What Are the Wine and Drinks Trends for 2022? Here's What to Quaff Throughout the New Year
Looking for a fun resolution to follow through on this new year? How about trying out some of the new, exciting wine and beverage trends for 2022? There are natural progressions, like chilling a red wine you already enjoy, and newer categories, which include drinks you may not have already tried, such as a nonalcoholic CBD-infused beverage. Here's what we think everyone will be drinking in the coming year.
A Wine Trend About to Take Off: Chillable Reds
Putting light and fruity red wines into an ice bucket, just like you would white wines, has been a practice of sommeliers in culinary hot spots like New York and San Francisco for years now, but this niche trend looks like it's ready to take off. Red wines with a low tannin profile can be incredibly refreshing chilled—pinot noir immediately comes to mind, but even some red blends and malbecs can take on a brighter and fresher vibe after some time in your fridge or ice bucket. Zinfandel, gamay (the grape of Beaujolais), and Italian varieties like freisa, frappato, and dolcetto are wonderful at cool temperatures. And, of course, sparkling reds like Lambrusco are meant to be chilled. Try dropping those temps, and you might be surprised by the transformation.
The Underrated Beverage Poised for Popularity: Cider
We're predicting that craft apple and pear ciders will be the newest hot discovery in the single-serve, ready-to-drink beverage category. In the past several years, hard seltzer was the biggest success story in the drink industry, but their sales have finally started to level off. The qualities that made hard seltzer so popular (portable, packaged in cans or single-serve bottles, low in alcohol, and very refreshing) are ready to transition into a massive market for hard apple and pear ciders.
Cider has been a tricky beverage to market because it's hard to categorize: It's technically a wine made from orchard fruits (i.e., pure fermented juice) and not brewed like beer, but because it's low in alcohol, it's taxed like beer and therefore packaged like beer (into cans, six-bottle packs, or on tap at your favorite pub). It's genuinely a delicious category all its own and definitely worth trying.
The Cocktail of 2022 Will Be: The Spritz
As revelers leave Zoom happy hours behind and start socializing in groups again, nothing is better for festive, celebratory activities than a spritz. It's a lighter, wine-based cocktail typically served on ice and topped with sparkling water. It originated in northern Italy during the Austro-Hungarian Empire when German soldiers frequently traveled through the region. They found the wine much stronger than the beer they drank at home, so they would customarily add a splash of water to make it more palatable. The German word for that splash of water was, you guessed it, "spritz." Often augmented by the addition of bitter liqueur to the wine and soda, the Aperol Spritz is probably the most famous incarnation of this cocktail but there are many variations, like using Cynar, Campari, Limoncello, or even St Germain Elderflower Liqueur. You can also try adding Don Ciccio e Figli's Donna Rosa Rabarbaro to your spritz; it's an aperitivo made with rhubarb, honeysuckle, rose petals, and vanilla.
Tequila Is the New Vodka
According to alcohol delivery platform Drizly, 80 percent of spirits retailers are planning on stocking more tequila in 2022. According to sales over the past few years, tequila's market share has grown 13 percent, while vodka has declined by two percent. Once tequila was most typically enjoyed in a margarita at a bar or restaurant, but now consumers are exploring the diversity and nuance of fine añejo and reposado tequilas meant to be sipped neat—or, blanco tequilas casually mixed with club soda and a squeeze of lime enjoyed at home after a long day. Also adding star power and heating up the tequila trend is the myriad of celebrity-owned tequila brands from stars like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (Teremana), George Clooney (Casamigos), and even Kendall Jenner (818 Tequila)—when you have so many A-listers getting into the tequila space, that's a clear sign that this category is growing at lightning speed and only projected to keep climbing.
CBD-Infused Non-Alcoholic Drinks
The past few years have seen the rise of non-alcoholic, "zero-proof" mixed drinks that are an excellent option for those wanting something sophisticated to sip without booze. There are only so many cranberry-and-seltzers one can imbibe, so these creative non-alcoholic spirits and mixed drinks have been a very welcome addition to many craft bar programs and liquor store shelves. A new entry to this category? Beverages infused with CBD, offering a non-alcoholic option to unwind a bit (CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is derived from the hemp plant and known in wellness circles for promoting relaxation). Whether you're seeking cans (like Recess, sparkling water infused with hemp extract and adaptogens), bottles (like Vybes, non-carbonated CBD juices and teas), or powders (Joy Organics, a CBD energy drink mix), there are plenty of options available—and this trend shows no sign of slowing down.