The Wine Guy Eddie McDougall: Wine Trends 2016

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To relive my memories of 2015, all I have to do is flick back through my Instagram photos and I'm able to recollect the catalogue of delicious wines I’ve been fortunate enough to sample and share with the world though my column. Over the last 12 months, the trends I saw included an abundance of wines from South Africa, lesser known parts of Australia and a game changing lineup of wines produced by champion women winemakers. Looking ahead, for 2016 I’m predicting a shift in wine drinking trends in Asia based on styles, regions and varietals.

In terms of styles, I’m placing my money on dry rosé (pink) wines being the number one choice for the forthcoming year. In the past, the pink plonk has been considered by many as a feminine wine option. However it’s increasingly common to see a bunch of rowdy lads clinking pink glasses all summer long and wine producers are producing drier, less sweet rosé to cater to such consumers. An interesting fact to know is that in France, rosé is the number one choice of wine for the young hipster crowd. The rosé revolution is here!

When it comes to choosing wines based on region, I predict 2016 will see buyers in Asia opt for wines made from countries closer to home. I’m talking about countries like China, India, Thailand and Japan. People are keen to sample and support locally made produce and it is becoming evident that quality has improved 10-fold over the last few years. So stand up, show your support and be proud of Asian wines! Keep your eyes peeled for cabernet from Ningxia, China, Koshu (white) from Japan, sauvignon blanc from India and viognier from Thailand. Checkout AsiaWineReview.com to read about some great selections rated by experts.

The last trend I am really excited about is the growing consumption of single varietal wine made from the grenache grape, one of the most popular red wine varietals across the continents. The grape ripens late, so it needs hot, dry conditions such as those from the Rhône valley, San Joaquin Valley in California or Catalan regions of Spain. Most commonly produced as part of a blend, I believe drinkers and makers are shifting towards the pure and juicy flavour of this medium-bodied red wine by itself. Supple and sweet with raspberry flavours, plus the complexity of bay leaf characters, this grape makes a joyful mouthful. It goes fantastically well with all types of Asian, Middle Eastern and Western cuisine. Great examples come from regions like McLaren Vale, Australia, and the Priorat of Spain.

Thank you everyone for following my column this year. I have enjoyed sharing my insights with you, and I’m looking forward to doing it all again in 2016!

Follow Eddie on Twitter @EddieFlyingWine

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