We haven't had this conversation in a while, and I think it's high time! What are the beverage trends you're seeing in your market right now, and what do you think is ahead?
Here are a few to get us started... I think younger consumers are more curious than ever to learn, evidenced by the market for classes, consumer-oriented books on wine, and expert-driven wine clubs, as well as the ongoing success of sites like Madeline Puckette's Wine Folly. "Unique" grapes are still cool, perhaps an evolution of earlier enthusiasm around natural wine, orange wine, etc. Restaurants seem to be tipping back toward fine dining.
What do you think?
I'd like to think that sommeliers should start focusing on Merlot again - this noble grape has never seen a major resurgence since the movie Sideways. I've recently had some outstanding La Jota Howell Mountain, Three Palms Vineyards, Petrolo Galatrona, and of course the legendary Masseto. Not too sure what's stopping us from listing great Merlots or even recommending it.
Couldn't agree more!
It can vary from vintage to vintage, but the Merlot from Ridge (from the Monte Bello vineyard) can be fantastic and a relative deal. I would second La Jota. Ehlers in Napa is also a good bet. I'd love to see some young producers explore Bennet Valley more. It's a great spot for Merlot and Matanzas Creek has been making great value Melot from that area for decades.
I couldn't agree more but I think we will all start seeing a resurgence in Merlot after the "Sideways Catastrophe". I just added Joyce Merlot BTG in Los Olivos, CA where Sideways was partially filmed. Also, Cheval Blanc will always be cool for those who can afford it.
I see no end in the Mezcal craze.