Friday, August 15, 2008

Today on Serious Grape: the Next Big Grape

Today I'm blogging over at the site for foodies, Serious Eats. In my column, Serious Grape, I'm gazing into my crystal ball to predict what the next big grape will be. (image from mylifetime.com)

We've been in a Pinot Noir state of mind ever since the movie Sideways, but I have my money on another red to become the next break-out grape. Click on over there to see which grape I've picked, and leave me a comment and let me know if you think I'm on the right track.

Predicting the next big white grape proved more difficult. I've got two possible contenders there, but I'm not sure if either of them will be able to give Chardonnay--still the white wine leader, despite the best efforts of Pinot Grigio and Riesling--a run for its money. Do you have a more likely alternative?

Have a great weekend, and I'll see you back here on Monday.

10 comments:

Terence said...

Petite Sirah? Really? Maybe Out There in Cali, but I'm seeing more interest in lighter reds around here.

Your white choices are very good, though -- Viognier and Albarino, both good and more in tune with the Young Ones' flavor prefs.

rsdrinks@gmail.com said...

Petite Sirah is a good choice, though personally I'd like to see more Cab Franc. When done right they are beautiful wines, and they are very approachable. Since the grape does well in cooler regions (I've had a few great Cab Francs from Long Island) this allows more growers to plant the grape and end up with good results. With consumers looking for cheaper bottlings than what's currently out there, I think Cab Franc could have a chance to see some serious growth during the next decade.

http://coffeelikewine.blogspot.com/

Marco Montez said...

I had a 4Vines P.S. early this year that was absolutely phenomenal. Difficult to find a store with a good variety of P.S. wines though. Not sure this is a supply problem... if it is, then I don't see how the market for P.S. can take off. Alvarinho rocks!

D J R-S said...

Interesting-- I have PSirah's from another set of very different, not sure if *distinct* producers, stashed in Atascadero: Lolonis frm Mendo's Redwood valley, Cougar's Leap frm Lake County & Robert Biale from Napa...but I think, related to TmondosaporeTerry's comment, momentum is still building around Malbec & current economy trends wd support that...also, Viogniers I tasted from 'down there' wd step up to the plate with their fruitier style...my two cents.

Terence said...

djr, I'm thinking "real" Viogniers, as in from Francia.

D J R-S said...

Sure, I will spend 30 bucks plus tax for '98 Guigal Condrieu, who else will? But however the tropical peach-bombs I tried seem overblown to Dr.Debs & you & me, what I'm saying is they will hit a bullseye with the very demographic you talking about! did you look at my post? ;)

D J R-S said...

Debs, to get back on-topic, on reds-- Jon Staenberg, who's a venture capitaist helping fund Vines of Mendoza (so of course he's got an axe to grind)posted a link to this Miami Herald article which supports my thesis on Malbec's cultural/economic momentum:
http://www.miamiherald.com/living/food/wine/story/639277.html

Gianpaolo Paglia said...

If I can twist your question a little bit, I think it is rather time for the American public to move their attention from grape variety to terroir. As a wine maker I think that that is the only thing that really count.

Dr. Debs said...

Great comments, every one. I think people are caught because a) many want lighter reds, at which point they turn to Europe and other regions, and it becomes about terroir as Gianpaolo says, not about grapes and b) there are still a lot of people who want to chase Cali cabs and are priced out of the market. For these reasons, I think US grape growers and retailer will be pushing PS to try to make it the next big grape.

After that, however, I think things get really interesting, because the next next big grape is almost certainly Tempranillo. But, to be the next big grape in the US we need to have a grape that is grown here and widely available. I think (based on attending TAPAS last week) we are about 5 years away from that promised land and it will be a good thing.

The way US makers of Temp are marketing Temp is revealing. "It's like cab but more food friendly" was heard repeatedly and read repeatedly.

I think Malbec and Cab Franc could be very popular with US consumers--but only if they are more plentifully grown stateside.

Gianpaolo, has a long way to go in the US where our labels privilege grapes over place--and I think there is a fair amount of animosity towards European labels that don't tell you grape variety among US consumers. I'm seeing a better balance between grape/place in the US, but we will never follow Europe in that direction. Instead it will be about the great places X grape is grown.

Loweeel said...

Hurray for PS! Thanks, Dr. Debs! I linked to the post on my blog.