Be the friend that knows about wine. Not just the one who loves a good tipple. 

To help you on your sommelier-seeking journey, we’ve enlisted the help from someone who’s an expert in the drop, Senior Winemaker at McWilliam’s, Russell Cody.

Russell is about to unlock the five wine trends for summer and early 2020, so you can stay a sip ahead.

Embrace the bubbles.

That’s right, bubbles are back. Well, they were never really out were they? With the consumption of sparkling wines booming worldwide, it’s no surprise they will be making a splash in 2020. The biggest player on the market – prosecco, Italy’s most famous sparkling white wine, is here to stay, especially thanks to Australia’s growing love for Aperol and other spritzes. Need more convincing? Be sure to taste Champagne Taittinger Brut Reserve or Henkell Trocken & Mionetto Prosecco.

Prepare for the resurgence of rosé.

We blame brunch for this. Sales of rosé have soared over the past year, making it one of the fastest-growing wine categories in Australia, and we’re talking about both price points. From affordable to premium price tags, this drop is clearly a go-to favourite for the warmer months. We can’t deny the fact that the drop is quite refreshing and pairs well with a variety of dishes, so maybe we’ll take Russell’s tips and give the McW 480 Estate Tumbarumba Rosé or Mateus Rosé a try.

Mateus. The Original Rose. Image supplied.

Mateus. The Original Rose. Image supplied.

The higher the better.

The rise of high altitude wines is imminent as Aussie consumers are increasingly becoming more interested and involved with finding quality drops. Those wines tend to come from high-altitude, cool-climate regions such as regional areas of New South Wales like Orange, Hilltops and Tumbarumba. High-altitude wine is not only vibrant but is easily paired with an array of dishes. Russell’s recommending four of their drops, McW 480 Estate Tumbarumba Chardonnay, McW 660 Reserve Tumbarumba Chardonnay, McW 480 Estate Hilltops Shiraz & McW 660 Reserve Hilltops Shiraz.

Getting weird with wine. 

Not exactly weird, but rather adventurous. Consumers are exploring niche varietals of wine, new regions and experimenting with food and wine pairings. This trend is about rediscovering our nation’s unsung regional varietals, such as Hunter Valley semillon, as well as throwing out the rule book – who’s to say you can’t enjoy a shiraz in summer? These explorers vary from novices to confident wine enthusiasts. If you’re after something a little different give the McW Alternis Vermentino or Mount Pleasant Cellar Aged Elizabeth Semillon a crack. Or a personal and unusual favourite of ours, the unoaked chardonnay by Tea & Wine.

Fortifieds – the revival.

Fortified wines are traditionally known as an aperitif (pre-dinner) or a dessert wine; perhaps a drink we remember our parents or grandparents enjoying back in the day. Whilst it’s a style of wine still very much misunderstood, there is a growing interest for premium fortified wines – especially amongst bar-goers looking to enjoy something a little different on a night out. The great thing about fortified wines is that they are versatile – enjoyed on their own, mixed with sodas or as an indulgent cocktail. The on-trend fortified drops to taste include McWilliam’s Signature Release 5-Year-Old Tawny, McWilliam’s Show Reserve Rare 25-Year-Old Muscat or a team favourite, the Hunter Valley’s Usher Tinkler’s “Mr T’s fortified wine“.