What's the Next Big Thing in wine?

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What's the Next Big Thing in wine?

Postby Jenise » Wed Jul 19, 2006 12:42 pm

One of the great things about this board is that no one really cares about the answer to questions like this, but not caring doesn't make the trends go away and it's interesting to ponder what the lemmings will flock to next.

A comment attributed to Steve Tanzer that I read in the past few weeks predicted it's Argentinian wines, which was presented as a fairly current statement but which I did not/can't verify.

Looks to me like it's Bordeaux, fueled by years of neglect by the pointy people, a particularly pointy vintage and good press about rising prices which creates that sense of urgency about not getting left out that is so important to that aura of It-ness. This may apply at the moment to a certain small category of wine buyer, but what happens at the top seems to raise the bottom, so it's still where my bet goes.

Not that Bordeaux-mania will hit my area. Here in the Pacific Northest Westest you can hardly find a bottle, and interested persons acquire from Seattle or out of state. Our local trends (I've observed two) would seem to be the availability of white wines in general and rieslings in particular beyond the barrier of $15, the absolute max retailers believe Bellinghammers will pay for white wine, and the oddball wines imported by Joe Dressner because they're generally as interesting as they are good values. But I digress....

By any definition of "Big Thing" you care to espouse, what's coming next?
Last edited by Jenise on Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What's the Next Big Thing in wine?

Postby Mark Lipton » Wed Jul 19, 2006 12:59 pm

Jenise wrote:By any definition of "Big Thing" you care to espouse, what's coming next?

My guess is that it'll be Riesling, sourced from all over: Oz, NZ, Germany, Austria, maybe even Alsace. I think that the ABC crowd is ready for it, and there are more dry and semi-dry versions on the market now than ever before. Also, it's got more character and is lighter on its feet than Pinot Gris, so I'm guessing that it'll displace a lot of PG in the marketplace.

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Re: What's the Next Big Thing in wine?

Postby Dave Moritz » Wed Jul 19, 2006 1:22 pm

Good question, Jenise. I too suspect that it'll be reisling, but of the domestic sort rather than imported. It seems to me that nationalism still plays a very significant role in our heirarchy of collective values.

All the best...
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Re: What's the Next Big Thing in wine?

Postby Howie Hart » Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:19 pm

After thinking about this for a few minutes, I think the next big thing in the USA wine market will be regional wines, made by small, local wineries, which are only available locally. The number of small, local wineries is on the increase. The "Baby-Boomers" kids are grown up and they have more leisure time to get about and patronize local wineries. Local restaurants are featuring more and more locally made wines. This, in turn may lead to more regional styles, such as Finger Lakes Riesling or Niagara Peninsula Ice Wine. In the past, a new winery would try to make just about everything from Chardonnay to Concord Rose to Cabernet Sauvignon to Ice Wine. But the better local wines I've had recently are from wineries that concentrate on making 1-3 wines very well, from grapes that grow well in their area, such as Warm Lake and Flat Rock.
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Re: What's the Next Big Thing in wine?

Postby J Nolan » Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:56 pm

I think fresher wines, wine that have aged in Inox as opposed to wood, and I see a future for the Aglianico/Cabernat Sauvignon, in the whites I'd take a Cattarrato and maybe the pecorino or aged vermentino.
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Re: What's the Next Big Thing in wine?

Postby Harry Cantrell » Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:56 pm

screw caps on ageable red wines. Really, what are they waiting for?
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Re: What's the Next Big Thing in wine?

Postby OW Holmes » Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:36 am

Corks make a comeback as cork producers find a way to totally eliminate TCA.
2003 Bdx proves to be a bust and its prime advocate takes a major hit in popularity. Robin Garr is now viewed as the most influential man in wine.
America's palate matures and American drinkers turn to well structured wines with purity, finesse, and a sense of place.
The price of wine holds steady, and in two years starts decreasing, and with the $ stronger than the Euro, French wines become a true bargain.
The 1st Growth BDX producers have yet another "vintage of the century" and decide to reward their faithful by offering all members of Wine Lovers Discussion Group a package of 12 bottles. 2 each of the 5 plus 2 Petrus, for $50 a bottle.
We discover, in a cistern at the lodge on the lake where MoCOOL is held, a hidden stash of 1978 Beaucastel, 125 cases, with a note from Joe reading--
"Oh, sorry Honey, was I snoring?"
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Re: What's the Next Big Thing in wine?

Postby TimMc » Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:39 am

Harry Cantrell wrote:screw caps on ageable red wines. Really, what are they waiting for?


Let's not go there, shall we? :wink:

Re: What's the Next Big Thing in wine?

Postby Graeme Gee » Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:23 am

It's may be going to vary by nationality. Australia's been on the cusp of 'Riesling will be the next big thing' for at least 7 years, but there are so many years of ingrainged prejudice against sickly sweet wines made from sultana and labelled 'riesling' that it'll take another generation or so to change. And prices haven't really shifted outside the mainstream much to reflect demand.
Over here, Pinot Gris/Grigio seems to have bubbled up past Viognier in the 'must have' stakes, with Shiraz-viognier blends still the rage amongst reds. For trends in general, I'm going for a serious backlash against high-alcohol wines, and I'll be all in favour. I also reckon sugar levels are creeping up at the bottom level, and I'll presume that declines a bit over time too.
Next 'hot' variety is hard to pick - how about tempranillo?
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Re: What's the Next Big Thing in wine?

Postby Charles Weiss » Thu Jul 20, 2006 7:35 am

I noticed in a store the other day a bottle of Riesling from CaVit, the bulk Pinot Grigio producer. Seems that they agree with you, Mark. As a Riesling lover, makes sense to me as a trend.
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Re: What's the Next Big Thing in wine?

Postby David Lole » Thu Jul 20, 2006 8:25 am

Agree with GG on the enigmatic "renaissance" of Riesling - especially, from an "Australian" perspective. It's coming alright, just a question of "when"? :wink:

Here's my slant on Jenise's intriguing question - perhaps it could just be Pinot Noir? The vines in the New World are getting some nice age on them now and enough critics have pointed to where these wines are not up to scratch. Very few people have got any spare time these days, to wait for a wine to mature for 20+ - yep - I reckon it'll be Pinot Noir - but it'll not be the Pinot I'll be buyin' and drinkin'. :wink: The new "Chardonnay" of red wine? IGS* may be the ultimate winner?

*Instant Gratification Syndrome

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Re: What's the Next Big Thing in wine?

Postby Carl Eppig » Thu Jul 20, 2006 9:23 am

As one who is old enough to rememeber when Riesling cost more than Chardonnay, and also believe that whatever comes around goes---------; I think Riesling has a good shot at regaining its popularity. My pocketbook would hate to see it.
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Re: What's the Next Big Thing in wine?

Postby Sam Platt » Thu Jul 20, 2006 9:47 am

Thinking out of the box, I envision:

1. Powdered wine mix.
2. A bio-engineered grape that produces a legitimate rapid aging wine.
3. A celebrity driven wide spread interest in wine among 21-35 year olds.
4. The declaration of a "worst vintage of the century" in Bordeaux.
5. An international law requiring screw cap closures on all wines. :wink:

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matter compared to what lies within us" -Emerson
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Re: What's the Next Big Thing in wine?

Postby Ian Sutton » Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:04 pm

One possibility, depending on how the wine glut goes, is the rise of cleanskin and warehouse based bargain basement negociants, bottom-feeding off (assuming it's hitting as hard as we're told) the wine glut crisis.
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Re: What's the Next Big Thing in wine?

Postby James Roscoe » Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:50 pm

The next big thing may be NO big thing, but a fragmented scene. With Parker seemingly making a slow exit from the scene, there is no one poised to take his place. There a a multitude of different markets. Wine may become like many other types of makets and become extremely diversified. Just my two cents.
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Re: What's the Next Big Thing in wine?

Postby Dan Donahue » Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:56 pm

I don't know if it qualifies as the next big thing, but I am astounded by the prices I've seen recently for very good vintages (1999-2001) for the Italian big three: Barolo, Barbaresco and BdM. If the dollar strenthens and the prices continue to drop there will be many great buys, especially compared to Bordeauxand Burgundy.

Back to back poor vintages in '02 and '03 may reverse the trend, unfortunately.
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Re: What's the Next Big Thing in wine?

Postby CraigW » Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:01 pm

The flip side of that, James, would be the developing enpowerment of people to judge for themselves what they think of wine and not herd like sheep to a subjective wine guru. That would be a utopic philosophy, but I think it's plausible as well.

If Parker exits without defined replacement (isn't it interesting that the most famous and internationally respected wine critics are all ~55 years old?), then I think you can expect to see wine conglomerates invest heavily in innovative marketing that offers consumers more hands on and more brand loyalty opportunities. One of the reasons that people so flagrantly shift from one brand to the next is because many are not making choices for themselves, but are allowing others to make that choice for them.

The next big thing as I see it will be the development of fuzzy creature and warm-fuzzy color wines into products of more oppulence and significance. What I mean by that is, either the Yellow Tails of the world will begin introducing more limited and expensive quality wines, and/or the Barolos of the world will strip down their heritage to make their expensive wines more accessible as this new, younger demographic of casual wine geeks begins to earn more money and spend more on lifestyle products like wine.
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Re: What's the Next Big Thing in wine?

Postby James Roscoe » Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:08 pm

I think we're in basic agreement (surprise!). You are saying what I mean by a fragmented market. That's exactly what will happen, although I think there will always be a market for traditionally made products as well. Different producers will find their niches and it will be difficult to tell what is what for a while. In the end I think that the traditional ways will win, but we may be gone before that happens. Who knows? I like your model though.
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Postby TomHill » Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:56 pm

What the dickens (Kansas colloquialism) is "cleanskin" negociants????
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Re: Huh????

Postby Ian Sutton » Thu Jul 20, 2006 2:34 pm

TomHill wrote:Ian,
What the dickens (Kansas colloquialism) is "cleanskin" negociants????

I probably didn't express this clearly.

a) Cleanskins, i.e. wines with nominal labels generally mentioning region and grape, but not producer. It's taken a chunk of the Aussie market already (bottom end of it, that is). It's the antithesis of the wine geek nature of our interest, however for newbies to wine, a wine sold mainly on a descriptive tasting note and at a low price, has devoloped some appeal. I'm not sure they actually offer the punters better value, but the idea has gained momentum over the last year or two.

b) Bottom-feeding negociants. Basically people following the cries of anguish from growers and winemakers, struggling to sell their wares. They'll be able to offer rock-bottom prices for fruit/wine and sell it under their own label. As against the traditional negociants who aim to build up a bond with their clients, I'm suggesting the new breed being more cut-throat and switching from one good deal to the next, picking off the weak.

These aren't necessarily nice predictions :(


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Re: Huh????

Postby Dave Erickson » Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:36 pm

Holmes will start writing for David Letterman. :D

I don't know what the next big thing will be, but I'm reasonably confident about what a next big thing will be: Pinot Gris from New Zealand. I tasted a dozen or so while I was there in March. They're mostly in the style of Alsace, with rich ripe apple aromas and flavors. Production is ramping up as we speak. So far, I've seen only one in the U.S., from Huia. It was good, but far from the best of the NZ PGs I'd tasted. Watch for Nevis Bluff, it's lean and bright and just delicious.

Actually, the Next Big Thing has already started: The draining of the European Wine Lake.
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Re: Huh????

Postby Bill Hooper » Fri Jul 21, 2006 11:52 pm

I would venture to say that the next "BIG" thang would be eastern european wines. Argentina is already here. Ditto for South Africa (Although there's plenty of growth potential there) and Portugal. Riesling is back in a big way but we'll most likely see a tidal wave of crappy new world versions. I really think that the mix of history and renewed enthusiasm over Hungary, Croatia (Grgich is making wines here)and Greece should really get their act together. Lots of money is being pumped into the east after decades of Soviet indifference, so the outlook is bright. AND, China cannot be overlooked.

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Re: What's the Next Big Thing in wine?

Postby Andrew Shults » Sat Jul 22, 2006 2:26 am

Ian Sutton wrote:Bottom-feeding negociants.

Given the commercial success of Charles Shaw ("two buck Chuck") here in the USA, I think your prediction may unfortunately be right.
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Re: What's the Next Big Thing in wine?

Postby Oliver McCrum » Sat Jul 22, 2006 3:05 pm

indigenous wines from S. Italy?

Maybe they're too present to be 'next', though.
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