PREMIUM TEQUILA (AND MEZCAL TOO!)
Tequila, tequila- it's popularity continues to grow and has even been called "The New Vodka" by the likes of Martha Stewart. But the upswing in appetite for tequila means that shortages have stifled the market, especially for macro producers.
What that means for consumers- we'll be seeing a lot of newer premium tequila brands take this opportunity to break through and get into the spotlight. Plus, Mezcal is along for the ride! You'll get a chance to explore this category even more this year as new brands and new products hit the shelves.
AMERICAN WHISKEYS (MORE THAN JUST BOURBON)
In similar fashion to the aforementioned tequila boom, high demands for specialty bourbons have made it more and more difficult for customers to get their hands on the bottles they want. Many of Kentucky's most beloved bourbons have been in short supply this past year and have become "allocated," meaning retailers and individuals have to work their way up the waitlist for certain products.
What that means for us- even though bourbon is in short supply, there are tons of other American whiskies to explore and this is their year to shine! Producers from all over the country are stepping up to the plate with incredible craftsmanship and some creative innovations too.
OLD WORLD BEERS
As much as we love them- the market for IPAs has become so saturated, it's become difficult to navigate and even harder for brands to stand out in such a crowded field. IPAs aren't going to vanish, but you can expect to see other styles get a bigger share of the spotlight this year.
Instead of jumping from hop to hop for the flavor of the moment, find a change of pace and a renewed interest in the old world beers that are producing recipes hardly altered for hundreds of years. In a world with overwhelming options, time-tested producers will offer a respite for their growing fan base.
Also moving away from IPAs, craft producers and microbrewers will be taking their experimental notions and applying them to more traditional beer styles like lagers. Bear in mind, the process of brewing a lager takes longer than ale. So don't expect to see new flavors hit the shelves at the same break-neck pace that IPAs often do.
One more thing that has us excited about this trend- so many of our favorite lagers are being made by craft brewers right here in New England!
SKIN CONTACT & NATURAL WINES
The lines between red and white have grown increasingly blurred. Rosé has become a world of its own, but it doesn't stop with shades of pink. This year, you'll see more shades of wine including orange wines, amber wine, piquettes and pet nats.
When it comes to a wine's color, the most influential factor is of course the color of the grape itself. But another key component is the "skin contact." In other words, how long are the grape skins in contact with the juice during the maceration process? Depending on the color of the skins and how long they spend in contact with the juice before fermentation, you'll get a whole spectrum of colors!
A piquette is a low-alcohol beverage made from the second pressings of normal wine production. It's light, refreshing, and becoming increasingly popular! A pet-nat, short for pétillant naturel (natural sparkling) is another sensational style you'll see even more of this year. To put it simply- it's just natural wine given a little bit of yeast to produce fine, natural bubbles and extra distinctive flavors.
WHAT ELSE TO LOOK OUT FOR
Not exactly new to 2022, but something you'll be seeing an expanded variety of (with an improvement in quality and taste too, as new brands join the market with innovation and creativity).
Yes, you've probably already been inundated with messages and ads for dozens of hard seltzer brands. No, this trend isn't slowing down just yet, but you'll see the category expand to include hard kombuchas, teas, and more. If you haven't dipped your toes in this trend yet, here are a few that get the Bottles stamp of approval.
Think further than Angry Orchard and Magners. Craft producers have taken to embracing smaller-scale, traditional production methods and are creating ciders that are dryer and more nuanced than mainstream ciders. Traditional French ciders in particular are gaining a following with ciders that are treated more like fine wines. From calvados barrel aging to vintage reserves, expect to find a growing variety of both domestic and imported ciders made available at Bottles.