We’re buying big and red and pricey for holiday wine trends 2019
The wine we’re buying for the holidays this years seems to have little in common with what we bought in 2018. Call it the holiday wine trends 2019 conundrum.
The retailers I talked to three parts of the country said we’re buying big and red and pricey. A Boston retailer reports that his customers are also much less adventurous, opting for the tried and true – and even bourbon and rye whiskey – instead of taking a chance on high priced wine they may not know much about.
Who would have expected that after a year like 2019 and especially after we were apparently looking for different and less expensive in 2018?
“I’m actually kind of surprised that we’re selling so much expensive wine,” says Dan Fredman, who oversees the upscale Biagio Wine & Spirits in Dallas’ Victory Park neighborhood. He is selling lots and lots of Napa Valley caberent sauvignon, as well as Champagne and sparkling wine costing as much as $150.
That’s also the case for the wine shop at Lake Geneva Country Meats, a small grocer in a tourist region in southern Wisconsin. Nick Vorpagel, a long-time friend of the blog, reports that his customers are buying a $16 or $18 California cabernet instead of a $12 bottle, and that paying $15-$20 a bottle seems much more common than a year ago. In fact, his average bottle price increased seven percent this year.
The reason? Premiumization, of course.
“Wine has become so much more expensive that people don’t want to take chances,” says Fredman. “What’s the point of buying or trying something different that costs more, when you can get what you know someone will like?”
So it’s no wonder that the wine business is more than content with selling less wine, since premiumization seems to be working so well. Having said that, several retailers (I won’t name theml no sense in getthing them in trouble with their suppliers), that they are seeing more and more poorly made wine selling for $18 under the guise that if it costs more, it must be better.
“How much longer can they continue to fool people like that?” asked one of them.
It’s a question that may well be answered sometime next year.