I think in Australia we are at a tipping point when interest is about to explode around champagne and sparkling wines, grower champagnes, with a thirst for variety, access and knowledge to reach new heights. You could say I have a vested interest in that happening – being a champagne blogger and all – BUT I have always been open and proud of my bias for the most beautiful wine in the world… champagne!
So what do I see happening in 2018 … read my 2018 Champagne Predictions and find out!
If you like to watch… check out the video!
My 2018 champagne predictions
1. Expanding our Champagne horizons
In Australia we are actually the seventh largest consumers of Champagne globally, and we are the fifth largest per capita but our tastes in Champagne are really, really vanilla.
About 90 percent of the champagne that we drink in Australia is non-vintage champagne, so what I’m predicting… or perhaps maybe I should say challenging us to do in 2018… is to get a little wild with our tastes in champagne. There are so many styles of champagnes to try… vintage, rose, blanc de blancs, blanc de noirs, high dosage, low low dosage. Just try something and get experimental.
And speaking of experimental…
2. Grower Champagnes
The second of my 2018 champagne predictions that I think it’s high time for Australia to get a little crafty. We’ve all heard of craft beer. So there’s no such thing as craft champagne, but kind of the Champagne equivalent of craft beer is what we call a grower champagne.
Traditionally in Champagne, growers grew the grapes that they then sold to the champagne houses to produce the champagne. But more recently, there’s been a little bit of a shift and the growers have been using their own grapes to produce their own champagne. And they’ve been producing some really different, really amazing, really exciting champagnes.
Grower champagnes have probably been blowing up overseas for a few years so they’re certainly nothing new. I’ve noticed here in Australia in the last six months, they’re starting to gain more attention and we’re starting to see them more on wine lists in bars and restaurants.
But I expect that we’re going to see more and more of the grower champagnes… check out my blog post here for the low down on grower champagnes.
3. All things sparkling
The third of 2018 champagne predictions is actually not a prediction for champagne at all!
I’m predicting we are going to see more sparkling wine in general.
Prosecco, which is an Italian sparkling wine, has had a huge renaissance over the last couple of years, and it’s been selling and selling and growing and growing.
Cava, the Spanish sparkling wine, has started to gain some ground as well.
A big trend overseas has been for…. wait for it… English sparkling wine!!! English bubbles are emerging as something really exciting which I will write more about soon.
And of course, in Australia, we make some beautiful sparkling wines.
I think broadly there’s a fascination with sparkling wines, not just champagnes and we’re going to see more and more of them – in retailers, on wine lists matched with food (and not just offered an aperitif).
With all of these different options to try, exactly how are we going to get our hands on them?
4. The year of the Champagne Bar
2018 is going to be the year of the Champagne Bar. And where we can’t have dedicated bars that sell nothing but champagne, I think we’re going to see more bars and restaurants having champagne nights and champagne list nights. Not champagne dinners or master classes, but a more casual night where guests can try can order exciting new champagnes by the glass.
Champagne Bars have been emerging overseas now for years and years. In London they’ve had Bubbledogs for about five years, where they pair champagnes with hot dogs. There is The Riddler in San Francisco. Recently Air’s Champagne Parlour opened in New York City.
But most exciting of all is that I have it on very good authority, in my own hometown of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, we are getting a dedicated champagne bar opening in a new boutique hotel in the first half of 2018.
5. Retailers getting on board
And finally – and perhaps the most bold prediction of all….
With all this movement and excitement around champagne, sparkling wines and grower champagnes and a thirst for VARIETY, I’m predicting we’ll start to see some of the really big retailers – with really big, exciting, buying power – getting on board.
Whether they launch new brands, or launch sub-brands, or introduce sub-specialty sections, I think those big retailers are really going to wake up to what’s happening, wake up to what people want in Champagne and sparkling wine and offer a lot more information and conversation around the wine so we can all learn along the way…. without being intimidated by a super-guru wine expert talking WAY over our heads.
It’s what my mission is here at Bubble & Flute… but there is only so much I can do as one little independent wine blogger.
So there are my 2018 Champagne Predictions! I am looking forward to seeing how they play out, and talking more about the different grower champagnes and all the different styles of Champagnes, with you in 2018.
I am off to Champagne in June and July for six or eight weeks to live and learn and bring the very best Champagne has to offer… and will bring all the goss and details back here for you.
As always, I want to know what you are drinking and thinking… so if you’re tasting it, post a pic and tag @bubbleandflute #bubbleandflute on facebook or instagram.