“The overarching trend is that we are forfeiting quantity for quality,” she told the LIWF conference. “It is necessary now, to stay in the oversupplied wine business, to make better wine every year.”
High-alcohol reds are falling out of favour with consumers and producers, who are increasingly interested in lighter, aromatic, higher-acid wines – even in places like California.
Robinson also noted the growing interest in 5.5% abv wines, but warned that wines in a flight she had tasted at a recent supermarket tasting “were of varying quality – two I thought were really good, they tasted like wine. The others tasted like the flavouring that had been added to them”.
Other trends include more variety in the grape varieties being made and sold commercially – which Robinson said was probably more down to producers’ curiosity than consumer demand; an interest in natural wines – although she warned that they need to be good quality as well; and more awareness of environmental issues, from water use to agrochemicals to packaging.