It is simple to recognize the significance of terroir when the golden light of the evening sun dances in your glass as you sip wine on the terrace as it slants long across the even-green rows of a vineyard.
That is the unique character that a wine gets from the environment, especially the soil and the climate. Numerous international locations are renowned for their stunning landscapes, temperate climates, and delectable wines, ranging from the Douro region in Portugal to the Napa Valley in California.
However, the Decanter World Wine Awards 2023, the world’s largest and most prestigious wine competition now in its 20th year, has just awarded a single nation victory over all others.
Ten Australian wines won Best in Show, more than any other nation, marking a victory for the New World. Penfolds and Jacob’s Creek, well-known brands, were represented, and the Margaret River region of Western Australia produced two red and one white winners. McLaren Vale in South Australia had two exceptional reds.
Each of the traditional wine-producing nations of France and Spain received eight Best in Show awards. Non-vintage Blanc De Blancs Brut Grand Cru was the best Champagne, and Château Fayat and Château De Rochemorin were the best Bordeaux. Additionally, Harvey’s 30 Years Amontillado and Lustau’s 30 Years Old Oloroso are the best options for sherry.
Italy won seven Best in Show awards, all of which went to reds from Piedmont and Tuscany. Portugal won three Best in Show awards, and it excelled in Madeira and Port.
Argentinian Malbecs and German Rieslings were each granted two Best in Shows, and there were two Best in Shows each for Greece and South Africa.
An Austrian Muskat, a Chilean red, a Serbian Grašac, an English shining wine and Pinot Noirs from Oregon and New Zealand were the other top victors for 2023.
8,250 wines from 57 countries
For this year’s judging, approximately 74,000 bottles of wine, four per entry, were shipped to London’s historic Royal Docks. Almost 240 specialists from around the world accumulated in April to test 80 to 90 wines per day, supporting themselves on oatcakes and water bread rolls between tastings.
According to CNN, the judges are all regional specialists whose palates have been shaped by a variety of global cuisines, according to Sarah-Jane Evans, co-chair of the awards since 2019.
“What you really want to do is to tell people, does it smell nice? ” when tasting Is it flower or whatever,” she makes sense of. Western European tasters frequently describe tobacco or leather. Then, at that point, you need to portray somehow or another or other how it in the mouth” – this could be “specific qualities of lime and passionfruit,” for instance.
A strength of these large awards is the growing diversity of the judges. We had a South Korean Master of Wine for the first time, and she mentioned black bean sauce as a flavor note, which surprised me. Furthermore, she has had some achievement, distributing tasting books with an alternate jargon.”
She describes the Balkans as “a good hunting ground” for emerging wines. Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, and the surrounding areas produce excellent wines.
The future of wine regions
Climate change is already affecting established wine regions, as countries around the world regularly experience record temperatures. According to Evans, “it’s a really, really difficult time” with heatwaves in Spain and forest fires in California. In any case, then again, there are heaps of wineries who are thinking ahead.”
Different grape varieties are currently being planted in wine-producing regions. Eight new grape varieties have been granted licenses in Bordeaux, France, for instance.
It’s possible that people will conclude, “It’s not Cabernet, it’s not Merlot, it’s not the ones we know.” However, they might be significantly more reasonable to the environmental change that is occurring,” says Evans.
They are now “going as far up the mountainside as they possibly can” in the traditional wine-growing areas that are scattered throughout the river valley in the Spanish region of La Rijoa.
Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, and Surrey, the southeast counties known as “the Garden of England,” are seeing a boom in the production of English sparkling wine, which is still a novelty to the majority.
Whether you want to buy wine at the supermarket or plan a vacation with a vineyard tour, there are more options than ever before. It’s time to enjoy your choices by popping a cork.