6 Emerging wine trends for the younger consumer in 2018

Emerging wine trends are becoming more prominent in 2018 thanks to the younger wine consumer’s booming interest in wine. I took a deeper look into what wine drinkers ages 25-35 had to say about the wine industry this year.

Here are my top 6 emerging wine trends to look out for in 2018:

1. Regular Tom’s are trumping wine connoisseurs

The world of digital has unblocked a previously thought to be complicated and somewhat snobby world of wine. Typically what comes to mind when you think “wine connoisseur” is the picture of a well-seasoned and qualified expert who has been tasting wines for decades. Grey hair, stained teeth and wrinkles for days with an opinion you can trust – or is it? For the younger generation ages 25-35, getting opinions from your parent’s generation is somewhat draining the fun out of wine exploration.

Wine tasting apps like Vivino Wine scanner allows you to connect with other’s who give their opinion on wines too. Simply scan a wine you come across in the app and learn what others have to say about it. You can add your comments too, and so it is like wine tasting with the whole world at your table.

In 2018, influencers are making their mark in the wine market too with the likes of  TheWitty Wine Woman,Through My Wine Glass,Tshepang Molisana,Elmarie Berry Good Food,Just Janet, Boozy Fooodie and myself of course. Real opinions, from those who are in a similar age group really resonates with this market because trends can be followed through conversations on social media.


2. Making wine tasting a sport

Ok so bloggers like myself are taking this saying to a whole new level (laughing on the inside), but for most Capetownians, enjoying a weekend with friends in the Cape Winelands is what we do best. The more wine farms you have visited and the more wines you have tasted, can spark many a conversation similar to that of regular sports such as Rugby or Cricket.

Although this emerging wine trend has been coming on for a while now, expect it to boom even further in 2018. Everyone has a favourite “team” (it can be a variety like Sauvignon Blanc or a brand like Survivor Wines) and it’s fun to explore who the “winners” will be. The playing field is now entering the big leagues on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so if you are a wine brand that is not even in this digital stadium, consider yourself out of the “curry cup”.


3. Mother Earth of wine trends

Organic, eco-friendly, Fairtrade, Vegan, sulphate free – these are just some of the earth-friendly terms that the younger generation are not only paying attention to, but are also actively supporting these movements.  The news is littered (pun intended) with articles surrounding global warming, plastic tides, unethical practices and food allergies. These articles are not dying off but are becoming more prominent in 2018 and so wine drinkers in the younger market will think twice before making purchasing decisions. Plastic used in wine is one of the biggest no-nos – especially if it cannot be easily recycled.

Stellar Winery is at the forefront of producing wines made from organic grapes, they are also gluten free and also certified as Fair for Life.


4. De-alcoholised wines

Whaaaat? No alcohol? Believe it or not, advancements in wine production can actually allow wine producers to remove or lower the alcohol content from wine whilst still keeping a great taste. There has been quite a lot of bad press on the havoc that alcohol can have on the human body and so younger consumers are becoming more conscious with the goal of keeping their health in check. I enjoyed this one from Lautus Savvy White De-alcoholised dry wine.

5. The online wine cellar

The younger wine consumer simply does not have the time to browse the shops over weekends in search for their favourite wines. They also do not have the space to store it. It’s so much easier to buy wine online during a lunch break. Expect this trend to boom in the coming year with retailers like Cybercellar offering comparative, quick and easy shopping right at your fingertips. It won’t stop at wine either, think craft beers, craft gin and even wine accessories too.


6. Local wine is lekker!

After conducting a small survey on Facebook, I was really humbled to see that most would prefer to support local wines than international ones like Moet. Taking it one step further this year – SA wines are so lekker that the international market want their hands on it too! Be prepared for online wine stores to start shipping internationally, more regularly! Go SA!

Overall, wineries and retailers alike should keep a look out for this emerging wine market. A few years from now, the way in which we purchase and enjoy wine will be a lot different! That’s for sure.


Cheers my wine friends!

I would love to hear your comments on this piece. Leave your comments below and let’s start the conversation!

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