Philly's Top Sommeliers Talk 2021 Wine Trends

Antonia Depace | February 16, 2021 | Migration

Jill Davis, beverage director at Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia PHOTO COURTESY OF FOUR SEASONS HOTEL PHILADELPHIA
Jill Davis, beverage director at Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia

It’s no secret that wine and spirit sales have boomed during the pandemic, so there’s no better time to check in with local sommeliers for their predicted vino trends for the new year.

Jill Davis, Beverage Director at Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia

“There are many reasons why people would want to take a night off from drinking or merely take it easy. Due to this, low-ABV and nonalcoholic or zero-proof cocktails, beer and wine are all on the rise. I anticipate this trend will continue and become stronger throughout 2021. For instance, there is a movement in the winemaking and beer-making communities to make wines that are lower ABV and session beers. Bartenders are incorporating sherry and vermouth into their cocktails (both lower in alcohol than most liquors) to make great drinks so that you can have more than one without feeling it.”

Kevin Denson, Beverage Director at Fork

“The average wine consumer is getting younger and more knowledgeable with higher standards for sustainable practices and quality. In 2021, we will see a shift—both in production and consumption—away from traditional winemaking and toward organic and experimental methods. Emerging wine regions of China and Canada will take a leap forward in the global market, while in the U.S., demand for local and regionally specific products will grow significantly.”

Aimee Olexy, Owner at The Love

“2021 is the time for local wine in Pennsylvania. It is irrefutable, as we’ve come so far in 2020 and we’ve learned to depend on makers in our own region and community. Just like incredible distillers, brewers, cheesemakers, bakers and farmers... local wineries and winemakers abound, and the juice is outstanding! It is fresh, delicious and at your doorstep. Get out there and support your local wineries.”

Andrew McLaughlin, General Manager at Steak 48

“I believe a trend we will continue to see in 2021 is the top echelon of vineyards and winemakers becoming more inventive in utilizing their top vintages in order to produce a ‘super blend.’ Penfolds, a winery located in Australia, recently released their g3 series, which blends three different top vintages. With the amount of natural disasters happening in California, I would not be surprised if we begin to see vineyards such as Screaming Eagle and Opus One begin to experiment with multivintage blends to draw in the serious wine drinker looking for that new, modern luxury experience.”