shazam of wines,” Vivino is now considered to be the best wine label-scanning app with “the largest wine library in the world.”
Tech – Self Service Wine Bars
Self-service wine bars are an emerging trend in the world of wine that allows for more considerable experimentation with unique varietals and offerings such as the summer wine trends mentioned above. Bars around the world are installing self-service machines, specifically Napa Technology’s WineStation® because of its ability to dispense precise and customizable pours, extend the life of an opened bottle, and provide valuable sales data and consumer insights.
Self-service wine machines like Napa Technology’s WineStation® enhances the overall customer experience by allowing patrons to choose what they want, when they want and encourages exploration. Customers can pour themselves a glass by using a special key card that grants them access. This allows the customer to explore new and different wines and provides staff the ability to shift their focus towards other customer needs and away from simply serving.
As a result, businesses are saving time, increasing profits, and gaining valuable data on their customers’ wine preferences. Discover your business’ very own microtrends and what does and doesn’t sell among your guests. Explore varietals and higher luxury wines that you’ve been too cautious to pour before having a self-serve preservation unit.
It’s also worth noting that consumers are hopping on this trend as well, installing Napa Technology’s WineStation® Cellar units in their homes. Could this be one of the top consumer trends next summer? As wine enthusiasts expand their collections, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see their investment into wine storage, and preservation grow as well.