Like every year, we’re kicking off the blog with a review of the wine world trends for the new year that’s just begun.
Many of the trends for 2020 aren’t really new but actually trends from previous years that are gaining ground and taking shape – although there are some brand-new things in there, too.
Rosé, rosé, rosé… and bubbles too
We’ve been saying for a while now that rosé, in all its forms, is in fashion and on trend. But what we need to do above all is to drink it all year round, not just in summer. A rosé like JL 3055, made with Pinot Noir, full of subtlety, can take the place of a white wine and pairs perfectly with the gastronomic trend of recent years where vegetables, vegan and vegetarian dishes are making a real mark in restaurants around the world.
While rosé is on a path of “glamorization,” sparkling wine has been heading toward democratization. Knocking this category off its pedestal is possibly the best thing that could have happened to it because this means it’s no longer reserved for New Year’s Eve or other special occasions: The bubbles are the occasion.
Rediscovered styles: the classics are back
Over the past decade, we’ve been seeing how oak aging has been decreasing as it’s becoming less noticeable and subtle. It seems that one of the new trends for this year is the return of Chardonnays featuring wood in a more traditional style. The soft vanilla notes from French oak and a certain degree of toasting are coming into fashion again. Let’s see if this comeback gains strength, as it’s something that gives more longevity to whites of this variety. At Jean Leon, we’ve kept this style for our Vinya Gigi, the classic Chardonnay created by Jean Leon himself, who was the first to plant this variety in Spain.
It seems that for now, this trend is more evident in English-speaking countries: Wine in a can, like beer or soft drinks. The ban on glass in public places and festivals is driving this change, but when will we see it here in Spain? There’s a long way to go since in our country it’s still even hard for us to accept that a high-quality young wine can come in a screw-cap bottle.
Buying wine online and experiencing wine through social media
In general, online shopping is booming and wine couldn’t stay behind. Still, don’t stop visiting and discovering the specialist stores in your city or neighborhood. And, instead of complaining that they don’t have the wine you were looking for, ask them to get it. You’ll never be able to get the kind of expert tips through a screen that you can get from the storekeeper.
Wine has always been an “experiential” product, but now social media is amplifying this. According to a report about drinks trends for 2020, “memorable and unique experiences for consumers are a trend that’s here to stay,” which will be a driver for trade in the new year.
Wine choice driven by consumer values
Last but not least, this is the most important trend that encompasses other trends that have been appearing over recent years: Wine drinkers are now looking beyond the label and taste of a wine and are interested in a more holistic view of what’s inside the bottle. Consumers aren’t just interested in the product; they want to know what’s behind it, and whether it aligns with their values.
Maybe the clearest case of this is vegan friendly wines since veganism continues to thrive, and we’ll even find more meat dishes combined with mushrooms or other vegetables, reducing the amount of meat protein that way. Cauliflower is also being used as a substitute for flour, such as in pizza dough or gnocchi.
Two values that drive consumers’ choice of wine are commitment to the fight against climate change and looking for “inclusive” wines. Wines certified as organic, but that even go beyond this, and wines from wineries that promote initiatives for the fight against climate change are in favor with consumers. The demand for wines with organic certification has doubled in just six years, and we’re starting to see initiatives from some appellations of origin to make this certification an essential part of all their wines. Wines made by women or those who are part of minority groups, with a social component (charity wines), are increasingly attracting interest from consumers.
As you well know, all the wines from Jean Leon have been certified organic since the 2012 harvest and are suitable for vegans. And, if you didn’t already know, there are two women at the helm of our winery: our winemaker Roser Catasús and our general manager Mireia Torres.
At Jean Leon, we’ve maintained the tradition of a visionary and dreamer for the past 57 years and over all this time we’ve continued to make wines to please our consumers and get them to enjoy the experience of being able to drink a nice wine while respecting the territory we are part of.
Happy New Year and better wine to everyone.
Sergi Castro, sommelier