The trend scouts reveal their personal opinions on the topic of trend themes - and give you, as a ProWein visitor, direct recommendations along the way. Take the opportunity to be inspired by the experts!
The regionality of food and its wines is in my eyes beyond a trend. It's going through a revival! We are rediscovering the essence of our passion and of our inspiration in our work. This is not a trend. This is going back to our values, our identity. Travelling to Sicily, to Crete, to Burgundy or to Minho, you'll hardly find any wines from outside Sicily or South Italy, Crete or the Greek mainland, Bordeaux, Vinho Verde or Northern Portugal... This hasn't changed in the slightest! On the other hand, you can wonder where the regionality in food and wine is in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Berlin or London...
This is where the fun starts!
Those metropolis have access to the world of wine. The world of flavours. They have re-invented the concept of culinary arts, combining authentic, avantgarde, traditional and natural! Look at what Rene Redzepi from Noma or Christian Pugliusi from Relae and Manfred's have achieved in Copenhagen for example, transforming an entire Capital, an entire country, an entire nation more aware of what they eat, what they drink and how they do it and why... This is where the classics will be featured along the "New kids on the block" - the new generation of winemakers willing to save the planet and showing that wine has a different sense in life than restricted rules of appellations!
In my mind, the classics will forever remain! As a sommelier I always look for the most daring, most outstanding as well as the most obvious and the most comfortable drop for the list, for the concept of my kitchen chef, for my identity, for my guests' pleasure! Older vintages of classics are on way back - 1964! 1949! 1976! 1982! 1990! 2003! Dream! Any wine lover would die for the opportunity of any Burgundy (e.g. Emmanuel Rouget at the booth „Wein am Limit“/Hall 13, booth F 33), Bordeaux, Barolo, Champagne, Rioja (e.g. Marques de Riscal at Reidemeister & Ulrich GmbH/Hall 13, booth C 40 or Lopez de Heredia at „Ravensborg pan y vino Dr. Thomas Ravensborg/Hall 10, booth G 211) available by the glass... This is a new trend! Thank you to this French invention called Coravin. You made my job even more thrilling and interesting!
The "newest" trend of organic and orange wines is now so yesterday! That was the best thing in town the last 2-3 years. It has unfortunately become the norm! Every descent wine list should have his share of Organic, Natural, Orange wines – e.g. Domaine l’Horizon at „Alles Wein“/Hall 13, booth B 46, Matassa at „Vinaturel GmbH“/Hall 13, booth C 64, Gernot Heinrich in the Austria Hall 17, Tschida at „Wein am Limit“/Hall 13, booth F 33 to name a very few. The winemakers and the Sommeliers promoting those wines have been raised to the status of Rock stars! Celebrity Chefs made room unwillingly for #sommlife stardom... The status of Sev Perru @ Ten Bells in NYC, Andreas Wachter @ Artisanal in Copenhagen, Billy Wagner @ Nobelhardt & Schmutzig in Berlin (to name a few) have radically changed since being the faces of natural wines in their metropolis!
More will hit the market and I can't wait for this new normality of organic winemaking to be integrated to the rules of AOP!
The main thing here is, always has been and will remain the idea of terroir! The land, the soil, the people, the product, the know-how, the harmony with nature! This is why I always offer to my guests the opportunity to try classic alongside unusual matches with the food...! The result is far greater than people think! Wine drinking hasn't been as "cool" as it is today. The amount of wine bars and new concept restaurants being approachable to Joe Block is remarkable. I never was happier than now being Sommelier. This is our Golden Age and it is our responsibility to guide the classical winemakers to the world of tomorrow!
Stuart Pigott and Paula Sidore
Wine boasts 6,000 years of documented history and a reputation woven in tradition and mystique. It’s an unlikely candidate for wholesale change. Yet the developing face of what we like to call The New Freshness is surprisingly dynamic and truly shaking things up. Young consumers are leading this break with the past, seeking out wines with a focus on fun and relaxation, unfettered by complex rituals and the hierarchies they serve. And as a result, many winemakers are now actively optimizing balance and drinkability; and emerging brand identities are choosing to prioritize elegance over power.
The New Freshness is all about wines which taste lighter and more lively thanks to their bright aromas, moderate alcoholic content, crisp acidity and/or softer tannins. And while there have been a number of prophets over the last decade signaling the new direction, in 2018 we find a sea change occurring in everything from harvesting times to viticultural techniques all the way through to marketing. The result -- beyond a more refreshing taste -- is a more authentic expression of the grape variety/varieties and often a clearer sense of place. In a nutshell, the rising influence of region and culture of origin have become the twin columns that support wine brand identity.
It is now apparent that the shift from conventional viticulture willing to deploy chemicals where necessary to organic and biodynamic viticulture in recent years was often not only about respecting the environment, but also a tool for changing wine styles. Look to the dry white wines of renowned Austrian producer Fred Loimer (Kamptal/Austria) of Weingut Loimer whose transition to biodynamics brought about a stylistic transformation toward crisper yet correspondingly more complex flavors. Moving to biodynamic cultivation, says Bernhard Ott of the eponymous winery in Wagram/Austria, reduced the alcoholic content of his Grüner Veltliners an average of one full degree and increased their acidity content by a corresponding amount. “I much prefer my new wines, because they’re so much fresher and more precise in character.” The wines will be presented in hall 17 of the Düsseldorf fairground, which is the the Austrian hall at ProWein 2018.
Like every other truly global wine trend before it The New Freshness is partly a reaction to the previous mega-trend. We call that The Old Heaviness and it’s now clear to us that it peaked just under a decade ago. Massive body and high alcoholic content, scant acidity and a jammy fruit character were the hallmarks of wines that made a bold statement, but were often difficult to drink more than a glass of. These supposedly hedonistic wines were actively promoted by the most influential wine critics of the last generation, but were also routinely lauded by countless wine experts, importers and consumers in markets around the world.
When The Old Heaviness was at its peak, it seemed that a new wine couldn’t have too much alcohol, taste too sweet, or contain too much oak aroma. At that time some expensive “dry” reds tasted like they belonged in the liqueur cabinet rather than on the dining table. Now, the mood of wine professionals and consumers has shifted dramatically and all that opulence seems so very late 20th century.
The story of this new style begins with the grape grower striving for vineyards with a healthy balance between vigor and fruiting. German winemaker Gesine Roll of Weingut Weedenborn in Rheinhessen (hall 14, booth A 40) says that in pursuit of a clean, fresh and more drinkable style, she has shifted the focus in her vineyards on achieving fully ripe – but never overripe – fruit. “This counts not only for harvest but throughout the whole year. I’d rather be a day too early than a day too late. It can make all the difference.” What a contrast to the days of The Old Heaviness when vineyards were often deliberately stressed to increase flavor intensity and concentration in the drive to achieve ever higher scores from influential critics. For wine production at the lower end of the price scale, vineyards bore large crops and were harvested late so that the grapes would ripen enough to give the rich flavors that were in fashion at that time. Both these strategies frequently resulted in wines that tasted over-ripe and flabby; the opposite to the hallmarks of the new wines!
This transformation for the global wine industry isn’t only about the move away from such dubious production methods though, and we see parallel changes both in the fields of marketing and in new patterns of consumption that are rapidly developing. The new wines can be opened on release, with or without food, and are ideally suited to the new young urban middle classes of the BRIC countries and many other emerging wine markets. Think a hybrid Prius lined up next to the Mustangs of yore -- a different beast entirely from the over-ripe and over-concentrated wines typical of The Old Heaviness, also a world away from old guard consumers and their status-orientated drinking patterns.
This reaction to the old order began in earnest just after the turn of the last century and it spread steadily around the world. The first prophets of The New Freshness seemed like a motley crew of freethinkers obsessed with cool climate wine regions ranging from Germany to New Zealand where growing conditions tended to naturally deliver lighter and fresher wines. They included producers as diverse as Roland Velich of Weingut Moric in Burgenland/Austria, Dominik Huber of Terroir al Limit in Priorat/Catalonia and Steffen Christmann of Weingut Christmann in the Pfalz/Germany (hall 14, booth E 30).
While they were dismissed at first as eccentrics, their importance and influence grew as the new movement rapidly gained momentum from 2010. Five years later the wine industries of even a number of warm New World, and traditionally even very warm Old World regions in Europe had recognized and embraced this metamorphosis taking place on Planet Wein and switched their collective goal from the The Old Heaviness to The New Freshness. Some Spanish regions with climates normally regarded as warm are building reputations based on the vitality and liveliness of their wines. The steely precision and cool clarity of the dry whites of Rueda producers such as Finca Montepedroso and Finca Caserio de Dueñas, for example, have set a high and welcome benchmark. And in Madrid, Bodegas Maranones is giving new life to fresh, bright garnachas. With vineyards in Rioja, Navarra and Valencia, Spanish wine producer Artadi has stylistically reoriented itself to reflect a transparency of fruit and finesse. The new spirit can also be found in regions stretching right across Australia, from the traditional cool climate strongholds of Margaret River in Western Australia to Mac Forbes Wines in Yarra Valley in Victoria. Even in Napa Valley, producers are pulling back from the opulent style that the Cult Cabernets made cool in the early years of the century.
All of this has implications that reach far beyond the technical fields of wine production and marketing. In today’s globalized, interconnected world every wine has a story to tell. Yet when the flavors are too loud, lush, or all taste the same then the real story is lost in the noise. Listen closely, for the stories these new wines have to tell is clear, distinctive and entirely their own.
Nikki Restel Guest and Wine House „Zur Krone"
Regionality Would you like an aperitif? Hugo, Aperol Spritz, Campari ....?? I must confess to you: “I never really want to see another Hugo, Aperol or the like..." At the same time, the guests are thinking that should they want to have an aperitif and also drink one or two glasses of wine, this could be very critical when they drive home. The consumer also attaches great importance to regional food – so why should this not be possible with an aperitif!?
My tip: “Veräppelt & Verperlt“ (pearly apple wine) from the vineyard “Alte Grafschaft” (Vinissimo GmbH/Hall 16, Stand C 31).
A very nice regional cider, which comes from hand-picked apples of old trees from the orchards of the "Alte Grafschaft" with only 6.9 % alcohol volume. The apples are pressed promptly and with care. Vinification does not differ from the procedure used for a great white wine. The must is floated and purified from its coarse cloudy sediments; fermentation at approximately 16°C takes place in stainless steel. After the second bacteriological fermentation, the new cider becomes creamy and soft. The colour is a light golden gold, the fragrance is reminiscent of apple blossoms and fresh, juicy fruits. On the palate it is refreshing and lively with a fine acidity in the finish. The absolute, light summer aperitif - and mixed with sparkling mineral water, it is ideal as a thirst quencher not only on hot days. As an aperitif or with a lamb's lettuce salad with walnut potato dressing and smoked duck breast, or simply as an accompaniment to a snack.
Classic wine - revived
Müller-Thurgau wine was frowned upon for years and was no longer popular to drink, because it was mass instead of class - however, it is back in full swing. And I am extremely pleased about this, as the grape variety is a very good, fruity, easily combinable and above all well tolerated grape variety. We also owe this to the winegrowers of Frank & Frei. 14 renowned winegrowers from Franconia have joined forces to give the somewhat dusty Müller a new image. And they have also managed to create a Müller-Thurgau by means of mutually strictly monitored quality controls, which brings the highest quality for every day on the table in an uncomplicated way. Fresh and dry - simply a wine that has again become a lot of fun. It is bottled in "Schlegel" bottles and by some of the winegrowers in the new "Bocksbeutel". PS - truly Franconian.
At stand “Frank & Frei“ (Hall 14, Stand E 40), wine estate am Stein, wine estate Rainer Sauer, wine estate May as well as wine estate Max Müller (Hall 14, Stand D 86) are particularly convincing.
The wines are food companions to:
Mixed herb salad in a basket with smoked trout fillet / apple horseradish mousse
Warm spaghetti salad / rocket salad / shrimps
Aspic from prime boiled veal with Frankfurt green sauce / fried potatoes
or simply wonderful as an aperitif on hot days!
"Regionalisation in gastronomy & the appropriate wines" Especially if you are a restaurateur or hotelier in a wine region that may not be so well known, it makes sense to rely on a strong regionalisation. Many guests are happy when they can smell and taste their surroundings on their plate or in their glass - and thus get a more authentic travel experience.
This also applies, for example, to the Restaurant Pavillon in the Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich. From the very beginning, the wine list has not only featured top international wines, but also a large and representative selection of the wine country Switzerland.
At the beginning of 2017, the concept of the gourmet restaurant was changed to offer a Swiss wine accompaniment alongside the international wine accompaniment to the tasting menu. The guest thus has the opportunity to discover the variety of different climates and styles of this small but fine wine country. Furthermore, the guest also acquaints himself with one of the greatest treasures in Switzerland: Autochthonous grape varieties such as Petite Arvine, Amigne or Cornalin. Of course, all these wines can also be ordered by the glass - also for business lunches. The accompanying wine changes several times a year and makes you want to delve even deeper into the Swiss wine world - for example at the Swiss Wine Promotion stand at ProWein 2018.
"Classics revived "- from the classic wine-growing areas such as Burgundy, Bordeaux, Barolo or Rioja to the original wines such as" orange wine ".
Never before has the world been as dynamic and constantly changing as it is today. This leads to the fact that, in addition to many current trends, more and more people are relying on all that is tried and tested, established and traditional, and which is constantly being rediscovered. Some positive things have been forgotten and are now back in focus.
In the world of wine, this is done above all through three things. After a long period of technological development, the focus is now on returning to old production methods. Some wineries produce "orange wine", others revive Rudolf Steiner's biodynamic teachings. And some simply call their wine "tradition", such as the Grüner Veltliner and the Riesling from Schloss Gobelsburg, which can be tasted in the Austria Hall (Hall 17). These two wines are produced according to the records of the cellar masters of the 19th century, for example, by moving the wine from barrel to barrel, fermenting it spontaneously, naturally regulating the temperature and maturing it with great patience. A veritable poem.
The second trend of recollection is the focus on traditional, autochthonous grape varieties, which are often hardly known beyond their original provenance. More and more guests and customers are now looking for these alternatives, and find them in Valdeorras with Godello. A grape variety that thrives on an exciting interplay of exotic fruit, minerality and spicy aroma. Try the As Sortes of Rafael Palacios (Deuna Handelsgesellschaft, Hall 16, Stand H 81) in the Spain Hall, for example, which has made a major contribution to the new flourishing of this grape variety.
A third trend is to try out new wine estates in established areas. One area that has been subject to considerable criticism for a long time is Bordeaux, for instance. Despite the large vineyard area, it was often perceived in the wine scene as uniform, stuck in the past and not very dynamic. However, this picture is changing rapidly again, as many young winegrowers are making themselves be known with new styles and methods. In Saint Emilion, for instance, the Château Sansonnet was recently elevated to the status of a Grand Cru. A small dash of Cabernet is added to the Merlot, which gives the wine structure and spice together with the full fruit. A great example for a small (7 hectare) plot on the top of the limestone plateau of Saint Emilion. Try this and other exciting Bordeaux wines in the France Hall.
Torsten Junker Chef Sommelier in the Hamburg Hotel Louis C. Jacob
No, I do not want to be the next sommelier to pick up and reinterpret the theme of orange and natural wines. Rather, I would like to take these very heated discussions on this subject as an opportunity to provide some fresh food for thought.
What exactly was it that revived the natural wine scene? Our desire for ever new wines and products in the world of beverages? Probably. I once was a young sommelier myself, who was not that much into Bordeaux or Burgundy - always on the lookout for the great new wine that nobody had ever experienced before. Wines from the natural wine scene came just in time here.
But to be honest - and I really think this is the case for many of us, even though we are reluctant to admit it: I have never drunk any wine from this scene that really convinces me - or that makes me forget everything around me for a moment. Maybe it is not my taste either - that may be true. But in my opinion, wines for great culinary delights are usually not. Indeed, I see these vines as a kind of rebel - perhaps comparable to the daughter of a conservative family who is eager to improve the world - in this case the world of wine - and who takes every means to draw attention to herself. And please do not get me wrong: I am not talking about the winegrowers who work in harmony with nature and produce clean wines that are typical of the grape variety or origin.
Nevertheless, despite all the hype surrounding these wines, we should not forget that the great wines from the traditional winegrowing areas, some of which are still grown conventionally, are the plants that have given wine the status it enjoys today in society. Does a winegrowing region like Bordeaux really need to continue to develop - and if so, how? Or should the winegrowers in Burgundy now vinify the Montrachet in the style of a natural wine? This - I think - is rather difficult on the international wine market.
What worries me most, however, is the fact that the fronts between the two camps have hardened considerably. As so often, I find that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. As a wine lover, you are welcome to find both great. But this scene has only become popular again in the last few years - and I wonder what exactly those lovers and sommeliers have sold before or drunk at home? Have the fans of the natural wine scene only been drinking wine since it was first available in a larger selection? There is nothing wrong with that. Only if this is the case, they should hold back their opinion on conventional viticulture. Because then there is no real comparison, which is absolutely necessary for a discussion on this subject.
Here is a small selection of winegrowers who produce natural wines:
Christian Tschida-Illmitz, (at Wein am Limit, Hall 13, Stand F33) Gut Oggau, Neusiedlersee, (at Wein am Limit, Hall 13, Stand F33) Weingut Meinklang, Burgenland (at Vinaturel, Hall 13, Stand C 64) Andreas Tscheppe, Steiermark (at Vinaturel, Hall 13, Stand C 64) Sepp Muster, Steiermark (at Vinaturel, Hall 13, Stand C 64)
More wines, with the main focus on organic wines, can be discovered in Hall 13.
The world is constantly changing, trends come and go. While a few years ago, we still indulged in the pleasure of French cuisine in the gourmet temples of this world, completely different creations are appearing on our plates today. Gone are the days of butter, sugar and opulence. The new avant-garde of the kitchen guard focuses on lighter and fresh aromas. There is hardly a chef who does not cultivate his own herb garden or does not have a local organic farm that he places his trust in.
New influences such as the increasing popularity of Asian cuisine from Japan, Thailand and Vietnam are bringing new ideas and ingredients to the restaurants. Added to this is the wave of New Nordic cuisine, which is shaped by restaurants such as Noma and Geranium. And it also reinforces South American recipes, such as Ceviche. All this, coupled with a new awareness of sustainability and regionality, has led to a newly found lightness. As a sommelier, wine merchant or winemaker you cannot escape these trends. We need to rethink. Opulent wines with high alcohol and glycerin values are conceivably inappropriate companions to the new culinary orientation. We need wines that support the fresh and linear aromas as equal partners in taste and philosophy.
Riesling Kabinett, in the scene called "Kabi" for short, is the new joker card of the sommeliers. A wine that offers a lot of fun to the layman with juicy fruit, while it challenges the expert with precise acidity and minerality. And in doing so, the new Haut Cuisine specialities are skillfully accentuated. "Wait a minute," some will ask, "Kabinett is nothing new, it is the entry level of predicate wines, measured by degrees Oechsle of must." This is basically true, but the new appetite for light wine is more than that. It is the quest for the perfect Kabinett. A high quality wine, which cannot rely on alcohol as a flavour carrier, but may only draw its structure, depth and aroma from physiological maturity.
This required a change of mindset and needed visionaries, because the production of the top quality "Kabis" already starts in the vineyard. Kai Schätzel from Nierstein is one of the masterminds behind this new wave. A few years ago, he was still known as an enfant terrible of the German wine scene, but today many people have to admit that he simply was a bit ahead of his time. His Kabinett wines are full of flavours and spices, possess incredible appeal and complexity. In order to achieve this, much and proper foliage work is necessary. Sun protection is essential. Whereas the sun still shines softly in the morning, it is too warm at midday and evening for direct contact with the grapes. Therefore, leaves are plucked by hand from the leaf wall in such a way that it is opened to the east, as it provides shade to the berries from midday onwards. In order to avoid unnecessary photosynthesis and the associated development of sugar, the vine is pruned very vigorously once. This slows down the growth of the grapes. The soil also plays a role. While limestone can make the wine too full-bodied, slate tends to provide a sleek elegance, ideal for the new style. This is why Schätzel has chosen the Nierstein "Red Slope" with its red clay slate as the perfect location.
With that, he is not the only one. Other wine estates such as Gunderloch and probably Germany's most prominent winegrower Klaus Peter Keller also make their best wines in Kabinett style from the grapes of the "Red Slope". The Moselle winegrowers join them, of course. Here, where slate and steep slopes are predominant and the aromatic residual sweetness is cultivated, Kabinett was always to be found in the product ranges anyway. All the more reason to be happy about the new enthusiasm of the consumers. Success proves them right. German top "Kabis" are sold exclusively via the VDP auction and achieve incredible prices. If you would like to taste this newly found delight in light wines, you can visit Kai Schätzel at his stand at the VDP-Rheinhessen (H14/E60) or Dorothee Zilliken (H14/E66) from the Moselle.
Viktoria Kniely Herz & Niere Restaurant, Berlin
An idea, passion, love for detail & gastronomy. These are the basic building blocks that we live by at "Herz & Niere" every day and set an example for our guests. It is all about respect, nature, living beings, plants. This is our daily incentive. Our motto is all or nothing. That is why we process everything from head to toe, from leaf to root. We do not put industrial products on plates or in glasses. In addition to the products from our own fields, on which we grow vegetables, there are only juices that we press ourselves. We cook exclusively with our own fermented vinegar resulting from this. A cycle that we determine and influence ourselves. Accordingly, we create the daily changing surprise menu.
We pay particular attention to the processing of regional and seasonal products. Personal contact with our farmers and producers is especially important to us. We want to know where the vegetables and the animals we process come from, where and how the animals grew up. This personal contact is not only important to us regarding our farmers, but also concerning the winegrowers we work with. For this reason, we obtain as many wines as possible directly from the winegrowers. On our wine list, we want to demonstrate the competence of the winegrowers, present the different quality levels (from estate wine to individual locations) and wines from young vintages to mature rarities. When we put a winegrower on our list, we want to show all of this. Sometimes we have up to 20 different vintages and locations of a wine estate on our wine list. The winegrowers we work with come mainly from the German-speaking winegrowing regions of Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
For me, these are suitable, individual wines that reflect a region and its wine culture:
Weinfamilie (Wine Family) Fendt: Both lateral entrants from the gastronomy sector have turned their passion into their profession and built up a small wine estate of about 3 hectares of vineyards in Ortenau in Baden-Württemberg with very individual Rieslings and Pinot Noir from residual granite soils. The result is very mineral, ethereal wines from vines, of which some are over 30 years old. The wines are fermented spontaneously, without any fining agents and have enough time to mature in the barrel and in the bottle.
2014 Riesling Mauerwerk: Spontaneously fermented in large wooden barrels, vineyards in Neuweier, matured for 12 months on full yeast and another six months on fine yeast, bottled unembellished and unfiltered and matured for another six months in the bottle.
Wine estate K. F. Groebe (Hall 14, Stand E60): A wine estate with tradition, family history since 1763. The wines are distinguished by the best locations in Westhofen, which have been owned by the family for centuries. Very robust Rieslings from the heart of the Westhofener Kirchspiel and Westhofener Aulerde.
2016 Riesling Kirchspiel GG: Spontaneously fermented in a barrel (containing 1,200 litres) in a 500-year-old wine cellar, more than 40 year-old-vineyards. Intense minerality meets juicy yellow-fleshy aromas. A wine with a lot of storage potential.
Wine estate Georg Schmelzer (Hall 14, Stand E60): A biodynamic wine estate with a long tradition, wines from typical, regional grape varieties such as Frühroter Veltliner and Zweigelt. Wines with a long maceration time and developed with fine, delicate varietal character. A family that has been living and scrutinising biodynamic viticulture for generations.
2014 plain and simple, orange–frühroter Veltliner: Biodynamic cultivation, mash-fermented, matured in small wooden barrels and bottled without the addition of sulphur. Pure nature but not random, however, with a lot of character.