Ilnham Estate winemaker Mark Quinn says sweet white wines are best for the summer months.
Ilnham Estate winemaker Mark Quinn says sweet white wines are best for the summer months.

Lighter white wines to be popular

ILNAM Estate winemaker Mark Quinn has laughed off suggestions that chardonnay will make a comeback this summer.

With hot weather expected all season, it will be the sweet, refreshing wines which will be popular among the punters, according to Mr Quinn.

“We are heading for a solid, hot summer, so I think people will be sticking to a lighter style of wine,” Mr Quinn said.

He said lighter wines had a number of advantages. They had less alcohol, were usually served chilled and had extra sweetness, making for a refreshing beverage.

“Semi-sweets are the most popular. They are good veranda-style wines, and they are low on alcohol so won’t knock you around.”

“Light styles like that are two of our least-expensive wines and they walk out the door.”

A press release received yesterday quoted “lifestyle commentator” Melissa Hoyer as saying chardonnay was overcoming a tainted perception from the 1980s and “what was old is new again”.

“We can expect to see chardonnay return to the top of the wine list this summer, as people begin to appreciate that the taste has evolved.

“Chardonnay is no longer the heavy white we recall from 15 years ago. Now it is all about knowing what to look for when selecting a bottle.

But Mr Quinn said it was likely some winemakers had a glut of chardonnay they couldn’t get rid of, so were stirring up some pub- licity in order to shift barrels.

“From a class point of view, chardonnay is not what people want in the new world.”

“In the dry white wines certainly the most popular is sauvignon blanc.

“Sauvignon blanc offers good clean crisp tropical characters and is ideal for the modern wine consumer as they are good company with food or just sitting with friends enjoying a few glasses.

“Verdelho is similar to sauvignon blanc and is worth trying. In the lesser-known varieties – pinot gris – for a wine with more acid and less tropical character, making this wine best served with food.”

And reds will be confined to evenings, Mr Quinn said.

“With the hot summer coming on the bigger red styles are better suited to evening consumption with a meal.

“Cabernet sauvignon and shiraz are still the most popular, but the softer varieties like petit verdot are better suited.

“Petit verdot is similar in character to merlot but also has the pepper and spice that you would expect to find in a shiraz wine.”



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