Home News > May 2017 > SWA 2017 - The year of the odd

The year of the odd

One of the joys of the Sommelier Wine Awards is watching trends appear, take hold and blossom into an exciting new style.

We saw it eight years ago with the new style Australian Chardonnays, six years ago with English sparkling, four years ago with Turkish wines, and we’re starting to see it with the new, more textural New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, too.

All of which has our judges (and SWA team) on the look-out every year for the region or wine style that might go on to be the next big thing. This year provided some intriguing possibilities because we had some Gold and Silver medal winners from places that we’ve never had them before.

We might expect Golds from English sparkling wines, for instance, but our first ever red Gold (a winsome Pinot Noir from Hush Heath) was a revelation, and proof that in the right hands, and in the right year, the UK really can deliver beyond white and sparkling wine.

Further from home – a long way further from home! – we also saw good performances for the first time from a Chinese winery, adding credence to the argument that Ningxia could be that country’s best region for quality reds; from Romania (great value), Armenia (who knew?), Slovenia (ethereally beautiful whites) and Kazakhstan (some amazingly good – and amazingly expensive wines).

Which of these will go on to be the next big thing? Only time – and our judges – will tell.