Thanks to Douglas Blyde, the last couple of weeks have taken us on a veritable culinary adventure through 2013. Today marks the conclusion of Douglas’s trend report, with a focus on what the year ahead will mean for the drink sector.
Chris Skyrme, Director, Sopexa (www.sopexa-uk.com):
‘As we enter the teenage era of the 21st century, just like those nascent adults, we are likely to seek both comfort foods to ground us, and dishes which expand our horizons and make us feel “grown up”. Traditional British fare like shepherd’s pie, classic roasts and casseroles will be the staple, with an emphasis on locally sourced foods and value for money (we have after all splurged over the festive period, and appreciate that it is time to tighten those belts). On the adventurous front, I think that fusion and Mediterranean will continue to grow in popularity, perhaps with a frisson of a street food vibe thrown in – think Ottolenghi mixed with Ching He Huang. And as we move towards the light at the end of the winter tunnel that is the time for British lamb and asparagus, don’t forget those persimmons which apparently show a significant rise in popularity this year, and are in season now – back to Yotam for the recipe!’
Mark Poynton, Chef, Alimentum (http://restaurantalimentum.co.uk/):
‘We’ll see a return to the old style. Not childhood, Heston-type “old”, more like when Pierre Koffman first opened La Tante Clare. Comfort rich foods, but in a style you can’t do at home. Chefs will use older techniques like pan frying, pressure cookers and steaming rather than just putting things in a bag in simmering water and leaving it for (insert generic time). This will sort the real chefs and restaurants from the abundant flash-in-a-pan six-month open-up, close-down establishments.’
Lucy Shaw, Senior Staff Writer, Drinks Business (www.thedrinksbusiness.com):
Tea will be the new coffee, and will be taken increasingly seriously, with more tea bars emerging, selling vintage and single tree teas. The Rare Tea Lady (www.rareteacompany.com/about-us/why-rare-tea) will be much in demand for events and tastings. HKK (the latest in the Hakkasan group) has already started the tea trolley trend rolling.’
William Drew, Editor, Restaurant Magazine (www.bighospitality.co.uk):
‘Sours (primarily in drinks, but sour elements in food also on the up); Shake Shack mania; and finally…. the return of good old-fashioned bars which also offer decent food – not fancy cocktail joints, nor restaurants with a bar attached – but independents where people go primarily to drink quality beer and spirits, but which offer great and good-value dishes to boot.’
Andrew Barrow, Editor, Spittoon (http://www.spittoon.biz):
‘Is it just me or is there a distinct 1920’s decadence thing going on? Charleston dance lessons at Claridges anyone? The Great Gatsby film about to be released? Hotel bars are in, Champagne and cocktails the order of the day. And not just the top hotels either but the champagne bars in the top department stores and the independents too. Champagne perhaps a touch expensive in these cash-pressed times? Then who cares if it is really Prosecco or Cava or a new world interloper in the glass – if it’s got bubbles, it is in! In the same manner any wine sporting even a hint of an Art Deco label is bound to be a winner.’
And, finally, a wine forecast from Wine Chap, Tom Harrow (http://winechap.com):
‘Bordeaux’s bubble will continue to deflate as nobody can afford to buy 2009 or 2010, or can be arsed to buy 2011 and 2012.
Gruner Veltliner will no longer be “groovy”, unless in a weird retro way like the term itself. Even your grandfather doesn’t find the thought of Austrian wines shocking any more. Etna will be the new Turkey (which was last year’s new Portugal).
Chardonnay is back with a vengeance. Sensitively-oaked examples from artisan producers in New Zealand and Australia in particular are versatile, pleasurable and half the price of Burgundy of the same quality. As our relationship with Argentina continues to worsen, inexpensive Chilean Shiraz and Carmenere will replace Malbec as South American wines under £6. Some idiot will probably waste time mentioning Uruguayan Tannat.
Fake and Baked wines – reaction to the trend for lower alcohol, cooler climate and minimally manipulated wines will see a rise in interest of mass-produced 14.5% Californian and South African Merlot and chemical cocktail blends. It will be harder to nod appreciatively whilst sampling “orange wines” unless the producer is standing expectantly opposite you.
Some industry magazines will use stats to show Champagne sales are up; some will use others to show Prosecco is actually improving its market share. People will continue to buy Cava to take to parties of people they don’t know very well.
Chenin Blanc, Alvarinho, Thompson Seedless, Syrah (cool climate – old and new world), Nerello Mascalese, Boğazkere (“throat-scraper”, Turkish), Mencia, Tannat (Uruguayan)
Will continue to shorten and change regularly, becoming seasonal like menus. Ideally one red or one white depending on whether strawberries or winter greens are being picked… Better value fine wines will continue to sprout at the ends of wine lists as restaurateurs appreciate the benefits of accepting a cash margin and shifting stock instead of curating a dusty gallery of overpriced classics that might as well have “Do Not Touch” written on them.
Craft beer and micro-breweries continue their inexorable rise and their promotion will remain more dynamic and engaging than the tedious or self-regarding equivalents for wine.
Remain high. Last year’s micro-distillery gin boom will be replaced by huge commercial interest in Pisco and Aquavit, as Peruvian and Swedish cuisine dominate London’s gastronomic scene…’
Thank you to Douglas and all his contributors!