Wine experts at Marks & Spencer have predicted what you'll be drinking in 2017

Courtney Goldsmith
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Industry experts predict six top wine trends for the year ahead (Source: Getty)

In 2016, we had the rise of English bubbly, craft beer and gin. Now, wine experts at Marks & Spencer have uncorked their top predictions for the year ahead.

1. First of all, we'll be drinking less

Dry January got us all talking about the growing number of high-quality low or zero alcohol drinks, and M&S experts predict we'll continue the lower alcohol lifestyle well into 2017.

With consumers inspired by jazzy Instagram diets and healthy eating trends, that thinking will officially move into drinks territory this year. The younger crowd of millennials is especially discerning when it comes to quality over quantity, choosing to drink less overall but more premium products.

Read more: How to get through Dry January

2. English wine and British gin will continue to rank at top spots

British gin and wine rose to "unprecedented" levels of popularity, M&S said, with purchases of English fizz tripling at the retailer and British gin sales increasing by 150 per cent.

Gin was named the spirit of the year and English winemakers had their best harvest in decades in 2016. As more and more vineyards and distilleries pop up, the trend is expected to continue into 2017.

M&S also predicts English still wines – Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Bacchus and Ortega – will step up to the level of popularity of their fizzy counterparts.

Read more: Gin sales are now set to overtake Scottish whisky sales by 2020

3. Prosecco will continue to be the top choice bubbly (for now)

Last year, prosecco sales grew faster than champagne, showing Brits prefer the Italian fizz. But this year, consumers will start branching out to try other types of Italian sparkling wine, experts said.

Sales of premium Lambrusco, Asti Spumante and Frizzante are expected to get a boost as retro Italian wine names become cool again.

Read more: Why it's time to stop drinking prosecco

4. Other Italian wines will wow us

Italy's sparkling red Lambrusco was a trend setter in 2016, and M&S anticipates we'll be excited to explore more bold Italian styles in the year ahead.

Wines made using "passito", or partially dried grapes, are expected to create a buzz. This style of grape instils more intense and concentrated flavours in the wine.

5. We'll look for quirky, unique wines

New types of grapes like Maratheftiko, Xinomarvo and Rkatsiteli will steal the spotlight in 2017 as consumers search for something unique.

Just as we tried to prove our cool with the least-known craft beer in 2016, in the year ahead we'll search for wines made with lesser known indigenous grapes in countries like Bolivia, Uruguay and Israel.

Read more: Britain is set to become a top wine producing region by the year 2100

6. We'll keep drinking rose in the summer

David Beckham made Provence rosé all the rage last summer when he pushed the pink wine over social media.

This summer, M&S said the football crowd will trade beer for a glass of #Brosé. Sales of rosé from countries like Spain, Chile, South Africa and England are all set to soar.

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