5 Wine Trends We’re Watching in 2024
And just like that, we’re a month into 2024 and picking up speed. So, what better time to look at some of the wine industry predictions coming our way from various wine media outlets as well as our own research and industry engagement?
🔮 1. Chilled Reds
As the weather warms up and we’re all trying to cool down, chilled reds are becoming a thing. Truth be told, we’ve been known to whack a bottle of red in the fridge on a warm day for many years, but that’s not what we’re referring to here. By chilled reds, we’re talking about reds intentionally crafted to be light, bright and easily quaffable when lightly chilled on a warm day. And if social media advocation and our over-the-bar chats at some of our favourite venues are anything to go by, trade is one hundred percent behind this trend.
🔮 2. Format Flexibility
Format flexibility has been on the radar for a while, particularly with an industry-wide shift towards more sustainable packaging options and an avalanche of new offerings, particularly in the canned space. So, why, then, is format flexibility on our radar as an emerging trend in 2024? It comes down to changing consumer sentiment (and vernacular) around boxed wine. Gone are the days of goon sack and cask wine references. Consumers are reaping the many benefits of boxed wine, from longevity to environmental and, most importantly, quality. We’re attributing this monumental shift to premium new-wave wine producers breaking 'cask' category cues and elevating the image of boxed wine.
🔮 3. Ascendence of eCommerce
It made sense that the wine world witnessed a massive shift to online sales during COVID. We were stuck at home, miserable and needing some serious wine solace. But, contrary to initial post-covid predictions, DTC channel activity and our online wine buying habits have remained steady in Australia post-pandemic. While the cost of living and other compounding factors have made for an extremely difficult on-prem bounce back, consumers appear to be cutting costs by buying online and drinking at home rather than hitting the town or refraining altogether.
🔮 4. In with the New
Combine the exorbitant price of fruit from premium Australian growing regions with the drinking preferences of the only growing demographic of wine drinkers in Australia (35–54-year-olds) in recent years, and you have the makings of a new trend. Unlike older wine drinkers, generally more set in their preferences and loyalties, this younger demographic of engaged explorers retains a strong propensity for discovery, exploration and shiny new things—including regions, brands, varietals and blends. Thus providing a new generation of winemakers the perfect opportunity to push parameters in a big way (both geographically and metaphorically speaking). We love that this trend is seeing lesser famed regions (with some seriously good quality grapes) get a well-deserved leg up. Needless to say, we're pretty excited to watch this space and feel this trend will only gain more traction with time.
🔮 5. Less but Better
Alternative wines have definitely proved a mainstay. Major retailers like Dans now dedicate entire in-store shelves, rows and sections to organic, low-alcohol and zero percent wines, in response to consumer demand for better-for-me beverages. But there are other changes we’re witnessing in this space, too. Moderation seems to be the word of the wine world at the moment, with many sobering stats confirming this trend. But despite Aussie wine consumption falling, when we’re choosing to drink, we’re choosing to drink better! Premiumisation, which was previously predicted to drop away by 2024, appears to be persisting and is now expected to continue across still and sparkling wine categories over the foreseeable future.
So, there you have it. The five wine trends we’re keen to watch over the year ahead. And full disclaimer: we may have enjoyed a little chilled red whilst writing this insight. All in the name of research, of course. 😉
N.B. These wine trends were compiled from the findings and evaluation of our own experience along with various statistical reports and publications, including @theshoutnews @differentdrop @wineaustralia and @theiwsr