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Top Wine & Mixology Trends To Watch for in 2017

Consumers/guests are savvier than ever.  The introduction of the smartphone allows guests to look for scores, price shop and review tasting notes on wines available on the dinner menu. We are very attuned and smart about our offerings and fair with the price structure so this is a very good thing for our portfolio of restaurants!
  • With varietal trends, Rosé made a huge impact in 2016 and that will continue into 2017.  A rosé by-the-glass is now a ‘must have' on all wine programs. This coincides with a rediscovery of lower-alcohol European style whites as a trend. New drinkers are discovering Chenin Blancs, Viogniers, Riesling, Sancerre, Vinho Verde, etc.  Whites with good aromatics are attracting new drinkers.
  • With reds, California Cab is still king. Many guests and buyers are finding great options from South America (Chile/Argentina) and from Washington State.
  • Red blends will also continue their upward trend. There are many styles to choose Bordeaux, Rhone, Italian varietals, Zin blends, etc.
  • Though Malbec is a staple on by-the-glass wine programs, buyers are open to looking at Merlot again.

Mixology Trends for 2017

  • It's now imperative that cocktail programs utilize fresh ingredients. Natural sweeteners are in (agave nectar, simple syrups), and artificial is out! Bars are finding a balance with utilizing ‘ready to use' alternatives such as Real Syrups, for example.
  • The use of pre-batching will be key in bar setup as space and time efficiency are always important.
  • Brands with a real story will resonate with customers. Whether a smaller distillery with a unique production method or a larger brand with long history.  Buyers want this.
  • What's out? Artificially flavored spirits. Cocktail recipes need to have natural flavor or a distiller needs to utilize all natural ingredients in the distilling process.  What the heck is dragon Berry Rum anyway???
  • What else if definitely in?
    • Agave spirits, all whiskeys
    • Utilizing wine in cocktails.  Example: French 75.  Also wine-based aperitifs like Aperol Sprits
    • "Tiki" style cocktails with a rum base
    • Cocktails to share
    • Education, education, education! Knowing our craft and being forward-thinking shows confidence and enhances guest experience. Training our bartenders, servers and managers to share stories of wine, spirits and cocktails to our guests is an area we strive to attain at HMC managed properties.
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