Looking Ahead To Wine Trends In 2012

Roberto Viernes
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Wednesday - January 04, 2012
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A sleek, smooth, well-rounded Chardonnay

Predictions for the wine (and food) industry for 2012:

1) I think the ultimate fate of the Euro, which could be disappearing, will have a huge impact on wine imports from Europe.

Can you imagine if the dollar were once again worth 8 French Francs or 100 Italian Lira? Assuming the U.S. dollar would be stronger, this would have a profound effect on our ability to purchase wines from Europe. The acquisition costs of its wines would drop, and those of us who enjoy them so much would be able to buy more. This also would lead to better accessibility for those who have not tried many European wines and perhaps create a larger market for them as a result.

Can you remember the last time you bought a bottle of Bordeaux? I cannot. Perhaps in the not so distant future you could be buying more than just one bottle.

2) You will see more wine flavors, wine and/or grape derived components in food.

Some of this will come in the form of health foods, but there has been much research into the extraction of flavor compounds and aromatics from wine and grapes that will make their way from beauty products to flavorenhancers in actual dishes on the plate.

This will not take the place of food and wine pairing, but I have already heard about flavor inhalants at some restaurants on the Mainland, and with molecular gastronomy still on the rise, there is no reason to believe chefs will not see it as a natural subject to experiment with. Although I must say I would miss the drinking part of the enjoyment.

A Syrah that’s perfect with grilled meats

3) Wine packaging will continue to evolve.

It will get lighter, and its production will become more efficient. Along with that, we will see more wines being served in kegs. Get used to seeing wines being served from a tap instead of out of a bottle.

Some of the most-progressive wine programs in the country are featuring wines served from kegs. The same trend that happened with bottles of wine with screwcaps is happening with kegs. Some will shun them and some will love them, but all will realize that it is one of the best ways to transport and store wine for copious consumption.

4) Sweet rose wines will make a comeback.

The consumption of lower alcohol and sweet wines has risen in the last year, and wines such as white Zinfandel are sure to follow. They are inexpensive and easy to understand. And it can come in many more forms than just white Zinfandel.

5) I will dive into the 21st century on the “World Wine Web.”

No, I won’t blog yet, and I don’t Facebook or Foursquare yet either. But you can now follow me on Twitter @Pinotpusher. I will be tweeting about wine ins and outs, happenings, dinners, good deals when I find them, and just all around fun with food, travel, various libations and, of course, wine.

Recommendations: 2009 Landmark “Overlook” Chardonnay ($26) Sleek and smooth, this Chardonnay has tons of ripe fruit with just the right amount of vanilla from new French oak aging. It’s one of those well-rounded Chardonnays that are just plain easy to drink. 2009 JL Colombo Crozes Hermitage ($25) This is Syrah from the Northern Rhone Valley and it is filled with cassis, smoked meat, stoniness and savory herbs. It is perfect for a dinner with grilled meats.


Roberto Viernes is a master sommelier. E-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
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