It's been a while since I've made any insightful comments here (not to say I haven't made any otherwise). I thought I'd get back at it by making a list of sweeping generalizations about what I've seen lately in the wine biz. I don't have time to back-up any of this with stats, facts, personal interviews, etc. Maybe later, but right now these are a few trends I've observed over the past couple years.
1) Moscato is the new White Zinfandel, Arbor Mist, and wine cooler. I didn't say Moscato d'Asti. There may be a few new d'Asti drinkers, but most of today's d'Asti crowd discovered it years ago before there was a shelf full of domestic Moscatos under $10. While we're on the topic - somebody please explain to me how a white grape produces red and pink "Moscato". I don't have the time or desire to research this myself.
2) "Skinny" is out of control.
3) Nobody buys Australian wine anymore unless it has a freakin' Kangaroo on the label. Or sells for under $6. (or both) Told you this was a list of generalizations.
4) The people are loving the real pink wine. Rosé wine is hot whether it's French, Spanish, from California, Oregon, or Argentina. To quote my future wife, "this makes me happy".
5) They'll pay a few bucks more for a good Pinot Noir (ie, $20ish-$30+). They'll also buy the heck out of a $10-$12 one that's a nice value.
6) You can't turn around without bumping into a stack of red or white blends. Most cruise down the middle of the road - if your looking for one of these, look for the catchy names.
7) Aw Merlot, you poor thing. Bless your heart - we used to love you.
8) We now get our Merlot from France - I like what appears to be a little bump in $10-$11 red Bordeaux.
9) Spain is still rockin' it - including the whites, which seemed to follow behind a few years ago. Now rosé is in the mix as well. Still nice values coming from the Spanish.
10) How 'bout those box wines? Yes! Options and values galore! Not talking Franzia or Almaden. You can't miss the selection from Black Box, Bota, Big House, etc.
I'm sure there's more, and I'll save those for when inspiration strikes.
Look, I almost wrote two full paragraphs (if you count #1). Lists are easy, but people will read (or listen). It's worked for Letterman.