Five Wine Trends for 2015
Wine trends, like fashion, are heavily influenced by what the world wants. For a long time, it was all about established wine regions and first growths. This year, the wine world is experiencing a bit of an upheaval and seems to be looking at an edgier, and even more experimental year ahead. Let’s take a look at some of the trends in wine for the coming year.
Sommeliers – for a long time, wine critics were “IT.” Robert Parker and his 90-point system became the be-all and end-all for wine lovers everywhere. This year, wine enthusiasts are looking more and more at the people who actually stock the cellar and decide on the wine list. “Somms” became fashionable in 2012, after a documentary chronicling the lives of Master Sommelier candidates was shown worldwide. In 2015, sommeliers are going to be taking the spotlight but not in the usual flashy manner that the world expects. This time, a lot of respect is expected to be given the position, as well as the knowledge and expertise that come from education and hands on experience. Rachel Driver Speckan, Sommelier of City Winery in Chicago, told chicagoist.com that Lady Sommeliers are also bound to take center stage this year. Women in wine? Yes, their time has come!
Fortified Wines in Cocktails
This trend started out in London bars but is now catching fire in many parts of the world. In the United States, wine experts expect to see the rise of the use of Sherry, and Marc in cocktail bar menus. Down under, Tim Phillips, an internationally renowned cocktail bartender at Sydney’s Bulletin Place also sees Madeira and other fortified wines making a big splash in the local cocktail scene. Phillips tells tourism.australia.com, “Buy shares in sherry and port now.”
Fusion Wine and Something Familiar
When we talk about Fusion cuisine, we refer to the marriage of different food styles to create something different. While purists may not be a fan of fusion, it is actually a good way to get people initiated into a different cooking style that is unfamiliar to them by adding some familiar elements to it. Think, Japanese/Brazilian or Thai/Continental.
In the wine world, fusion does the exact same thing. It introduces new wine drinkers to something they haven’t tried, say a new grape variety, to something/someone that they already like (an actor or a brand). Making their choice less risky.
A very good example of this would be the Downton Abbey Wines. This project is a tie-up between the well-loved UK television show and a winemaker from Bordeaux. Those who are unfamiliar with Bordeaux would most likely grab a wine named after a favorite TV show because it gives it a more approachable and friendlier face. Recently, Trento-based Italian wine company Ecco Domani made very good use of “fusion” when it asked designer Zac Posen, known for his namesake couture and ready-to-wear creations, to design wine bottles for its Pinot Grigio line. Posen’s loyal clientele will no doubt troop to the stores to get their hands on one of his “dressed up” bottles.
Wine snobs may turn up their noses at this, but it looks like this trend is on the upward swing. Yes, “wine in a can” may not have appealed to new wine drinkers as its inventors hoped it would, but portable wine is expected to do much better in 2015. This time, the portable wine options don’t just come in cans but in other handy, single serve and smartly designed (with a built in flute!) containers that are perfect for a picnic or a hike in the woods!
Greek and Spanish Wines
Spain and Greece are not newbies in the winemaking business. But this year, these two are expected to be in the limelight after many years of staying in the wings.
Spain is now becoming a leader in both quality and creativity. Its long tradition of winemaking together with its modern and progressive winemaking practices are giving it the boost it needs to become recognized by fine wine collectors everywhere! Spain is not governed nor limited by such stringent winemaking laws as is the case in France so they can be as experimental and daring as they want to be. New wine making regions to look at are Toro, Jumilla and Priorat.
As for Greece, well its time has finally come. This year, the world will definitely be paying attention to the Greek whites, specifically Assyrtiko from Santorini. Wine experts from different parts of the world are turning to this region for stunning wines that are light bodied and refreshing. The Assyrtiko grape is grown in other islands in Greece but it is in the volcanic soils of Santorini that they thrive the most, producing highly-acidic and mineral-driven whites that are perfect on a hot summer day.