When I floated to the office the idea of a column on what wine trends
should never again enter the mainstream, it quickly transformed from a top
5 list to something like a top 20 in the space of a tweet.
Talk soon turned from bad wine trends to spirits and, predictably, beer -
for which everyone has an opinion.
So in the interests of those who whine about wine, and to encourage
audience participation, let's cover all drinks. First, the top wine crimes:
TOP 10 WINE TRENDS TO AVOID IN 2010
1. Mixing OJ and bubbly
Why ruin a good glass of fizz with orange juice? Just serve half a glass
on its own, and leave the OJ to those who really need the taste. Same goes
for Midori and bubbly. Eeek!
2. Having ice with white wine
Not even on the hottest of days is this allowed - unless the wine is under
$5. It ruins the taste and looks stupid. Sink your feet into an ice bucket
if it's that hot, and sink your palate into the real flavours of the wine.
3. Sparkling v champagne
Champagne is the bubbly that comes from the region of Champagne only, in
France. That $12 bottle of Jacobs Creek is not.
4. Red wine with lemonade/coke/water
The only people allowed to do this are Italians - usually with their own
home brew because it was made in 1986 and there's still heaps of flagons in
5. Pouring a bottle straight away
Wine is full of rich, complex intense flavours. You need to let it
breathe/decant before it's at its optimum. I don't need to explain the
concept of foreplay here, but it's the same thing essentially.
6. Hibiscus flowers and strawberries
Sure it looks fancy mixed with bubbly at those B-list parties but,
c'mon... They go to waste and then we're left to dispose of them on the
floor when no one's looking.
7. Small wine glasses
We've come a long way in recent times in realising that wine evolves
better and quicker in bigger glasses (see point five). But some
restaurateurs still insist on serving top-notch wine in those archaic,
shapeless 200ml things. Open up!
8. Drinking wine too cold
The colder your white wine, the less flavour it will impart on your
palate. Most whites are drunk way too cold. The more expensive whites
should be taken out of the fridge and drunk about 15 minutes later. Try it
- you'll find the flavours are more robust. The same rule can apply for
heavily-flavoured, Belgian-style beers.
9. Cheap New Zealand sauvignon blanc
There's such an over-supply of this NZ grape, particularly from the
Marlborough region, that people are confusing good value with good wine. If
you really want to try a cracking sauvignon blanc from NZ, give the Cloudy
Bay Te Koko a ride. Then try going back to drink that $15 crap.
10. Being scared
It might seem unnatural, but swirling and sniffing your wine (in a big
glass) will make the experience of drinking it doubly enjoyable. Get into
it, don't worry about looking like a wine snob. Or of spilling some on your
clothes. Embrace what's in your glass and let it fly open to your senses.
10 MORE TRENDS TO AVOID IN 2010
1. Shandy (beer and lemonade)
While I don't agree with this one, die-hards out there believe beer should
be drunk as just beer. Those like me who are partial to beer and lime in
the morning (to get through the hangover) should also beware.
2. Alcohol-free beer
Need we say more? Buy a ginger ale or something if you don't want the
alcohol. Bundaberg is pretty good.
Sure Goon of Fortune was a way to score a pash in your teens but there's
so much great-value wine out there today that buying a four-litre cask of
Coolabah (or Passion Pop for that matter) should never enter your head.
4. Rubbish Aussie beers
Someone in the office takes great offence to Fosters and VB - yet drinks
Tooheys Extra Dry like it's going out of fashion. Aussie draught beers have
lost touch with their more fancied boutique friends like Little Creatures
and James Squire.
5. Blue Curacao
It resembles blue Listerine and is used in cocktails. Looks like a dream,
tastes like a nightmare and, like Celine Dion, should be banned from the
While I can't endorse this suggestion (it came from the same person who
LOVES Tooheys Extra Dry), I must admit Guinness in a can or bottle is about
as awful as drinking bad medicine.
7. Addington Draught
Apparently this is the beer of choice in Addington, Christchurch. One
colleague described it as "someone pissed on the floor, and another bloke
swept it up and put it into a keg". Sounds delightful.
8. Umbrellas in cocktails
They were cool when you were little, because you had something to play
with while mum and dad got boozed. Now they just get in the way and look
like something from The Love Boat.
9. Stone's Ginger Wine
This might have been popular back in Rotto [Rottnest Island] in 1990, but
it's hideously sickly and more than just a little '90s.
10. Southern Comfort and Canadian Club
The only time I've felt the room spinning the next day was after drinking
Southern Comfort. And the only times I find myself brawling with my
brothers, is when we're all on the Canadian Club. No can do.