Wine connoisseur Jim Feldkamp takes a closer look at several of this year’s biggest emerging trends in the industry.
From low-alcohol varieties to organic production, despite unusual market conditions stemming from the ongoing international health crisis, the global wine industry has seen a number of trends either emerge or take off during the first six months of 2020. Wine connoisseur, retired naval officer, and author Jim Feldkamp takes a closer look at several such trends, starting with biodynamic varieties of his favorite tipple.
“Biodynamic wines have never been more in demand,” reveals wine connoisseur Jim Feldkamp, speaking from his home in Arlington County, Virginia.
Both in retail and in restaurants, call for biodynamic wines—made by employing alternative, esoteric techniques both in farming and during post-harvest processing—has skyrocketed this year. “Of course, the restaurant trade has suffered amid unusual market conditions during much of 2020, but both prior to the ongoing global health crisis, and since precautions have been eased in recent weeks, demand for biodynamic wine varieties was—and has been—huge,” explains Feldkamp.
The same, he says, has been true throughout in terms of retail, as reported by the majority of distributors and stores supplying and selling biodynamic wines.
Similarly, organic wine sales have continued to soar this year, according to expert Jim Feldkamp. “It’s estimated that, by 2023, the U.S. will be consuming more than 90 million bottles annually,” he notes, “equivalent to in excess of nine percent of global organic wine production.”
Elsewhere, an exciting trend identified by Jim Feldkamp centers around wine from women winemakers. “Wines from women winemakers,” he explains, “and dedicated women-owned wineries have really taken off in the past year or two.”
Culminating in better-than-ever sales this year for predominantly female-owned and operated wineries and vineyards, wider figures also highlight a broader trend toward varieties produced by other specialist operators. “Notable female-fronted wineries are, it seems, currently chief among these in many markets, both in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world,” adds Feldkamp.
Finally, Jim Feldkamp turns to low-alcohol wines. “Low and even zero-alcohol wines have exploded in 2020,” he reveals. The sector even made multinational supermarket chain Whole Foods Market’s top 10 trends for food and drink combined this year, Feldkamp reports. “Non-alcoholic drinks including wines, beers, and cocktails have been more and more in demand as, perhaps, we take a healthier approach to food, drink, and life in general after concerns raised by the global pandemic,” he suggests.
“Even the world’s most famous bars and restaurants are now offering reimagined zero-alcohol cocktails,” adds Jim Feldkamp, “as well as low and zero-alcohol wines and beers – many from highly renowned producers.”
Author and wine connoisseur Jim Feldkamp is a retired naval officer and cybersecurity expert with more than three decades of professional experience. A subject matter expert at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., the author has previously taught undergraduate courses in both domestic and international terrorism. In his free time, Jim Feldkamp’s interests and hobbies include wine tasting, politics, sailing, and international travel.