Page 39 - Fall/Winter Taste Magazine 2021-2022
P. 39

2022is going to be an interesting year for wine buyers. The COVID-19 Pandemic, the fires the past few years in California and a supply shortage of glass bottles, corks, capsules, plus supply line logistics where wine is waiting for containers to go on ships, that are waiting to get into the harbors around the world is making it tough for wine producers the world over. All this leads up to some interesting times for the wine buyers.
It also means this is where savvy shop owners start to troll the inventory of distributors and look to buy what’s been sitting in warehouses including back vintages. That all translates into opportunity for consumers too. Older vintages, especially of red wine that need time in the bottle, means they are more likely ready to drink than the current releases that are not going to be in stock. By hunting deals the shopkeepers are able to keep your cellars and glasses full of wines you’ll enjoy.
So what should you be buying in 2022?
Let’s start with Italy. When the tariffs on wine hit back in 2019 and early 2020 Italy was left out of the increases. That caused many importers to start to buy more and go broader in what they imported. Wine is made all over Italy, not just in Tuscany and Piedmont and the other regions make wines that are often just as good. Wines from Sicily, Campania, Puglia, Alto Adige, Friuli, the Veneto and Lake Garda are hidden gems just like those from the Savoie, Jura and Provence are from France to keep an eye out for.
Spain and Portugal also offer high quality wines where the ratio to price is often obscene in your favor. Right now the areas in Spain to look for are Priorat where Grenache and Carignan rule, Bierzo where the Mencia grape turns out wines that are fruit driven. In Portugal the Vinho Verde wines offer easy drinking, but the wines to hunt down will come from the Alentejo region southeast and to the north of Lisbon.
Lastly, expect to see wines from Georgia, the country, not the state, as they wash up widely on our shores. These wines are made from some of the oldest vineyards in the world, and they are something to really relish and enjoy. Not only do they age, go well with rich, hearty dishes, they are also downright inexpensive for the quality they offer.
With 2022 only a few weeks away, and as the world opens up again to pre-COVID life, the wine roads will be a bit bumpy for pro- ducers, but trust your savvy merchants so your drinking life won’t be.
Fall and winter also bring about changes. We are inside more. We entertain more. And more often we all have more family and friends in town for festive gatherings, holiday dinners and of course football Sundays, when wine and beer flows like water, and everyone wants something they like.
With the more wintery months, even here in Florida, that means richer foods, and of course wines that go with them. As a long time fan of wines that go with the more savory cook- ing, I’m constantly on the lookout for wines that can compliment those richer dishes.
Let’s start with the white wines you need to be thinking about as the temperature drops, and indoor dining takes hold. While most will think Chardonnay, when the subject of white wines arise, they’re not wrong. But Chardonnay doesn’t have to mean a California wine or some- thing from only the higher priced Burgundy wines with Montrachet on the label. Instead look a bit south to Chablis and find a wine by Domaine Roland Lavantureux. They make both a Chablis and a Petit Chablis. These wines are like liquid gold in the glass. You can also find some amazing wines from the Macon also made from Chardonnay
that will turn heads. Look for wines made by Bret Bros and grab them up when you can.
But don’t stop with Chardonnay as Sancerre whites made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape are perfect as an alternative. Hippolyte Reverdy’s wines have been a go-to favorite for years, just as the wines of Lucien Thomas and Henri Bourgeois have been for decades. Hailing from the eastern end of the Loire region, their whites and others from top producers make wines that go so well with briny oysters or lobster dishes, as well as salad and cheese.
Last but not least, wines from Alsace are stunning alterna- tives. The wines of Boxler always stand out, but so too do the wines from Trimbach, Hugel and Dopff. Made from Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer, each by themselves, the Alsatian whites, and yes their Pinot Noirs as well are all food friendly and so tasty that they too make a great alternative to traditional Chardonnay.
Red wines too at this time of year don’t all have to be Cabernet Sauvignon or made from what’s blended into Bordeaux reds. Take a stroll down the wine shop aisles and find reds from Beaujolais made from Gamay, the Loire’s Chinon appellation made from Cabernet Franc or the Rhone, Languedoc or Roussillion where Grenache, Syrah and the other Rhone grapes are kings and dive into the mind popping Chateauneuf du Papes where Grenache is king, St. Josephs from old vine Syrahs or even Bandol reds made from Mourvedre. Cheers to 2022!
Andy Abramson is editor of and two online wine discovery sites. He is also the USA Ambassador for the Grenache Association and a frequent visitor to wine regions around the world. Andy also makes wine under the Comunicano Wine Company brand in Santa Barbara with Doug Margerum of the Margerum Wine Company. He recently co-founded wineTOURia, with longtime wine colleague Victoria Nicole Varela, to enable the discovery of wines made along wine roads
of the world less traveled.
By Andy Abramson
Looking Ahead...
Looking Ahead...
Celebrating 30 Years! Taste Dining & Travel • Fall/Winter More online at 39

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