James Pietersen, international wine judge and CEO of Wine Cellar fine wine merchants shares his forecast for the new year
We love wine. Especially when it’s brilliantly curated for us and then delivered to our door. So we chatted to James Pietersen of Wine Cellar fine wine merchants to give us his predictions for trends to watch this year.
It’s no secret that 2020 accelerated the trend towards online shopping. It just so happens Wine Cellar fine wine merchants are South Africa’s most specialised online fine wine merchant. We are well-positioned for this new trend, with years of experience in sourcing fine local and international wines. If you’re looking to skip queues and restock on fine wines with ease, check out winecellar.co.za. It’s a veritable vinous treasure trove.
There will be an increase in interest in organic and biodynamic wines as people become more aware of their health and adapt a more responsible approach to consumption.
With this focus on sustainability, there’s also a surge in the wish for alternative packaging which is both healthier and better for the environment.
The interest in low alcohol wines will continue to rise, due to health concerns, stricter regulations on the road and as a result of the impact of lockdown.
There’s still a rising interest in rosé wines, especially in South Africa as we catch up to the global trend. We have witnessed a surge in quality and in the production of more serious Rosés over the years. As anthropologist Richard Delerins so aptly stated at the 5th International Rosé Symposium (Rencontres Internationals du Rosé) in Marseille in 2019: “Rosé has become the Champagne of millennials. Rosé is more than a colour: it is a mode of self-expression that captures the moments of spontaneity and inner truth that are the values of millennials.”
Higher value home consumption
As restaurants were largely off-limits due to curfews and alcohol bans during lockdown, wine lovers are now more willing to buy better wines to enjoy at home and are more willing to experiment. We expect this trend to continue.
Food and wine pairing
Lockdowns and curfew have led us to indulge in at-home dining, planning gourmet meals, cooking and pairing meals with delicious wines. One of the chief tenets of food and wine pairing is to match the flavour intensity and weight of the wine to the dish being served, and vice versa. Visit our website and have a look at our specialist guidelines https://winecellar.co.za/winepairing
Wine Tasting Experiences
As the experience of fine wine is largely personal and even emotive, there is a great demand for experiential events – expect online video and live Zoom events to become more immersive. We can also expect a sudden explosion for in-person wine tasting experiences once Covid 19 has subsided. Wine Cellar fine wine merchants regularly hosts benchmark wine tastings in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Stellenbosch, so watch this space for events which will be hosted in line with current sensitivities and regulations.
Investment in Fine Wine
There will be a further increase in fine wine investment. Discounting on lower end wines as a result of lockdown will continue to highlight the scarcity and value of top end wines. The track record of wine as an alternative investment category speaks for itself. There has been an explosion of fine wines at premium prices. Demand continues to rise as SA wines are repositioned in the global hierarchy. In general terms, SA fine wines are the least expensive world-wide and offer serious potential for price growth. Wine Cellar fine wine merchants offers specialised wine storage facilities for investment wines in Observatory, Cape Town. While we have been professionally storing wines in our underground cellars since 2001, we focus on recent vintages for investment. We also trade in older-vintage SA wines, see our brokerage list, and ensure that we offer only well-stored bottles to the market.
There is a strong trend towards having your own home cellar or dedicated wine fridge at home to ensure being well stocked with quality wines at home during lockdown periods when there is a ban on alcohol sales. The Wine Cellar fine wine merchants team is made up of the most knowledgeable people in the wine industry – we specialise in providing personal recommendations for the best home cellaring options of wines to enjoy now or allow to mature.
James Pietersen is the CEO of winecellar.co.za