What can you expect to see in the wine industry in 2014? A couple of wine writers have scattered some tea leaves, peered into them and are venturing a few guesses.

Wine Searcher’s Tyler Colman lists several. Among the more interesting:

·                   Pushed by rising prices for estate wines and wines from “prestigious” areas, wine lovers and sommeliers will look ever harder for quality wines from more obscure regions. Sparkling wine producers in the Loire Valley and Northern Italy may be beneficiaries, as will still winemakers in New York state, Greece, Spain and central Europe.

·                   Wineries will become even more technology and social media conscious, using Twitter, Facebook and other social media to promote their products and stay in touch with their customers. Much of that effort will be directed at customers through their smartphones.

·                   The world will be drinking more wine, especially in the U.S. Craft beers and mixological cocktails may dilute wine’s influence, but the demand for fine wine remains strong despite the current economic climate.

Writing in the Washington Post, Dave McIntyre sees:

·                   The continuing growth of a “drink local” ethos. With quality wines now made in states throughout the country, not just California, restaurants and retailers can offer consumers a taste of the grape grown and vinified in their own backyard.

·                   Good deals will continue to come from Spain and Portugal, and wines from Eastern European countries will become more prevalent as their quality improves. Also look for more wines from less-familiar regions of Argentina and Chile, as well as Brazil.

·                   Chardonnay will captivate cork dorks all over again. The overly oaky, tropical fruity, alcoholic excesses of the past have been replaced by a commitment to restraint and varietal character, and producers both here and abroad believe their vineyards are ready to produce some truly exceptional wines.