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Editor’s Letter

2020 Vision

As we head into a new decade, I can’t help but wonder what ideas and trends will unfold in the world of wine and drinks. Will more and more winemakers embrace sustainable practices? Let’s hope so. Will written and verbal recommendations take precedence over lone wine scores? Fingers crossed. Will artisan non-alcoholic drinks become even more important?  Highly likely. Will everyone get their heads around what natural wine actually is? Most certainly an issue that needs to be resolved. Will the tsunami of gin continue, or will another spirit have its day? Who can really tell?

One thing not hard to predict is that over the next couple of months we are all likely to be after some decent fizz to celebrate various festivities. In this issue, members of the tasting panel have turned their attention to fine rosé Champagnes – ideal for celebratory drinks and a magnificent partner to the alfresco food served up by Hannah Meppem.

We hazard a guess that many of our readers are putting together a bucket list of places to visit in the New Year. To aid and influence decisions, we’ve asked our local and international writers to recommend 50 highly worthwhile wine experiences for 2020. Dip into their ideas here.

Wine scribe Angus Hughson not only gives a rundown of the most collected Australian drops in 2019, but also does a deep dive into the changing landscape of the Loire Valley, while Fintan Kerr gives us the lowdown on Priorat in Spain.

While we can’t foresee who the winner of our New Zealand Winemaker of the Year Awards will be, we can reveal, again with the support of Vintec, who the finalists are. Let’s raise a glass to them and to all the wonderful wine adventures we can look forward to in the coming year.