Very few wine regions are new. The southern hemisphere and California, often referred to as “new world”, have been growing grapes and making wine for centuries. Even England, currently receiving great praise for its sparkling wines, produced wine in Roman times. Within these countries there are some brand new regions, but most have been there for a long time. However, grapes, wines and regions rise and fall in popularity, so this week, a few wines that may be less familiar but are well worth trying in 2023.
As well as the four featured bottles, areas and wines currently trending include Sierra de Gredos in Spain; Hungary, Croatia; Romania and Slovenia in eastern Europe; Georgia; the red wines of Austria; Etna and Cerasuolo in Italy; the Jura, Savoie and Corsica in France; and New Zealand Syrah.
In 2023, we are likely to see more low-alcohol wines, to meet a growing consumer demand. As quantity discounts are now prohibited, I suspect we will also be offered far more wines exclusively in large formats. I certainly expect to see more wines available in environmentally friendly packaging such as bag-in-box, pouches and cans.
[ Which wines work best with Chinese food? ]
Pinot Noir from Burgundy, New Zealand, the US, Chile and South Africa has been growing in popularity for a few years now. Germany is one of the largest producers, and Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir in German) has improved out of all recognition. Until recently, most were relatively expensive, but both Dunnes and SuperValu now have very reasonably priced wines (SuperValu when on promotion). Look out too for top-quality producers such as Bender, Becker, Fürst, Dautel, Rings, Zieriesen, Geil and many more in independent wine shops.
I have been writing about the wonderful wines of Ribeira Sacra for a few years now. Here the Mencía grape is responsible for some beautiful, elegant wines. Garnacha, Grenache or Cannonau (they are the same grape) is enjoying a welcome rehabilitation. Long derided as a workhorse grape, first the southern Rhône, then Spain, Sardinia and now Australia have produced convincing evidence that it can produce high-quality wines.
De-Light Cabernet Sauvignon 120 Reserva Especial 2021
8.5%, €35-48 for a six bottle pack
Light, as the label suggests, with slightly earthy raspberry fruits and some drying tannins on the finish. Drink it with a burger or pizza Margherita.
SuperValu, Tesco, Dunnes Stores
Reh Kendermann Pinot Noir Terra Quartär 2020, Pfalz
Juicy fresh summer fruits with a tangy mineral edge. By itself, with charcuterie or mild, firm cheeses.
From select Dunnes Stores
Guímaro Ribeira Sacra Joven 2021
Unoaked with refreshing piquant red cherry and raspberry fruits. Try it with charcuterie, roast chicken or fresh tomato-based pasta dishes.
Lilith; McCurtain Wine Cellar; Green Man Wine; Loose Canon; Baggot Street Wines; 64 Wine; Blackrock Cellar; Corkscrew; Pinto Wines; Sweeney’s
Willunga 100 “The Hundred Blewitt Springs” McLaren Vale Grenache 2020
Ethereal silky sweet strawberry and red cherry fruits, a savoury note and refreshing acidity. Try it with barbecued or herby roast pork.
Avoca; Barnhill Stores; Mitchell & Son; Baggot Street Wines; The Corkscrew; Blackrock Cellar; Wineonline.ie