Wine trends for 2018 include cans, kegs and more


It’s the time of year when wine writers slump forward and peer into their navels to predict trends for the coming year. Here’s Dave McIntyre from The Washington Post’s take on what we can expect in 2018.

Packaging

Wine lovers can expect more wines in kegs, boxes and cans rather than the traditional bottles. Not that bottles will be tossed away, by any means. The alternatives are a small percentage of the market, but that percentage will continue to grow as better wines become available in these formats.

Kegs are ideal for restaurants and by-the-glass programs.  They keep wine fresh and are ideal for carafes or half carafes.

Cans and boxes are for consumers. Box wines still have a negative stigma as being cheap plonk. We need to get over the stigma of box wine. It’s also great for parties, tailgates, beach gatherings and other occasions – as long as the wine is good.

Cans also have a convenience advantage. They’re great for picnics, beach or park outings, or just when you want a little bit of wine but not a whole bottle. They’re also easier on the environment, with less of a carbon footprint than a glass bottle, and easier to recycle or dispose of.

Unexpected wine

We know wine regions for certain wines. Argentina for malbec, Oregon for pinot noir and New Zealand for sauvignon blanc and pinot noir. But these three regions also produce exceptional chardonnay. We know Chile for cabernet sauvignon, merlot and perhaps carmenere, but it also produces some great sauvignon blanc and carignan. Australia means shiraz, but Riesling and pinot noir are also exciting. And South Africa is sending us some wonderful old-vine chenin blanc and shiraz. We want to see more of these.

Urban wineries

Wineries have moved off the farm and into the city. This started perhaps in 2008 with City Winery in New York City, the brainchild of music impresario Michael Dorf. Though City Winery featured barrels in its dining room, it was more a dining and concert venue than a winery. The concept has since spread to Chicago, Atlanta, Boston and Nashville, Tennessee.