The Next New, “New Thing” in Wine.*
At a recent gathering of the Wine Market Council’s members in Napa, an august panel weighed in on the new, “New Thing” in wine.
Lighter, brighter, funner – okay, they didn’t say “funner”. The word was actually, “refreshing”. We know that a new thing or trend is always a reaction to a previous trend. Lately, blends are the current rage, so it makes sense that single variety wines are due to take the stage.
An example of the heights to which the “new” can strive, here’s one that’s not happening: Blue Wine. Nope. Not.
Let’s look at what the group of experts believe to be the next, New Thing in Wine:
Vermentino. A grape that grows in several Mediterranean countries and California. Thought to be a Spanish grape originally and argued not so by Italians, the most famous areas are the islands of Sardegna, Corsica and the Italian region of Liguria. This wine is a racy, citrusy, refresher. It has several personality traits such as minerality and ability to dance well with oak. A wine that pairs well with many dishes and cheeses as well as easy conversation.
Sauvignon Blanc. Hang on, we were talking about “new things” in wine. SB is ubiquitous isn’t it? Well, yes. However, for the purposes of “new” we are talking about Sauvignon Blanc that is low-pyrazine. In other words, low in the aroma of green bell pepper. This is mostly found in the wines from Bordeaux. Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand can have a riff on this with aromas of jalapeno pepper. Instead, the trend will be for less savory and more fruity and citrusy versions, often found in California’s version.
By the way, this bell pepper or slightly vegetal aroma also shows up in red wines such as Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carménère and Malbec
Gamay Noir. This is a purplish-colored grape, light-bodied and fruity with aromas of lilacs, violets, strawberries, raspberries. This flavor is best expressed in the Cru Beaujolais wines – easy to find, just ask your wine merchant. The best areas for this grape are the French regions of Beaujolais, Loire Valley, Niagara Peninsula, Oregon’s Willamette Valley and several Central California regions. Very food friendly and for warmer weather this wine can take a little chill.
Gamay. A vibrant, fruity entry from a new appellation, Bourgogne Gamay, created in 2011. It’s from Fleurie, Chénas and Régnié, plus a bit of Pinot Noir. Louis Latour is always a good bet when looking to French Gamay or Pinot Noir. They are reliable and value priced.
These are but a few of the wines that fit in to the lighter more refreshing category. Search out other wines like Gavi, Verdicchio, Verdejo, Gruner Veltliner, Riesling and lighter reds from Piemonte such as Grignolino and Bardolino. And, of course, Rosé is always a good idea! Next time I’ll focus on the wide range of and quite amazing rise of rosé. #50ShadesofRosé.
Cabernet and big, red blends will continue to be favorites, rather than “new, new” as they have fans and depending on the meal you’re having, make sense. The lighter and more refreshing wines are surging, especially in warmer weather (Hello climate change).
*Other new, New Things in Wine we’ll be watching is the impact of Cannabis. Either blended/infused with wine (watch for more about this in my September post), or Cannabis products taking away sales from lesser expensive wine. The prediction is that they will live side-by-side because wine as a food pairing/enhancing beverage is not easily toppled.
à Votre Santé
Courtesy: Wine Institute, La Cala Wines of Sardegna, Louis Latour Borgogne Gamay, AARP