I have heard a lot of predictions on the directions of wine trends. I find them all very interesting and have noticed that the trends are so definite. One day you’re enjoying a Cabernet Sauvignon from France and the next you are only being served Merlot from California. And that reminds me of the cover of the Aug 1998 Wine Spectator. There is a cartoon picture of a man in the foreground opening a bottle of Merlot. A young woman is looking at the man with tears in her eyes and a look of horror on her face. Above her head she has a thought bubble that reads, “MERLOT AGAIN WHY IS BRAD SO CRAZY ABOUT IT?”. Well times are a changing and people are slipping back to the Cabernet but there is a new trend rising – Shiraz. A love for Shiraz is arriving in the Cabernet Shiraz blends and the 100%Shiraz varieties.
Personally I love a good Australian Shiraz. Australia is currently the seventh largest producer of wine. I feel with this new trend of the Shiraz variety and the strong global hold in the white wines category, Australia will soon become one of the top five countries in world production and export.
I have observed people changing their ordering habits from a heavy oaked buttery Chardonnay to a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. I personally feel a Sauvignon Blanc or a Crisp Chardonnay, also known as Chablis in France, is a better accompaniment while dinning.
That leads me to the fact that most of these oaky buttery Chardonnay’s come from the United States where the price of all their wine has risen steadily over the past four years. This has made a lot of the public look to other countries for wine, i.e. Australia, and I predict the US exporting numbers will start to slip, if they havent already.
Have you noticed the length of the cork in your bottle of wine is getting smaller. The cork is usually more expensive then the glass bottle the wine comes in. Look for the new synthetic corks. They are coming and soon you will be so used to seeing them they will be commonplace. If you would like to learn a little more about synthetic corks you must read my article,” http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/wines/14735 Corks of the Future.
Last new idea for the future and I read it in a Serving you Straight Up flyer from the BCLDB written by David Scolefield, look for a rise in fruit flavored varietal wines. I was in the Napa Valley three years ago and bought a bottle of pear wine as a gift for a chef/friend. The wine was highlighted at a specialty food store. Back then I thought it was a good idea and still do. I often find coolers excessively sweet and this might be the perfect alternative.
Different Ways To Enjoy Wine
In my last article I wrote about wine trends. One of the biggest trends I found was the introduction of flavored variety wines like raspberry merlot or peach chardonnay. It has been my experience that the white wine fruit varietal to be low in alcohol and a tad soda pop sweet. I have not tried any of the reds but it’s early in the summer season and I am sure I will try one before the summer is over. If you have tried one of these products please let us know about it by posting you comments on the discussion board located at the bottom of this page. This got me thinking of my recent trip to Chile. While we were there our host took an inexpensive bottle of Chardonnay and three very ripe peaches. The peaches were skinned and pitted before they were put into a jug with the wine and then left to flavor the wine for half the day in the refrigerator. The result was a peachy, not to sweet, refreshing glass of wine that we sipped while waiting for dinner. It seemed like the white wine equivalent of Sangria and it was lovely. I also recommend substituting the peaches with strawberries. For a party I still like the old and true Sangria.
Sangria is made with two bottles of dry red wine.
Three ounces Brandy.
Two cups orange juice chilled.
1/4-cup fine sugar.
Four large peaches cut into wedges.
Two large apples cut into wedges.
Two medium oranges cut into wedges.
One large Lemon cut into wedges.
One-cup soda water.
Combine all ingredients and let sit for a couple of hours. When you pour your guests a drink make sure to include some of the fruit in their glass.
For summer parties it is always nice to go that extra mile and have a punch on hand. You guests probably won’t want to drink your punch the whole night but it is a good start to a great evening.