Top 10 Hot Wine Trends in 2021 US Wine Market


Below is a report on the top 10 Hot Wine trends in the United States, these are trends that our wineries should be well aware of.

Based on key trends sweeping the US market, such as desire for convenience, and rising concerns for health, environment, and safety (Euromonitor), as well as wines sales data from Nielsen, SOVOS, bw166, Brager, and Wines&Vines Analytics, the following list of Hot Wine Trends for 2021 has been developed:


1. Sauvignon Blanc Rises –already gaining in popularity in 2019, sauvignon blanc rose an amazing 25% in dollar sales in 2020, with Americans still enjoying the crisp grassy style of NZ as well as the riper, more fruit-forward style of California. This trend is expected to continue in 2021.


2. Cans & Convenience Very Important – with outdoor activities on the rise and the desire for more convenience, wine in cans, tetra packs and plastic containers will continue to grow in the US market. In 2020, canned wine actually grew 61% in dollar growth (Nielsen), causing a can shortage in the supply chain. Small bottles and large box formats also gained in popularity, with 375ml growing at 53% in value, and 3L boxes achieving 31% value growth (Nielsen). This is an area ripe for innovation, as packaging designers try to figure out new and attractive ways to sell wine in boxes, cans, tetra pack, and plastic containers.

In South Africa some wineries have jumped on this trend and The Fishwives Club announced recently that they are entering the market worldwide. With their sexy designs and also with the new “Green Collection“, they is sure to be a hit.

Here are a few of their quirky ads that makes this brand so exciting…

3. Flavored Wine Category Explodes – linked to both the convenience trend and a desire to experience new products, this ready-to-drink (RTD) wine category gives consumers creative wine cocktails, spritzers, wine seltzers and cross-products, such as the surge in agave-wine. This is another category that is ripe for growth in 2021, with much opportunity for innovation, as wine tries to fight back against the massive popularity of alcoholic seltzers, such as White Claw. The huge volume increases of 90% for flavored wine in 2020, bodes well for this category in 2021. Even more important, it is thought to be an entry category for new and younger wine consumers, before they adopt more traditional wines later in life.


4. The Rise of Low-No Wines & Transparency – the global trend for health and wellness has hit the wine category in the US a little later than other countries, but even with some Americans drinking more during the pandemic, others chose to focus on low or no alcoholic wines. Nielsen reported an impressive 37%-dollar growth in non-alcohol beer, wine and spirits for 2020 compared to 2019. Some of the larger wine corporations responded to this trend with the introduction of new low-alcohol, low calorie wine brands, such as Mind & Body, Sunny with a Chance of Flowers, Kim Crawford Illuminate, and Cupcake Light-Hearted wines. However, most of these wines didn’t hit the market until very late in 2020 and early 2021. 

This is an important category to watch as Americans have been asking the wine industry to be more transparent about calories, alcohol, carbohydrates, sugar, additives, and sustainable/organic winemaking. Many retailers, especially in grocery stores, are calling this category “Better for You Wines.”


5. Premiumization & Pricing Sweet Spots – Despite economic woes and job loss to millions of Americans, premiumization continued in off-premise wine sales. All price points between $11 and $25+ grew at 20%+ in both dollar value and volume in 2020, with $20-$24.99 achieving 29% growth in value and 28% in volume (Nielsen). 

Experts suggest that since Americans didn’t have the opportunity to buy wine in on-premise establishments where they are used to paying a high mark-up, they decided to treat themselves to higher priced wines to drink at home during the pandemic. This suggests that at least for the first half of 2021, while States race to vaccinate their populations, that premiumization will continue in off-premise, including online wine sales.


6. Online Wine Sales Boom & Stay – If one were to discuss silver linings due to the pandemic, the surge in online US wine sales would have to be the major bright spot. In 2019, online sales were still rather anemic, at around 5% in the US, compared to 30% in China and the mid-teens in Europe. However, with a focus on staying at home, Americans who had never purchased wine online decided to give it a try, resulting in 198%-dollar sales growth in wine ecommerce in 2020 (Nielsen). 

The good news is that experts suggest that once a consumer has a positive experience purchasing online, he/she will be a repeat buyer (WMC). Thus 2021 is predicted to be the year when wine ecommerce becomes a viable sales channel in the US, with much growth ahead for both online winery DTC and online wine retail sales.


7. Cab, Red Blends and Pinot Still Popular – Americans drink slightly more red wine (46%) than white (44%), and their favorites continue to be Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Blends, and Pinot Noir, with double digit dollar growth in all categories in 2020. Though 70% of the wine purchased is made in the USA, the top three countries from which they imported red wines were Italy, France and Portugal, with double digit dollar and volume growth (Nielsen). These figures suggest that 2021 will still be fertile ground for these popular red styles.


8. Rosé Continues to Delight – Rosé has become a staple in US market, with all styles, but especially Provence rosé considered to be a crowd favorite. This category continued to growth at double digits in both volume and value in 2020 (Nielsen). There is no sign that this rosy trend will be slowing down in 2021.


9. NY Joins Oregon as Favorite Wine Producing State – California has always produced the lion’s share of wine in the US, with Oregon as a strong favorite. 2020 was no different with Oregon wine achieving 22% dollar and 21% volume growth. The big surprise was the surge in New York wine, also at 22% increase in dollar share, but only 10% in volume (Nielsen). This is exciting news for New York wine, and suggests that wine from all three States will remain popular in 2021.


10. Sparkling & On-Premise: Get Ready to Party! – Though sparkling wine lost -4.2% in volume during 2020, because people were not that willing to celebrate in the first three months of the pandemic and during the second surge in the last quarter, it is predicted that sales will pick up when the virus has retreated and Americans feel ready to celebrate again. In fact, some experts predict that the US will party like the Roaring 20’s or the end of WWII (McMillan, Brager).

Restaurants and bars will get in on the action, and it is expected that wine sales, especially sparkling, will surge in most channels towards the end of year. 


A big thank you to  where you can find more information on the US wine Industry.

It is imperative that our South African wine industry stays up to date with international trends and we will be producing more information to keep our industry in the loop.


Please support the SA Wine Industry, with a little help you can feed a whole family  Click Here!

 Original article: