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Seasonal Trends in Wine and Spirits

By Arthur Dorety | Posted December 21, 2023

The holidays descend upon us quickly. It is a time of thanks, sharing, celebration, and gatherings of friends and family. At Skillman Wine and Liquor, we can recommend the essentials or something special for a certain someone.

So, what’s new? Trends come and go. Some trends, however, stick around. Bourbon these days is as big as ever making a greater demand than supply. Exotic liqueurs are currently a growing trend, such as Amaro, Chartreuse, Absinthe, Campari, and Aperol continuing popularity year-round. Winter favorites, such as Irish Cream, Khalua, and Amaretto, never fade.

Wines are still a main go-to. Huge expansion in wine production in the U.S. and greater exposure and education from abroad, the palate of the American wine drinker has expanded proportionally. There were growth stages as people learned there was a Red Zinfandel, the popularity of Merlot rose and then fell, followed by Pinot Noir and then Malbecs. In between, we learned of Petite Sirah, Syrah, aka Shiraz from Down Under, and in recent years many have come to understand those long wordy labels on the Riesling bottle. On the sparkling side, Prosecco maintains dominance over pricier Champagnes. Prosecco has a bit more sparkle, is generally light in body, very accessible to the palate, and is priced perfectly.

The craft beer boom continues, but has leveled-out some. There is a slight backwards trend with brand loyalty reappearing, although with new brands. But, a certain amount of variety is still the spice of life and to that, sour beers are going strong for a small niche style.

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When it comes to gifting alcohol, be observant, see what people drink. Ask questions. As long as it’s not too close to the holidays people won’t get suspicious. If still unsure, I highly recommend asking a store clerk. There are usually a few that are educated in all things, but also have special knowledge of a niche, like a wine, beer, or bourbon expert.

Beware of “Gift” packages. A special four-pack of beer with a nice glass is good. Bailey’s with a couple of ice cream bowls, not so good. The recipient would likely prefer the Bailey’s without the accessories. A pair of wines, one red and one white together is nice and safe, especially if you don’t know which they prefer. You or the store can provide the special wrapping for that gift. Also consider accessories—wine dispensers, aerators, special ice cube trays, metal stirrers, shakers, openers, and all manner of things down to cocktail umbrellas.

Most of all, find time to enjoy your friends and family.


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