It’s a great question, and one that we all would love to find the answer to. I don’t know if you’ve seen the recent “Downfall of a Californian Cult Winery” parody video that’s making the rounds. If you haven’t, I would suggest you check it out, but be warned the language is on the coarse side.
The sentiments expressed in the video are certainly not unfamiliar, though they are expressed on a much broader scale than what I’m used to discussing.
I spent last night chatting with some European wine bloggers. The talk somewhat predictably focused on fringe wines that appeal to the narrow slice of the market that we over-exposed wine professionals occupy.
Photo courtesy dklimke via Flickr/CC
Finding out what these trends are while they are still in their early stages is the trick, and what we are all hoping to discover. Last night, one of the hot topics was Dolcetto from a region called Ovado in Piedmont. A region ideally suited for Dolcetto, yet one that has had little interest or investment until today. Things are finally heating up in Ovado, and the great vineyards are being rediscovered by a new generation of winemakers. Now they just have to figure out what to do with their fruit to allow for the greatest expression of the terroir.
Another hot topic was sweet red wines. Not sweet as in dessert wine, but sweet as in fruity and round. We’ve all seen the growth of Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz and the various Sweet Bitch wines, and some serious producers are taking note. They’re making complex, deep, even age worthy wines with residual sugar and not hiding it! They’re proud of the wines, their slightly lower alcohol content and their ease of drinking. After decades of moving towards drier, more serious wines, another generation is experimenting again with a sweeter style, and I think it’s here to stay.
An additional topic hot on people’s lips was fringe grape varieties, vines that were thought to be lost only to be rediscovered. I find this facet of the wine world particularly interesting if only because it’s not terribly convincing. Many of these grapes produce wines that are so unusual and outside of the mainstream that it would be hard to imagine their ever gaining a large following, but stranger things have happened. One variety I tried for the first time last night was Persan, a grape variety from the Savoie region of France. Light, somewhat delicate, and redolent of pine and bay leaves, it’s truly a particular wine that could have trouble finding an audience. Served next to it were bottles of Mondeuse, Altesse and Poulsard, three other grapes that once seemed so foreign and unlikely to succeed, but that have since made serious in-roads into our vinous lexicon.
So with these words I’ll leave you, adding only a list of what has been searched for on Snooth over the past month. I think it’s interesting to see the past here, paired perhaps with a glimpse of what is to come.
I would love to hear from you all. Let me know what trends you are seeing and what you think might be the next big thing!