Food

Looking Back At 2017

At The Wine Rack

with Christopher Reckord

Thursday, January 04, 2018



Last year saw the interest in wine continue to grow here in Jamaica. New wine-centric establishments were opened while others expanded. Accurate and up-to-date wine consumption information and total wine importation numbers are hard to come by so I tend to look at international surveys and extrapolate for the Jamaican experience. Here are my top wine observations for our market in 2017.

Millennials and their effect on the wine market

Demographers and researchers differ on the date and age- range definitions for this often-discussed grouping. I will go with the majority and use 1980 to 1996, so the approximate age range is 21 to 37. The US numbers indicate that this cohort of wine drinkers accounts for around 30 per cent, but the most interesting trend is that they seem to be buying more and more wine year over year. This trend is the same here in Jamaica. Research indicates that millennials don't care about many of the things that “serious” wine drinkers care about, like the details of the vintage, soil, region or the winemaker. They are more experimental, more price-sensitive and gravitate more to the label on the bottle and, most importantly, how the wine tastes. Millennials are not buying wines to put down; they are buying wines for immediate consumption.

Rosé rising

I have noticed more events offering rosé and more importantly, I hear wine lovers asking for dry rosé. True rosé is often off-dry to dry in nature and displays appropriate refreshing fruit flavours that lean toward the strawberry and raspberry side of the fruit spectrum. Our retail shelf spaces appear to have more pink wines than in previous years. Plus, our distributors are importing much better quality rosés which led to me buying more rosé in 2017 than before.

New and interesting

With so many wine-centric destinations all around Jamaica, there was a small uptick in wine-related events. I have noticed a growing request from regular wine drinkers for new and interesting wines. This year I had the opportunity to pour a number of Croatian wines, to the delight of guests at some of these events. I believe that our market is saturated with value-priced Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc; these are just four of the noble grape varietals that make amazing wines. It's time our imports take some calculated risks — the market is asking for it.

My most memorable wine

On a recent visit to Europe, my friend and fellow wine enthusiast Debra Taylor visited a fine wine and spirits boutique located in the heart of London's Mayfair called Hedonism Wines. They have in the wine section six Enomatic sampling machines, allowing you to taste nearly 50 different wines at any one time, including some of the world's most iconic bottlings. On that day I tasted a wide range of wines that were amazing, but one stood out; it was exceptional. This wine was a 2012 Jacques Cacheux Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru La Croix Rameau. Vosne-Romanée is a commune in the Côte-d'Or (100% Pinot Noir) in Burgundy which produces the region's most celebrated wines. La Croix Rameau is a very small and relatively unknown Vosne-Romanée premier cru located in the north-east corner of Romanée Saint-Vivant. Finding information on this tiny producer was difficult as the current owner/winemaker, Patrice Cacheux, is not a fan of journalists and rarely gives interviews. His father, Jacques Cacheux, started making wines in Burgundy in the 1950s. After Jacques retired in 1994, Patrice took over, and now represents the fourth generation of winemakers working in the estate. Patrice has made many changes in the vineyard and the cellar, including moving towards biodynamic agriculture.

Although only classified as premier cru, all critics agree that Jacques Cacheux produces Grand Cru quality wines. Aged in oak this medium-body succulent wine was smooth and very well-balanced with power and flavour.

Wishing you all a safe, happy and prosperous 2018; we have a mere 8,760 hours, so don't waste a second of it!

 

Christopher Reckord - Information Technology Entrepreneur & Wine Enthusiast. Send your questions and comments to creckord @gmail.com. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram @chrisreckord and on Twitter: @Reckord

 

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