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By: Spiros Malandrakis

  • Lighter, transparent, casual and in the mix: Still Wine Moving On: Initiatives favouring moderation in terms of abv content and questioning the gospel of oak maturation, launches reassessing the decades long myopic scoffing of sweeter styles , a progressive inclusiveness of experimentation and mixers and a hesitant embrace of convenience and the category’s side-lined casual nature will be the key themes in the short to medium term. The catalyst will be the proliferation and expansion of the social media universe democratising the reviewing, comparing and buying processes. From flavoured wines to Wine Raves and from smartphone apps to radical packaging designs, a belated New Dawn for still light grape wine is now upon us. The epicentre for growth will shift back towards the US as the Chinese macro and legislative headwinds take their toll.

  • Behind the bubbles: While Champagne remains largely caught in a spiral of navel gazing, other Sparkling wines will retain their enviable trajectory under the ever heavier shadow of Prosecco and –to a lesser extent- Cava. As biodynamic and organic offerings, small independent producers and local vineyard expressions will spearheaded Champagne’s attempt to turn the macroeconomic tide and its positioning deficit, unpretentious, affordable and casual other sparkling wines will remain more approachable and hence relevant to a younger demographic. The speed in which Asian palates are actually evolving- sparkling wines are yet to secure a loyal audience in the region- will remain the key question in the short to medium term.
  • Leftfield opportunities: Beyond the usual suspects of still light grape and sparkling wines, niche segments will increasingly steal the limelight as the cyclical demand for nostalgia-tinged offerings shows no sign of abating. Port – buoyed by higher end variants, hip retro kudos, expanding geographical clout and a hesitant embrace of the roaring cocktail culture- and mead- not strictly belonging to the wine category but relevant nevertheless and already quietly reaching critical mass in the US – will be segments to watch out for.

 

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