Welcome to 2015. I love the start of a New Year. It’s like a blank canvas and we get to fill in our own canvas with the exciting year ahead. Many people make all kinds of New Year’s Resolutions, some will succeed, other’s not so much. It’s easy to keep a New Year’s Resolution when it involves wine. Agree? One of the things I enjoy doing, is watching for trends. So what’s on the horizon for 2015.
Many forecasters are predicting a rebirth in Zinfandel as a major marketing force in 2015. And why not!! It’s a people pleaser, a fabulous food wine and just fun to drink any night of the week. Regular readers of this blog know how much I love Zinfandel. I like my Zinfandel wine big and bold, so a few of my favorites include
All 3 of these wines originate from California, which dominates the production of Zinfandel. To the far left, 7 Deadly Zins, then the flavorful Brazin’, and last but not least my go to BBQ wine – Predator. I met a gentleman at the NSLC last evening, asking me about Zinfandel. He had enjoyed the 7 Deadly Zins at a local restaurant, and because our local NSLC doesn’t carry it, I suggested Predator. One of the things I hear the most when it comes to people asking about Zinfandel is that 1) it’s a Rose wine, and 2) it’s a wimpy wine. Both statements couldn’t be further from the truth. Zinfandel can be full-bodied, flavorful, exotic and aromatic. I will issue a word of warning. If you are trying Zinfandel for the first time, look at the alcohol content. I have tried several that have been boozy and the alcohol dominates the wine. Look for ones that have 14% or under. If you get up around 15%, you may find the flavor over-powered by the alcohol. Zinfandel’s can also be medium bodied and fruit forward. These are easy to drink versions of Zinfandel and here’s a couple of consider. These are the Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel and the Cline Old Vine Zinfandel.
In Italy, Zinfandel is known as Primitivo, so if you are shopping in the Italian aisle, look for that name.
The Napa Valley Register said that wine sales grew only 0.3% in the U.S. and that growth was due to a 5% increase in the sales of sparkling wine. And leading the way…. Italian Prosecco.
Here’s a delicious Prosecco for under $20. Prosecco is so versatile. It’s fun and bubbly and is absolutely wonderful with food. This one has gorgeous flavors of pear and honey and a light floral note. It is the perfect wine for just about any appetizer, including anything with seafood, salad or even asparagus (which is very hard to pair wine with). Enjoy it with food or all by itself.
Corks are on the way out
Wine guru Robert Parker predicts that wine with corks will be a minority by the end of 2015. So get rid of all those stigmas regarding screw caps. 95% of the world’s wine is meant to be consumed in 3 or 4 years, and Parker believes the exception will be wines meant to be aged 20 or 30 years.
Malbec Will Make it Big
Parker also says 2015 is the year for Malbec. He’s predicting a dramatic rise in Malbec from Argentina, and I agree with him 100%. Argentina is producing some fantastic Malbec wines, and reasonably priced. However, on that note, I want to introduce you to my new find. This is the wine I had last night, a Malbec, but from France…..and it was yummy.
One of my personal New Year’s resolutions is to try a new wine each and every week. Now, I’m pretty good at this, but we all tend to go to our known favorites. So this was my new wine this week. Chateau de Haute Serre is a Malbec from the Cahors region in France. It’s ripe and alluring and has been given ratings up to 92 by some of the best. I had this wine with a steak done on the grill, and boy did it go great. No longer will Cabernet Sauvignon be the ‘go-to’ wine for steak. There are many others that can stand up to a good slab of beef, and this is one of them. It had structure, good tannins, lots of flavor, a hint of cocoa with its dark rich fruit and an all around delicious wine. I enjoyed each and every sip.
So do you have any Wine Year’s Resolutions? I would love to hear them.
Till next week, Cheers