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story.lead_photo.caption (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Kelly Brant)

At the start of each new year, I like to research worldwide wine trends and then share what I find with you.

Two Trend Fusion — I must say this easily falls into the category of exciting. Prosecco and rosé wines have continued to grow in popularity with more of us enjoying the fizzy refreshing style of Prosecco — and rosé taking firm hold among younger wine drinkers. But we may soon see these two trends converge. After a lengthy approval process, Italian producers will soon be able to use up to 15% of pinot noir alongside glera grapes in order to make rosé under the Italian Prosecco DOC name.

It Was Only Time — Expect rosé wines to continue to rise in popularity. This year we can expect more "serious" consideration of rosé as many of the higher-end producers are investing in top brands. Moët Hennessy's expected buy of Chateau d'Esclans, the maker of the exceptional rosé Whispering Angel is just one example. If you have not already experienced rosé from Whispering Angel, it is a must-try. One sip will convince you of the higher-end potential of a rosé wine.

The Ideal "Healthy" Wine — As winemakers continue to cater to the millennial market, expect to see wines that appeal to the generation's penchant for well-being and health. Many wines are being produced with lower sugar levels, fewer calories and in turn lower alcohol by volume. However, the process can be tricky for some grapes, and as consumers look for unaltered low alcohol wines produced naturally, we will likely see more attention given to specific grapes and regions such as German white wines and Italian moscato.

Natural and Vegan Wines — Many trending experts say it's difficult to get hard figures on "natural wines" because they don't have an official definition and the term "natural" is not regulated. But as expected these wines are showing up on wine lists and retail shelves throughout our market. The trend gained momentum with producers making orange-colored wine and using labeling of "no added sulfites." Expect to see more vegan stickers on bottle labels and wine advertisements.

This week's value and splurges are examples of two of the trends we don't have to wait to enjoy as these wines are already in our market.

THE VALUE

NV Mia Dolcea Moscato d'Asti, Italy (about $12 retail)

THE SPLURGE

2017 Whispering Angel Provence Rosé, France (about $26 retail)

Lorri Hambuchen is a member of London's Institute of Wines and Spirits. Contact her at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, P.O. Box 2221, Little Rock, AR 72203, or email:

uncorked@thewinecenter.com

Food on 01/22/2020

Print Headline: Wine trends worth following in 2020

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