With 2018 in the rearview, we’ll happily raise a glass to its many ups and downs while looking forward to what 2019 has planned for the wine world!
The “drink less, but better” wine trend of 2018 looks to carry over into 2019 in surprising ways.
Sherry & Wine Cocktails
Like record players and bellbottoms, sherry is the latest thing your grandparents were into that’s making a comeback. Sherry has woken up from its siesta in the shadows and is anchored to become one of the big vino stars in 2019. So, what exactly is a sherry? According to PAGU wine steward Larry Rubin, “It is a fortified wine, meaning that at some point in its process, a higher percent alcohol was added to the lower percent wine. But then it undergoes an oxidation and the amount of oxygen is what largely differentiates the sherry styles; it can be very light, refreshing and salty even, all the way to the stickiest dessert wines that are really desserts on their own.”
Your neighborhood Spec’s expert will be happy to take you through the seven different varieties, which range from dry and crisp to very sweet: Manzanilla, Fino, Amontillado, Palo Cortado, Oloroso, Cream and Pedro Ximénez, PX for short. Amontillado style Sherry is also an outstanding addition in cocktails. While Champagne cocktails once recently reigned supreme, Sherry cocktails look now to take the aperitif throne.
Sparkling wine popularizes outside of Champagne and Prosecco
With Americans learning to celebrate the everyday and not just drink sparkling wines on special occasions, those trends outside of the Champagne and Prosecco categories have been on the rise as well as domestic bubbly.
Crémant – sparkling wine from France outside of Champagne made in the traditional method, and Cava from Spain also made in the same way, are those high-quality, affordable options of sparkling wine that will rise quicker in popularity than the bubbles in their bottles throughout 2019. Try Crémant de Bourgogne, made with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (just like in Champagne), or top Cava producers such as the incredible Recaredo for smart, bubbly buys in the coming year.
Croatian wine, Cabernet Franc, and a new creative generation of Bordeaux winemakers ready to shake up old traditions are also on the radar for an exhilarating 2019 year for wine aficionados.
Bourbon Barrel Wine
You’ve probably heard of beer aged in bourbon barrels, but have you heard of bourbon barrel wine? This is a current trend of 2018 and will definitely be something you’ll continue to see in 2019. Barrels that once held bourbon or whiskey are being refurbished and used to age wine. The oak barrels are charred for aroma and flavor. Adventurous wine drinkers are beginning to try it. The popularity of bourbon barrel wine is continuing to increase and will definitely be a topic of talk in 2019.
Biodynamic wine is made with a set of farming practices that view the farm or vineyard as one solid organism. The ecosystem functions as a whole, with each portion of the farm or vineyard contributing to the next. The idea is to create a self-sustaining system. Natural materials, soils, and composts are used to sustain the vineyard. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides are forbidden for the sake of soil fertility.
Let the wine make itself. Biodynamic wines are made from a holistic point of view, where the process is natural and leaves the earth the way it was before. Grapes are grown with care all the way down to the soil. Natural wines are made with similar ingredients to biodynamic wines, but don’t require the holistic process of how the grapes are grown. Either way the “natural” wines are made, they are becoming a popular choice on the shelf.