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Top Ten Beverage Trends for 2010



Benchmark Hospitality International’s

Top Ten Beverage Trends for 2010

Chief Sommelier Mary Watson One of Few Woman Wine Experts in US

The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, August 2010 ... Benchmark Hospitality International
a leading US-based hospitality management company, has just released its Top Ten Beverage Trends for 2010.  The beverage trends were released in response to requests following the distribution of the company’s popular annual dining trends this past June. 

This is an exciting time for the beverage industry, with lots of positive
changes occurring,” said Mary Watson-DeLauder, chief sommelier for Benchmark Hospitality International.  “Some of the changes are economically driven, some taste oriented, and still others created out of necessity in response to changing palates and a new generation of consumers.”

Trend #1

Unoaked chardonnays are replacing the big oak wines of the past.  Current wines are
easier to enjoy with or without food.  Several wineries have backed off on oak completely to focus more attention on the fruit characteristics of the chardonnay grape.

Trend #2

Sauvignon Blanc continues to gain popularity, with New Zealand leading
the pack.  South AfricaChileCalifornia, and Virginia are producing
great examples of this wine as well.  Sauvignon Blanc is perhaps the most terroir-influenced of all grapes, an important consideration in today’s locavore dining environment.

Trend #3

More obscure grape varieties like Torrontes, Bonarda, Carmenere,
Albarino, Chenin Blanc are being embraced 
today.  These also tend to
be less expensive alternatives, which is important to today’s consumers.

Trend #4

Champagne sales are down this year but sales of sparkling wines, such as
Spanish Cava, Prosecco, French Cremant, are up.  New and innovative
cocktails and punches are making great use of these less expensive
sparkling wine versions. 

Trend #5

Sangria is making a comeback – often mixing in less expensive wines currently on the market.  A sangria bar is an increasingly popular change of pace from Bloody Mary bars for brunch and cocktail parties.  Cava Sangria, made with the sparkling Spanish Cava wine, for example, is refreshing and great fun to enjoy!

Trend #6

Retro with a twist … basic cocktails like martinis, mojitos, margaritas, sidecars, etc. are being revamped with fresh new ingredients such as herbs, spices, and unusual fruits and vegetables.  Select bars are making their own mixers - sweet & sour mix, ginger ale and tonics.  House-made simple syrups are being infused with herbs and spices.  Select bars are creating their own flavored vodkas, gins, rums using fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices.

Trend #7

Novelty is au courant in cocktails today.  Bars are creating contemporary ways to serve traditional cocktails … including, for example, wine popsicles.

Trend #8


Craft beers are hot.  “Beer dinners” are growing in popularity, demonstrating the compatibility of beer with food.  Beer is also working its way into cocktails, such as with beer margaritas.

Trend #9

The Slow Food revolution now includes enjoying locally produced beverages.  All 50 states have at least one winery, and most produce herbs and spices for flavoring cocktails, vodkas and rums. 


Trend #10

The popularity of wine and wine-pairing classes is strong and gathering steam!  Pairings of wine & cheese
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