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What's new in 2013 for wines and spirits

Posted by by Bill Belkin, wine and spirits category manager
Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Many new trends (something long term) this year versus fads (here and gone) are actually not quite so new as we peek ahead in the adult beverage world.

Here’s what my crystal wine bottle tells me:

That ubiquitous grape Syrah is back and this time it actually may become the next Merlot – or at least a variety that you’ll reach for when tossing the steak or burgers on the grill.

It may have taken the birth and subsequent decline of cheap Australian Shiraz (the same grape in name only) to snap American drinkers back to Syrah attention, but it’s happening. Especially those delicious versions from Washington state. Even the French Cote Rotie’s and Hermitage are seeing resurgence!

These versatile reds are brimming with more of everything you want in a red wine and beef pairing. Look for wines from K Vintners, Charles Smith or Qupe to get really jazzed about the grape.

Seems like everyone was/is racing to come out with their version of this ancient, once forgotten grape. But the fact is Moscato is taking white Zinfandel drinkers and showing them the gateway to drier, better made whites. I cannot argue with that!

If you have not had a Prosecco, then you’re probably missing out on something that would dazzle your taste buds! This appellation from the Veneto in Italy is producing fairly inexpensive, yet tasty bubblies that, while lower in alcohol and less numerous in bubbles than their cousins from Champagne, do not short on the flavor or drinkability.

Drop some Peach nectar in (we sell it – Powell & Mahoney) for a homemade Bellini or even some St. Germain elderflower liqueur – yup, we sell that too – to kick your Prosecco up a couple of notches. All your friends will think you are really cool!

Micro Brew:
Micro this and craft that! I cannot tell you how many times I stare at the sales sheets to see big double digit increases in sales on local and national beers!
Leading the way are former home brewers who have gone big and started commercial brew houses. It’s a bit like your neighbors telling you to sell your chocolate chip cookies in the stores – they’re that good.

Well the abundance of micro brewed beer is astounding and I have to say one is better than the next . Please do not wrongly assume they’re all big, dark brooding, high alcohol versions. There are wheat ales, pale ales, lagers and fruit infused versions. Something for anyone – except BUD.

Single Malt Scotch sales are stronger than ever, and due to huge unmet demands in Asia, the costs are going up – fast. So zero in on your favorite malt(s) and grab a few bottles. You’ll feel smug knowing you got in before the prices went up! Malts are all about location, so ask your wines and spirits manager to show you some Highland, Lowland and Island whiskies.

I suppose the last trend is more economic than specific, and it would have to do with customers in general. Whereas a few years ago, in the height of our national economic malaise, folks weren’t spending the money to get significant bottles of wines.

Well whether the times are better or some folks’ palates were weary of the lesser pedigree wines – the sales of these gems are back. Now that’s not to say that this economy hasn’t created tons of opportunities for the under $15 crowd too. It has. The competition for what dollars are spent is keen and the quality is continuing to go up. Just ask any wines and spirits manager for help selecting the wine in the color, flavor and price you want!

Let’s see if you agree that these are happening trends in 2013! Cheers!

Tags: trendssyrahmoscatoproseccobeerscotch

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