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Wine trends: Predictions 2017

Published:  13 December, 2016

White from red regions, Loire and premium US whites are going to be 2017's big winners, according to Bibendum.

White from red regions, Loire and premium US whites are going to be 2017's big winners, according to Bibendum.

The group's market insights team has been looking into the coming year with new regions, unexpected varieties and premium drinks all tipped to make big impacts on wine lists.

2017 could be the year that the Loire's under-represented wines come to the fore.

While traditional Loire areas such as Sancerre and Pouilly Fume are very popular, this could be the year that smaller regions like Touraine, Anjou, Saumur and Vouvray become as well-known to consumers as they are to the trade.

Bibendum is also putting its money on a rise in popularity of white wines from French regions recognised for their red wines. They are predicting that more white Rhones, white Bordeaux and white Beaujolais will be spotted on wine lists, with the potential for this trend to stretch into the emerging category of white Rioja.

Spanish Tempranillo has seen major growth in the past few years as sales continue to back up Rioja's status as the UK's favourite wine region.

With the releases of Campo Viejo's first white Rioja in 2016, 2017 could be the year that white Rioja begins to make an impression on wine lists, with the potential to succeed at all price points.

This time last year, Bibendum pinpointed 2016 would be the year for an Old World red comeback - and in the year since have seen strong performances from Grenache (+10% in volume), Gamay (+90%), Barbera (+23%) and Nero d'Avola (+34%);

Craft beer was also touted as growing outside of London, and they predicted that the rise of premium cocktails would drive the taste for top-end Rum.

Premiumisation is general is going to grow at pace in 2017 as people continue to drink less but better.

15% of wine sold in the on-trade is over £20 now which is an increase of more than 10% in the past two years.

Likewise, sales of Bibendum's premium and artisan spirits have nearly doubled in the last 5-6 years.

This thirst for premium could also lead to the rise of Chardonnay from the US.

Bibendum said it had been seeing more Californian Chardonnays appearing on wine lists at the top end in industry leading restaurants.

While USA white volumes have dropped 24% in the restaurant sector overall, the category is premiumising and bottle prices have risen by 13% so far in 2016.

 More wine predictions from Bibendum for 2017:

Portuguese white: Portuguese wine has exploded in the on-trade this year (+25% value) according to sales from Bibendum.

Portugal makes up a comparatively tiny share of the market (<1%) but was present in 40% of the mode lists analysed.

Bibendum's data tool found an equal representation of red and white on lists, in contrast to on-trade sales where white accounts for 26% versus 37% red (37% is rosé, meaning red outsells white two bottles to two).

This could be an indicator that now is the time for Portuguese white to catch up.

Austrian Reds: Austrian wine has been trending for a while now, but recently the trend has particularly evolved into Austrian reds.

Over one in three of the wine bars analysed list an Austrian red. Austrian whites are still present on lists, but now they are joined by reds.

This growth has been led by premium Austrian wine (up +5% volume this year) and is undoubtedly linked to the rise in popularity of Blaufrankish and Zweigelt.

Swartland: Premium South Africa drum continues to do well in the on-trade (+8% value this year).

It is possible this trend is driven by the increase quality of South African Sauvignon Blanc, which is the second biggest white grape after Chenin Blanc.

One region standing out above the others for producing superior wine is Swartland- appearing in almost 1 in 3 of London's trendiest lists.