The wine trade can be plagued by the peaks and troughs of frantic excitement for new regions and grape varieties followed by bitter cynicism as those begin to gather dust on the shelves and the NEXT new region and grape variety is announced. It’s inevitable, really. Wine writers and merchants alike become bored with the same old thing, week in and week out, and look for something new to take their fancy.
Of course, what’s new is rarely new. Most likely it’s been around for years, it’s just that no one’s paying any attention to it. They’re all too busy with Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne. Some of those new trends have staying power – Kiwi Sauvignon, Australian Shiraz and Prosecco – but most fall back into obscurity, like Lagrein, wines from Bierzo and Sparkling Shiraz. And then, maybe ten years later, there will be another fuss and we’ll go through the whole thing again.
The shame of it is, those trendy wines have done nothing wrong. Mencia from Bierzo doesn’t lose its lovely, juicy dustiness. Txacoli from Basque country still ignites into a gentle spritz when poured from great height into a beaker, and still pairs sublimely with seafood tapas. Whilst a tree falling in the woods may make no sound, great wine that has fallen out of the public eye still tastes bloody brilliant.
So consider this blog post a rallying cry. Dust off those old bottles of something interesting. A Malvasia grown in California, a bottle of sherry, a Scheurube or a Moscato. Lay down some Godello instead of a Puligny. Decant something from the Lebanon to go with your lamb, or chill a Saumur Blanc to accompany scallops. None of these things have lost their lustre, they’ve simply lost your attention. These are great wines.
Except for Sparkling Shiraz. That’s just a silly wine.