In today’s column, I wax about the future of our local beer and wine scenes in 2013. I talked with two top marketing peeps – Mike Wilson at The Vineyard at Hershey – and Jeff Herb at Troegs – who shared their knowledge of their respective industries as we try to predict what is yet to happen. Hopefully we’re better at it than those silly Mayans!
While this covers our local trends, our PA Wine & Spirits experts also offer some news on trends we’re likely to see in stores in the new year.
Chandler Carranza, spirits category managers for PA Wine & Spirits Stores said much of the action is in flavored spirits.
“Caramel, cake, exotic fruits – this year’s flavors have inspired a whole new range of cocktails,” Carranza said. “With the flavors incorporated into the spirit, it’s easy for the everyday consumer to be a bartender.”
Flavored whiskeys are also making an impact, much like we saw with flavored vodkas. “Whiskeys flavored with honey, cinnamon and cherry were the first out of the gate, but maple will also be big in the coming year,” Carranza said. “Whiskey is no longer just your father or grandfather’s drink of choice. Flavored whiskeys are being embraced by women and the millennial crowd.”
Recommended: American Honey (one of my girlfriend’s favorites), Red Stag (no really – my father in-law no longer bothers making Manhattans, his cocktail of choice. he just drinks this), Fireball Whisky (which I received as a Christmas gift this year; my uncle said it is the shot of choice in Ocean City, Md., replacing Jagermeister).
In terms of non-local wine, it’s all about Argentina and Italy, according to Jackie Spironello, category manager for imported wines for PA Wine & Spirits Stores.
“Wines from Argentina will continue to entice consumers,” Spironello said. “Hearty Malbec, Argentina’s signature red wine, is a perfect complement to barbecue and pork, as well as your family’s favorite red sauce for pasta.”
Italian Moscato, a slightly sweet white wine that has floral and peach notes and sometimes a light fizz, will continue to be popular, Spironello said.
Easy picks for all: blended wines.
“Look for more blended red wines and blended white wines,” said Pam Bernd, category manager for domestic wines for PA Wine & Spirits Stores, “The right varietals blended together produce easy-to-drink wines that have some style, and are neither extremely dry nor extremely sweet.”
Really need help picking out a bottle of wine? Use this fun chart: