It’s traditional to write a column on the wine trends for the upcoming year, but frankly, who can predict anything with any degree of certainty any more? Although I’ve recently devoted two columns to nolo (no- and low-alcohol) drinks, which are one of the few incontrovertible patterns in our current liquid consumption, I’m certainly not going to stick my neck out and tell you that orange wine is going to be big (although it might be) or that we’re all going to be drinking Portuguese wine in 2021. Although, at £3.99 a bottle for Aldi’s Animus Portuguese Red (13%), why wouldn’t you?
Still, there is one light on the horizon that’s not always reported in the usual doom-laden headlines: if you’re a fan of new world wines, there shouldn’t be any major hiccups in wine prices going forward, although if the pound is weak, prices will creep up inexorably. “Cost-conscious British customers may end up drinking more wine from Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, instead of their favourites from France, Italy or Spain,” says Oleg Dmitriev of Italian wine specialists Independent Wine. “For most new world wines, the prices won’t change, because countries will sign ‘continuation agreements’ with the UK, repeating the same tariffs we had through the EU. But European wines may become more expensive under new import rules, so producers of inexpensive French Languedoc wines or Italian chianti may see part of their shelf space taken by Antipodean cabernets and sauvignon blancs.”