Before I post about the wine trends I see for 2008, I thought I would take a look back at my predictions made last year. Overall, I didn’t score too well but what I did get right was interesting.
So here are my predictions for 2007 with what actually happened:
Online Wine Communities Go Mainstream – This time last year I was fascinated with Web 2.0 and wine. I remain bullish on this category but resigned to the fact that none of these communities will go mainstream any time soon. This one was a complete miss.
The Old World Strikes Back – Although the full data has yet been published, imported wine sales in the U.S. increased in 2007 with Italy edging out Australia for the top spot. I’m not convinced this was due to a preference for more balanced, food-friendly wines but I’ll chalk this one down in the success column; at least for now.
Direct To Consumer Sales Soar – This didn’t seem to be much of a risky prediction as I expected the trend from 2006 to continue. But there were also legal challenges which made it more difficult for wineries to sell directly to consumers in some states. Although I have yet to see definitive numbers for 2007, I sense that this prediction came true.
There Will Be Another Stormhoek – I fully expected there would be another wine brand who would follow the social media route to success like Stormhoek did in 2005-06. But no wine brand did this. As close as we got was from my friends at Sacre Bleu but they are still way under the radar. Another miss for me.
Pinots Come Back To Earth – I expected to see a slight pull-back in the popularity of Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio in 2007 and was half right. Pinot Noir seems to have slowed down in growth while Pinot Grigio continues it’s assent. It was good to see Riesling also increase but all the other varietals I mentioned didn’t seem to change. Overall, a miss as a prediction.
South Africa Emerges – I expected to see the wines of South Africa emerge in a big way in 2007 and they really didn’t. Perhaps I was a year early? Another miss.
Flights Replace Wine By The Glass – Of all my predictions, this one was the most aspirational; it was also totally off the mark. Although I have noticed a few restaurants add flights to their by-the-glass programs, they have in no way replaced them. We can hope to see this someday but I doubt it.
At Least One Wine Blogger Ã¢â‚¬ËœGoes ProÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ – Alder’s April Fool’s Day post aside, we did actually see wine bloggers go pro in 2007. Both Tyler Colman and Gary Vaynerchuk crossed over into the mainstream media in 2007. I expect to see more of this in 2008 as wine blogging becomes more accepted by the public and the traditional wine press looks for writers with an audience.
So three correct and five wrong or 60%. That would earn me a D- in school so I’ll think about my 2008 predictions for a few more days before posting. I know I can do better…