In an era where wine drinkers are more informed than ever, paying close attention to trends in the market is just as crucial as the label you’re consuming.
Here’s our list of what you need to keep an eye on in 2019:
Clean and Bright!
People are now paying more attention to general health and wellness, to food quality and are demanding additive-free foods. This includes wine that has been made with less additives from vineyard to glass; as well as wine that has been skilfully cultivated from organic or sustainably produced fruit, which allows the natural terroir flavours shine through. By having less additives along the winemaking process from vineyard ‘working with nature’, as well as farmed without chemicals to glass, means you’ll be drinking fewer preservatives with a glass of organic wine.
Organic winemaking is governed by the Australian Certified Organic Standard, and as such, controls what additives and processing aids are allowed in the winemaking. The maximum sulphur dioxide levels allowed is about half that of conventional wine.
Alternative grape varieties
Whether imported or grown, there a greater number of lesser known European/Mediterranean varietals that are rising in notoriety and are worth getting adventurous for. Examples include lighter white and red wine styles containing low – medium alcohol and body; wines that are fresh and bright, with crunchy acidity and clean pronounced flavour profiles; and ‘Euro’ styles that are versatile and great with food.
Here are some of those ‘lightweight’ lesser known grape varieties to watch out for:
- Albarino / pronounced “Al-ba-reen-ya” (Spain) – flavours of zesty lemon, grapefruit, melon and stone fruits
- Furmint / “fury-me-ent” (Hungry) – green apple, lemon, ginger and chilli peppers.
- Vermintino / “vur-men-ti-no” (Italy) – lime, grapefruit, green apple and almond.
- Fiano / “fee-ah-no” (Italy) – flavours of melon, pear, zesty orange and pine nuts.
- Verdicchio / “vair-dee-kee-yo” (Italy) – flavours ranging from peach, lemon and slight oily texture.
- Gamay / “Gam-may”(France) – blackberry, violet, banana and earthy.
- Lambrusco (Italy) – strawberry, blackberry, rhubarb, hibiscus and earthy.
- Cinsault / “sin-so” (France) – raspberry, red currant, red cherry and black tea.
- Schiava / “skee-oh-vah” (Italy) – rose candy, strawberry, raspberry, lemon and smokey.
The art of wine labels
Have you noticed wine labels becoming mini pieces of artworks? In Australia, there are 2,468 wineries (Wine Australia 2018), which means there are literally thousands of different brands on the market. But how do you make each one stand out on the shelf or on a page?
Wine labels of course!
A small non-scientific study suggests that some of the coolest labels in the wine world are in the bottles of a low intervention wine. We’ve seen beautiful labels designed by kid sisters, local artists, indigenous people, a collaboration of mates, labels made on recycled paper, the truly bizarre and the gorgeous. Cool labels are something the craft beer world embraced sometime back and it’s great to see the wine world doing the same.
If you are like us and cannot part with an empty bottle because of the label, then maybe it’s time to consult Marie Kondu to make room on the sideboard for 2019 wines.
Green in every glass
People are increasingly concerned about the long-term health of our planet and the sustainability of food production. As a result, most of want to know what we’re eating and drinking, so we can make informed choices of what we should be consuming. We want alternatives to mainstream wine that caters to a diversity of lifestyles and what’s important to us. The organic wine category wine opens a window onto a broad range of wines including biodynamic, vegan, preservative-free and low-intervention.
Therefore, expect to see organic wines choices growing across all wine styles – sparkling, white, rose and red – as producers respond to growing demand. You won’t find organic wine limited to chardonnay and shiraz.
Veganism continues to grow
“Isn’t all wine vegan?” you may ask. Not so. Vegan-friendly wines are made without animal products during the winemaking process. In fact, animal products are often used during the ‘fining’ process, which takes place post-fermentation.
Vegan wines whilst niche, is also growing alongside demand for vegan food. It’s not mandatory to indicate on a wine label whether that wine is vegan or not, but producers are increasingly adding a ‘V’ symbol or Vegan-friendly. Expect to see more V symbols on labels as producers make it easier for vegan consumers to buy.