Five drinking trends expected to shake things up in 2019

Wednesday, 20 March, 2019
Times Live, Wade Bales
From lower-alcohol wines to hybrid drinks, ever-on-the-pulse Wade Bales tells us what we'll be drinking this year

Predicting drinking trends is a little like predicting weather patterns … it’s a swirling blend of science, trend-spotting and experience. With his finger on various pulses and in countless barrels across the Cape – here are Wade Bales’s predictions on five emerging developments set to shake up 2019 …


With escalating global temperatures, we’ve seen a parallel rise in the public’s general awareness and concern for the environment. Never before in modern history have so many consumers set such high ethical standards for the products and brands they choose to support. Indeed, a recent study in the UK found there had been a 350% increase in people choosing to become vegetarians over the past three years alone and, if my local deli is anything to go by, this is a trend I don’t see slowing down anytime soon.

Although wine lovers the world over can breathe a sigh of relief that wine is definitely vegan, not all wines leave an equal impact on their environment. Those producers who appreciate this, and increasingly move toward a biodynamic or sustainable and environmentally-gentle mode of winemaking, will be richly rewarded. Never more so than in 2019 and beyond.


Around the world, lighter styles of wine are on the rise and South Africa is no exception. Fewer people are looking for over-extracted, blockbuster wines and more people are opting for fresh, uncomplicated styles made with less wood and loaded with fruit and well-balanced acidity.

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