The trends to watch in 2019

For­get big shi­raz and po­tent cock­tails, this is the year of health-con­scious drink­ing

Herald Sun - - TASTE - kara.irv­[email protected]

WE’RE ob­sessed with where our food comes from and ex­perts say we’re equally cu­ri­ous about the re­gion where our wine is grown, the botan­i­cals used in a small­batch gin and the calo­ries in our beer. Here’s why we’ll be knock­ing back more low or non-al­co­holic drinks in 2019.

ROSE Be­fore you roll your eyes and say rose is so 2017, con­sider this. Cel­lar­mas­ters Head of Wine Joe Arm­strong says while Provence rose has been pop­u­lar, we’ll see Aussies buy more do­mes­tic rose this year. “Rose is the per­fect Aus­tralian wine. When you look at the food we eat and the cli­mate we live in — it goes with ev­ery­thing,” he says.

Leanne Alt­mann, bev­er­age direc­tor of An­drew McCon­nell’s restau­rants, says Aussie wine­mak­ers are play­ing with dif­fer­ent styles of rose, made from san­giovese and neb­bi­olo grapes.

STRIPPED BACK COCK­TAILS

In­stead of rocket-fuel-like cock­tails, drinkers are opt­ing for lowal­co­hol drinks, ac­cord­ing to Cut­ler & Co head bar­tender Ric Divola. “You don’t need to have two shots (in a cock­tail), peo­ple are happy to have a stan­dard drink of a premium spirit,” he says.

Cut­ler & Co will early this year re­lease a low-booze cock­tail menu, with no cock­tail more than one stan­dard drink.

BWS spir­its cat­e­gory man­ager Michael Vagli says we’ll con­tinue a shift to drink­ing light spir­its, like gin, with more peo­ple buy­ing it at the bot­tle-o than vodka.

MEDITER­RANEAN REDS

Aussies are get­ting “pro­mis­cu­ous’’ with their red wine, opt­ing for medi­um­bod­ied im­ported drops from Por­tu­gal, Spain and Italy.

“A lot of Aus­tralians are (now) look­ing for medi­um­bod­ied, not huge wines,” Joe says. Leanne agrees there’s change afoot. “We’re also see­ing an ac­cep­tance in how suitable blends can be. Rather than ‘it must be a shi­raz’, we are see­ing a shi­raz pinot (blend) or a shi­raz and an al­ter­nate va­ri­ety.”

HEALTH CON­SCIOUS BEERS

It’s the year of “healthy’’ beer — more peo­ple will be ed­u­cated on dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties and drink­ing more health­con­scious drops. Sid­ney Ajala, BWS beer cat­e­gory man­ager, says: “We’ll see more peo­ple with non-al­co­holic beer in their hands”.

Big brands like Heineken and Carl­ton have re­leased no-booze beers.

Blue­bon­net bar man­ager Nate White says beer drinkers will also ex­pand their palate, with flavours turn­ing a lit­tle lighter.

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