2017 Predictions for the Wine World

What are your predictions for the wine world in the year ahead? We've been talking about this on social media, but I wanted to bring the conversation here as well since people have such interesting ideas on the subject. If you need some inspiration, Jon Bonné offered his take on PUNCH earlier this month.

Which regions will grow in popularity? Which grapes will be "discovered"? What will be the restaurant trends? How might wine lists change? What will become less popular or hip than it was in 2016? What will people be talking about the most within the industry?

Share your thoughts here!

  • For anyone who has been to one of my Greek wine masterclasses and snickered when I tried to tell you how AMAZING Kechris' Tear of the Pine Retsina is, I give you: Eric Asimov talking about how amazing retsina is. In other news, anything and everything is possible. 

    My prediction for 2017: sommeliers will have children that grow up to be sommeliers, and they will drink 16.5% abv Cabernet and talk about how boring their parents were for drinking Trousseau, and how they couldn't possibly be seen drinking anything over 6.5 TA.

  • The terms "new world" and "old world" will become increasingly irrelevant in sommelier education.
  • 1. Rose continues to grow to the point of having a rose BTG is a requirement for all restaurants that serve wine ( I work in a smaller market and although Rose is big off premise it hasn't spilled over into all of the on premise yet....)

    2. Port becomes the new craze for Moscato drinkers who realize they can get something sweet with higher alcohol if they so choose, presenting more bang for their buck. Thus, helping us sleep better at night since selling someone Porto Kopke LBV 2011 is much more satisfying than selling someone Earl Stevens Moscato.

    3. Somms everywhere unite as one and sell more Txakoli than ever before, sighting that demonstrating how to use a Porron as reason for easy sales.

    Ok so 3 is a pipe dream of mine, but I do think that 1 and 2 are possible as we see things trending in that direction!
  • In reply to Geoff Kruth:

    Can you please expand on this? I think it is interesting and am curious how/why you think it will happen.
  • In reply to Keith Spreckels Jr.:

    The terms "old world" and "new world" can be helpful in understanding the differences in history and regulation but are more misleading than not regarding the flavor profile of a specific wine. You can pick early and have brett in a wine in the "new world" or pick late and oak up a wine from the "old world."

    Yes, there are more cool climates in the old world and more warm climates in the new world but that is a pretty big generalization and this quickly falls apart when you look at things more closely; same thing goes for wine making.
  • I had put up a few a couple of days back. Would naturally love to hear feedback, especially from people who might not agree as I did this mostly as an exercise in watching wine trends.

    The "Peak Somm" item I already got called out on as that depends a great deal upon which country you're talking about. Folks in the UK said they were actually in the midst of a "Somm Drought" which is indeed true as at the CMS exams in Europe, the UK isn't highly represented.

  • In reply to Geoff Kruth:

    I actually think a good project for the Guild and us, the members, would be to work on terminology that could replace "old world/new world," because I agree with Geoff, the distinction as it relates to the actual taste of the wine seems pretty malleable.
  • In reply to Geoff Kruth:

    Thanks a lot! Point well taken. Appreciate the response!
  • Natural Wine finally begets a government definition, and annoys a whole lot of people who think "it's a gimmick to trick people into drinking flawed wine".
  • Predictions for 2017... Old Vines become the requirement of the I-know-just-as-much-as-my-sommelier consumer, we still try to educate people lacking interest in the amazing world of sherry, Spanish wine stops being seen as cheap bulk wine, Australia has a moment with non Shiraz reds, and everyone tries again with wine clubs.
  • Wine Business Math and sales concepts will become increasingly important and talked about more in depth in the community. Australia will come out from under the giant rock, China will make some headway, English fizz will come to our shores and into our glasses more frequently, Germany explodes for Pinot Noir.
  • In reply to Clément Cariot:

     I'm curious how you would define natural wine legally? I know France is looking at this but it's very controversial. I'd be surprised to see the US government tackle this.

    I'm admittedly in the "it's a gimmick to trick people into drinking flawed wine" camp—not my words—but I'm asking the question with total seriousness.

  • In reply to Geoff Kruth:

    I'm surprised Matt wasn't the one to reply to that first.
    I agree, the US gov. probably won't come out with any definitions, there would be too much lobby-ism against that. Personally I'm not sure, something to do with additives I imagine. From what I understand about the trend that seems to be the recurring theme, no "intervention" (chemically) in the winery. Shouldn't be very complicated.
    By the way my stand on the issue is this: I don't care how you do it, but your wine better not be flawed or i'll send it back.

  • In reply to Geoff Kruth:

    , in typical bureaucratic fashion, they would define it by some arbitrary criteria (like "organic" wine labeling in US). I'm thinking maybe a measurement of V.A. might be the most logical one could hope for. I predict that that the general public and average consumer will continue to not care about "natural" wine and there will continue to be much hand-wringing among the wine literati about the subject.

  • I think right bank Bordeaux and smaller satellite appellations will resonate more and more with the new generation of somms. Price, demand, and supply will start to catch up with the romance and historical attachement of left bank Bordeaux for the new waves of Bordeaux drinkers. 2017 is the year somms will start getting synical about the importance and relevance of Bordeaux wines (specially left bank) in the hospitality market. This in addition with the expansion and exposure of new up coming regions might start pushing Bordeaux to the bottom of the list. As A Bordeaux lover and huge French wine advocate I hope I'm wrong, but I see this everyday in the LA market. Esoteric wines are becoming more and more popular amongst 'us' the facilitators!!