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2018 Spring Wine Trends

Springtime is like the impatient little kid, buckled in the back seat during a long drive, pulling fruitlessly at the seat belt strap while their feet kick air, repeatedly asking, “Are we there yet?” It’s an anxious season. People are anxious to feel the sun and refill their stock of Vitamin D. Buried seedlings are anxious to flower and bloom. And wine drinkers are anxious to shake off weighty winter reds in favor of light flavors and bright wines.

If you’re in charge of your restaurant’s wine list, then you’d be right to capitalize on how much everyone is anxious to take up new drinking habits this spring. If you want your new spring wine menu to capture people’s attention (and dollars!), then take stock of these wine trends that will reward your guest’s eagerness to enjoy spring.

British Sparkling Wine is The New Britpop

 

New royalty is rising in the ranks of the British aristocracy: Sparkling wine. England’s wine production grew by over 67 percent from 2012 to 2015, and is expected to grow by another 97% by 2020.

With the increased production, English wine producers are pushing for larger distribution to the States, which means more English sparkling wines will be landing spots on wine menus in restaurants and wine bars across the country.

In other words, the British are coming. And that is a good thing for drinkers in the U.S. and abroad. English sparkling wine is rivaling Champagne from France in quality, beating out French entries in a Paris wine tasting, in which the expert judges rated English sparkling wines ahead of champagne in 2 out of 3 categories, and drew even with Champagne in a third category

Lighter, Atlantic-Style Reds from Galicia

 

Now, people are taking note of another region of Spain where winemakers are producing beautiful wines.

In Galicia, in Spain’s northern Atlantic coast, the  unique climate (for Spain; cool, wet, mountainous) is giving root to gorgeous red wines that are in line with French red’s like Cabernet Franc and Gamay. One varietal, which only grows in a few regions in Spain and one region in Portugal, is Méncia.

In an article from February 2017, Punch writer Jon Bonné wrote that Méncia “should well become known as the world’s next great red variety.” 

Méncia’s production can range from floral reds with bright red fruits and a touch minerality to more concentrated wines with spicy black pepper notes and biting tannins.

As wine drinkers break from traditional drinking habits, exciting red wines from Galicia should stand out on spring wine menus as the perfect pour for a cool, wet spring night.

Wines From Napa Valley and Sonoma Coast

Both wine regions represent the best of United States wine production. And last year, they were two of northern California’s wine regions that were wrecked by wildfires that raged throughout the area in 2017. With these wine regions in recovery, the wine world is ready to support the wine makers whose livelihoods and passions were torched.

Expect to see more wines from the Napa and Sonoma Coast regions this year being promoted on menus in effort to financial support the wine industry there and assist in its recovery. And ordering wines from these regions is a simple, effortless way to support that recover . Here is one recommendation for a perfect spring sipper that captures the summer vibes we are all yearning for.

Tres Sabores Ingrid & Julia Rosé

According to the Tres Sabores website, they are now pouring their 2017 vintage of this rosé. The producer’s tasting notes for this still rosé note its “intense strawberry aromas with playful citrus zest.”

It’s a dryer wine, that the producer and wine tasters liken to French rosé from Provence.

The wine takes its name from two rose (the flower) varietals, playfully named “Ingrid Bergman” and “Julia Child” named after the director and famed cookbook author, respectively.