We are witnessing the rise of Asia as a wine consumer and in some cases, even as a wine producer. Millennial consumers want to drink wines that are enjoyable, but also healthy and produced in harmony with the environment. Technology and social media are changing the way we buy, consume and talk about wine. Threats to the wine world abound too: climate change and sustainability, wine fraud, unbalance in demand and supply … Still, quality and variety of the wines available to us today have never been as high and wide.
On 6thJune 2018 I held a presentation for the SwissCham Singapore at Wine Universe on Global Trends in the World of Wine, to address some of today’s key drivers affecting the production and consumption of wine globally. As a counterpoint to the rather dry subject of my exposition, I also held a guided tasting of a selection of wines from Wine Universe’s cellars, made from characteristic grapes closely linked to their terroir and demonstrating the variety and richness of contemporary wine production.
The trends I addressed are:
- The emergence of China and Asia as wine consumers and producers
- Millennial consumers and their focus on pleasure + health + sustainability
- How the 2017 harvest has changed wine demand-supply dynamics
- How climate change is affecting wine production
I will spend a few words on each of these in the coming posts, but first of all I will share my observations about the wines we tasted that evening!
Château Constellation Brut de Brut AOC Valais – A Swiss sparkling wine from the major wine region of Valais. It is made in the tank method from Chardonnay. It has a fine mousse (it is bottled at comparatively lower pressure) and is overall a very fruity wine, with a hint of smoke or nuttiness on the nose. On the palate, fruitiness is also evident: citrus (lemon, grapefruit, mandarin) and some exotic notes (papaya, mango). A refreshing aperitif wine.
Proidl Senftenberger Gruener Veltliner 2016 – Light straw yellow, typical but also of cooler climate wine. White flowers and citrus on the nose, fresh, mineral and even salty notes. That distinctive white pepper. On the palate, green apple, white peach and white flowers, honey. Some nuttiness, a hint of bitter almonds. Tight, that salinity and spiciness again, Precise wine defined by sharp acidity and minerality, but also a charmer thanks to its generous flavor profile.
Santadi Vermentino di Sardegna Villa Solais 2015 – Picked early, to avoid excessive sugar in the grapes, Sardinian Vermentino can give lively and refreshing wines. The Villa Solais is a good example of this style. On the nose, peach, vanilla, white flowers. On the palate, there are also almonds, even marzipan, with a slightly bitter ending (possibly from a small addition of Nuragus, an old local grape). It has a rather full body and oily texture, but is balanced by livelyacidity and some mineral, saline notes. It has a nice, long finish. Great with seafood or white meat dishes.
Meroni Valpolicella Classico Superiore Il Velluto 2011 – Light ruby, with brick red accents at the rim. Smoky on the nose. Red fruits, mainly cherries, then raisins and dried figs or prunes. Candied cherries (amarene) on the palate, with some sweetness. Well developed tannins give it structure. Not a powerful wine, but very expressive, with elegance and restraint. Very balanced overall. Great with all kind of pastas, chicken or cheese.
Bergerie de l’Hortus Classique Rouge 2014 – A Mourvèdre, Grenache, and Syrah blend from one of the flagship producers in the Languedoc’s Pic-Saint-Loup appellation. The wine is a brilliant, dark, purple. Meaty, savory, smoky. Black cherries and dried herbs. Medium acidity with soft tannins. On the palate, more black fruit but also some red fruits (plums, cherries), roasted meat, smoke and chocolate. Herbs, spices, a hint of menthol. Grilled dry-aged beef (or wild boar!) would be a perfect accompaniment to this wine.