Do you ever tire of generic listicles telling you what you "should" be drinking? You know the ones: "Top 10 wines to drink with charcuterie", "Best wines to drink with junk food", or "Amazing whites to drink at the beach". Are there actual humans out there who heed these nauseating recommendations?
Or, my personal favourite: when the wines suggested are so obscure (ever read anything by Marissa Ross in Bon Appétit? Good luck getting your hands on anything she recommends) there's not a chance you'll be able to find the styles at your local retail.
Instead, here are myriad examples that many of my wine professional friends, from winemakers to sommeliers, are excited about drinking in 2020.
"It's ever changing but from tasting a few samples of this year's vintage from other young producers, I'd say there's a certain amount of playfulness happening with the winemaking that I'm very much looking forward to drinking this summer. Blends of oddball varieties, juicy, young reds, and of course I'm excited for tasting more piquettes out there! Spritzy, dry and low ABV seems like a pretty great combo to me."
Kelsey Rufiange, Winemaker, Echo Bay and Else Wines, Okanagan Falls
"We're starting a sparkling program in the new year, so I'm going to be tasting lots of bubbles. There has to be an alternative method to house style. I'd also like to taste more Chenin and Melon de Borgogne, actually, since we're considering planting some. Grenache is really intriguing too, but no great examples come to the LCBO."
Ryan Corrigan, Winemaker, Rosewood, Beamsville
"I want to drink more wines in 2020 that have three key qualities. In no particular order, I want them to: show a sense of place, be driven but not defined by freshness, and perhaps most importantly, be delicious."
Sam Fritz-Tate, SVP Sales, Wine Online, Toronto
"Stylistically, I am really loving exploring skin contact wines. I love how gastronomic they are. Loving light reds too...tried a beauty from Corsica a few months ago and one from the Canary Islands that was super interesting and that is a region I am really enjoying. I would like to meet with more winemakers too."
Chiquita Whye-Joyce, wine professional, London, England
"I'm quite predictable with my favourites, but this year I would like to *gasp* put aside the Champagne, Riesling and Chenin Blanc, and opt to try more savoury styles. Italy will be a real focus for me this year. Also, I'll probably still drink a shit ton of Champagne."
Alanna Stuart-Young, GM, Salon, Toronto
"I will always prefer high acid classics. While I am not natty by nature, I will keep trying because you never know - I'm actually looking for funky natty with age. Also, everything from Eastern Europe: hand me a corkscrew, find me a translator and let's have some fun! Lastly - Meunier forward Champagnes....can't stop, won't stop!"
Heather McDougall, GM, Montecito, Toronto
"The glorious self destruction of everyone trying to bring back amphorae and the beautiful obscenities they will create. Also, I am waiting for the first low cal/keto wine to come from a BC producer."
BC Wine Memes, somewhere in BC
"Natural whites with more body and fat to them. My teeth can't handle all this crazy high acid stuff. I really hope acidity gets reeled in slightly across the board in the natural wine world. Pretty out of whack sometimes."
Kyle Doucet, Sommelier, Paris Paris/Little Jerry, Toronto
"Well, I fell in love with Gamay working with Jay and Wendy at Bella, so I'm definitely keen to explore more Gamay this year - particularly from non-Beaujolais regions. I think it's becoming less of an underdog grape and a lot more sought-after and its potential for creating interesting and complex wines is starting to be recognized - it's not just for go-go juice (though it does make that particularly well, too)."
Pascale Schittecatte, Manager, Tillingham Wines, East Sussex
"I'd love to taste many more wines from the south east of France. One I really want to taste is a Syrah from Sébastien Girard in the Rhone Valley, and also more Chardonnay of the Borgogne."
Martin Reynouard, Cellar Hand, La Seigneurie, Saumur
"I want to drink more from Spain and Portugal in general. Additionally, I want to dive deeper into surrounding areas of Slovenia like Croatia. Ultimately, I want to keep finding wines that emit soul, energy and excitement."
Maja Roy, Wine educator, Slovenia