Winter rosé, Portuguese tinto, and sparkling wine from England included.

By Betty Gold
January 25, 2021
Advertisement

A new year means a fresh start; a chance to hit 'reset' on your habits, let go of the past (2020 = never again), and look forward to the future. It also gives us an excellent excuse to passionately preach about our favorite new food trends, what's going to be mega popular in home décor this year, healthy eating movements to try and skip, paint color trends; even the best beauty trends and hair color trends for 2021.

What's missing, you ask? Wine trends—but no longer.

For the best insight into what wines will be most popular this year, we went straight to the source: Ian Cauble, SommSelect founder and one of only 269 Master Sommeliers in the world (yes, he was featured in the Netflix documentary Somm). Here's what wines you can expect to explore in 2021—hopefully starting tonight, because #research.

1

“To put it simply, rosé has exploded in popularity in the last few years, but it also has a lot more versatility and seasonal range than most people realize,” explains Cauble. We already know about the delicious, quaffable examples that are perfectly designed for poolside sipping in the summer. But according to Cauble, there are also some highly complex, more intense examples of rosé that are ideal for drinking in the winter. FYI, rosés like this should be served closer to “cellar temp” (about 50-55°F), as opposed to the ice-cold poolside rosé many of us associate with summer.

Try the Trend:

  • Domaine du Gros ‘Noré, Bandol Rosé: “This rosé from the famous Bandol region in Southern France (Provence) is one of the best rosés made in the world every year, and pairs beautifully with a steaming hot bowl of Bouillabaisse,” Cauble says.
  • Azores Wine Co., “Rosé Vulcanico”: “Another super compelling winter rosé is this bottle from the volcanic Pico Island, which is the second largest of the Portuguese Azores islands. To protect them from the harsher coastal climate, grapes there are grown within this incredible contiguous maze of thousands of small, soilless plots. The plots are encased by black basalt walls that date back as far as the 15th century (BTW, these structures are so breathtaking they’re considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The result is a highly complex wine with strong mineral notes that’s perfect for a winter night.”

2

Most people know of Bordeaux in France as the most famous cabernet sauvignon-growing region in the world, rivaled in recent decades by the Napa Valley in California. “However, it’s very clear that South Africa is now competing with these lauded appellations and is creating some of the best Bordeaux-style blends the market has ever seen," Cauble says. "South African wines are in such high demand right now that we have a hard time keeping them in stock." 

Try the Trend:

  • Keermont Estate Reserve Red Blend: According to Cauble, the Keermont Estate has similar aspects and soils to the Howell Mountain AVA in Napa Valley. "The quality of this Bordeaux-inspired wine will rival most Napa Mountain cabs for half the price."

3

“We’ve probably all heard Champagne can only be called ‘Champagne’ if it is from the Champagne region in France, but there is a whole other world out there of amazing sparkling wines that deserve our attention,” Cauble says.

Try the Trend:

  • Murgo, Método Classico Brut Rosé: “This fantastic Italian brut rosé is grown in the volcanic soils of Mount Etna in Sicily, and is then made using the exact same method as Champagne," Cauble says. (Heads up: ‘Método classico’ is the Italian term for ‘Champagne method,’ wherein the second fermentation is carried out in the bottle). "Even with all of that being true, the price-to-quality ratio of this wine is off the charts at less than $30 a bottle."
  • Gusbourne Estate, Brut Reserve: “This even more 'off the beaten path’ sparkler hails from Kent in southeastern England. English sparkling wine has been dominating Champagne in recent blind tastings for one very important reason: It has a climate and soil type that’s nearly identical to that of the Champagne region. Both regions were originally under a shallow ocean (we’re talking millions of years ago), which created a sedimentary chalk that spans all the way under the English Channel, making part of southern England and Champagne ‘terroir twins.’ This bottle is an excellent example of a sparkling wine that truly couldn’t be any better if it was from Champagne itself.”

4

Portugal is famous the world over for being the home of Port wine (as it should be), but it also makes some of the most wonderful unfortified red and white wines. “There has been a recent movement toward making dry, red wines in the Douro Valley, the exact same region where the best Port in the world is made,” explains Cauble. “But the main difference is that the wine is not fortified—meaning a distilled spirit, usually brandy, has not been added to it, as it is with Port.”

Try the Trend:

  • Secret Spot Wines “Lacrau” Reserva, Field Blend Tinto: “This bottle uses a ‘field blend’ of indigenous grape varieties, many of which grow on some of the steepest terraced vineyards in the world. The result is a beautifully balanced, delicious tinto (Portuguese word for ‘red’) wine that is sure to have you excited to explore Portuguese wine beyond Port," Cauble says.