We all look forward to the fantastic holiday feasts and festivities that come with the fall and winter months. And because no celebration is complete without the perfect bottle (ok, bottles) of wine, we’ve gathered some of this season’s most popular and intriguing trends to consider adding to your holiday menu.
Classic Reds & Tradition with a Twist
While classic reds might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “trendy” wines, they are proving themselves to be one of the season’s most popular wine choices—and for a good reason. With rich flavor profiles ranging from dark fruits to earthy undertones, robust reds provide the perfect accompaniment to the season’s hearty dishes like roasts, stews, and casseroles. Whether you go for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, or red blend from Bordeaux, opt for high-quality bottles to set your classic red wine offerings apart from the crowd.
That said, don't be afraid to venture beyond the well-trodden path. Red wines made from Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre, often referred to as GSM blends, offer a twist on traditional red options. These wines, hailing from regions such as the Rhône Valley in France and the Barossa Valley in Australia, offer incredible blends of fruitiness, spice, and earthiness, perfect for those looking to elevate their holiday menu and impress discerning guests.
Don't Skip the Winter Whites
Just because the summer sun has gone doesn’t mean it’s time to say goodbye to white wine. There are plenty of full-bodied, cozy whites that will work just as well as heavier reds with your fall and winter fare. Naturally, an oaky Chardonnay always has a place at any holiday table. But some trendy, interesting options to consider include Chenin Blanc, or Viognier. Just remember, when choosing white wine in cooler weather, look for flavor profiles that include descriptors like rich, chewy, nutty, or creamy.
Sustainability has become a defining theme in the wine world, and fall is an ideal time to embrace biodynamic and organic wines. These conscientiously crafted wines prioritize soil health, biodiversity, and minimal chemical intervention, resulting in products that truly reflect their terroir and the purest essence of the grape. Expect vibrant energy and a distinctive character in these wines, making them a great fit for your seasonal gatherings. To ensure your choice aligns with sustainable practices, look for labels bearing certifications like "organic" or "biodynamic." For more information on what these labels mean, check out our sustainable wine-growing article, it has everything you need to know.
Off the Beaten Path
If you want to take your holiday guests on a real adventure, consider embarking on a journey through lesser-known wine regions such as Israel, Lebanon, and Hungary, which are increasingly gaining recognition in the modern wine scene for their exceptional offerings.
Israeli wines have gained international recognition and acclaim over the last two decades. With a history dating back thousands of years, Israel's diverse climate and geography have enabled the cultivation of a wide range of grape varieties, resulting in an impressive array of wines. From the renowned Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blends of the Galilee region to the distinctive and ancient indigenous varieties like Malbec and Carignan, Israeli winemakers continue to experiment and innovate, producing wines that reflect both tradition and modernity.
Lebanese wines have also carved a distinct niche in the world of winemaking. Nestled in the eastern Mediterranean, the country is perhaps best known for its red wines, particularly the elegant and full-bodied blends from the Beqaa Valley, featuring grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot. However, Lebanon also produces exceptional white wines, with indigenous grapes such as Obeidi and Merwah gaining recognition for their unique profiles.
Hungarian wines have a long and storied history and are experiencing a renaissance in the global wine scene. Hungary's wine regions, including Tokaj, Eger, and Villány, offer a wide spectrum of grape varieties and styles. Tokaji, in particular, is renowned for its sweet dessert wines and is often referred to as the "wine of kings and king of wines." The region's indigenous grape, Furmint, plays a central role in creating these luscious wines. Hungary is also known for its rich, full-bodied red wines, with varietals like Kadarka and Kékfrankos gaining recognition.
The holiday wine trends of 2023 invite you to explore an exciting world of wines that are as diverse as the season itself. Whether you choose to embrace classic reds and winter whites, prioritize sustainability with biodynamic and organic selections, venture into the realm of orange and skin-contact wines, or head off the beaten path with wines from Israel, Lebanon, and Hungary, there's a wine trend to suit every palate and occasion. And the best part is, they are all available here on SGProof.com!