The Hottest Trends in Food and Wine in 2016


Courtesy Gik Credit Gïk Live with self-proclaimed "the world’s first blue wine"—for better or for worse.
Courtesy Gik
Credit Gïk Live with self-proclaimed “the world’s first blue wine”—for better or for worse.

Experts discuss the death of fine dining, whether it’s okay to Instagram at the table and the rise of…blue wine.

It seems to be List season in the restaurant world. Two weeks ago, we got the annual World’s 50 Best Restaurants, a showcase of artful, intense, and (admittedly sometimes) overwrought fine dining around the globe. Last night, Wine Enthusiast magazine joined the party with their list of the 100 Best Wine restaurants in the U.S., a roundup of what their editors call “the best, brightest and most interesting wine and food experiences” in the country. Some of the featured players are expected — standbys like Le Bernardin andDaniel in New York, FIG in Charleston, Miller Union in Atlanta, Redbird in Los Angeles, or A16 in San Francisco; others are rebels, like Nashville’s Catbird Seat, New York’s Momofuku Ko, L.A.’s Cliff’s Edge, or Parachute in Chicago. A handful made it onto the list in their first year of operation, including Kindred in Davidson, N.C., Bracero in San Diego, and Wildair in New York. Check out the full list.

By way of celebration, Wine Enthusiast pulled a panel of experts from the restaurants on the list—Jordan Salcito of Momofuku GroupJack Mason of Marta, and Eric Ziebold of Kinship—and asked them to talk about what they’re seeing in the world of wine and food these days.

Here’s are some of the trends they called out:

  1. The Death of Fine Dining 
  2. The classics are making a comeback
  3. Restaurants are specializing
  4. Wine apps actually help sommeliers—because they help diners. We want people to feel comfortable, says Salcito; if apps help them get there, restaurateurs are all for them. The more diners know what they like and want, the more somms have to build on when crafting their experiences.  Check out Natalie MacLean’s improved and free NatDecants app.
  5. Customers are better educated than ever.
  6. Instagrammers are welcome.
  7. Great new wines are coming from unexpected places.
  8. Blue wine: It’s a thing. Panelists’ reactions were…mixed.

Read the complete Conde Nast Traveler article here