New Wines to Try in 2018 According to Winc
As the year winds down and we gear up for 2018, there are seemingly endless reasons to celebrate giving you plenty of opportunities to try new wines or uncork your favorites of 2017. To take a look back at the best-loved wines this year as well as look ahead to see what trends to expect next year, I spoke with Brian Smith, co-founder and Chief Wine Officer at Winc, the online wine subscription service.
Since launching in 2012, Winc has emerged as one of the top wine clubs according to Forbes and the San Francisco Chronicle. That's no doubt due in part to the fact that as a former sommelier, Brian helps curate a unique and upscale selection of wines from all around the world. "At Winc, we source and produce 100% of our wines, but collaborate with select vineyards and partners who share our vision and commitment to small-lot wines," says Brian. What does all that mean? It means he really knows his stuff!
So let's take a look back at some of the biggest trends of 2017 before Brian gives his predictions for 2018:
Wine Trends of 2017
Rosé All Day
While memories of bad bottles of white zinfandel originally had people turning up their noses at rosé, the pink wine has been making a huge comeback over the last few years. And it showed no signs of slowing down in 2017. "Our most popular wine this year was Summer Water," says Brian, "which embodies the rosé state of mind and has become a viral hit for Winc."
Full-Bodied Isn't Always Best
When it comes to red wine, people have long thought that big, bold reds were the only way to go, but that's been changing, according to Brian. "We are seeing a generational shift toward sessionable lighter-bodied reds among consumers." The plus side? These wines are often more affordable and accessible than their full-bodied cousins!
Obscurity Goes Mainstream
According to Brian, 2017 was all about celebrating the unique with lots of new wines and varietals! "Our Field Theory wines are some of my personal favorites. Field Theory celebrates 'curious varietals from unfamiliar places' with small lot California wines from rare European varietals like Albariño, Blaufrankisch and Touriga Nacional."
Wine Predictions for 2018
Forget Rosé, Meet Orange Wine!
Before you ask, no, orange wine isn't made from oranges; it's made from white grapes whose skins aren't removed during the winemaking process. This leaves the wine with a rich amber or orange-y hue and a dry, apricot-y flavor. Brian points out that "A recent member favorite has been our experimental orange wine under the Au-Delá Tocai Friulano project," and says it's a sure sign that consumers are becoming more adventurous.
Toast with California Sparkling Wine
Brian knows bubbly doesn't have to be a choice between the same stale bottle of sparkling from grocery store or a paycheck draining French vintage. There's room in the middle thanks to some intrepid California winemakers that will hopefully make it easier for consumers to check out domestic sparkling wines more often than just New Year's Eve.
Hooray for Canned Rosé
The reasoning here is simple: "It's portable and perfect for any occasion—or adventure." Can't argue with that!