I learned so much about wine this year!

I was introduced to Moscato, and learned that some people actually mix liquor with wine.

I also learned you can pair wine with just about anything – including Halloween candy, and cupcakes!


But that’s all in the past -- what can we expect in the wine world’s future? I asked Ray Isle, executive wine editor, of FOOD & WINE magazine to look into his crystal ball.

His prediction? Light and sweet is here to stay.

Lightly sweet red wines have been gaining popularity among wine consumers. They're not labeled “sweet,” but they're basically red blends from California that have a little extra residual sugar so they appeals to younger people who've been drinking soda and are now starting to think, “hey, what about wine?”

And the best part is that those wines are generally affordable.

On the high end, Champagne is doing really well-sales are up 15% from last year, volume is up too, according to Isle. Maybe it’s a sign that people feel more like celebrating than they did in the past couple of years.

“One of the weirdest trends this year has been a huge boom in Moscato, which is basically a sweet white wine,” says Isle.

The classic version comes from Italy, and is sparkling, but again, the growth has really been fueled by affordable versions from California. And it doesn’t hurt that a bunch of hip-hop performers like Waka Flocka started singing about it in their lyrics.  

“It's crazy, because it's a completely obscure product made from a very obscure grape,” says Isle. Sales were up 73% in 2011, though.

Nothing obscure about that.

So what did you think were the best wine trends of 2011? Or what are you predictions for 2012.  Let me know!

Cent ‘Anni.

Questions for Our Wine Pro

 

Tracy Byrnes joined FOX Business Network (FBN) in October 2007 as a reporter.