Being on Trend!
There are always fads to distract us and then there are those things in life which start off as outliers and soon become the new driving force.
One of the most pleasing things about the wine scene right now in Australia is it’s dynamism, diversity and ability to embrace the changing environment.
So what are some of the serious trends right now.
Light Reds and textural whites
It needs to be made clear that lighter-bodied reds don’t always equate to simple and easy, although many are effortless to drink. Why? They are unencumbered by oak and the fruit picked early to retain brightness and purity of flavour without bludgeoning levels of alcohol. Then there are the textural whites, judiciously handled with just the right amount of skin contact during fermentation to impart its magic and add another dimension to the wine.
Rosé has become a riveting category after a purgatory of gloppy, luridly coloured wines licked with sugar. Today, gentle coral hues lead to light- to mid-weighted wines, the best defined by crunchy energy, a thirst-slaking shimmy of herb and a dry finish. Rosé is produced when red grape skins are in contact with wine for a short period of time. The base grape chosen for rosé will have a significant influence over its style. Popular varieties are grenache, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, sangiovese and nebbiolo, with winemakers experimenting with many more. Each winemaker curates the depth of colour based on how long the juice touches the skins, therefore the more contact time, the darker the rosé is on the pink wine spectrum.
These are hot right now in more ways than one. With soaring temperatures and parched conditions becoming the norm, these gems are thriving. With many of Australia’s classic wine regions such as Barossa and McLaren Vale becoming warmer and drier, quality-conscious winemakers have looked to vines that are suited to the new growing environment. These wines also offer an array of aromas and sumptuous flavours that provide inspiration to pairing with the new wave of culinary delights that are emerging. So keep an eye out for wines such as Vermentino, Fiano, Garnacha (Grenache), Nero di Avola and Tempranillo to name a few.
This is an interesting one and something of much conjecture. Lo-Fi has come about as a way to break free from the shackles of the wine term “Natural”, which has often been used and abused. In a nutshell, it allows the true essence of wine to shine through, via minimalist techniques such as wild yeast fermentation, limited filtering and additives and no mechanical intervention. This can lead to wines that are sometimes cloudy and potentially don’t carry quite the fruit intensity due to the oxidative handling and lack of preservatives such as SO2 being used.
One of the defining trends of the last decade has been an embrace of all things organic. Grown, tended to and crafted with minimal intervention, organic producers have led the way in the establishment of a more sustainable viticulture, and the resulting wines have evolved to be among the most expressive and interesting wines to be found anywhere.
For those potentially wanting to go a step further in leading a sustainable life, there is also the genres of Preservative-free, biodynamic and Vegan friendly wines.
Whatever your bent and being on trend, make sure to include one of these styles in your next wine purchase!