2016 was a year marked by huge changes to the status quo and for some, a terribly sad time to be walking this earth. The uncertainty of the global economy and political upheavals the past year weighed on the minds of many people. The passing of music greats like David Bowie, Prince and George Michael, icons whose music most of us wine loving pre-millennials grew up with, added to the gloom of 2016.
It was against this backdrop that we compiled our best performing wines of 2016. The methodology we used to create this list was the same as 2015’s, the first year we started publishing our best performers. We considered how well each wine sold this year, the number of repeat purchases, and the retail price vis-a-vis other comparable wines. We also tracked the sales pattern of each wine and adjusted for seasonal variations.
At the beginning of 2016, we looked into our crystal ball and predicted wine labels in lower price brackets to dominate this year’s list and champagnes to do badly following expected cuts in corporate discretionary spending. But if the results below are an indicator of the economic outlook and our prowess as fortune tellers, we have reasons to feel optimistic about the first and absolute rubbish about the second.
There are 2 observations worth pointing out from the above list.
For a start, the Grandes Marques of Champagne made a totally unexpected clean sweep of the top 5 spots. Despite our early pessimistic projections, it seemed our customers found many things to say cheers to throughout the year, and toasting them with only the best champagnes. Prosecco just would not do it for them. In fact, other than the Sumarroca Cava Brut Nature Cuvee Gran Reserva 2012, a very good cava from an exceptional producer by the way, no other sparkling wines made the list this year.
Secondly, more wine labels priced above S$50 appeared in this year’s Top 40 Wines compared to last year’s. 7 out of 10 wines in this year's list were S$50 and above, compared to only 4 in 10 last year. As we have adjusted our computation to take into account outlier events, like the guy who bought 36 bottles of Krug champagne at one go, this meant that a significant number of people were actually drinking more expensive stuff on a regular basis in 2016. Our expectations were again way off the mark on this count.
So now, if you are still feeling down because of all the negative news, take heart from our Top 40 Wines of 2016. This is one positive economic barometer you can drink to. In the meantime, we are trading in our crystal ball for a crystal glass decanter. We wish you all the very best of 2017!
Prices shown in this table are correct as at the date of this article and may change subsequent to this date.