Here we are at the end of the year, and 2016 is knocking on our door. Everyone has their mind on the holidays and enjoying festivities with friends & family. But savvy media consumers also know this is the time when everyone and their mother recap the past year and anticipate trends for the coming year. In fact, even this agency’s blog is recapping 2015 across all of our practices, from Food & Beverage to Consumer and Healthcare. But the yearly reviews that excite me the most include, you guessed it, WINE!

As marketing professionals, of course we want to see our products included in yearly recaps. But which ones are the most important, or the most reputable? Let’s take a look at some of the Top 100 Wine Lists from the industry’s biggest influencers and see what it all means:

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Wine.com

Unlike some of the more reputable wine publications, Wine.com doesn’t rank their wines based on the scores of wine critics. Instead, Wine.com has “compiled [their] top 100 list based entirely on customer preferences… we wanted our customers to be the judge, voting with their wallets.”

The Wine.com Top 100 list illustrates the wines people are buying and drinking all year long. As popular wine blogger Joe Roberts of 1WineDude succinctly recaps, “They’re not the highest-rated wines; nor are they the most steeply-discounted wines. They’re the wines that people wanted to buy.”

So what did consumers want to buy in 2015? As one might anticipate, the Top 10 lineup includes some of the biggest wine trends of the year: Rosé, Sparkling wine, and Red blends. And not surprisingly, classic Cabernet Sauvignon took two of the top 10 spots. So even though wine buyers are becoming more experimental, particularly among millennial consumers,  the tried-and-true favorites are still crowd pleasers.

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Wine Spectator

Often considered the most reputable wine publication by trade professionals, Wine Spectator explains their yearly round-up is “based on quality, value, availability and excitement.” Taking advantage of the ‘excitement’ element, the publication slowly unveiled their Top 100 Wine List over the course of a week. Teaser emails were sent to their database each day, incrementally revealing wines 91-100, 81-90, etc… until the final Top Wines were revealed. This marketing tactic provided opportunity for Wine Spectator to send daily emails and build buzz within their community.

For 2015, a bold Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was selected as the top wine of the year, though wines from Spain, France & Italy were also included in the top 10. But no matter the ranking, nearly every wine on the list will surely sell out of the reviewed vintage simply due to the hype surrounding the list.

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Wine Enthusiast

My personal favorite Top 100 lists comes from Wine Enthusiast, as they recap their Top 100 Best Buy’s of the year. I love Best Buy’s because they highlight wines with superb critical rankings that are $15 or less per bottle. That means these wines are accessible to everyone, not just aficionados.  Wine Enthusiast explains: “Our Best Buy designation identifies those high quality-to-price ratio treasures….Out of the nearly 19,500 wines we reviewed this year, less than 7% achieved this distinction, which gives you an idea of just how special these finds are.”

So if you’re looking to impress your friends & family with a great value wine this holiday season, Wine Enthusiast is the publication for you. As you can see from the infographic below, you can find great quality and value in wines from all parts the world.

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So what does it all mean? Though these lists provide insight into trends, in the end, I believe you should be sipping on whatever you like to drink. These days, wines are created in a plethora of styles from everywhere in the world. Whether your favorite wine is included in a yearly roundup or not, all that matters is your enjoyment. The best wine experiences are shared with friends and family, or paired with decadent meals.

So as we toast to the New Year, grab a bottle of whatever the heck you like to drink and share it with the people who mean the most to you. And if you want to snap of a picture of it and share it on Instagram for your social media friend’s to envy… well, I encourage that, too. #wine

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Photo Credits: Pintrest.com, GalloWineTrends.com, WineSpectator.com, WineEnthusiast.com, BuzzFeed.com,