Wine trends for 2018: More cans, boxes and kegs, for starters

Deb Lindsey For The Washington Post <caption> Canned wines are easier on the environment. </caption>

This is the time of year when wine writers, exhausted from writing holiday bottle and gift recommendations — and from consuming copious amounts of champagne during our research — slump forward and peer into our navels to predict trends for the coming year. This is half prediction, half wishful thinking. Here’s my take on what we can expect in 2018:

[ These 5 under-$20 wines can help take the chill off winter ]

Packaging: We can expect more wines in kegs, boxes and cans rather than the traditional bottles. Not that bottles will be tossed away, by any means. The alternatives are a small percentage of the market, but that percentage will continue to grow as better wines become available in these formats.

[The 12 best wine bargains of 2017 are cheap without tasting like it]

Kegs are ideal for restaurants and by-the-glass programs. They keep wine fresh, avoiding the “When was this bottle opened?” problem. They are ideal for carafes or half carafes, or the three-ounce taste instead of the six-ounce glass. Wineries and restaurants have been dancing a delicate Kabuki around supply vs. demand, but as better wines become available in convenient formats, we should be seeing more wine in kegs. Mid-level restaurants should be an ideal market for this format. Casual local restaurants or chains can offer better, fresher by-the-glass options without much additional cost, while offering a sustainable market for wineries with enough wine to offer in kegs.

[Read this before you drink wine from a can]

Cans and boxes are for consumers. Box wines still have a negative stigma as being cheap plonk. But if you have a favorite Cotes-du-Rhone you regularly buy as your house red at $12, wouldn’t you like to have a three-liter box of the same wine at $30, or $7.50 per bottle? We need to get over the stigma of box wine. It’s also great for parties, tailgates, beach gatherings and other occasions — as long as the wine is good.

Goran Kosanovic

For The Washington Post

Expect to see more — and better — wine in boxes.

Cans also have a convenience advantage. They’re great for picnics, beach or park outings, or just when you want a little bit of wine but not a whole bottle. They’re also easier on the environment, with less carbon footprint than a glass bottle, and easier to recycle or dispose of. And they are casual, which will fit in with the marketing of wine as an everyday tipple, rather than a stuffy drink for the elite.

Unexpected wines: We know wine regions for certain wines. Argentina for malbec, Oregon for pinot noir and New Zealand for sauvignon blanc and pinot noir. But these three regions also produce exceptional chardonnay. We know Chile for cabernet sauvignon, merlot and perhaps carmenere, but it also produces some great sauvignon blanc and carignan. Australia means shiraz, but Riesling and pinot noir are also exciting. And South Africa is sending us some wonderful old-vine chenin blanc and shiraz. I want to see more of these.

[In their quest for something unique, Argentina’s winemakers are digging deep]

As winemaking continues to improve around the world, we will see great values emerge from unexpected places. Recent years have seen delicious, inexpensive wines from Bulgaria and Turkey. Look for more bargains from Moldova and Armenia.

Natural wines: These unconventional, minimalist wines are becoming increasingly mainstream; they are arguably as much political statement as viticulture, but they have escaped the bohemian confines of Manhattan and Los Angeles to permeate wine bars in Washington and other cities. We will see more of them on retail shelves and restaurant wine lists as distribution expands beyond the big cities.

And oh yes, there will be more petillant-naturel, or pet-nat, wines before this fad fades. These wines are the darlings of millennials, sommeliers and winemakers, and they are tasty. But will consumers continue to accept them as more than a novelty at $20 to $30, when more classic sparkling wines are available?

Deb Lindsey

For The Washington Post

A view from the outside of Ana, the restaurant at District Winery.

Urban wineries: Wineries have moved off the farm into the city. This started perhaps in 2008 with City Winery in New York City, the brainchild of music impresario Michael Dorf. Though City Winery featured barrels in its dining room, it was more a dining and concert venue than a winery. The concept has since spread to Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville and Boston. A new location is about to open in the District. Similar concepts have also spread, including District Winery in Washington, an offshoot of New York’s Brooklyn Winery.

The urban winery concept embodies wine as experience. Wine is not an agricultural product but something to be enjoyed during a wedding, a concert or a night on the town. A winery is not a farm but an event venue. That idea will upset purists.

But at least we have our navels.

More from Food: The 12 best wine bargains of 2017 are cheap without tasting like it Read this before you drink wine from a can In their quest for something unique, Argentina’s winemakers are digging deep Wine column archive

Let's block ads! (Why?)



More artcles

Südafrika: Die besten Apps für Stadt- und Wildlife-Safaris

Frankfurts beste Weinbars – Walhofs, Vingtneuf, East Grape & Co

Neu auf der IMM: Stilvolle Weinaufbewahrung mit 3D-gedruckten igus Federn

Big-batch holiday cocktails for a more svelte season

Synek Launches Smart Wine Dispenser That Pours Perfect Glass [VIDEO]

Between Christmas and Lent: The Season of Christ the King

The ultimate Christmas gift guide for wine lovers

Bar Review: Tastings - A Wine Experience

There's a new era of wine bars in the Charleston area. Here's a review of six of them.

How Many Bottles of Wine Does Your Dinner Party Need? Do the (Easy!) Math



Related links

Personalized Wood Wine Box - Anniversary Ceremony Couples Wedding Wine Gift Box Holder - Custom Engraved for Free (Rosewood)

$39.99

Personalized Wood Wine Box - Anniversary Ceremony Couples Wedding...

Black Box Malbec, 3L

$18.99

Black Box Malbec, 3L

Vineyard Crates Wine Crate - Original Nickel & Nickel Decorative Wooden Wine Box with Hinged Lid and Logos On 5 Sides - Multiple Sizes - For Wedding, DIY or Wine Storage (14x12x8 NO Inserts)

$28.95

Vineyard Crates Wine Crate - Original Nickel & Nickel Decorative...

Black Box Merlot, 3L

$20.99

Black Box Merlot, 3L

Astropaq Wine Bag-In-Box Kits [Eco-Friendly Wine Bottle Alternative] - Easily Bottle, Store & Dispense Your Wines - Perfect For Home Winemakers (Bag In Box Kits, 6 x 1.5L)

$24.99

Astropaq Wine Bag-In-Box Kits [Eco-Friendly Wine Bottle...

Tad Cooler Box Wine Cooler

$14.99

Tad Cooler Box Wine Cooler

Related links

ARGENTINA LEATHER WINE BOTTLE HOLDER/POURER & CADDY HANDMADE ONE OF A KIND NEW!!

$79.99

ARGENTINA LEATHER WINE BOTTLE HOLDER/POURER & CADDY HANDMADE ONE OF...

ROYCE GENUINE LEATHER BURGUNDY 622-6 SUEDE LINED DOUBLE WINE CARRYING CASE

$59.99

ROYCE GENUINE LEATHER BURGUNDY 622-6 SUEDE LINED DOUBLE WINE...

The Wine Tote Hartstone Pottery Mid-Century Decanter, Wine, Iced Tea Chiller NIB

$72.99

The Wine Tote Hartstone Pottery Mid-Century Decanter, Wine, Iced...

Wine Bottle Carrier Bag Insulated Cooler Picnic BYOB Restaurant Gift Holder Tote

$50.80

Wine Bottle Carrier Bag Insulated Cooler Picnic BYOB Restaurant...

Wood Wine Liquor Storage Basket 4 Bottle Compartments Metal Latch Handle 15 in

$74.99

Wood Wine Liquor Storage Basket 4 Bottle Compartments Metal Latch...

Lot Of 30 Assorted Branded Wooden Wine Wood Panels Box Crate (Lot 1)

$114.99

Lot Of 30 Assorted Branded Wooden Wine Wood Panels Box Crate (Lot 1)