Vinexpo 2019: the Spectator’s viewpoint

Wine Spectator was founded in California in 1976 and is today the world’s leading authority on wine, reaching about 3 million readers worldwide. We asked executive editor Thomas Matthews to tell us more about what he is primarily looking for at Vinexpo this year.

As I am Wine Spectator’s lead taster for the wines of Spain, I make a point to taste widely among the Spanish producers at Vinexpo. I am also on the look- out for interesting new wines from around the world. And I look forward to catching up with many old friends at the fair.

Which wines or spirits do you feel are gaining most in popularity in the US?

The two strongest categories in the US at the moment are dry roses and sparkling wines. Interestingly, neither is tethered to a specific place, style or prices point (though Provence rose and Prosecco sparklers continue to lead their categories). As a result, adventurous consumers can turn to distinctive wines from many regions and in many styles. Spanish Cava, Lambrusco and French crémants are benefiting from the sparkling boom, while Rioja in Spain, Puglia in Italy and Oregon in the US offer interesting versions on rose.

From your tasting experience over the past 12 months what have been the stand out highlights in terms of countries/ regions and styles?

For Wine Spectator, I focus on the wines of Spain. I continue to be impressed by their diversity, character and increasing quality. I am currently impressed by the fresh whites of Galicia, the elegant reds of Priorat and the extraordinary range of offerings from Rioja. As Executive editor, I am privileged to travel and taste quite widely. I’m excited about the 2015 and 2016 vintages from Bordeaux. I think Bolgheri and Sicily are two of Italy’s most interesting regions. Australia is successfully re-inventing itself. Chile is exploring a growing range of terroirs. Oregon, in the US, has staked a serious claim to Pinot Noir. The wine world continues to grow in every way.

Photo: Thomas Matthews, Executive editor, Wine Spectator