Top 8 wine trends for 2018

It’s time to reflect on the year that was and look ahead to what the New Year might have in store for the UK On Trade.

Our customers, sales teams and award-winning market insights team picked eight top wine trends to look out for in 2018.

Here’s a snapshot of the trends and our top producer picks. Download the full report for more. 

1. Premium Languedoc and Roussillon

Languedoc and Roussillon are continuing their premiumisation and top-quality wines from these regions are now winning coveted spots on wine lists.

Producer Pick:

Chateau Maris

Minervois La Liviniere, Languedoc | Southern France

Purchased by British ex-pat Robert (Bertie) Eden in 1997, the 50ha domaine in Minervois’ La Liviniere is 100% organic and biodynamic certified. La Liviniere is the first cru classe of Minervois, located at the foot of the Black Mountains, where Bertie produces a range of complex whites and reds.

Try the Les Anciens Carignan 2013.

2. The rise of alternative Loire

There’s been a shift towards more alternative Loire regions over the last year and we’re now seeing a striking absence of major regions in favour of alternatives like Anjou and Saumur.

Producer Pick:

Chateau Pierre-Bise

Anjou-Saumur, Loire Valley | France

Claude Papin, winemaker and owner of Chateau Pierre-Bise, is a leading light in the Loire and a thoroughly engaging conversationalist to boot. His approach to Chenin Blanc is simple: ‘The Chenin is made by botrytization. If there isn’t any, it always makes hard wine. Even my dry wines are made with about 50% botrytization. This translates in the wine as honeyed notes.’

Try the Savennieres Clos de la Couilaine 2014.

3. Organic, biodynamic... and natural

Nearly 38% of wine lists include at least one organic, biodynamic or natural wine. This is unprecedented growth, considering this time last year only 10% of lists included these categories. You can find out more about Biodynamics in our article.

Producer Pick:


Gisborne | New Zealand

James Millton is a living legend in the New Zealand wine scene. A pioneer of organic and biodynamic winemaking, there are only two things that matter to James and his wife Annie: the quality of the wine and leaving the land in an improved state for future generations.

Try the Clos de Ste Anne Chardonnay 2014.

4. Time for Cava

“Moving up the quality ladder, drinkers are increasingly looking for alternatives to Prosecco and sommeliers are increasingly looking at top Cava,” says Chris Harag, Bibendum business development manager. Read more about this trend in our article.

Producer Pick:

Cava Llopart

Subirats | Spain

The Cava Llopart story started in 1385, when the Llopart family came into possession of some vineyards located in the country estate of Can Llopart de Subirats. The Llopart vineyards are 100% certified organic, and the minerality in these soils result in interesting growing conditions for the vines, producing concentrated sparkling wines made in the traditional method.

Try the Brut Reserva 2014.

5. American Pinot

Pinot Noir from the USA can be found on almost 1 in 4 wine lists – and this is still growing. It’s not just from California, but Oregon and Washington are also establishing traction in the UK market.

Producer Pick:

Rex Hill

Willamette Valley, Oregon | USA

Produced by A to Z Wineworks, Rex Hill is a classic Oregon Pinot Noir with intense fruit flavours. Founded in 2002 by Domaine Drouhin legend Bill Hatcher and his wife Deb, A to Z is Oregon's fastest-growing winery. They have a fantastic team of winemakers, with an address book of all the great grape growers in Oregon…

Try the Rex Hill Pinot Noir 2014.

6. No more ABC-club

Gone are the days of ‘Anything But Chardonnay’, says Paul Brown, Bibendum business development manager, with the average On Trade list price of Chardonnay increasing by 10% in the last year.

Producer Pick:


Margaret River | Australia

Chief winemaker Glenn Goodall believes that true quality begins in the vineyard and that winemaking is all about respecting the fruit – purely guiding the wines through to the bottle. Sharing the vision of the winery with owners the Rathbone family, there is an uncompromising focus on quality.

Try the Xanadu Estate Chardonnay 2014.

7. English sparkling wine

During the last year, value and volume sales of English sparkling wine nearly doubled at Bibendum and we’re now selling to an increased number of customers. “There are clear signs of organic growth, after years of hard work from producers at cellar door and in the trade,” says Joseph Arthur, Bibendum fine wine business development executive. Read more about the rise of English sparkling wine in our article.

Producer Pick:

Coates & Seely

Hampshire | England

When two old friends, Nicholas Coates and Christian Seely, came across the chalk-rich Wooldings vineyard in the North Hampshire Downs, their plan was simple: use traditional Champagne methods alongside cutting-edge winemaking technology to reflect the unique terroir of this corner of southern England.

Try the Britagne Brut Rosé NV.

8. Premium Malbec

It may be one of the most popular red wines for entry, mid-level and by the glass offers, but James Stoddart, Bibendum business channel director for premium groups, explains that many restaurant lists now include two Malbecs – one at an entry level, and another more premium offer reaching £30 plus.

Producer Pick:


Mendoza | Argentina

No-one has done more to put Mendoza on the map, or to raise the profile of Malbec, than Nicolas Catena. From seeking high-altitude sites, to venturing beyond Mendoza, the family’s commitment to research and development continues apace with daughter Laura now at the helm.

Try the Alta Malbec 2014.

For more on these and other drinks trends, download the full report.

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