By Andy Young
Peter Nixon, the head of the Dan Murphy's wine panel, has told TheShout that he believes that rosé and prosécco wines will be among the next big things in Australia.
Nixon told TheShout that Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc remains the most popular wine in Australia, but he believes that rosé and prosécco will make a charge, particularly as they are enjoyed as apéritif wines.
"Australians have traditionally been fairly fadist in our tastes and we tend to stick with one thing. So the white wine of the moment is definitely Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, but what I anticipate over the next 10 years is more diversification and people will increase their repertoire of styles.
"What's the next big thing after Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc? I think it is going to be dry, pale rosés. That French style, but maybe that French style made in Australia. Colour is a good indicator, whether it's that copper pink or more of the pale pink. Those sort of delicate styles that are excellent apéritif wines, they are delicious on their own, so that's why people like them; or prosécco. The big competition for Marlborough Sauv Blanc over the next few years will be those styles."
"The reason that Marlborough Sauv Blanc is so big is that so much wine, especially white wine, is consumed as an apéritif and in a social setting, so that's why it's full of flavour and doesn't need food. In fact it’s not particularly a great food wine, but it is a wine that is full of flavour and is zesty fresh, so that's why prosécco and rosé will be equally favourable because they both suit that social occasion."
Nixon added: "They also look great, talking to sommeliers recently they were saying that there seems to be something infectious about the colour rosé. If one person in a bar or whatever environment has a glass of rosé then everyone else sees it and decides they want the same thing."
And while Nixon does believe the rosé and prosécco will be the big challengers to Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, he does think that the diversification of tastes by Australian consumers could see more varieties becoming more popular.
He told TheShout: "The other one is actually Pinot Grigio; for those who don't want something that's like Sauv Blanc and full of flavour, they want something more restrained and more delicate then there's Pinot Grigio. The Italians call it a blank canvas for food, which is great. It's a great food wine and for whatever reason, like prosécco, people just love saying it. It's a nice sounding, onomatically pleasing grape variety as is prosécco.
"The other one is blanc de blancs, whether it's methode traditionnelle or international premium, I think that is one that is going to boom over the next 10 years. People like the style, they like to say it, it's fresh and crisp and that's what people like. I think it is going to be massive."