Food & Drink

Grape Expectations | The Year’s Biggest Wine Trends You Should Have Tried By Now

By Jess Willemse
6th Dec 2019

Swirl, sniff, sip, repeat—let’s just say, here at Urban List we love a good glass of vino and we’re always eager to wrap our hands ‘round a new drop. 

That’s why we thought it only appropriate to see out 2019 with a juicy bang, rounding out this year’s biggest wine trends, with a little help from the experts at Penfolds. This year they are celebrating 175 years of winemaking, so let's just say they know their way around a drop or two. We caught up with Penfold's Global Ambassador, Jamie Sach, to chat what’s hot in the world of wine. Spoiler: Chardonnay is set to be the drop of the season. 

Tasting A Region Is On The Rise 

These days, a bottle of good wine is all about telling the story of where the wine was produced. Regionality is on the rise, with people looking for a sip that expresses the character of the wine’s geography, landscape, climate and growing conditions. Taste this trend yourself with the Bin 150 Marananga Shiraz, which reflects the rich character and ancient soils of the Marananga region in the Barossa Valley—think fresh notes of local flavours like blackberry and raspberry with a substantial oaky hint. 

Chardonnay Is Making A Massive Comeback 

Borrowing words from Eminem; guess who's back, back again, Chardonnay's back, tell a friend. Far from the rich, heavy oaky variety that dominated the 90s, this comeback sees producers creating new styles that are more reminiscent of cooler climate origins. The oaky notes are much more subtle, making for a fresh, palatable drop set to see you through the summer. Get around this one with the Bin 311 Chardonnay, which boasts refreshing fruity flavours and an ultra-fine oak note. 

Sustainable Wines Are Taking Over 

Vegan wines, eco wines, natural wines, biodynamic wines—the list goes on. But one thing is for sure, sustainable sips aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. With low-carbon, meat-free lifestyles on the rise, we’re seeing the industry respond by revolutionising their production practices and innovating with more eco-friendly packaging like recycled bottles and cans. Some producers are even experimenting with removing animal-products to make vegan-friendly wines. A burgeoning number of brands are getting behind the sustainability cause by investing in biodiversity, solar panels and water management strategies.     

Red Is The Best Pairing Wine

It’s no surprise that red wine still tops the list for the best foodie-friendly varietal around. For something a bit different, try the Bin 138 Shiraz Grenache Mataro, which offers a refined, savoury flavour with earthy, fruity notes. Pair this one with your favourite red meats, charcuterie boards or carby dishes (hello pasta and pizza), or as Jamie suggests “it’s an amazing wine to pair with duck."

Get Around Aging At Home

With at-home wine drinking on the rise, it only makes sense to jump on the latest trend of ageing your bottles at home. The best part? It’s actually super easy. It’s all about controlling the temperature, ensuring a consistent environment for your precious bottles. If you’re serious about making this your new hobby, invest in a wine fridge for peace of mind. But if you’re just trying it out, pop your bottles in insulated packaging and store them in the coolest place in your home that isn’t affected by air conditioning. As the saying goes, all good things take time.

Sip On Low-Alcohol Wines 

The low or no alcohol trend has already rocked the spirits and beer industry, so it’s no surprise wine is up next. These days we’re all about wellness and wellbeing but we shouldn’t have to compromise Friday night drinks for the sake of this. Instead, you’ll soon be able to opt for low-alcohol, balanced blends that are more about flavour and less about drunken regrets. Cheers to that! 

Wine Cocktails Are Coming 

We love cocktails. We love wine. It only makes sense that these delicious boozy creations join forces to create the most sippable trend of 2019—wine cocktails. Specifically using fortified tawny wines as the base, it creates a softer sweetness than syrups when mixed with spirits and juices. Our favourite combo is the Father Grand Tawny with vodka, Cointreau, sugar syrup, lime juice, soda water and garnished with orange. Now that’s a dream summer sundowner. 

Get around a glass of vino from Penfolds—they’ve been refining their craft for 175 years, so let’s just say, you know it’s going to be delicious. We recommend getting started with a delicious drop from the Max or Koonunga Hill range. Find them at all good fine wine retailers throughout the country.

Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by Penfolds and proudly endorsed by Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

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