Beverage experts from Sea Pines Resort and Bellerive CC weigh in on what trends will impact programs in 2020.
From a fizzy infatuation with Pét-Nat to understanding the science behind vegan wines, the past year has been abuzz with wine trends. Be it as hip as orange wine or as altruistic as purchasing more wines made by women, many of these trends can and should impact a club’s wine program. But how?
One of the more popular trends to gain traction is year-round rosé consumption. The always-anticipated seasonal explosion is still greatly celebrated, but enjoying a pale pink glass of vino is now just as acceptable in December as it is in May.
Eric Peterson, Beverage Manager and Sommelier at Bellerive Country Club (St. Louis, Mo.), has seen a steady rise in rosé sales over the last five years. Bellerive now carries one vintage rosé by-the-glass listing, as well as a few bottle options, year-round.
During the season, Bellerive even hosts two “Rosé All Day” events with six by-the-glass options, including a sparkling Cava, representing four different countries and several varietals.
Sea Pines Beach Club on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina has seen a similar rise in off-peak rosé sales, which has led to the resort hosting a number of rosé-dedicated events, including “Rosé in May,” and “Rosé & BBQ Soiree.”
“For each of these events, we select wines with distinct countries of origin, varietal composition, and palate, so our guests can experience rosé’s range,” says Alex Dinerstein, Sea Pines BC’s Wine Program Manager.
Another trend gaining momentum is the utilization of wine-preservation systems, to offer higher quality and by-the-glass pours of older vintages.
At Sea Pines BC, Dinerstein offers both on-list as well as featured by-the-glass pours. He also uses the system to gauge demand for candidates that have the potential to be included on future lists.
Bellerive CC plans to introduce a wine-preservation system this spring, and Peterson is looking forward to the opportunity to offer members by-the-glass options at or above the $25 price point.
Another trend heating up wine lists is the surge in interest for lesser-known varietals from undiscovered regions. Peterson has been able to utilize his by-the-glass list and wine-tasting events to encourage Bellerive’s fairly traditional membership to try some of these more non-traditional wines.
“Last summer I was able to pour a sémillon from Hunter Valley, Australia as an alternative to chardonnay,” he says. “The members loved it.”
At the club’s weekly Friday Wine Tastings, he introduces new crowd favorites that include lesser-known grapes such as Grüner Vetliner, Soave, Etna Rosso (Nerello Mascalese), and others.
“It’s wonderful to be able to offer our members really great wines by the glass like Trebbiano, Barolo, or Amarone,” says Peterson. “Members are far more willing to step out of their comfort zone and try something new when it’s just one glass, as opposed to a whole bottle. It also helps when I can tell them the story behind the wine.”
At both Bellerive and Sea Pines, new wines are most successful when strong leaders can offer insight into where they came from, what they taste like and why they’re being poured. Both Dinerstein and Peterson utilize their rapport with members and guests as they carefully curate events, tastings, and weekly by-the-glass features that showcase new concepts and help to gauge how trendy wines might perform on their well-crafted wine lists.