The moscato and sweet red wine trends have received more attention, but the revolution in cheap pinot noir may eventually be just as important to the wine business and to consumers.
That’s the gist of a story I wrote for the Beverage Media trade magazine. Pinot, traditionally the province of oenophiles with deep pockets, has long been considered fine wine more than mass wine for two reasons: The grape was always difficult to grow and difficult to turn into wine. Neither is especially true any more, and these changes have allowed winemakers to produce millions of cases of pinot that costs less than $15 a bottle and is clean and professional – if sometimes not very pinot-ish in taste.
In addition, the popularity of these wines is another indication that U.S. wine drinkers are looking for fruitier, less tannic, and less alcoholic options than merlot and cabernet sauvignon, and this ties into the moscato and sweet red trends. The tremendous growth in the popularity of these three wines hints at larger changes in what wine drinkers want, though it’s probably too soon to know more than that.
The story’s highlights and a few other thoughts, after the jump: