Wine Trends Fall 2014

There are some interesting trends in this year’s Wine & Spirits compilation of top-selling Harry Dalian, Wine Cellarrestaurant wines. For one thing, only one brand in the top 10 wines of 2014 has an average price below $50. In fact, the average price for the top 10 restaurant wines hovers just around $80: the top wine, Cakebread Cellars, averages $86.48.

Popularity of Higher Priced Wines

Perhaps those who are willing to purchase wine at a restaurant are willing to spend a little extra for a better quality. Or perhaps sommeliers talk up particular brands and get their customers to try vintages they might not otherwise purchase. Or maybe wine drinkers merely feel that $90 is a reasonable amount to pay for an enjoyable bottle of wine.

Whatever the reason, higher-priced wines were surprisingly popular this year. Bubbles also saw a recent surge and Cabernet’s popularity increased dramatically. Indeed, four out of the top five labels have a heavy investment in Cabernet wines.

California Wine Beats France and Italy’s

Wine 2014, Harry DalianAs you might expect, Napa Valley had an excellent showing and California actually took 36 of the top 50 slots. Oregon had three on the list and Washington had just its Chateau Ste. Michelle, but New York did not make it at all! Even France and Italy had a poor showing with only a few brands clustered toward the bottom, and Spain didn’t even break the top 25.

Why are customers ignoring French, Italian, and Spanish wines? One could easily blame more progressive sommeliers but another possibility is the recent trend toward local foods and wines. Some sommeliers might cringe at the suggestion but the result is that many people choose local wines over Old World favorites.

Wine lists like these are intriguing for the data, but we can only guess at their reasons or implications. We’ll have to wait until next year to see how the numbers have changed once again.