A year back, I did a post about 2016 wine trends and predicted the following: Orange wine overtaking rosé; Urban wineries gaining attention (attention yes, volume no), and Coravin making rare wines by the glass more affordable. Was I right? I am not sure. Perhaps it is just me that has had my eyes open for these things, but I feel that all predictions have walked with me through the whole year. But past is the past and I think it is interesting to look at what is going to be big this year. So, I went wild on google and collected a few trends that I think I will at least be following in 2017.
The rise of sparkling red
This fall I wrote about my new-found curiosity for sparkling red wines. I have never been a fan of Lambrusco, and perhaps never will be, but suddenly many restaurants I visited had lovely, light sparkling reds from France (Loire) and Germany on the menu as aperitifs. This happened in restaurants in several countries (Finland and Spain), so it is not just a regional phenomena. Thus, I predict sparkling reds to be hot hot hot in 2017. There has also been some noise about Loire rising up as the trendy region of the year, so this could add up to a perfect combination.
The year of Portugal? – Focus on lesser known grape varieties
Me and M have been fans of Portugal for many years now. In 2015 M did a road trip, driving from Porto all the way down to Beira Interior and back. Regions like Dão are still relatively unknown to the masses, however, the average consumers have started drifting beyond their Merlots and Sauvignon Blancs, and are now interested in varieties such as Verdejo and Alvarinho. Portugal is especially interesting for its field blends from pre-phylloxeira vineyards. There might be something like 50 different varieties growing in those fields, and the wines that are born from them are interesting. So, perhaps it is finally the year of Portugal. Time to boost up the sales!
Movement of wine – exchange rates and barriers to trade
2016 was a significant year in global politics. I will not contribute my opinion to that discussion, at least not on the blog (especially not on the blog), but what is interesting from a wine-perspective is how will everything that has happened impact the movements of wine? I am more thinking of exchange rates and barriers to trade. I am already now distancing myself from US wines due to the strong dollar (and weak Swedish krona), and keeping to the old world, that is close and still moving freely within the EU. Brexit has not yet happened (I mean the concrete separation…the divorce has just been declared), but I wonder what will happen to the now thriving UK wine market? Will the rise of English sparkling come to a halt due to uncertainty? All in all, these things are hard to predict (I would be a millionaire if I could), but, my best guess is that people will be looking increasingly closer to home for good wines. Loire, I think, will be one of the areas I will be obsessing about in 2017.