We here at The Plus Ones always have our ear to the ground when it comes to the latest trends in fashion, food, comedy, and more. We were invited along to an intimate masterclass to explore the latest wine trends hosted by none other than McWilliam’s Wines Senior Winemaker Russell Cody. Here are his five top wine trends for summer:
Wine Trend #1: Embracing Bubbles
Unsurprisingly, the first wine trend announced was bubbles. Aussies love some sparkling no matter what the occasion and with summer on its way — and with it, the silly season — bubbles are definitely on the horizon. One of the standouts in the masterclass was a varietal that Cody believes may take off in a major way in Australia: Champagne Taittinger Prestige Rosé. This special drop isn’t your typical sparkling Rosé. It includes red wine and skin contact to allow for a bright salmon colour with a velvety texture and full body taste. Expect a sparkling Rosé at your next soiree!
Wine Trend #2: Rosé Resurgence
Following on from the bubbles, Cody predicts that Rosé is set to continue its meteoric rise both here in Australia and worldwide. More people than ever are drinking Rosé, but not everyone understands what the varietal actually is. Some believe it is a mix of red and white grapes. Some believe it is white grapes with red skin contact for colour. In actuality, Rosé is made from red wine grapes with either red wine or skin contact for colour. Contrary to popular belief, the colour in no way affects the sweetness. With its massive popularity, Cody predicts that as more people drink it the style will become more refined and more people will begin to learn and appreciate regional and specific winemaker styles. To demonstrate the variances in styles, the McWilliam’s team served McW 480 Estate Tumbarumba Rosé — a Sangiovese and Pinot Noir Provencal style dry Rosé ideal for food pairing — and a classic Mateus Rosé with its iconic bright lively colour and unique bottle. Cody tipped the drier Provencal style is set to sweep the nation!
Wine Trend #3: Rise & Rise of High-Altitude Wines
As the climate changes, new wine regions are emerging that once only produced sparkling and now offer high-quality top drops. One such region is Tumbarumba in New South Wales. A high-altitude cool-climate region that has found itself well-equipped to produce excellent Chardonnay and even Shiraz that isn’t big and jammy like its Barossa counterpart but is elegant and refined with great complexity. Cody predicts that more and more people will begin searching out new emerging regions like Tumbarumba and Hilltops to discover hidden gems.
Wine Trend #4: Wine Explorers
More and more international varietals are popping up in Australia with complicated-sounding names that can often put off consumers, but which vintners are discovering do quite well in Aussie soils. Cody predicts that wines like Nero D’Avola, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, and Vermentino are going to be included on wine lists and on bottle shop shelves. Offering wine-lovers a chance to discover new niche varietals and explore their palate preferences. Not only are consumers expected to explore new varietals, but they are also expected to experiment with known favourites. Like enjoying a Shiraz in summer or ageing a classic Semillon so it reveals lovely honey toast notes.
Wine Trend #5 Fortifieds Revival
Fortifieds are no longer being relegated to grandparents for an after-dinner treat. There is a growing interest in Fortifieds and an emerging trend of experimenting with this powerful sweet style. Cody predicts that there will be more Fortified wines showing up — Tawny’s and Muscats alike — that can be enjoyed o their own, mixed with sodas, or even as an indulgent cocktail.
F&B Specialist. Usually seen with a flat white in hand or on her way to a craft beer or whiskey tasting. Needs to stop buying books and start reading them.
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Dialogue PR
Photo Credit: hero image Karolina Grabowska, McWilliam’s Wines