Sip into Spring: A Guide to BTG Wines for the On-Premise Market

By Mallory Ambrose | April 18, 2024

As nature blooms and temperatures rise, it’s the perfect time to embrace the delightful array of vibrant flavors of wines that herald the arrival of spring. From crisp whites to refreshing rosés and light-bodied reds, the spring season brings a bounty of seasonal favorites and ushers in the changing preferences of wine enthusiasts and patrons alike.

Let’s delve into the trends shaping this year’s spring wine offerings, focusing on what’s hot in this seasons BTG (by-the-glass) programing at restaurants and hotels across the US.

Trends in BTG Sales

According to recent data, lighter, fresher wines are in high demand as patrons seek refreshing options to complement the season. Rosé, known for its versatility and appeal, continues to reign supreme, with sales surging as temperatures rise. White wines like Sauvignon Blanc and crisp Chardonnays are also gaining traction, offering a zesty alternative to heavier winter selections.

The Season’s Go-to Varietals

Rosé All Day

Rosé isn’t just a trend; it’s a movement. From Provence to California, dry rosés are flying off shelves and onto BTG lists. According to CGA Powered by NielsenIQ, a third (34%) of consumers now typically drink rosé wine in the on-premise, and a fifth (21%) are drinking it more often than they were a year ago, increasing rosé’s sales by +7.4%. The quintessential taste of the Mediterranean, Provencal rosés offer a light, crisp option that pairs well with a variety of dishes.

Sauvignon Blanc

Bursting with vibrant flavors of citrus, green apple, and tropical fruits, Sauvignon Blanc is a staple for spring sipping. Offering crisp, aromatic wines that pair perfectly with seasonal salads and seafood dishes. New Zealand’s Marlborough region continues to dominate this category, with major hotel chains like Marriott and Hilton featuring Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc prominently in their BTG programs. Data reported by NielsenIQ reveals that sales of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc have grown by 20% YOY.

Chardonnay Revival

Chardonnay is shedding its heavy oak cloak for a fresher, more fruit-forward profile. According to Wine Spectator, unoaked and lightly oaked expressions from cool-climate regions like Chablis and Sonoma are gaining popularity, offering a balance of acidity and fruit that’s ideal for warm-weather enjoyment.

Light Reds

While lighter reds may take a back seat to whites and rosés in the spring, they still have their place on BTG menu offerings. Pinot Noir, Gamay, and Grenache are excellent choices, offering bright acidity and delicate fruit flavors that pair well with seasonal fare like grilled vegetables and poultry. Upscale dining restaurants have seen an uptick in sales of these varietals during the spring months at, with Pinot Noir sales increasing by 12% YOY.

In addition to classic varietals, springtime also brings with it emerging trends and innovative winemaking techniques. Look out for natural and organic wines, skin-contact whites, and low-intervention winemaking practices that emphasize purity of fruit and expression of terroir. Consider exploring lesser-known wine regions and indigenous grape varietals like Assyrtiko from Greece or Godello from Spain, that offer unique and exciting flavor profiles.

Crafting The Perfect Spring BTG Program

When curating your BTG program for the spring/summer season, consider offering a diverse selection that caters to a range of palates. Incorporate organic and biodynamic options to appeal to the growing number of eco-conscious consumers. Don’t forget to highlight local wines, as the farm-to-table, garden-to-glass movements continues to influence dining trends.

As we embrace the warmth and vitality of spring, let your BTG program reflect the season’s spirit with a carefully curated selection of wines. By staying attuned to market trends and customer preferences, beverage managers and on-premise suppliers can ensure their offerings are as refreshing as a gentle breeze on a sunny day. Cheers to a successful spring/summer season of sipping and savoring!