with our wine correspondent Cormac Power, proprietor of The Fat Angel Restaurant, Cathedral Square, Waterford
THE wine world is one steeped – soaked, even – in tradition and conservatism. ‘Proceed with caution’ is as fast as it gets and drama is something strictly for the stage.
When news comes through that long established premium sweet wine production regions are changing to a drier style, curtains and eyebrows get raised.
Dwindling sales of sweet wines have driven investors in Quarts-de–Chaumes, the Loire valley’s only Grand Cru appellation, to switch production from sweet to dry wines.
Chenin Blanc is the variety here and is versatile enough to make quality dry, off dry, sweet and sparkling wines.
The shift in demand by consumers from sweet to dry has sparked this move. While the regions in question are as premium as you can get the trend will certainly be followed by others.
Given the proximity of Anjou, the famous rose region, you will probably find the sweeter styles of rose harder to come by in years to come.
As diners continue to eat less meat, the consumption of red wine has dropped while white wines are being paired with vegetarian dishes.
Also, producers are getting more money for dry wines than they are from sweet wines. The choice of aperitifs is increasingly becoming either white wines or rose. This signals a drift away from fortified wines and spirits. All good for those who take their wine like their humour: dry.
Wine of the Week:
Domaine Toussaint Vouvray Loire Valley: The Chenin Blanc grapes are golden coloured and very aromatic, revealing quince and honey notes that follow on to the palate along with citrus fruit flavours. Off-dry and crisp, this Vouvray has a good persistence and wonderful finish.