Spring 2011 wine trends…..

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011


shaw_M3_bottleTaste the difference Beaujolais VillagesThe rediscovery of fashions past is ever present. My March issue of Elle magazine tells me we should bid adieu to 80’s shoulder pads whilst preparing to (re)embrace the 70’s flare. In wine terms things don’t move quite so quickly but there are definitely some trends this season that you should look out for. Here are my top 3 wine style tips for Spring 2011….

Aromatic whites have their time and place. I’ve recently gone off Gewurztraminer, for example. Riesling on the other hand I can’t get enough of. Elegant and delicate, never lacking intensity, sometimes dry, sometimes sweet. It’s like one of those floral print jumpsuits you can’t decide whether to love or loathe… it may not be to everybody’s taste but find the right one and you’ll feel like it’s been made for you.

Try Cono Sur’s example from Chile. New on the shelves at Oddbins, Cono Sur Vision Riesling 2010 (£8.99) is layered with white stone fruit and citrusy lemon rind aromas. Yellow melon fruitiness gives the palate a ripe and round texture and the grapefruit flavours that follow leave you with a long and refreshing finish. Drink it on its own or with fresh green salad. It’s a stylish wine wine worth looking out for.

Stop, look, listen. Last year I predicted Chardonnay would make a comeback and I wasn’t wrong. Savvy wine drinkers wouldn’t be caught dead belittling this famous grape and I can confidently say that ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) is a phrase of the past. The blousy over oaked California fruit bombs are now few and far between. Restrained and elegant examples that are the perfect balance of oak, fruit and quaffabilty have rightly stepped forward. Once blamed for chardonnay’s demise some great examples are now coming out of Australia.

Try Shaw & Smith’s M3 Vineyard Chardonnay 2009 from the Adelaide Hills, a cool climate region known to produce some of Australia’s finest Chardonnay. It’s a wine that looks and tastes the part and before you baulk at the price tag… £25.95 is no more than you’d pay for a wine of half the class at your favourite local restaurant. Buy it online from the delightfully named www.slurp.co.uk.

Beaujolais sales have long been shrinking but it’s amazing the difference a year can make. The 2009 vintage bought with it some great weather and subsequently some great affordable red wines. Georges Duboeuf, the wine pioneer credited as much for the marketing genius of Beaujolais Nouveau as for his respectable wines, must be breathing a sigh of relief. Fruity, moreish, dangerously drinkable and a serious crowd pleaser. Look no further than Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Beaujolais Villages 2009, produced by Georges himself. At only £6.49 a bottle you may feel like hiding the label in cheap-skate shame but I urge you to place the bottle on your table loud and proud. Once they’ve tried it I guarantee your friends will be asking you where you got it from!

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