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World wine trends

World Wine Trends

These are exciting times in the ever changing world of wine.  New producers and new regions emerge each year while traditional producers work to improve their wines.  Wine drinkers are becoming more adventurous, knowledgable and prepared to try new wines.  My resolution for the coming year is drink less but drink better wine. So what are the trends for 2016, here are my predictions:

Wines from South Africa will be getting much deserved attention.  Over the last 10 years South Africa has evolved to become one of the top wine producing nations in the world.  A new generation of winemakers, new wineries, greater investment in existing wineries, more attention paid to regional characteristics, higher prices being paid to growers to care for and produce better quality grapes are now paying dividends.  Superb whites made from Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc and reds from Pinotage and Shiraz as well as Sparking wines (made in the Champagne style).

Natural wines will continue to grow.  Wines that are biodynamic or organic, made with less intervention by the winemakers, less use of sulphur, less filtration, less manipulation.  The result will be wines that are not so technically perfect and squeaky clean but with more character and personality.

Malbec from Argentina will continue to gain popularity internationally.  Argentina’s flagship grape variety has become very trendy with wine drinkers all the over the world.  Good value for money as well as superb top wines will see more listings for and growth for Malbec in 2016.

Wine lists with more Wines by the Glass will become more exciting as good sommeliers choose from a more diverse range of grape varieties and lesser known regions.  Now that they have perfected the technology, the Coravin, will become more widely used, pouring wine without extracting the cork.



Image from Coravin.com

It is only recently that English Sparkling wine started to get international attention, which will continue to grown in the year ahead.  As the planet becomes warmer, wine regions that were cold, such as Champagne, may struggle in years to come.  20 years ago it was inconceivable that England would be producing good quality sparklers, not any more. In fact, top Champagne house Tattinger has recently bought land in southern England to produce sparkling wine.

Cabernet Franc will make a resurgence and become fashionable.  Originally from the Loire Valley,  wines from this grape variety would be thin and herbaceous with an 11-12º alcohol.  However, through modern wine making and riper vintages, Cabernet Franc from the Loire are now reaching 13-14ºalcohol and finding new fans among wine drinker.  Also, new vineyards are beginning to come on stream in Chile, California, Argentina and South Africa.

Rosé will become more a wine of choice for consumers in 2016.  Not just as a summer wine but well made wines with good structure and acidity to accompany food.

Outside of Spain, a world leader in making top quality Rosé, Italy, southern France, South Africa and California.

Wine in Cans, 375ml, will grow particularly with US consumers. Recyclable, easy to store and light to carry ideal for picnics, barbecues and outdoor events.  The wine industry has been slow to react to consumer needs in terms of packaging.  If new and younger consumers are going to try wine the industry must provide different styles of packaging.

It goes to show that the world of wine does move with the times.

Written by

I am a Northern Irishman based in Valencia. My career in wine began more than three decades ago, in London. I am the founder of TheWinePlace.es, an online store, where wine enthusiasts can enjoy a selection of international wines and Verde Marte, a company dedicated to exporting Spanish wines. Also, Thewineplace.courses, an "approved program provider" of the courses of the prestigious WSET. I share my passion for wines through my media work writing weekly columns for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo and 5 Barricas, an online wine magazine.

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