Wine Trends 2017

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.

xx Soile

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Shopping wine at Selfridges, London

Just when you thought I cannot possible have any more reviews of wine shops from our last trip to London..

The wine shop at Selfridges is a really a nice place to browse around in. It is located at the bottom floor of the iconic department store on Oxford Street, and they actually do not only carry a respectable assortment of wine but also an impressive selection of beer and other spirits. The wine selection is also a very good mix between the big name brands mixed up with some smaller producers to appeal to those who want to try something new. The price level is above the average wine boutique or online store but not so much to prevent me from shopping there. It is however good to have a view what the fair price is as some of the wines are a lot more expensive while others are reasonable priced.

The selection of English sparkling wine is impressive. I have not tried that much of then, mainly due to my suspicion on poor-ish price vs quality ratio, but it has tickled my interest (perhaps I should do a tasting round to get some more insight on the situation). The selection on Champagne is also very nice with some smaller producers represented in addition to the big names. Selfridges has their own private label Champagne from Henri Giraud that I am also aching to try.

The staff are knowledgeable and very service-minded, but if you would like to have a proper chat, I would suggest not visiting on the busiest hours of the weekend. There are also a few tasting machines, not as extensive as the Sampler (review here) or Vagabond Wines (review here) but something to entertain you for a little while. All in all you can have a very nice shopping experience at Selfridges and it is a good combination some other purchasing activities from the luxurious department store. For example, having a few nice tasters of wine and then heading to the shoe department works very well for me (not that well for my wallet).