Willie's World - The Wine World: What‘s Trending for 2023

As a member of the wine industry, I would like to be relevant to consumers and not to my personal tastes. Over the decades, I have maintained a large and diverse group of wine drinkers and professionals among my drinking buddies. I have learned that you must always respect everyone’s taste and understand how they fit in the wine scene. As I put 2022 in the rearview mirror, I am organizing my 3,500 wine notes, recalling the many people and their comments on the wines we were tasting and sharing. From wine competitions, trade tastings, and sharing moments with friends, I always gain insights into what people are drinking and enjoying. While I am technically a wine critic, I am cognizant that my word is only one taster’s opinion. If you're looking for trends in the wine industry, gather around and I'll present my wine trends for 2023.

Spending Less Per Bottle

While Napa Valley, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, and other highly-regarded wine regions still command attention, many consumers have become hesitant to spend the money as those prices continue to spiral upwards. I even encountered friends in our dog park communities complaining about the high prices of wine. What are their options? Paso Robles for Cabernet, Bordeaux satellite appellations, non-traditional Pinot Noir areas, and Prosecco could be the answer to enjoying wines at lower costs.

New, Emerging, and Neglected Regions

Alsace, France is one of my favorite white wine regions because of its values. The Gustave Lorentz Reserve Riesling, Vin d’Alsace 2021 ($21.99) is a lovely Riesling with style and character. The wine offers apple peels, faint petrol notes, dried leaves, and excellent crispness in the finish. It would be hard to find a Chardonnay at the same price to match its quality. I am convinced if the public were encouraged to consider Alsace wines, it would regain prominence in the marketplace.

Lodi, a mere 84 miles from San Francisco, has gained traction recently. The Ironstone Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi 2019 ($13.99) is certainly affordable. This Zinfandel drinks well, and is focused; bright with a one-two punch of berries and wood; nicely built on the palate with the strength to handle a spicy sausage and chicken paella. Some may say that Lodi has been around for a while, but I know that we will hear lots more about this area in 2023.

The Gavi region in Piedmont, Italy is tried and true. Go to a fine Italian Trattoria, and they will have one or two on the list. The Luca Bosio Vineyards Gavi 2021 ($19.99) is a star; complex earthy notes and spicy, chalky, dried apples. The wine is great for those tired of the usual white wine choices. Gavi is one of Italy's excellent alternative white wines.

The Finger Lakes region in New York is overlooked possibly because traditionalists see Germany as the Riesling place. The Anthony Road Dry Riesling Fingers Lakes 2020 is an excellent winery. Opened in 1990, this winery should be on your list of wineries to try. The Anthony Road Dry Riesling Fingers Lake 2020 ($19.99) is a Riesling lover’s dream. Light straw, green color; pleasing floral and petrol nuances, a hint of minerality, with a pleasing chalkiness.

New, emerging, and neglected regions are gaining traction in 2023 as consumers and professionals become aware of the incredible options. My job becomes more exciting because of this and more taxing as I must taste and research more wines! Be the first ‘in the know’ and shop these wines today.

Increased Demand for Rosé

With each passing year, the rosé aisle grows. In the mid-1970s, White Zinfandels stormed the market, a new generation of pink wines came into the scene. While traditional wine drinkers sipped Tavel, new consumers were slurping down soda pop pinks. In the late 1970s, a handful of producers countered with Pinot Noir Blancs and gave birth to dry rosé type wines. Today, rosé wines from dry to sweet can be found around the world. From my recent tastings of this growing genre, I have come across five rosé that excite me.

  • The Casa Relvas Vinho Rosé, Alentejano 2021 ($14.99) is delicious. Light salmon color; dried leaves, earthy notes; bright and tart cherries; crisp finish.
  • The Ferry Lacombe Mystère Rosé, Méditerranée 2021 ($14.99) is on point with its rustic, red fruit notes, perfect with sashimi. Its sibling the Ferry Lacombe Rosé, Côtes de Provence 2021 ($19.99) is richer with savory spices and excellent firmness on the palate.
  • The Lucas & Lewellen Estate Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County 2021 ($17.99) is traditional and satisfying. Red cherries, boysenberry, textured and crisp.
  • For those with a sweet tooth and desiring something different, the NEW AGE Rosé, Mendoza – Argentina ($9.99) is the rosé for you. Light to medium salmon color, spritz appearance, candied apples and cherries, fun, sweet, and lively.

I was once told if you can’t decide on white or red wine, then pick a rosé, it will go with anything. This old fable has long been dispelled since wineries today are making excellent pink wines from all over the globe. For dry to sweet, these wines can fit everyone’s wine preferences. Shop rosé wines today.

Sustainable and Organic Wine Production

Over the last decade, wineries have been more active in sustainability and organic wine production. When I began in the business, organic wines were uneven and often undrinkable. Organic wines seemed like a distant idea; sustainably was barely mentioned. Today, organic and sustainably wines have risen in quality and prominence. This trend will continue in 2023 and beyond. Shop our Sustainable wines today.

Personalization and Customization

Personalization and customization are not new concepts, but they have been refined to fit consumer needs. Over the last two decades, the rise of bloggers, adventurous wine writers, millennial-run wineries and women and minority-owned wineries have led to more diversity and a greater understanding of how to reach consumers. Wineries, importers, retailers, and restaurateurs are now learning that they must be thoughtful in taking care of their best customers. Every quarter, we curate a selection of special wines. We offer these wines through our Wine Club. Explore our Wine Club today.