The world of wine is on the brink of some major changes this year, according to one leading Yorkshire supplier.
Many wine lovers stick with what they know, whether that's a hefty merlot or a refreshing pinot grigio, but there are some new and exciting trends just around the corner, according to the experts at LWC, the UK's largest independent drinks wholesaler.
Here's their guide to what is going to tickle your tastebuds in 2019:
Crafty does it
We've had craft breweries and bespoke distilleries; now this trend is taking over wine-making too. As customers start to pay more attention to the origins of what's in their glass, craft wine production is on the up: the demand for ethical, sustainable and responsible products has led to an expanding range of vegan, natural, organic, biodynamic and low-intervention wines on the market. The pick of LWC’s selection is the Fiori range, a vegan-friendly product of indigenous Italian grapes.
How low can you go?
Research last year showed that a large proportion of young people in England are shunning alcohol completely, with more than a quarter of people aged 16 to 24 classing themselves as “non-drinkers”. As a result, the range of alcohol-free options out there is set to broaden, with it becoming increasingly easy to find low-alcohol wines that taste just like the real thing – Bees Knees are just one producer offering alcohol-free bubbly that’s well worth a pop.
Forget austerity: the main trend in the wine industry this year is a shift towards premiumisation, or finding the best your money can buy. According to market researchers Euromonitor International, this isn't going to stop for at least the next decade: they say consumers are now spending more on products that can make them better, whether that means healthier, more unique or more efficient. In wine world, this doesn't mean splashing out on a bottle of Chateau Lafite every Friday; instead, it's about checking the provenance of your wine and choosing quality over quantity, like a top-notch Marlborough sauvignon blanc from New Zealand.
If you’re looking for a spring cocktail with a difference, try using wine as your base – like this moreish melon and kiwi white sangria. Light, sweet and refreshing, but with a cheeky kick, this is the perfect drink for spring and a tart sauvignon blanc works perfectly.
Simply blend a quarter of a juicy, ripe honeydew melon with half a glass of wine to get a smooth liquid. Add to a big mason jar, then add the rest of the bottle of wine, along with 125ml of tequila. Add in another quarter of the melon, chopped into bite-sized cubes, along with three sliced kiwi fruits and a lime, cut into thin slices. Cover and keep in the fridge for at least two hours; if it's a little sharp, add a teaspoon or two of honey. When you're ready to serve, add a glass of soda water to the mix and pour into six glasses then garnish with a sprig of mint.
Established in 1979, LWC has grown from a small start-up to the fastest growing privately owned drinks company in the UK. Key to its success is the customer service the company provides, delivering genuine excellence as well as beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks to pubs, bars and restaurants throughout Yorkshire from its base at Cross Green Industrial Estate.
For more information and to check out the 9,000 different product lines on offer, visit www.lwc-drinks.co.uk