Wine trends: The year 2016 was a fascinating, sometimes wacky time for wine, and 2017 is shaping up the same:
▪ America’s millennial generation, now in its 20s and 30s and old enough to drink, out-sipped boomers for the first time in 2016, according to winerist.com, a wine, food and travel website.
▪ Young fans have a casual take on wine. They like labels with eye-catching drawings of farm animals, cars, surfboards, toreadors, even mice, according to a survey by Dr. Marianne McGarry Wolf, professor of food and wine marketing at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
▪ Riding the trend, Chronic Cellars, in Paso Robles, has a 2015 blend of zinfandel, petite sirah, grenache and syrah called “Purple Paradise,” featuring a skull with dark orange dice for eyes.
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▪ You can buy a California wine with a cartoon drawing of a full-length skeleton on its label; it’s called “La Catrina Day of the Dead Bride and Groom Cabernet Sauvignon.”
▪ Hollywood celebs with their own lines of wine, often with their pictures on the labels, include Drew Barrymore, Kate Hudson, Fergie, Madonna and Nicki Minaj.
▪ Wine fans can show their patriotism by drinking wines that are red, white and now, blue, says the BBC. A Spanish company called Gik is blending red and white grapes with new food dyes and flavors to produce the new blue hue. It’s said to be mellow, sweet and a little syrupy. And it should arrive soon in the United States.
▪ Wine slushies, which blend wine, fruit and ice into frozen concoctions, will be all the rage in 2017, said winerist.com. They'll be in trendy bars and restaurants this year. Examples: peaches and mint blended into in red wine, raspberries, lemons and honey into rose wine.
▪ Young wine fans seeking novel flavors are turning to wines aged in oak barrels previously used in maturing bourbon.
▪ Rookie wine fans are drinking less in restaurants and bars, more purchased in shops or online and consumed at home, the website said.
▪ Young wine fans increasingly use social media in choosing wines, says a blog on Forbes.com. They go to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to share views and seek information from their peers. And they turn to iPhone apps to read labels on the spot in wine shops and learn how the wine will taste and what it will go with.
▪ The casual wine tastes of new fans stretches beyond the United States. A newly popular drink among Spain’s college students is Kalimotxo, according to Shafer Vineyards’ newsletter “Line on Wine.” It’s a blend of red wine with cola, on ice.
All of this is made more important by the fact that a report by the financial website Wealthmanagment.com says millennials drink 3.1 glasses of wine at a sitting compared to 1.9 for boomers.