It’s not always possible to accurately predict the future for any business sector, and the wine industry is no exception. However, as we enter 2020, there are a number of likely changes to the industry. These include changing consumer tastes and demands, as well as wider economic and political issues affecting the market.
Look out for these nine wine trends for 2020
1. Fusing rosé and Prosecco
These two hugely popular trends are looking set to come together in 2020. In Italy, wine producers have been attempting to get official approval for Prosecco rosé for a number of years. And in the Bibendum wine trends 2020 report, the UK supplier predicts that the first shipment could reach the shelves before the end of the year.
Wine producers looking to take advantage of this new trend would have to use up to 15% Pinot Noir with Glera grapes to make official Prosecco DOC rosé.
2. Rosé continues its ‘serious wine’ trend
Rosé has been gaining traction as a serious wine for a while, and there will be continued exposure to high end versions. This is borne out by various high-profile acquisitions, including Moet Hennessey buying the maker of Whispering Angel rose (Chateua d’Esclans).
3. The rise in appassimento wines will continue
Sales of appassimento wines have doubled in the UK, according to major sellers such as Majestic Wines. These Italian wines are taking market share from previously popular Malbec easy drinkers.
Appassimento is a specific wine making technique used mostly in traditional Italian regions. The grapes are dried before fermentation takes place, leading to wines with concentrated, rich flavours.
4. Austrian wines are becoming more popular
Bibendum’s report also highlights indigenous Austrian grapes becoming more popular. These include Saint Laurent, Zweigelt and Blaufrankisch.
5. Vegan wines continue to grow as a new sector
Many wine sellers are increasing the number of vegan products, due to growing consumer demand. Expect to see more wines labelled vegan during 2020, following the growth of the market in 2019.
6. Natural wines will go mainstream
While it’s not easy to get official figures on natural wines, as there is no one definition, there is a definite shift to sulphite-free wines. This part of the wine industry continues to divide wine lovers and wine makers and remains a small sector. However, it’s likely to continue to gain exposure and consumers can expect to see more ‘natural’ labelling used by wine retailers and in restaurants during 2020.
7. Changes in the fine wine market
Fine wine continues to be a fascinating part of the industry, for consumers and collectors alike. During the 2010s there was a distinct shift in the market as wine collectors began reaching out to a wider range of regions. This led to an increase in specialist fine wine retailers, including Ideal Wine. And while some analysts suggest that the fine wine market could slide slightly, collectors should be on the lookout for a resurgence for Bordeaux 2010.
8. Economic and political changes
These factors affect the fine wine market as tariffs and trade wars are ongoing. However, it also affects the accessibility of wine to consumers in general terms. For example, following the UK’s exit from the EU on 31 January 2020, trade negotiations will begin. This could lead to changes in the value of the pound versus the Euro, and if the UK and EU cannot agree new trade agreements, then a ‘no deal’ Brexit is back on the table.
Over in the US, the president is entering the election year. Recent US tariffs on wine still stand, and it’s unclear as to whether these will be rescinded or increased. US officials plan to agree on raising tariffs by the end of January across a number of wines from the EU, including Barolo and Champagne.
9. The biggest threat of all – climate change
In 2019, Spanish wine producer Miguel Torres urged the world’s wine industry to work faster to combat climate change. Having set up a thinktank in 2011, Torres told Decanter that just 20 wine producers in Spain had joined. There have been a number of reports during 2019 showing the likely effects of the continuing threat of climate change on wine producing regions.
This is, of course, a long-term issue, but we can expect to see more conversation, more research and more changes within the global wine industry to respond to climate change in 2020.