There was a time, not so long ago, that drinking Rose was something to be ashamed of. It was usually what your mother drank and -to put it plainly- a bit of a girly drink!
Blokes drank beer, whiskey and full bodied red wine period. Ok, if it had to be white then only over-oaked, big, fat Chardonnay was acceptable and only because everybody knew it was really red wine masquerading as white anyway.
A winemaking friend, who made what I considered to be a very decent rose once told me that everyone drank his rose, it was just that no one admitted it. How times have changed.
In the age of the sensitive, appreciative, iconoclastic Hipster, dudes are now unashamedly drinking rose out in public; all of a sudden it is looking decidedly hip to drink the pink. It seems men have finally worked out that if you’re at a barbecue and its 45 degrees in the shade, then the only red wine you want to consider with your steak is one that is the colour of salmon, can be chilled right down and comes with ice cubes in it.
Pimp my Prosecco
Prosecco last year became the world’s most exported sparkling wine, overtaking Champagne, Cava and all other versions of wine with bubbles in it. However, the devil is in the detail as it seems the perfect way to drink Prosecco is to pimp it up with Aperol and Soda or variations on the theme.
Called a Spritzer, these refreshing, low alcohol, chilled out party drinks are taking over the world and are set to do the same in the kingdom. A word to the wise, prosecco is made differently to Champagne and other bottle fermented sparkling wines and it uses different grape varieties, if it isn’t prosecco then it just isn’t the real ‘spritzer’. For variations try it with Cocchi Americano, Verveine Liqueur or Lillet Blanc instead of Aperol.
Less is More
A welcome trend identified by several wine importers in the Kingdom, is a shift towards wines of a higher quality. Everyday wine consumers who perhaps would have looked at how much wine they could get for their dollar or, how strong the alcohol was, are now looking to see just how good a wine they can get for their money. These wine drinkers are now enjoying wine for its taste and character, rather than purely for the effects of the alcohol and as breathalyzers and thousand dollar fines or, jail hit the streets of the capital, this has to be a good thing.
The Might of the Right
Whilst the Left Bank wines of the Medoc enjoy the rare air of an elevated reputation in the Kingdom, it’s the Merlot and Franc dominant wines of Saint Emilion, on the Right Bank that continue to turnover on wine lists and in retail outlets.
Perhaps it’s the silky smooth tannins or the velvet like texture? Whatever the reason, the Right Bank wines are set to continue on seducing the palates of the local wine cognoscenti in 2016.
Local prices for the preferred brands like Chateau Pavie, Chateau Angelus and Clos Fourtet shot up for a time there but, these are still relatively good value compared to their more illustrious first growth siblings from across the river.
So there you have it, now you know just the right tipples to be seen out with in the New Year. Remember, if all else fails it is the year of the monkey so grin like mad, laugh out loud and be cheeky with your choices, then you’re bound to have a good time of it.