We examine the trends to know in the world of wine, from Keg Wine and a newfound appreciation for Sherry to the best wine bars to visit to “expand your palette”. Read our guide to 2018’s biggest wine trends…
‘I think that one of the defining characteristics of the new wine consumer is an innate curiosity,’ says Geordie Willis, ‘As a generation we are open-minded; we have travelled the world and we are constantly experimenting with different cuisines and flavours (by comparison, my parents were 35 years old before they’d tried Chinese or Indian food).’
Investing in 2018
Gary Owen, Private Account Manager at the Berry Bros. & Rudd Fine Wine team, shares his advice on investing this year…
We have seen Bordeaux continue to reassert its position after a few testing years and although there is still significant value in the ‘great vintages’ such as 2005, more classic vintages such as 2012 and 2014 represent tremendous value throughout the quality spectrum and at the top end, could see great results this year. Burgundy continues to be strong, not least due to shortness of supply and the recently-released 2015 vintage from Tuscany is very impressive.
Bordeaux vintages that are drinking very well at the moment: All the great vintages of the 1990s are beautiful now, don’t delay on 80s Bordeaux either – find those special occasions! 2004 and 2006 Pauillac & St Julien are a complete joy, so too Margaux especially in ’06. 2007 and 2011 at quality conscious properties have great texture and fruit – best sooner rather than later.
New developments: Artisan or ‘Grower’ Champagnes continues do very well, great wines and a real counterpoint to the volume focused names we all know. Genuine innovation in evidence there.
Where to invest: Follow quality Domaines & Chateaux, always buy the best vintages you can. Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne in the main. Don’t compromise on provenance, ever.
If you were investing in a case: Just one case is always tricky, vintage Krug is hard to turn down, so too landmark vintages of great Claret. Very long-term, 2005 Ch. Lafite if I have to name one.
If you could buy anything to drink right now: Quite under the radar but, a top 2006 Châteauneuf du Pape would be a real treat: Domaine Marcoux, Vieilles Vignes if there is room in my Desert Island Discs suitcase.
The Trends for 2018
Thanks to the experts at Berry Bros. & Rudd…
English wines will continue to be a growing trend, especially with Brexit on the horizon. The quality of English sparkling wines is already fully recognised, so it could be single site still wines that are the next big thing for our home-grown industry.
Covering the slopes of Mount Etna, Etna DOC is an Italian wine region in Sicily and quite possibly the last fine wine frontier in Europe. Berry Bros. & Rudd believes that 2018 will see consumers further recognise Etna as a quality wine producing region in Italy – enjoying high altitude, volcanic white wines made from Carricante and reds from Nerello Mascalese & Nerello Cappuccio.
Investing in Italy
For wine for laying down we have seen a strong performance from Italy – with Barolo, Brunello and Barbaresco fine wine sales up 10% compared to last year. For 2018 we believe we will see a continued move beyond the more traditional wine collecting regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy, incorporating even more wines from Italy, including Brunello as well as other countries including Spain and North America.
Is 2018 the year for the next big wine dispensing trend? We’ve had bag in box and wine in a can, but what about Keg Wine? Following the lead from wine lovers in the New World, Wine Kegs provide a wine serving mechanism that is taint free and easy to pour by-the-glass with no wastage.
Lighter, Brighter Reds
A continued move away from over-extracted, full-bodied red wines toward lighter, brighter styles of wine. From Italy, these wines would include Langhe Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and Barbera – which all display higher acidity and more primary focussed red fruit characters. We have already started to see this movement in terms of wines from Beaujolais in France. Quality wines from Beaujolais Crus have seen increased sales of over 70% year on year.
Innovations in terms of wine closures are few and far between. Berry Bros. & Rudd is excited to be one of the first UK importers to launch the Helix closure. The closure will be available on two new wines being launched in January – 2017 Protea Chenin, Anthonij Rupert and 2017 Protea Chardonnay, Anthonij Rupert.
The Helix closure is the result of 4 years of research and development and incorporates 21st-century design with the traditional natural cork closure. Threads inside the bottleneck ensure an airtight seal and enable effortless opening with a light twist and the bottle is easily resealable, plus unlike the screwcap, you still get the pleasant cork-out-the-bottle ‘pop’. The closure has been treated so it is ‘cork taint’ free – ensuring no corked bottles of wine, plus the fact that the cork can reseal the bottle means it’s great for reusing and upcycling – for water or olive oil etc. An unexpected twist to wine packaging.
Red Wines from The Loire
France’s Loire region produces some of the world’s best known white wines including Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé, but what about the regions red wines. Berry Bros. & Rudd suggests that 2018 is the year that will see the red wines from the Loire, which have waited patiently for far too long, come to the fore. Every variable – from the quality of producers, pricing, the regions grape variety, global warming, plus the resurgence in France’s popularity as a wine producer is in their favour. Favour must eventually be bestowed – and 2018 could be the year.
2018 will see the continuation of the great Sherry appreciation trend, especially for Oloroso and Palo Cortado which has bene carefully aged by almacenistas. Almacenistas are responsible for the maturation of sherry over several years before they are sold on to the Bodegas – the time spent ageing the sherry is “supreme artistry at work”. Berry Bros. & Rudd has seen soaring sherry sales for older and rarer styles of sherry, as well as En Rama – of 68% year on year.
As people continue to search for value and quality, South Africa’s New Wave of winemakers will continue to make a name for themselves. Look out for wines from Mullineux, Craven and Eben Sadie to name just a few of South Africa’s innovative and exciting winemakers.
Rather enjoy your wine out and about? Here are 10 of the best London wine bars to help expand your palette…
Recently opened next door to its sister restaurant, La Tagliata Wine Bar is an intimate spot where you can sample a carefully curated selection of Italian wines alongside nibbles and gourmet pizzas. Clued up waiters will talk you through the highlights from the wine list which include a full-bodied red dedicated to the memory of Mafia victims and bottles from the Bulgari cellar. 112 Whitfield Street, W1T 5EE
As one of London’s longest-standing Michelin star restaurants, it’s no surprise that the wine cellar at Pied à Terre holds more than 5000 wines, among which precious vintages and unusual varieties. The second-floor Hideaway Bar now plays host to special ‘Wine with Friends’ evenings in which the Sommelier will choose from the vast collection according to your preferences and interests. 34 Charlotte Street, London W1T 2NH
This private members club was set up by wine lovers, and invites fellow wine lovers to join in and share interest in the world’s finest wines with likeminded people. Expect amazing vintages, and some high price points. 67 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5ES
Located in the warehouse of Gergovie Wines, 40 Waltby Street is a wine shop and bar where you can enjoy a glass of wine and take it home with you at the end of the night. Expect a large selection of Classic French wines, as well as some Spanish and Slovenian wine. 40 Maltby Street, London, SE1 3PA
Les 110 has 110 wines by the glass, this is in part down to innovations like the Coravin system, which keeps wines fresh once opened, so restaurants can offer more expensive bottles by the glass. But this also makes for a perfect evening of sampling different wines to expand your palette.
16 Cavendish Square, London, W1G 9DD
The menu is organised by type of wine, over region, to help make choosing your wine simpler. If you are looking for an evening in East London, this is a great wine bar and restaurant near Columbia Road Flower Market. 49 Columbia Rd, Bethnal Green, E2 7RG
This restaurant has a wine list you actually want to drink, with a focus on small producers of wine that truly represents the terroir. 120 Morning Lane, London, E9 6LH.
This Clapton based wine shop and bar is the perfect place for a delicious bite to eat as well as a great glass or two of wine as the former head chef of Garagistes has taken over the food at P.Franco. 107 Lower Clapton Road, London, E5 0NP
This all-day wine bar and kitchen is passionate about coffee, food and wine. With a cosy atmosphere and central location, you could find yourself enjoying a few glasses of wine here more and more often… Expect to find something new each time you visit.
‘We love learning about wine and sharing our discoveries with our customers. There’s no snobbery here, just a passion and enthusiasm for delicious wine. Our insatiable curiosity (read: thirst) means we update our wine list almost weekly. Some might call that excessive and we’re not ones to argue.’ 124 Cleveland Street, London, W1T 6PG
This wine bar can be found in Hackney and offers fine wines by the glass, with great snacks and some tempting grilled cheese sandwiches. Expect to learn about new and different types of wine. 193 Hackney Road, London, E2 8JL