Last year around this time I wrote a wine blog on what the wine trends were looking like in 2015. I thought I would take this opportunity to revisit those, and look at the trends in the wine industry for 2016.
An explosion of Zinfandel was expected in 2015 and our local wine stores stepped up to the plate. There were more choices than ever when it comes to this people pleasing grape.
These are just 4 of the new Zinfandel’s I tried in 2015. All 4 were spectacular in their own way and range in price from $20 for the Sebastiani, to $50 for the Gallo Black Label on the right. California still dominates as the hot spot for producing Zinfandel, and of course Italy for producing Primitivo, which in 1972 was declared identical to Zinfandel.
Here are a couple of the great Primitovo wines I have tried recently. Fantastic wines and extremely food friendly. And really inexpensive. The wine on the left is under $19. One of my favorite pairings with Zinfandel are BBQ ribs. A match made in wine heaven.
Corks Are On The Way Out
Wine guru Robert Parker projected that real cork would be a minority by the end of 2015 and if my local wine stores are any indication, this is one projection that came true. More and more vineyards are using screw caps, or artificial corks. I had a bottle of wine the other evening with natural cork and it had gone funky. This is the main reason natural cork is on its way out!
So let’s look at a couple of expected wine trends for 2016.
People Are Talking
Tracy Byrnes from ‘Wine On The Street’, says her favorite trend is that people are talking about wine. People are no longer intimidated by Sommeliers and are reading up on wine on the web, as well as enrolling in Sommelier classes. This is great for wine and wine drinkers all around. I believe personally, wine is the social gathering drink of choice. And different people can have different opinons on wine, and no one is wrong. Keep it up.
Syrah May Be The New King
Tracy, a very smart lady when it comes to wine, says Syrah, or Shiraz may be the new king of the hill, replacing Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah / Shiraz is a big bold red and incredibly food friendly. It’s great with meat dishes, and regular readers of this blog know I am a huge fan of the BBQ, so this wine is always in my wine rack. And it tends to cost less than Cabernet. Here are a couple of my favorites.
My apologies for the blurry picture of the Tintara from Hardy’s, but this Shiraz to celebrate Bill Hardy’s 40th year in the family business was a great treat. Australia is putting out some spectacular Shiraz wines, so I couldn’t leave the Shiraz Mourvedre blend from Penfolds out. You would be hard pressed to find a bad Penfold’s Shiraz. And in the middle is the Genesis Syrah from Washington State in the U.S.A. So many countries are putting out a great Shiraz or Syrah. In the French section look for a Cote du Rhone, or anything from the Rhone region, as you will be drinking Syrah.
More and More Wine By The Glass Options
This is probably my favorite trend of 2016. There was a time not so long ago, that if you wanted a decent glass of wine at a restaurant, you had to order the bottle. Because the only thing they sold by the glass was the ‘house wine’. That is slowly but surely changing, and right here in Halifax I have noticed that restaurants are constantly expanding their wine by the glass options. It has expanded here to the point if I only see one ‘by the glass’ option, I’m really surprised. And that brings a smile to my face. Many times at a restaurant I only order one glass of wine, so I would really like it to be a decent wine.
And my new wine of the week…
This is a fabulous find, and new to our liquor stores. The Botter Gran Passione Rosso from Italy is a keeper. It’s got the word Passion right on the label. This is a beautiful blend of Merlot and Corvina. Merlot and what? Corvina is an Italian grape that is widely planted in Italy and is known for being blended with Valpolicella and Amarone. Known for its flavors of sour cherries, that flavor really works being blended with the Merlot grape. Along with cherries it has chocolate notes, and this wine would be very food friendly. And the best part $16.79 a bottle. I’m not kidding. Try it. At that price you have nothing to lose.
That’s it for me for this week… till next week, Cheers