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OPINION | BOTTLE SHOTS: Bottoms up to 2022 with these wine predictions

by Seth Eli Barlow | January 12, 2022 at 2:14 a.m.


I've never been one for New Year's resolutions, but I absolutely love a New Year's prediction. With that in mind, here are a few wine-related predictions for what 2022 has in store for us. Maybe we'll come back 52 columns from now and see how wrong or right I was.

The supply chain is going to make things a lot worse.

I guess this is less of a prediction and more of a statement of fact: Our wine woes are about to get worse. Instead of worrying about it, use this as a chance to try wines from lesser-known regions, producers and grape varieties.

Natural wine is finally going to make a splash in Arkansas.

I've tried to avoid addressing natural wine in this column for various reasons, largely due to a lack of natural wines in the state to write about. Still, I think 2022 will be the year when the movement, with its focus on low-intervention winemaking, will finally show up in the Natural State. I've noticed wine shops like Bentonville's King James Wine School have started marking wines that use sustainable and biodynamic farming practices, and I expect the trend to expand over the year.

The dry January fad will finally pass.

I don't like telling folks how much to drink, but my semi-professional opinion is that people who attempt dry January tend to have an extra-wet February. If you're looking to cut down on your intake, there are much better ways than going cold turkey during the dreariest month of the year.

Sparkling wine is going to finally have its moment.

This might also be less of a prediction and more of my own personal wish fulfillment, but I think 2022 will be the year people will begin drinking sparkling wine with the frequency of reds and whites. I promise that there's no more versatile food pairing and nothing more fun to drink than a bottle of bubbles.

The bar/retail hybrid will finally take off.

If you find yourself in Rogers anytime soon, do yourself a favor and visit one of the state's most exciting wine bars: Mavis Wine Co. The natural wine-focused bar is the first (and only to my knowledge) wine bar with a dedicated retail section. Guests are welcome to grab their own bottles from the shelf to take home or enjoy them at the bar. This hybrid concept has been popular across the country and -- thanks to changes in alcohol laws during the pandemic -- has finally made its way here. I love it, I think you will too, and I think (hope!) Central Arkansas will have its own version by year's end.

As always, you can see what I'm drinking on Instagram at @sethebarlow and send your wine questions and quibbles to sethebarlowwine@gmail.com


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