Rosé becomes a global powerhouse

Showing no signs of slowing, the ever-expanding category encompassed pink wines from all corners of the globe, with producers jostling to release rosé bottlings in portfolios and numbers soaring with 48% growth in the last year to $466 million in sales, according to Nielsen. Frozen rosé, rosé wine gummy bears and lollipops, and rosé beauty products also captured the fancy of consumers of both genders eager to enjoy the playful side of this classic category.

Wine is social (media)

Social platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter led the wine conversation this year, allowing consumers to engage in lively consumer-to-industry and peer-to-peer conversations and shine light on the wineries, bottlings, bars and restaurants they love in real-time. The shift also fueled consumer-driven wine education in countless cities both large and small, supported by an increasing number of grassroots tasting groups. Wine Enthusiast’s social influence grew too, reaching a combined audience of over 10 million technologically savvy wine lovers in 2018.

Wine goes green (in a good way)

Responsible practices in wine were increasingly a focus in 2018. This has meant more eco-conscious winemaking, with programs like the Willamette Valley Oak Accord and South Africa’s Biodiversity and Wine Initiative, along with increasing use of low-impact vineyard practices by growers worldwide. The movement has also spread to no-waste initiatives in spirits and cocktails, with projects like The Oceanic Standard initiative aiming to reduce use of single-use plastics in the hospitality industry.

Canned wine grows up

The canned wine phenomenon went from novelty to normal this year, as quality producers and brands committed to cans and emphasized its portable ease, freshness advantage and touted the more casual experience of drinking good wine. Consumers went all in, with canned wine sales from June 2017 to June 2018 rising 43% according to the market research firm BW 166. Nielsen reports that the canned wine segment is now a $45 million business.