Ever wonder what a conversation between our reviewers might sound like? Dive into this episode with Wine Enthusiast’s spirits reviewer extraordinaire and Writer-at-Large Kara Newman and Anna-Christina Cabrales, maestro tasting director and Burgundy and Rhône Valley reviewer. It’s a lively discussion on current and future wine and spirits trends, mixing humor with expert insights.
This episode opens with a candid round of “Love it” and “Hate it” of 2023 fads that either made an impression or left them annoyed and perplexed.
As the duo peers into their 2024 crystal ball, they explore what’s sticking around from last year—and all the way back to the pandemic (think: the rise of ready-to-drink beverages and more). Kara places her bet on a particular espresso martini riff and doubles down on the spirit category that will dominate. AC says true wine trends have yet to develop but passionately invites enthusiasts to explore rosé and increased transparency on a range of levels.
Whether you’re a seasoned sommelier or just getting your feet wet in the world of wine, there’s something for everyone in this candid and fun conversation. So, pour yourself a glass and join us as these experts uncork their thoughts on what’s to come in 2024.
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Transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting.
Speakers: Anna-Christina Cabrales, Kara Newman, Samantha Sette
Anna-Christina Cabrales 00:08
Hello and welcome to the Wine Enthusiast podcast. You’re serving of drinks culture and the people who drive it. I’m Anna-Cristina Cabrales tasting Director here at Wine Enthusiast and joining me today is Karen Newman, our spirits reviewer and writer at large. In this episode, we’re looking deep into our beverage world crystal ball and predicting what will be hot or not in wine and spirit trends for the year ahead. Has canned wine lost its appeal, and will the Espresso Martini be in or out for 2024? Let’s jump right in.
Kara Newman 00:43
The calling is a dream collection of California wines offering a distinct range of varietals, styles and best in class Appalachians. Winemaker James MacPhail keeps each wine a clear, singular voice, working with renowned family growers to craft Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. While collecting over 7090 plus scores in the process. Join one of the colleagues fully customizable wine clubs for first access to new releases, special library, the ditches and more. With four membership options, there’s a club for every wine lover, receive three shipments per year, or try the monthly subscription, delivering three bottles a month straight to your door. For information and access. Visit us at www.thecalingwine.com/enthusiast. It’s January and we’re all thinking about what happened in the year just past and what’s coming up in the year ahead. Here at Wine Enthusiast HQ, we’re certainly thinking about what’s on tap for wine and spirits. I’m Karen Newman, writer at large and spirits reviewer for Wine Enthusiast.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 01:47
And I’m Ana Christina Cabrales, tasting director and reviewer for burgundy and the Rhone Valley. So Kara, before we talk about the 2024 trends, let’s talk about 2023.
Kara Newman 02:00
Okay, so you’re in the thick of the wine world. So we’re going to start with you, obviously. So what caught your attention in 2023? Actually, you know, even before we dive in at that idea, what’s, why don’t we play a little game of love games, love it or hate it. So I want to start with positive or negative up.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 02:18
I’m gonna go with love and love with a little vein of perhaps a little annoyance, if you will, right? So is two sides of that coin, but I loved that. I definitely noticed more consumers wanting to learn more. And this is positive for me, because in a market where we’re seeing wine consumption decline, we’re seeing or at least what I’ve noticed is that consumers are wanting to learn about more about what they’re consuming and paying up for it. But, you know, of course, it doesn’t disqualify any other drinkers out there from those who are just entering the wine world who are kind of feeling their way through and trying to figure out their way through packaging and marketing, which totally does exist. But what I love is that we’re starting to ask more questions of why, you know, is it questions about sulfites, we’re questioning sulfites, the levels of it, how much of it is in the wines? How much of it is it, how much like sulfites are in wine versus other products that are out there. And even things down to global warming? You know, I would hear sudden, like certain questions like, so what grape is this? But now we’re asking questions like, how is this affecting me? And I’m loving the answers. I love learning from the wineries. But please, and this is the part where I get a little bit annoyed. Like, come on, like, wineries give us a really good and dedicated answer to like what like, why is it that you’re doing what you’re doing to battle global warming? You know, it should be a story that is uniquely yours, and it’s your stories, you own it, and we want to follow your steps and understand why you’re doing what you do. And I love that we are questioning things but more so understanding why. How about you?
Kara Newman 04:23
Well, one of the things that I’m I’m loving right now is I’ve really written out we’re sort of at the tail end of dry January. Yeah. And that that’s not the part I love. But I definitely appreciate that zero proof and low proof drinks are now on every every menu everywhere. We’ve seen the one rule two are there definitely. You can do a zero proof one?
Anna-Christina Cabrales 04:48
I see it much more on menus for sure as just it’s a combination where you kind of see cocktails and wines bundled together.
Kara Newman 04:57
But I feel like I really appreciate that you see it everywhere now I feel like if you go to a bar restaurant now and you get a cocktail menu and it’s not there, it feels like it’s a glaring omission. Yep, I’d say it just makes it easy. It makes it easier to not consume or to consume a little less or to have options when you’re with people who aren’t drinking, for whatever reason. I think it’s refreshing and it’s much needed. I’m looking forward to exploring more of those menus in the year ahead.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 05:27
Definitely. I like having the the option of no pressure. I’m still I can still participate, but no pressure to necessary consume alcohol.
Kara Newman 05:38
For sure. Okay, what else is on your? On your good list? Your thumbs up list?
Anna-Christina Cabrales 05:43
Well, no, I think I’m gonna go straight into hate because you already touched on something that is really just, I don’t know, it’s making me feel things, Kara. So I’m gonna go into hate, and it’s not about the category as a whole. Now, I do believe in having non alcoholic low proof wines. But you know, we need them. I think it’s a category that’s here to stay. But please, stay in your own lane. Don’t trash wine. You know, we drink wine for a certain reason here. And it’s not necessarily about like health benefits here. Because zoom one because it feels good. It pairs great with so many different types of food. Let’s not talk about this category as something that’s like health related here. Okay
Kara Newman 06:30
oh my God, you’ve hit one of my pain points. What is it? I mean, one of the things I mean, I’ve been kind of beating this drum for a while it’s not specific to 2023. But I really I despise when you see cocktails or or spirits, or wine or beer for that matter position as a wellness beverage. Yeah, no, no, no, no, if there’s alcohol in it, it is not a wellness. It’s not net, whatever it be, I don’t care that that Margarita is lower in alcohol or lower in sugar. You know, if there’s alcohol, it’s, it’s not a wellness beverage, or how many adapted Genex or nootropics or whatever you shove in there if alcohols in there too. I think you should just take it for what it is and just enjoy it and you know, a great go to the spa, go to the gym, you know, do your thing. But, you know, enjoy that Margarita later, you know, and enjoy it for what it is. And it’s all everything’s good in moderation.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 07:30
Kara Newman 07:32
Okay, so do you want to segue back to things your life group things you don’t like? The angel or devil sitting on your shoulder?
Anna-Christina Cabrales 07:40
All right, let me throw it back to can’t be all me.
Kara Newman 07:45
I’m gonna go back. Okay, I’m gonna leave something else that’s really driving me crazy. Something I hated about 2023. And that is cocktails price at $20 and more.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 07:56
Okay, yeah, I can even say like 25 or more. For sure. I’m like, What? What is that all about? Isn’t that the price of a meal? Like our a dish?
Kara Newman 08:05
Yeah. It’s crazy. And I used to think of drinks as being affordable luxuries. And it’s just it’s gone through through the roof. I tell the story for the magazine on the $21 Martini. And I feel like even that’s in the rearview mirror. Sometimes, you know, $25 is just crazy. And I don’t feel like I see an end in sight. And it’s not just in New York City either. It’s just all over the place. I feel like inflation is just getting out of control. And even when inflation seems to be tamping down in other areas of the economy, before I started writing about drinks I wrote about about stocks and bonds and the economy. And so I still kind of think about more than I probably should. And I see that even though inflation is coming down in some areas, it’s still very high when it comes to food prices and restaurant prices and alcohol prices. It’s still I mean, especially in an away from home situation, drink drinks are very pricey to to go out and have a good time these days.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 09:08
Agreed. I find myself entertaining at home so much more than ever before. I think for sure in 2023 I can probably count on me be how many times I went out just for non work related stuff. I definitely entertained so much more at home for sure.
Kara Newman 09:28
Yeah, I’m not elite. They can’t see I’m nodding I’d agree. Oh goodness.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 09:35
You know, you touched on something that I kind of curious about inflation, and things that especially maybe some spirits that we really used to maybe like stock up on and enjoy and share with friends. Do you feel like maybe in the future we’ll start to see brands may be kind of creating another line that’s a little bit more affordable. For everyday consumption again, I feel like everything just has to increase in price right now. But will we see that come back up in the future? Do you think?
Kara Newman 10:09
That’s a really good question. I don’t know, I know that I’ve seen more studies pointing to what used to be called premiumization. Whatever is the opposite of premium premium isolation? For a long time, there really was a trend towards more and more expensive spirits, just like you mentioned. And now more people are are trading down. I mean, I’m thinking more about 2024. Look ahead, then. 2023. But I guess it all kind of blurs together.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 10:39
Maybe we should just jump into that then. Want to go into 2024?
Kara Newman 10:43
Yeah, we’ll bounce around for sure. Okay. Yeah. So 2024 I expect we’re probably going to see more people trading down to more value price. Spirits. I don’t know, that’s gonna be across the board. And there’s still so many wildcards, you know, and anything can happen. But for sure, I think you’re gonna see more people going out and having their their pitchers of margaritas can show off margaritas on the brand today.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 11:11
Me too. Can we have one later?
Kara Newman 11:14
Definitely. But I think you’ll you’ll see more people going on getting still getting their pitchers of margaritas. No one’s giving that up yet, but I think it’ll be less expensive ticular in that, in that picture, as opposed to you know that the most the most premium, the most expensive. And that’s actually a stat I filled out to kind of call out where I got that little tidbit that was from ws Ws, they put together a study and mentioned that sack trades, and it kind of stuck in my mind is saying, you know, yes, this is exactly exactly what I expect, we’re gonna see.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 11:45
You know, you touched on something here. And you see it definitely much more in the spirits world. And I think in the wine world, it comes up in the format of cans, but proportion, you see a little bit more control of proportion in a way like, especially in spirits and wine, there’s this mentality that, okay, you’re faced with a bottle, it’s 750 ML hay that perhaps you’re gonna have to consume that within a certain period of time. And funny enough, even if you put a load no out, you know, wine bottle right next to it same size, it’s, it’s still have that same amount of pressure. And I feel that especially in this day and age where we’re moving faster, we’re expected to be more productive, sharper, like proportion, like we want to feel good and want to get that edge off. But at the same time, we just don’t want that same feeling the next day of like, can’t like being hungover or just feeling lethargic. And so we want that little, that little edge, that little thing to kind of snap us out of it. And so I feel as though we’re gonna see more, like more quality options, especially when it comes to canned wine. Are you finding more canned options in the RTD? World?
Kara Newman 13:09
Oh, for sure. For sure. That’s so funny. I just saw canned wines in I went to the liquor store to pick up a bottle of wine for dinner, and they cans, cans of wine, and it just never really occurred to me that I could just, you know, buy cans.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 13:25
Yeah, it’s so easy, portable, but anything I would say is temperature. One wants lukewarm wine. And I guess unless it’s maybe red, sparkling wine. That’s a little challenging. But I like this, you know, this idea of like, okay, well, can we still enjoy, but just in smaller proportions. And so in addition to cans, I’m just wondering, like, Is this a real opportunity for the by the glass list at restaurants in particular, to also really improve? You know, like, we’re already spending so much money to go out. I mean, for sure it for me, at least on my law, it feels like I’m paying like, well, whereas the market before was like maybe three times as much. Now it feels like four times five times as much. And if I’m gonna pay that much, I want something really good. And I hate to say it, because I just know some of these bottles. I’m just not going to pay that. You know, and I feel like there could be a really good opportunity here, especially for wine directors kind of really embrace their cost learning their costs and creating very creative by the glass selections.
Kara Newman 14:39
It’s funny, you brought up RTDs and up I think we could do an entire hours around probably. Yeah, but let me since you asked about them. I feel that 2024 is going to be the year we see a real shakeout in the RTD drink space.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 14:57
How so? Because I’m just seeing…
Kara Newman 14:59
There are so many of them. I mean, their profiting off of it
Anna-Christina Cabrales 15:03
Definitely. Based on your seeing, there’s definitely room for improvement.
Kara Newman 15:14
Yeah, they’re definitely not all good. And I think a lot of them are also not as good as what you get at a bar. And that’s for sure. And it’s this kind of challenging, but what I do think they’re doing super well is, is distribution. They’re really showing up in places, I never would have imagined that you could get something more than just, you know, a beer like, like sports arenas or Yeah, or at a concert or train stations, hotel bars. I’ve seen a couple in flight, you know, they’ll have pre mixed cocktails that they will open and pour for you, you know, portion control, as he said, and they’re good. Yeah. And you’re definitely better than what you were sometimes getting.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 16:00
Yeah. At least I noticed in a couple of my last flights. I’m like, wow, this is actually pretty good.
Kara Newman 16:04
Yeah. There’s some pros for sure. I mean, I don’t need to dunk on the entire category, there actually are some excellent options. But I think the excellent options are the ones that are going to stay and the ones that are, you know, not as good, especially, you know, again, inflation seems to be woven. So like a through line in our conversation today. And I think the ones that are not providing value are probably going to be some of the ones that aren’t going to be permitted to stick around, you know, consumers at home are going to say, well, you know, if I’m going to pay for this, I want it to be really good. And if not, I’m going to vote with my wallet and move right along. Where can you find the best gifts at great low prices that everyone will love, a total wine and more. Of course, with so many great bottles to choose from, find something for everyone on your list, whether it’s Cabernet, for your sis sparkling wine for a co worker, or a single barrel bourbon for dad. And if you need any help, just ask one of our friendly guides or advice with the lowest prices for over 30 years, you’ll always find what you love and love what you find only at Total Wine and more spirits not sold in Virginia and North Carolina. Drink responsibly be 21. What else is on your prediction list for the year ahead?
Anna-Christina Cabrales 17:26
You know, kind of tapping into what I was talking about earlier, just transparency, I think is a huge, huge key word for me. Transparency in the sense that I think consumers want to feel something that is pure, something that’s enjoyable. They don’t necessarily want something that might be just covered in a ton of oak. I’m not saying that there isn’t a space for that there’s a time and place for everything. But I think we’re starting to see very sophisticated palette start to like emerge. And they just want to understand a sense of place. Where was it grown the terroir that you know, where that grape was grown, where those grapes were grown, and kind of learn, they want to be impressed and also to impress. And I mean, kind of learning something from the label or maybe learning something more so from the winemaker. And so I think transparency, also in the format of wine labels is huge. And I love picking up a bottle and I’m seeing more and more details about a bottle of wine. Now carry picked up a bottle of wine before I mean, and you flipped it to the back and you read the label, then it seems sometimes that you can almost swap the stories between the labels. And it kind of sounds like the other bottle story anyway.
Kara Newman 18:58
It’s like marketing jargon. Yeah, it didn’t doesn’t seem like you’re talking about a specific place a specific person. It could be anything anywhere.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 19:05
Exactly. And so when I see a label, especially when they’re talking about a specific site, they’re talking about altitude, they’re talking about clothes, we’re talking about average buying age and soil type. That’s just one part of the conversation. And that’s great for any like wine nerd or any like wine aficionado who’s really into that stuff. But for everyone who like we want to bring into the conversation, what does this all mean, especially in a day and age where we’re seeing winemakers kind of break out different parcels and vineyards and create like a multitude of bottlings? How does one differ from the next tell me and I think that there’s a real opportunity there and that will help us just fall in love with these wines even more, and transparency in a third format for me, I think, and you can tell me I’m completely wrong here but you maybe it’s just because I’ve been hanging around social media. I’m not exactly loving what I’m seeing on Instagram these days. But I feel like blogs are gonna come back. Like, okay, hardcore. I was talking about this with a dear friend of mine, Christy Frank. And we’re seeing that it’s just never enough in short format anymore. And we want to be able to talk about what else is happening. And I don’t know if necessarily just like a company website is enough tech sheet is enough. I think we want to participate in like the larger conversation again, and be able to talk about why certain things matter, especially when we’re talking about things like regenerative farming, sustainability, global warming, it’s just a larger conversation than just a quick social media post.
Kara Newman 20:49
So interesting. I don’t know if I agree that blogs are coming back my money would be on newsletters, I think, Okay, this sub stacks and all that.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 20:58
That is a world I have yet to really dive into so substack culture?
Kara Newman 21:05
Yeah, although I think we’re starting now we’re talking more about media trends and less about drinks trends. But yeah, I do agree that that people are definitely hungry for more substantial conversation, not not just the Yeah, the bits you get on, on influencer lead. So yeah, for sure. I do agree with you on on the demand for more transparency, I think, especially when you’re looking at the youngest generation of drinkers these days, you know, Gen Z and older, there’s definitely more of a demand for, for authenticity and for wanting to know exactly who’s behind what they’re drinking, what they’re consuming, whether it’s you know, in liquid form or not, you know, they want to know more about who is making it, what they do in terms of supporting the environment, in terms of supporting other cultures, now, they want to be able to put their, their their money towards something that that matters. They want to feel that what they’re consuming is part of something greater. And I certainly admire that kind of a pithos. That’s nice.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 22:18
Definitely, I say, even amongst like the next generation of collectors that, you know, I’ve talked to, you know, they’re not necessarily collecting, you know, what their uncle or grandfather or father, parents, like, you know, collected, they’re, they’re finding their own taste and wanting to follow a story, someone’s commitment and dedication towards something, and they’re feeling something out of the wine. Now, it’s all a matter of how these wines age is another story. But then again, we’re always drinking wine a lot earlier these days or consuming them earlier than how was used to be cellared. But I really love that
Kara Newman 23:02
Are you finding that younger consumers are gravitating towards a particular region or style? And why?
Anna-Christina Cabrales 23:08
it’s a little bit all over the place. And I think it’s a bit biased, especially this day and age, we’re just prices, especially in classic regions are so expensive. I mean, not saying that there isn’t that market certainly does exist. It’s quite fascinating. You know, bottles moving for hundreds, if not 1000s of dollars, but I think that there is for sure a fascination more so that I’m seeing while recently doesn’t stop, but also in Spain. And Portugal. I’m seeing more interest there. Oh, interesting. Yeah. For exotic ones, too. I think that’s a tough market still. It’s not like every day here still, that port is something that is quite popular. I think it’s just one of those things where if they see it, then perhaps I’ll go to as an option, but in terms of collecting and where they can spend their money. I think they are looking for kind of like just like what I was talking about earlier, where you can feel that immediacy, immediacy and complexity, something that being able to be consumed right away, but also they can probably tuck it away for a few years and expect even more results or just be in complete awe of what the results are. And I feel like especially in Spain and what we’re seeing in Portugal completely deliver for sure without like really breaking the bank and I think that that’s also part of the reason why it’s just so attractive.
Kara Newman 24:39
So let’s see what else is on our list for 2024 video going to tell you something that really kind of blew up after we published our our looked ahead for for digital. I mentioned that the Carajillo might be 2024’s cocktail of the year.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 24:58
Tell me more.
Kara Newman 24:59
It’s The coffee cocktail. It started with…
Anna-Christina Cabrales 25:03
Wait another coffee cocktail? Are we over the Espresso Martini already? I know I’m not over it I probably have to whenever I go out.
Kara Newman 25:18
But as soon as I mentioned that and as soon as we published that all of a sudden, I got so many different emails and texts from people. So I love a thorough view, or I can’t believe it took America so long to discover it. We’ve been drinking this forever. And in Spain and Mexico. I mean, it’s
Anna-Christina Cabrales 25:32
Okay, so for those who don’t know, what is it?
Kara Newman 25:35
It’s a mix of espresso and liquor. 43 It’s an herbal luchar from from Spain, and espresso for 43. Is it like fernet? Ish? Um, it’s sort of vanilla II. Okay. Yeah, it’s pleasant to to drink on its own, too.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 25:52
So it’s like the Espresso Martini to another level when?
Kara Newman 25:56
I guess kinda Yeah. It’s, it’s like an easy sipper, I think. And apparently, it’s really popular in Mexico. And actually, Mills, Bernstein wrote about it for the magazine as well. And I went to a restaurant opening el lugar cantina, and they had a mash up on the menu. That was an Espresso Martini, it looked just like an Espresso Martini. But it was also a cardio it had, like 443 in it. And I was like, You know what, this is just the beginning of it going so mainstream, and it wouldn’t surprise me. I mean, here’s my prediction. Between now and the end of the year, we’re gonna start seeing all kinds of restaurants and bars and not just the ones that are Mexican restaurants. I think we’re gonna see just an explosion. I’m of what’s gonna come after that. You know, we see so many Espresso Martini ribs, there’s all over the place. I mean, I look forward to the the Carajillo riffs, what comes after that after that too.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 26:52
Go ahead, put your money on it, what will come after it?
Kara Newman 26:58
If I knew I would probably openening up a bar and serving it right now. It’s going to be something I can’t see. It’s going to be something weird on TikTok is going to be something visual, something crazy looking. I mean, that’s also something I’m seeing all over the place where it for 2024 So much is about immersive bars immersive drink something crazy something with smoke something and a crazy looking vessel, you know, in bright colors. It has to be
Anna-Christina Cabrales 27:32
Now when you say immersive is that very different from something that is served tableside or there’s a little bit more interaction coming from…
Kara Newman 27:41
I think as long as there’s some sort of interactive element or something that immersive is just such a buzzword or anything else that means anything anymore. I see it so often. I think I really need to be more critical about some of these buzzwords, but I think for certain one of the biggest trends we’re waiting see over and over and over again, and probably not even stopping 2024 Is drinks that are just so striking and whimsical and over the top. And if it involves the consumer, doing something to make it more special, or to put themselves into the experience, I think more than better all the time. You know whether that involves pouring something in blowing out a flame, lifting it to the light. You know, that’s always something. It changes colors. It’s a jello shot. You need to make it jiggle. It’s always something
Anna-Christina Cabrales 28:36
I’m a sucker for when things change color.
Kara Newman 28:38
I love those. It’s supposed to be fun
Anna-Christina Cabrales 28:46
And that’s why I feel like sometimes spirits like especially in a restaurant setting just kind of Trumps wine like we don’t have sexy things like that, you know, just comes out of a bottle.
Kara Newman 28:55
Oh my god, we have this huge bottle. Of the really big ones.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 28:59
Yeah, you definitely see like magnums coming out to play, especially in the world of sparkling which, you know, for 2024 I don’t see dying down whatsoever sparkling will still be something that everyone craves feel like everyone for sure just wants something light and effervescent something to lighten the mood, we don’t want to feel things that are too heavy right away. You know, we just kind of have to transition to those kinds of things and good to see that in like spirits also. So over the spritzes and whatnot, has that died down at all?
Kara Newman 29:34
No…Sometimes is taking sort of a backseat to maybe the Espresso Martini but I think as soon as the weather warms up again.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 29:40
Oh, for sure. And you can see it in like at least you know when I cover like burgundy and run you see more of the Appalachians will wanting to expand their plantings for white varietals. They understand that there is more of a demand for this. It’s just going to take a while because there are rules in place that So how much you can expand on a yearly basis. But even locally, yeah, these are things that they’re craving, or at least for the next, you know, generation they want just lighter, like spritz, sparkling, white, even some roses. And with roses, I have a little bit of a bone to pick there as well. But yeah, it’s still a battle just kind of, Okay, again, no issues, but the letter per monsell style of Rosae. But I just wished that we would explore a little bit, I feel like the deeper color like Rosie especially coming from Tavel just kind of scares people away, when in fact, is just such amazing gastronomic pairings. And I can maybe even just take a bottle and open with it from your appetizers or just small little almost whooshes straight through, like, you know, your first course, all the way through, like maybe even something like, you know, like, maybe a really tender like a wagyu steak or something like that. I can carry it all the way through. I mean, like, so not all roses are built the same, but I just kind of wish that we’d explore a little bit more in this category. And their angel do there’s so good, and I will continue to fight that battle. But I just wish we experimented more with different kinds of Rose.
Kara Newman 31:21
You gotta see AC is literally pounding it
Anna-Christina Cabrales 31:28
Yes, it worked out well is what I say. Then again, I you know, my bias perspective here, just because I love it so much. And I also cover it too.
Kara Newman 31:40
So I feel like we’re kind of winding down to do some final predictions and okay, because I feel like I haven’t actually even talked about to kill yet. Go for it. And if I’m looking, I was thinking about what is the big spirit trends to watch out for in 2024? And for me, I think it’s going to be something adopted adjacent.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 32:02
Gosh, I hope so. I’m totally into it.
Kara Newman 32:08
I don’t think that tequila is going anywhere. It’s, it’s still just absolutely a juggernaut. And it’s already poised to outstrip vodka and outstrip whiskey if it isn’t already.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 32:20
Are there any stats out there right now showing how much it’s just leading in terms of like other categories?
Kara Newman 32:25
There are definitely statistics. Yeah, I’m not going to have them off the top of my head, but certainly discuss the distilled spirits Council of the US and other entities. IWS are, I mean, it’s just over and over again, it is just shows that to kill it’s just top of the leaderboard and where it’s not. It’s about to be and this might be the year. It’s a very narrow, every other category that’s above to heel, it’s a very narrow lead. Oh, and yeah, and it just keeps on going.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 32:54
And where does Mezcal kind of fall into that?
Kara Newman 32:57
I think it’s really coming up.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 33:00
Kara Newman 33:01
Especially not there’s so much celebrity mezcal, I feel like that’s so true. I feel like that’s kind of like the, the whistleblower, you know, that’s, that is going to be really taking over. I don’t feel like there’s a really specific, more than a couple of specific brands. I mean, everybody knows Delma gay and Lidl and there are a few brands that people know but I don’t feel like there’s one that’s just been like the runaway success that say like, Tron ones for tequila, or casamigos was for tequila third, there’s like a, an entire tear of well known to kill us where I feel like the best calyceal just sort of like it’s getting there little by little is sort of creeping up, you know, speaking over the wall, if this is going to, it’s going to be there real soon. And I think once that happens, I think this year, we’re also going to see like, right you know, how long the hills Mezcal hocking Hills tequila? I think this might be the year we possibly see so tall come out. And it’s not a job it’s more like a Gobi adjacent. I don’t want to get too deep into the weeds on that but it’s it’s a plant that’s very similar to agave and it’s a creates a spirit that tastes very similar to tequila or Mezcal. And in 2022 I saw my first ever celebrity so tall and that was Lenny.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 34:25
That’s really rare of all categories. And it’s funny is I’m not hating so it’s all good.
Kara Newman 34:32
I think it was a habit this time. I think this is the era to more celebrity so tell or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s going to be celebrity but there’s going to be one of those one of those was going to come out of the gate and by the end of 2024 I think we’re going to have another up and coming Agave/Abage adjacentcategory. They’re coming for you to kill if they’re coming for you. That’s my prediction.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 34:59
It looks like we’re going to be drinking a lot more margaritas together.
Kara Newman 35:03
I’m not sorry.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 35:07
Maybe this is something that you’re hearing more, I don’t know in your world as well. But something that I think that I’m going to definitely hear on the tongue is more of professionals and just consumers in general, like, you know, we talked about like, is this one organic? This is this why, you know, sustainably made biodynamic, but regenerative farming? Is that something that comes up in your world at all?
Kara Newman 35:33
From time to time sometimes in certain, certain pockets here? Talk more about that?
Anna-Christina Cabrales 35:39
Yeah. So it just kind of takes things to another level where we’re kind of looking more so at things like cover crops, topsoil, is the wellness of employees and just basically in an environment in which can truly sustain itself and be able to kind of heal as well through any challenges, if you will. That’s a very lightweight description of this. It’s far more complex. But they say in particular, that wines produced in such environments, just really capture the essence of the place, you feel an intense minerality, and just things that are so wild and unique about the place. And I’ve had the pleasure of tasting a few while I was away in France. and I were just like, Whoa, what is this? Yeah, it was just so captivating. And the thing is, I found myself going back to those wines over and over again, and just wanting to understand. And the thing is, it’s just like it was just near to impossible to just capture in just one sitting like you have to kind of be there and understand when they say that, like, you know, you can really smell the sheep and the tall grass and all that stuff. But these are wines that I just Whoa, there. There’s a beautiful wildness to them and the way that it just kind of melds and like in the glass. It’s just nothing like it. It’s an energy, if you will also that I’ve never really sensed before. And you know, in addition to that, now I think about it, especially since I’m like writing on this like topic of transparency, is that I’ve also loving how we’re seeing more winemakers experiment with like various different vessels. One of the things that I loved when I was visiting, is seeing things like that are experimental, especially with like wine globes, in particular. So it’s literally looks like a globe. But we have a glass in which you think the environment is completely reductive. But it’s not, you know, completely. And what I loved about this is just that you can feel the pureness of just how well that grape is made. Or if you’re going to go from it. That’s like one other aspect of it. There’s just so many different ways to kind of experiment with this, it’s still pretty new. But I just love the transparency of the grape in this vessel and other things that I’ve tasted as well should it be from like amphora, or, like very different, like types of concrete eggs, or even stainless steel eggs, which you know, are fairly rare. I love this level of experimentation, because truly, they’re trying to preserve, like, the quality of what it is that they’re growing. And then just kind of using a little bit of this and a little bit of that, should it be just like large format, like oak or whatever, to kind of crave just something to so with so much finesse and elegance. It’s just so good
Kara Newman 38:45
I love that you can have all these different techniques that even if I don’t understand what they are, I mean, you just get to pour it in a glass and experience it.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 38:54
Yeah. Lucky us, yeah?
Kara Newman 38:59
Okay, so I think it’s just about that time.
Anna-Christina Cabrales 39:02
Yeah, I’m ready for a margarita. How about you?
Kara Newman 39:04
Oh, yes, absolutely. I’m in
Anna-Christina Cabrales 39:05
Sounds good. Well, thanks, everyone for listening in, and we’ll catch you next time. We’re excited for the year to come and what surprising trends will emerge in 2024. Have any questions or want to share your thoughts about 2024 beverage trends? We’d love to know. You can email us your comments and questions at podcast at Wine Enthusiast dotnet. And remember, you can subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Google, Spotify and anywhere else you listen to your favorite shows. You can also go to wineenthusiast.com/podcast for more episodes and transcripts. I’m Anna-Christina Cobras and thanks for listening.
Samantha Sette 39:55
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Published: February 7, 2024