Who could have predicted the inexorable rise of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or Argentinian Malbec? Have you ever wondered if you could anticipate the next big thing in wine? Well the hugely popular Danish app Vivino is trying to do just that. With over a million wines and several million subscribers, Vivino is one of the world’s largest online wine communities. The app works by enabling users to identify and rate wines based on photographs of the wine’s labels.
Whether this app represents a force for good or ill in the world of wine we will leave to the judgement of the reader. Either way, the company’s data offer a rare opportunity to look at wine trends internationally and from the point of view of consumers rather than wine critics. Recently, the company published an article analysing major trends from 2017′s user-sourced data. From that data, the author speculates about possible wine trends for the coming years.
We thought it would be interesting to have a dig in our cellars to see if we could offer the wines of the future, and with very few exceptions, we have something for every trend. So if you’ve ever wanted your wine selections to be ahead of the curve, try picking up a few of these wines and impress the dinner party with your prescience.
Sauternes & Dessert Wines
We are very happy to offer the world’s number one wine according to data compiled from Vivino’s millions of consumers: the 1976 vintage of Chateau d’Yquem’s iconic Sauternes. Data compiled from the application predicts dessert wine consumption is on the rise, indicating stigma against sweeter wines seems finally to be subsiding. An absolute bargain compared to other Bordeaux first growths, don’t miss this opportunity to taste liquid history. We also have plenty of other Sauternes and sweet wines to suit every budget.
Brut Nature Champagne
The trend for zero dosage/brut nature Champagne shows no sign of stopping. The dosage is a small amount of sugar or sweet wine added to temper Champagne’s naturally bracing acidity, but recently acid freaks have started seeking out Champagne and other sparkling wines that aren’t afraid to make your eyes water. Our Gosset Brut Nature is a Pinot-dominated blend with fantastic tension full of crunchy berry fruit.
According to Vivino, the mammoth popularity of Prosecco has trickled down to other more affordable sparkling wines such as Cremant and Cava. According to most, Limoux was the first region in the world to make sparkling wines. You can pick up our Cremant de Limoux for just £8 in our February Sale.
Classic French Icons
Unsurprisingly, Vivino’s data shows that big name French wines continue to attract high ratings from consumers. At number 4 on the list of Vivino’s top-rated wines is Domaine Romanee-Conti’s La Tache, the 2011 vintage of which we can offer as part of a mixed case from the Domaine. At number 10 on the list is the ever-popular Chateau Lafite-Rothschild. Bordeaux specialists that we are, we can offer a number of wines from this classic chateau, including a six bottle case of the historic 1982 vintage and a bottle of the 1948 celebrating its 70th year in bottle.
The huge variety of Portugese light wines has too long been overshadowed by the popularity of Port. This is fast-subsiding as the world comes to notice the nation’s wealth of indigenous grape varietals and winemaking expertise. Perhaps this lack of recognition has contributed to the phenomenal value of Portugal’s unique and characteristic wines. Grab a bargain before everyone is talking about Portugal being the new Spain, or Italy, and the prices rise accordingly. This 2009 Portugese varietal blend is a great opportunity to taste the quality end of the spectrum in the prime of its maturity.
Cooler-Climate Australian Wines
Long beloved for their bold Shiraz wines, Australian winemakers have been seeking out cooler mesoclimates to show that they can make refined wines with cooler climate grapes. Sales in Australian pinot noir are on the rise, while chardonnay from cooler and warmer parts of the country remain popular. Also look out for Clare Valley riesling; bone-dry with a racing acidity, the wines are a great alternative to Alsatian riesling and can age in bottle beautifully.
More of a continuation than a trend, Californian Chardonnay seems to have survived the Anything But Chardonnay (ABC) movement without much difficulty. Perhaps in a bid to be taken more seriously, many producers have been honing a more refined, mineral style, and now considerable diversity can be found in California’s favourite white. Our selections display Californian Chardonnay’s tropical side, with just the right acidity to balance their abundance of fruit.
Vivino data shows stigma against this divisive grape is on the wane. A wine for adventurers and barbecue fanatics, our Fairview Paarl Pinotage is an affordable way to try something incredibly different and out of your comfort zone. Perhaps you will find a new favourite wine?
Unsurprisingly, we can’t stock every one of Vivino’s winning wines. Perhaps surprinsingly, a 2010 Malbec from Paul Hobbs’ Vina Cobos project took the top stop for red wines, beating DRC’s La Tache in the process. We can, however, offer high quality single-varietal Malbec from Argentina, as well as this Argentinian take on the Bordeaux blend with Malbec dominating a cabernet-petit verdot minority.
Long dismissed as a drink for grandmothers, Sherry is without doubt making a comeback this year. We offer a great variety of wines from this utterly unique region, but I’ve chosen three to represent a few of the major styles. This special anniversary edition Manzanilla from Bodegas Hidalgo is a great introduction to dry sherry. For a darker, nuttier style, try their 30-year old Oloroso. For those that like their Sherry sweet and sticky, seek out this 20-year-old Pedro Ximez from Williams Humbert.
Many of these trends are corroborated by our personal experiences talking to wine drinkers in the shop, at tastings, and in wine bars and restaurants. In particular, we’ve been surprised by the rise in popularity of Portugese wines, Sherry, and Pinotage. Many of these wines really do offer fantastic value because the popularity and subsequent value of the wines are lagging behind their inherent quality. When you spot an unmistakable trend in wines you like, it’s never not a good idea to stock up; you’ll be kicking yourself in a few years when the same bottles cost twice as much.
- Joe Collier