Sick of Zinfandel rose or Desperados? Here are the drinks that I think will make it big in 2014…
There are some wines which are always going to be big. A world of wine without Claret, Champagne or fine Burgundy is unimaginable, but just like fashion, wine is subject to the rise and fall of trends.
Now, with the economic climate finally starting to look a little brighter, here are my predictions for 2014 wine trends…
Bubbles continue to rise
As an act of defiance to the recession, the sparkling wine scene exploded last year. Champagne was no longer king of the supermarket though, with Majestic reporting a 39% increase in Prosecco sales over a six month period.
This growth shows no sign of abating and 2014 is unlikely the year that the bubble will burst. The best performers have been either towards the inexpensive, or the pricey end of the scale, with mid-market fizz being squeezed out of the picture. This is expected to remain the same until the economy stabilises.
Goodbye Pimms, Hello Spritz
Continuing our love affair with bubbles, the summer of 2013 saw the introduction of the Spritz hit Britain with a bang. You weren’t anyone unless you had a lurid orange Aperol spritz in hand. In fact, the drink became so popular that high street chain Pizza Express began listing it on their summer menu nationwide. A base liqueur, be it Aperol or Campari, topped up with Prosecco and a splash of mineral water is the way to make this Venetian classic.
While its success is tipped to last well into 2014, new twists on this wine based cocktail are likely to be the way forward. A very English alternative is made with a base of elderflower cordial. It’s called the Hugo and here’s how to make one:
20ml of elderflower syrup
70ml of sparkling wine
50ml of sparkling water
Top with a sprig of fresh mint and a wedge of lime.
The revamped premix
Of course, the premixed drink is not a new concept, but like Madonna, it is a category which is constantly reinventing itself. While alcopops had their flight of fancy in the nineties, these were edged out of the market by the soaring popularity of flavoured ciders which eagerly filled their shoes.
The RTD (ready to drink) had been biding its time and transformed into a new guise with a beer-base. Desperados was named the favourite brand of 18 – 24 year olds last year.
It was only a matter of time before wine edged its way into the mix as well. Naturally, considering the starting point of both wine and brandy is grapes, the two work seamlessly together. Examples such as Courvoisier Gold and the Mangria have crept their way onto the market, and look out for fruit flavoured wine mixers hitting shelves later this year.
Keeping it sweet
Zinfandel rose has been a huge category in the past, but the public have unsurprisingly begun to tire of it wanting new alternatives to fit this mould. The solution has come in the form of Moscato, this sweet and peachy grape variety has not only been gracing our wine lists, but also our TV screens. A favourite of rapper Warren G and Nicki Minaj, it has been featured in many a music video.
Plus for those of you looking for low alcohol alternatives, Moscato happily hovers around the 5-6% mark.
Here’s to a prosperous and wine-filled 2014 – cheers!