“Wine improves with age. The older I get, the more I like it.”
Wine is often referred to as the nectar of the gods. But a lot depends on the grape. A few bad grapes can turn a godly drop into a vinegary nectar of mortals.
Below, we’ve outlined a few wine types and wine trends we think will explode in 2018…
3 Wine Types Set to Rule 2018
Zinfandel & its alternatives
The rise of vegetarians, vegans and plant-based diners has spurred an increase in demand towards lighter red wines like Zinfandels, Grenache and Tempranillo, and whiter varieties like Pinot Grigio.
Savvy diners are increasingly keen to pair their light meal with a refreshing drop and restaurants in particular are responding by adding these types of wine to their cellars and wine lists. Expect to see Zinfandel and Tempranillo varieties more readily in 2018.
Sangiovese and lighter blends
But it’s not just vegetarians and plant-friendly diets. There’s also a general shift away from rich, full-bodied wines, which can taste over-extracted and tannin-laden.
Instead, people are gravitating towards red wine varieties that focus more on lighter, fruitier tones and a slightly higher acidity. This is great news for some Italian wine types like Sangiovese. It’s also good news for local producers of lighter red wine, such as Pinot Noir.
The return of Australian Chardonnay?
Ok, so it’s not like Chardonnay ever went away. But the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) movement has been effective at portraying Chardonnay as an inferior grape.
However, Australian Chardonnays are on the comeback trail, once again hitting the high notes of rich, sunny, buttery goodness. As such, many fine wine lists will include at least a couple of great chardonnays sure to hit the spot.
3 Wine Trends in 2018
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Organic, natural wines
Organic and natural wines have risen to prominence in recent times, largely due to a shift in the age and habits of a younger generation of wine drinker.
The entire millennial generation is now able to drink legally. One report states that 36% of wine drinkers are now millennials. And this younger demographic is changing wine consumption; generally, millennials are not so fussed about the age of the wine but more about the branding and its history.
Last year, we wrote about the trend towards a more health-conscious eating culture (something millennials are also very conscious of), and it makes absolute sense that wines also fall into this bracket.
Continued imports or a rise in local wines
In recent years, sales of a variety of imported wines have slowly but steadily increased in Australia, while sales of domestic wines have fallen slightly.
A strong dollar is a major reason for an increase in imported wine, indicating that in times of prosperity, wine lovers are happy to pay more for an exotic type of wine. However, when times are tough, consumers tighten their belts and buy locally.
If the Australian dollar stays at a fairly strong rate, expect the trend for imported wines to remain. But if the Aussie dollar falls, this trend is likely to be reversed.
Working out which countries will prosper most from this trend is nigh on impossible but Spanish wine types and South African wines are set to remain popular.
Rose and champagne as drinks for all occasions
Once, champagne was reserved for weddings, birthdays and other landmark holidays and events. Yet, this is no longer the case. Now we order bubbles on a whim. A large part of this is due to price entry points.
Champagne may remain a luxury good but Cava, Prosecco and sparkling Rose are a few sparkling wine types that are endlessly affordable and there’s no reason to assume these wine types won’t remain a favourite for everything from ladies’ nights to a long Sunday brunch.