Top Drink Trend Predictions for 2012
6. Rise of Prosecco and Other Alternative Sparkling Wines
Instead of high-priced Champagnes, consumers seem to be favoring other sparkling wines, prosecco in particular, for being an affordable but still high-quality alternative.
7. Revenge of the "Oddball" Varieties
The Daily Meal's editorial director, Colman Andrews, suspects that "oddball" grape varieties (like assyrtiko, mencia, petit verdot, and pinotage) will gain more familiarity among consumers. And what's more, that many good, well-priced wines from Spanish wine regions previously unknown to Americans (Calatyud, Cariñena, Ribeiro, Jumilla) will become more widely available.
8. Colorization of IPAs
Craft beer expert Josh Bernstein, author of the recently published Brewed Awakening, singled out the colorization of IPAs as being a recent trend in the craft beer movement. "I think it really speaks to the popularity of the style," he said. "Normally they're a kind of reddish-golden color, but now you're seeing everything from white, hoppy wheat beers to black IPAs that have a dark tint but still drink light."
9. "Session" Beer Success
Suds experts like Michael Roper of The Hopleaf in Chicago predict that low-alcohol "session" beers are going to get more attention next year, favored for their high flavor and easy drinkability.
10. More Juice Bars
When Starbucks announced last month that it had acquired West Coast-based premium juice brand Evolution Fresh Inc. and was planning to launch an entirely new chain of juice bars, it was clear that juice bars were going to have a big moment in 2012.
11. Even More Intense Coffee Talk
If you don't yet philosophize about your morning cup, rhapsodize about the bean's terroir, and travel with your own pour-over, you might want to consider jumping on the bandwagon this year because the talk is only going to more intense.