Top 80s Wine Trends That Stood The Test of Time
by Jane Duncan, freelance writer
May 5 2020
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Chardonnay has never really left the building
If you were fortunate enough to grow up in the 80s, chances are you will remember your yuppie parents relishing in a glass or three of Chardonnay at one of a handful of fancy restaurants in your home town. The dry white wine was particularly popular during the 80s after California exploded onto the national wine scene with its biggest varietal — Chardonnay — becoming its signature grape. Ordering a glass of Chardonnay with your dinner became somewhat of status symbol in the 1980s, only to be downgraded to a cliché during the next decade.
Fast-forward to 2018 and Chardonnay was once again the USA’s best-selling wine, accounting for nearly one-fifth of table wine sold in retail outlets in the country. Over in the UK, Chardonnay also remains one of the most popular varietals with over 150 vineyards reportedly cultivating it. Your typical present-day Chardonnay might not have the same unsubtle butter and oak flavour profile as the offerings from back in the day, but it sure continues to have a great appeal to non-fastidious wine lovers.
Champagne has a timeless appeal
Before 1980, champagne and sparkling wine were only really consumed on very special occasions such as engagement parties, graduations, and weddings. Thanks to the 80s yuppie movement, however, bubbly soon became the drink of choice among individuals wanting to show off their newly-acquired affluence. The popularity of champagne continued to skyrocket and by 1987 the market was soaring – having doubled from the year before.
While champagne is still considered a special-occasion beverage, more and more people consume it as a normal-day pleasure. In 2018, global champagne sales edged ahead of 2017 by 0.3 — a new record value. As long as there are celebrations to be had and people who prefer their daily wine to be bubbly, champagne will continue to be one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in the country.
Every year we are inundated with countless trends with varying degrees of staying power. The 80s were such a memorable age though, that it is no surprise that many wine trends from 40 years ago are still going strong to this very day.