What can we expect from wine in 2014? Which trends will reach our tables, and where will the bargains come from? It’s time to divine the future from the sediment left behind by our Christmas bottle of port.
We will hear more about moderating alcohol levels as winemakers redefine ripeness. The sledgehammer wines with 15 percent alcohol might not be extinct, but their heyday has passed.
Locally, minimum pricing will become a heated topic, given the potential impact on cross-border trade, this research currently is being taken forward on a North-South basis. Therefore we anticipate this research to be completed early in 2014 with an announcement of Stormont's proposed action!
From around the world, we should see tremendous bargains coming from the vineyards of Portugal and Spain, where strong vintages and weak economies have been a boon for consumers. We also might see more wines from Eastern Europe as Slovenia and Bulgaria modernise their vineyards and wineries. Brazil will be the next trendy wine region in South America, and areas such as Patagonia and Salta in Argentina or Bio-Bio, Leyda and Elqui in Chile will send forth new wines. More and more of such bottles will be labeled sustainable, organic or biodynamic as these eco-friendly vineyard practices gain popularity with growers and consumers.
And HDW predict 2014 will be the Year of Chardonnay. Producers we've spoken with in Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Northwest and California are particularly excited about chardonnay, believing they have the right clones and vine age to produce superior fruit. Invariably these producers are cutting back on the use of new oak barrels to amplify the expression of fruit and vineyard. Look for chardonnay to regain the wow factor that made it the world’s favorite white wine in the first place.