I look at wine consumption as a series of trends. By trend, I mean the types of wines (and sometimes even brands), that the average everyday people know and ask for. I remember in the 1960-1970s, Blue Nun Liebfraumilch and its soft, fruity, sweetness, was the ticket for those that typically only drank wine during special occasions. Then palates started to evolve and the American consumer wanted something a bit drier, but still approachable – and we got Chardonnay. Then in the 1990s the California wine industry backed away from their snootiness and began to champion the health benefits of daily wine consumption From there wine started to become something that was not just drank for celebratory occasions, but as an approachable drink to enjoy daily with everyday kinds of food.
On and on, the American palate continued to evolve and more and more wines were introduced, and consumers really started to understand and grow an appreciation for the various types of wines that were readily available to them. This helped get the wine market to where it is today.
If I had to pick one phrase to explain the wine market today, it would be “Give us more variety!”. Today’s American wine consumer is all about trying new things and being introduced to new concepts. I think this is also very evident in the rise of the craft beer scene. – enter Winexpert and their annual Limited Edition Wine Kits.
Every year, Winexpert releases five special wine kits that represent a hard to find varietal, an obscure vineyard in a far off land, or many times a mix of the two. These kits also typically are a once in a lifetime release, thus the use of the word limited. Well, this year they have not disappointed. Introducing the 2012 Limited Edition Wine Kits – each of these links will take you to another page where a video from our friend Tim Vandergrift from Winexpert provides a detailed description these wines and their rich story:
- Argentine Malbec Bonarda
- Argentine Torrontés
- Portuguese Aragones Cabernet Sauvignon
- Washington Riesling Chenin Blanc
- Italian Nebbiolo with Grape Skins
Aside from the variety that these wine kits provide, they also offer something that we try to explain to our winemaking customers every day: these kits really provide a great way for you to build up a great wine cellar. The Aragones Cabernet Sauvignon will be great after 12-18 months, but will really start to mature between 2-5 years! Can’t wait that long for a taste, then try the Torrontés which will be very drinkable after 3 months, but can hold for up to a year. Mix it up and get one of the reds and a white, and you get the best of both worlds: a wine to drink relatively soon, and one that you can enjoy over time and appreciate it more and more with each bottle you open. The moral of this story (err, blog post I mean): the Limited Edition series gives you both variety and the once in a lifetime chance to fill your cellar with that variety, and enjoy it for years to come.
The Limited Edition kits are available by pre-order only, and orders must be placed by December 5th; so make sure to reserve yours soon. If you’re interested in learning more about the kits and want to give them a “taste”, feel free to stop by the store on Saturday November 17th for a tasting event where you’ll be able to sample some commercial equivalents. We hope to see you there!