While rich with history and often rooted in ancient tradition, the wine industry is anything but static. This multi-billion dollar business continues to change, challenging established, and aspiring, wine professionals to stay on the cutting edge of today’s trends and rising regions.
That’s why, at the beginning of May, we sat down with Master Sommelier, Alexander LaPratt—Beverage Director & Co-Owner of Atrium DUMBO and Beasts & Bottles, as well as instructor in ICC’s Intensive Sommelier Training program—and Advanced Sommelier, Theo Lieberman—Head Sommelier at Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels—to explore the ever evolving trends creating a buzz in the wine industry for our latest Off the Vine panel!
Read below to see what trends our experts have been following this year and how you can utilize the their popularity to your advantage on the floor, in sales, and more!
Orange Wine Arrived and Never Left
“Skin-fermented,” “unconventional,” “macerated,” or even “off-white”—whatever you call them, orange wines are here to stay. Orange wines have been around for over 5,000 years in the nation of Georgia and picked up popularity in the US roughly a decade ago. Today, they’ve remained “trendy” due to their obscurity and unpredictability.
While the topic of orange wine vehemently divides the world of wine into those that “love” or “hate” them, our experts agree—it’s here to stay. But buyers beware—one orange wine can be very different from another because of the complex way that terroir and aging influence each bottle.
Unexpected Wine in NYC's Backyard
In 2018, wine production reached record highs of almost 300 million hectolitres—the equivalent of 7.7 billion gallons. While countries like Italy, France and Spain were the dominant producers, little known wine producing regions across the globe were working diligently to prove their quality.
In NYC’s own backyard, the Finger Lakes region in upstate New York is putting the state on the map as one of America’s best for wine. Even though the area experiences bitter winters, varietals like Riesling and Pinot Noir can still flourish, which happen to be the regions best wines!
ENGLAND PRODUCES WINE?!
Unless you were producing Champagne, bubbles in wine were not always wanted. It often happened by accident in the 17th century when regulating temperatures was difficult and accidental bubbles would appear from re-fermentation.
Now, people can’t get enough of sparkling wine. Producers across the world are rushing to create their own signature style, with emerging regions like England standing out from the crowd. With climate change impacting France’s iconic Champagne region, people are looking to England as warming temperatures positively impact England’s ability to grow grapes—which was almost unthinkable 20 years ago. According to estimates, the English wine region has grown to more than 500 vineyards today, with growth estimated to make the region larger than Champagne.
OFF THE VINE, brought to you by the Intensive Sommelier Training program at ICC, is a series of tastings, discussion panels and networking events designed to support wine professionals in the beverage industry. Each event is designed to provide education, information and the opportunity to connect with industry experts in a collaborative setting.
“Climate Change Gives English Winemakers ‘Harvest of the Century’.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, www.nbcnews.com/news/world/climate-change-makes-england-s-vineyards-perfect-sparkling-wine-n962606.
“English Sparkling.” Vivino, www.vivino.com/wine-styles/english-sparkling.
Karlsson, Per and Britt. “Record Global Wine Harvest In 2018, Stable Consumption.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 14 Apr. 2019, www.forbes.com/sites/karlsson/2019/04/14/record-global-wine-harvest-in-2018-stable-consumption/#4b728a40266b.
McCoy, Elin. “Orange Wine Has Finally Arrived. Here Are Eight Bottles to Buy.” Bloomberg.com, Bloomberg, 2016, www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-15/orange-wine-has-finally-arrived-here-are-seven-bottles-to-buy.
McKirdy, Tim. “8 Questions About Orange Wine You’re Too Embarrassed to Ask.” VinePair, 30 Aug. 2018, vinepair.com/articles/orange-wine-guide/.
Ross, Marissa A. “‘Orange Wine’ Needs to Go Away-Hear Me Out.” Bon Appétit, Bon Appétit, 20 Mar. 2018, www.bonappetit.com/story/orange-wine-skin-contact.
Wallace, Siobhan. “How Sparkling Wine Is Made.” Wine Enthusiast Magazine, 14 May 2019, www.winemag.com/2019/05/14/how-sparkling-wine-made/.
“Why New York Is Becoming One of America’s Best States for Wine Lovers.” Travel + Leisure, www.travelandleisure.com/food-drink/wine/new-york-finger-lakes-wine-region.