Fresh flavours for sunshine

Crisp tastes and lesser-known varietals could be big this summer

Crisp whites and lesser-known varietals could be among the most popular wine styles this summer, according to drinks firms.

Mike Stewart, sales manager at Liberty Wines, predicted a “noticeable trend” towards “crisp clean” white wines, with “ripe citrus, minerally flavours and refreshing zesty acidity” as the weather improves.

And Toby Sigouin, wine buyer at Inverarity Morton, said he expects “really fresh and lively white varietals” to be popular this summer; he also predicts lighter rosés “with more elegance and acidity than was previously popular” will show growth in the coming months.

white wine pour

Graeme Sutherland, sales manager at Enotria Wine Cellars, said he expects lower alcohol wines, “fresher styles” and carbonated Italian wines to perform well, adding that Portuguese wines, particularly white wines, will be “massive” this summer.

Across the category, some lesser-known grape varietals could prove popular, according to John Harris, sales director for Scotland at Hallgarten Druitt & Novum Wines.

“It may sound a little strange but I think the success of craft beer in Scotland has been great for those of us in wine,” said Harris.

“There is a whole new generation of experimental wine drinkers out there.”

The wine supplier said there has been a “huge rise” in interest in “indigenous varietals” from all over the world.

However, although consumers may be more adventurous with their wine choices this summer, Harris still expects Scottish on-trade staples to perform well.

“The seasons do influence [wine sales], particularly in food outlets, but I don’t think anything will quell the Scottish public’s insatiable want for Malbec at the moment,” he said.

Stewart, at Liberty Wines, agreed that the big sellers will continue to shift this summer, adding that Pinot Grigio “leads the way” in terms of both value and volume growth.

However, Stewart also reckons that lesser-known grape varieties have potential this year.

“Picpoul, Garaganega, Corvina and Negroamaro all have the potential to make crowd-pleasing aromatic and food-friendly wines with the personality, versatility and drinkability to make them real hits,” said Stewart.