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What will Italian wine lovers drink in 2024?

January 07, 2024 Tags: 0 comments
It is a difficult question to answer and most of the times, predicting trends is like reading the horoscope, it never happens.

Lets start with the 2023 trends that are still going strong. Everyone know the prosecco story, still producing and selling incredible numbers, even though in the USA the consumptions was down last year and normally UK follow suit, so we may see a drop in Prosecco consumption soon. I could not be happier, I find surprising that despite the amount of undrinkable prosecco on the market, despite the race to the bottom from certain prosecco producers, prosecco when properly done is great, the wine is still flying high in wine lovers’ preferences. Wine drinkers seem to love bubbles more than the wine itself, so until a new sparkling alternative able to produce the same quantity of the Prosecco appellation is found and rival its brand, we have to live with it.

As an alternative to the Prosecco, whether it will be a trend or just my wish, I would like to see more classic method sparkling wines being enjoyed. Classic method wines are really a great alternative and a better sparkling wine than Prosecco. The most famous classic method wine is certainly champagne, however, Italian classic method wines offer better value for money than champagnes and are now being produced all over Italy, from Piedmont to Sicily, each producer makes its own. In Italy, there are three main appellations, Trento, Franciacorta and Alta Langa but there are plenty of good examples outside the appellations. We love them and stock plenty.

Another trend that started a few years ago, if you read my blog I wrote about it at the time, seems to be finally fading away, whilst there are some great appassimento wines, from the Amarone to the Sforzato appellations and a few others outside the appellations, appassimento had become a way to get alcohol content up with plenty of residual sugar to cater for drinkers that associate alcohol and feeling their mouth full with quality. From what I can see when visiting restaurants and talking to sommeliers, the trend seems to be fading away.

What started as a trend and is slowly becoming a niche, is natural wines and orange wines, that most of the time are made following the natural philosophy. The category is very divisive, is either you love or you hate it. Despite the trend has now faded away, there are still producers following the philosophy but contrary to before, their prices have now normalised and the quality of the wines is actually great if you like the style. Some of the first natural wines were undrinkable and sold at crazy prices simply because they were “natural” or “orange”, now, the price is right. Good natural wines are more expensive than traditionally made wines because of their wine making process, and over the last couple of years, the producers that were following the trend have gone and the ones that really believe in it, are still there producing great wine. We currently stock one producer but we are planning to add at least another one, possibly more.

The one trend I would really like to finally see in 2024 is the explosion of the rose’ wine category, and I don’t mean the zinfandel or pinot grigio blush or the Cotes de Provence rose’. A rose’ wine is a great alternative to a red wine, it is also a very versatile wine by reducing or increasing its serving temperature and Italians are master of producing foody friendly rose’ wines. Whenever I choose a rose wine for our wine tasting evenings, it is always the one the surprises the most. Let’s hope for a 2024 full of rose’ wine.

Over the last few months, I have noticed a switch in wine drinkers behaviour, a switch that I hope will become a trend: wine drinkers are becoming more adventurous in their choices. If you have attended any of our wine tasting events, I always suggest and invite to try new wines, discover new regions and producers. If you attended any wine tastings, there is always a wine you never heard of that suddenly becomes your favourite, this is one of the joys of wine, and if you need help ask the sommelier of your favourite restaurant or get it from your favourite wine merchant.

Lets hope that 2024 will bring plenty of good Italian wine. My dad, when growing up, used to say to me “if you are going to get drunk, do it by drinking good wine, at least you won’t have headache the next morning”. My dad’s recommendation aside, less is better, and this applies to wine as well, drink less but drink better and more importantly enjoy your wine, sip it. Maybe this living cost crisis will help all of us to enjoy and appreciate more, whether wine or clothes.
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