Autumn 2015 is certainly an exciting time for wine drinkers. If you notice any differences in the wine lists at your Laguna Beach haunts this November, the following trends may be responsible.
- Early harvest
- The natural wine trend
- Is California wine peaking?
- The rise of Cabernet Franc
- Coravin wine extraction
This November, you may notice a few differences in California wines. The 2015 harvest came earlier than usual. As a result, wines this season tend toward the herbaceous side. The uneven ripening of grapes also created more acidity, giving wines a richer flavor.
Sulfite-free wines made sans chemical intervention are the basis of the natural wine movement. Natural wines are most often enjoyed in niche wine bars, but the trend promises to extend beyond your favorite of-the-moment Laguna Beach wine hot spot.
Despite the cult appeal of Screaming Eagle and other uber-trendy California wines, some are announcing the end of an era. Artisan vineyards from the Pacific Northwest are producing some noteworthy wines. Sky-high prices, spurred in part by the drought, are drawing increasing criticism of California wines. Golden State vineyards have remained virtually unscathed for decades, and only time will tell if this attempted coup will last beyond 2015.
Cabernet Franc may rule its Loire Valley homeland, but California vineyards are just as susceptible to “Cab Franc” fever these days as their French counterparts. The herb-y grape is popular as both a varietal and blending grape in France, but you don’t have to book a flight to Bordeaux to enjoy this up-and-comer. Hot-spots in New York and parts of California can’t keep it in their cellars, so there’s a possibility you’ll find it on the best Laguna Beach wine lists as 2015 comes to a close.
The Coravin really is revolutionizing the way sommeliers serve wine. This November, you might just find chic restaurants expanding their by-the-glass offerings. Thanks to a new technology, wine lovers can try wines they don’t want to buy by the bottle. The Coravin allows wine to be extracted without opening the bottle, so restaurants can keep expensive or lesser-known bottles fresh for weeks. Reviews from sommeliers and oenophiles are mixed, but the technology is a promising one.
Whether you consider yourself a wine snob or you simply enjoy keeping up with the latest food and drink trends, 2015 is abuzz with interesting developments. Explore these and other trends at your favorite Laguna Beach restaurants and wine bars this November.