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A look back at the trends of 2023 and 2024 predictions at DECANTsf.

| Cara Patricia
2023 Trends and 2024 Predictions:
#2- The fall of "natty" wine.
Are you tired of ordering a wine at a restaurant that tastes like kombucha or vinegar? You're not the only one. It seems like everyone opened their wine bar in the Bay Area over the past three years, and most of them, in my opinion, are a bit lacking. Lists full of wines that are definitely funky but often not "fine"; it feels like these wine programs are purposefully pushing guests away from the wine list and directly to cocktails. We need to bring seriously well-made wine back to the fold, and to do that, we need educated wine folk to be running these programs.
Be vocal about what you want! Send back SHITTY STUFF that's gross.

Reflecting on 2023, it felt like we were finding our balance. After the chaos of 2020 and the repeating struggles of 2021, 2022 had everyone eager to get out. In 2023, it seems like folks are staying home more, drinking a tad less, but having more fun when they do go out. Shoutout to all of you keeping SoMa West alive—we appreciate you! Let's keep it going. Don't forget to continue supporting small businesses, especially those owned by women, queer, and minority folks in 2024.

I don't have a crystal ball, but I do have the powers of observation. Here is what I have noticed the most in our collective behavior in 2023.

#1- The rise of craft zero-proof/alcohol free beverages.
We're into this one, honestly. I've been on the floor of a restaurant or bar since 2007, trying all sorts of bevies. It's only been in the past few years that alcohol-free options have become freely available, and only in the last year that they're truly en vogue! We've been really happy with what we've brought to DECANTsf. The wine-alternative has had a renaissance, and we've been loving the selections from NON & Kally, both made from a base of verjus (unfermented grape juice) and infused with botanicals. The world of apertivi and vermouth has also found great alcohol-free replacements, and Abstinence, Melati, and Ritual have become our favorites, either mixed into our Prosecco or gin for a low-proof refresher. Untitled Art and Sober Carpenter are making fantastic alcohol-free beers too. We even have a "Dry Bar" section on our menu now. This is the future!

#2- The fall of "natty" wine.
Are you tired of ordering a wine at a restaurant that tastes like kombucha or vinegar? You're not the only one. It seems like everyone opened their wine bar in the Bay Area over the past three years, and most of them, in my opinion, are a bit lacking. Lists full of wines that are definitely funky but often not "fine"; it feels like these wine programs are purposefully pushing guests away from the wine list and directly to cocktails. We need to bring seriously well-made wine back to the fold, and to do that, we need educated wine folk to be running these programs.
Be vocal about what you want! Send back stuff that's gross.
Natural wine is amazing, and let me tell you that 99% of DECANTsf's collection falls under the "natural" category. But what we don't want to be pressured into carrying is Natty wine—wines where you can taste microbes that have colonized in the bottle (hi, that's mousiness), or runaway brettanomyces, or refermenting juice. Natural means minimal intervention, not no-intervention. We aren't living in antiquity; we're allowed to have wine that has a little bit of science behind it (like regulating fermentation and sanitizing the winery). Yes, the wine will make itself, as long as it has someone thoughtfully shepherding it through, from the vineyard to bottling. We're super picky about what we bring in, and we never want you to have a less than stellar experience.

#3- Less online ordering, more in-person shopping.
I'm surprised at how often folks don't take advantage of our online store! I've been working hard to make our online shop easily navigable, but it seems like everyone would rather make the trip to SoMa, and I LOVE it! We love talking to you about wine, and shopping online does feel less personal. But, it does have our entire inventory on it, and you can always order online to reserve your bottle for pick-up. I'm thinking about putting in a chat program that will ping my personal phone whenever someone has a question while shopping online. Do you think that would be helpful, or will my mental health seriously decline from answering pings all day? Let me know your thoughts!

#4 - No one plans ahead.
We're all so busy, so I get it. We don't even sell-out our School of DECANT classes until the day before! But this year, we will work hard to make sure you see our whole calendar of events early so you can make your plans around our events! Also, don't forget to take advantage of our local delivery if you need some last-minute wine, tinned fish, or anything else.

#5 - Tinned fish is sweeping the country
Since we opened in 2019, we've had tinned fish on the menu. Within the last two years, our collection has grown from 10 tins to nearly 50 selections. Everyone we know opening a bar or winery emails us asking for advice on where to get the best tins. But we don't do it because it's a trend. We started serving tins because we do not have a full kitchen at DECANTsf, and we want you to have something more substantial to eat than just cheese or caviar when you're at the bar. Tinned fish captures seafood at its height of freshness and perfection, preserving it for us to enjoy whenever we want. I was first introduced to the reality of gourmet tins back in 2010 while visiting Spain; seeing the little octopus on toast coming directly from a tin to my plate, with the only preparation from the "kitchen" being a squeeze of citrus or a dollop of sauce. It blew my mind, as I thought canned seafood was merely the stinky Chicken of the Sea or something that akin to cat food. But it's not! Now, I pop open a tin 2 or 3 times a week for myself, to add to salads, to make a sandwich, to pour over rice, or to mix in with pasta. It's incredible, and the selection that Simi has created at DECANTsf is interesting, gourmand, and GROWING! The story about our tinned fish program was written by AP News and was redistributed from the US to China and the UK! In 2024, you can expect an even larger selection of tins, plus more small-batch, gourmet items at DECANTsf. We want to be your one-stop-shop whenever you need to throw an impromptu get-together or dinner party.

So those are five major things I've noticed in 2023 and am thinking about going into the new year. Have anything to add, or think there's anything I missed? Do you think I'm wrong about Natty Wine and becoming the old man yelling at a cloud? Let me know by DMing us on Instagram or sending us an email, and I might add it in the next newsletter or on our Instagram! — Cara Patricia, co-founder, DECANTsf