The trends to watch in 2019
Forget big shiraz and potent cocktails, this is the year of health-conscious drinking
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.
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.