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While February 18 is observed annually as National Drink Wine Day, Ryan Valentine, our Director of Beverage, gives us plenty of reasons to celebrate this holiday all year long. Here are some of his predictions for 2018 wine trends:

Rosé will continue to bloom. Whether you enjoy a rosé wine or champagne, rosé has become popular in recent years. Sparkling wines are some of the most versatile wines to pair with food. They’re incredibly refreshing, dry, crisp, and light, and are typically not too expensive. We saw the trend for sparkling wines start a few years ago with prosecco, but with the increase in quality of rosé over the years, we’ve seen our guests notice the difference and start to ask for rosé instead. This wine used to be just a summer selection, but due to demand, these wines appear on our menus year-round.

Guests’ travels are influencing their choices. As our guests have more interest in globetrotting, their wine palate is expanding. The world market has opened up, and we’re starting to see different spices, fruits, and flavors coming onto the scene. You will see more wines from around the world come into play, and more selection in grape varietals from wine producing countries. For example, you will see other noble grapes coming out of Malbec-heavy Argentina going forward in the U.S.

Good wine can be appreciated at any budget. Dollar for dollar, Spanish wines are the best value for 2018. Over the years, Spain has modernized its wine production from the vineyard to the bottle. As a result, the quality of these wines is noticeable – the wines have a lot of character and quality – but are still affordably priced. Three Spanish wines I would try are Roijas, Garnacha and Albariño.

Wine is becoming a personal choice. As younger audiences are embracing wine (nearly half of all wine consumption in the U.S is by millennials), finding the right wines for you should always be a personal choice. Some people are intimidated about wine because they think it’s too complex. Don’t worry about what the “experts” are saying – be open to trying different wines, and find what flavors and experiences suit your palate. Always trust your palate.

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