For gentlemen who fancy themselves wine drinkers, has there ever been a better time to indulge in a glass or build up a collection of bottles? There are more styles, and more options offered in a range of prices. New and old varietals are being celebrated and it seems like each year, there are more opportunities to explore wine than ever before. If you're looking to expand your horizons, here are four trends to consider as we head into summer.
Casual wine drinkers, even those who've dabbled with natural wines, have likely never heard of país (also known as "mission" or "listán prieto"). Maybe because they come from older vines in under-appreciated regions. Take the silky Listan by Bichi Winery, produced from grapes grown at an impressive 2,400 feet above sea level on Mexico's Baja peninsula. Unrefined and unfiltered, the slightly hazy, light-bodied red is juicy, floral with just a touch of spice. Or Rivera Del Notro Tinto, which features a darker, brooding wine pressed from fruit picked from 200-year-old vines in Chile.
Mead is old school. As in, one of the world's first alcoholic beverages, old school. Which may be why it fell out of favor with vinophiles; until recently when the honey wine was taken back from the Renaissance Fair geeks and brought back into the fold of food and wine lovers. There's now a swarm of bottles popping up on various wine lists thanks to its rustic, regional charm. Less sweet than you'd think, this new driver mead complex, gently effervescent and subtly fruity with a clean finish. Take, for example, All-Wise Meadery, founded by Brooklyn-based actor Dylan Sprouse. Their flagship bottle is made from raw and unfiltered New York honey aged with oak for a hint of smoke finish.
Jeff Cichocki, a winemaker for Bonterra Organic Vineyards in Mendocino County, California, is excited for young reds to get more attention this summer. Easy-to-drink and lower in alcohol, they seem tailor made to go with outdoor day drinking. Young reds are likely to have more fresh fruit flavors—think just ripe berries, sliced figs and watermelon—and a touch of acidity which provides a refreshing, thirst-quenching factor. Which is why Cichocki recommends serving these chilled. What's more, new research reveals that 90% of several beneficial antioxidants and tannins in red wines (which have incredible anti-inflammatory effects on the body) are lost as wines age. So you get more of the good stuff when you put back one of these bottles.
Also known as skin-contact wine, orange wine is basically a natural white wine that's made like a red. It's often full-bodied with a rich flavor that's buttery and nutty while still light and refreshing. Helen Johannesen of Helen's Wines has called orange wine "the new rosé," because if you're a fan of the pink stuff, but feel it's become a touch played out, you'll appreciate the dryness and high acidity of orange wine. In terms of flavor, think crisp notes of fresh stone fruit balanced by the richness of vanilla and caramel. Orange wines are ideal for food pairings, because they can stand up to heartier dishes more than most whites.
When you're looking to indulge in a glass or two, but trying to work on that summer body, consider a bottle crafted to be a bit more forgiving. FitVine wines boast less sugar (less than 1 gram per bottle) as well as fewer carbs and calories than other bottles. A proprietary malolactic fermentation process allows for the flavor, mouthfeel and alcohol content you expect, without sacrificing the work you're putting in at the gym.
From $15.99 at FitVine