While enjoying wine is absolutely a communal experience, there are many instances in which it does become quite subjective. For example, some red wine lovers may only swear by big, bold Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa, Calif., or a bodacious Malbec from Argentina. Or if it’s white wine, an oaky Chardonnay or zippy Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand may be the preferred choice of fermented grapes.
To be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with loving these wines. In fact, these styles (and others) are often the gateway for many novice wine drinkers, leading them to explore different regions and ways the grapes can be expressed.
According to Nielsen’s 2020 report, “Covid Impact on the Alcohol Industry,” red wine was the most popular style consumed (46.7 percent), with white wine coming in at 45.5 percent and pink wines at 5 percent.
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However, pop culture has also greatly influenced the way in which wine trends come and go. From films like “Sideways” that made Merlot seem like the most basic of red wines, to songs by hip-hop artists like Drake, Lil’ Kim, and Waka Flocka suggesting Moscato is the ideal wine to drink in the club, certain wines become popular (read: overrated) because of their perceived approachability and, let’s face it, affordability.
Whether it be at a wine bar or on the floor of a wine shop, we asked 10 sommeliers to share grape varieties that they hear frequently requested from guests and customers.
The Most Overrated Wine Styles, According to Sommeliers:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Provence-style rosé
- California Cabernet Sauvignon
- Sauvignon Blanc
- California Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pinot Grigio
- Red Blend
“I’m in Miami, and I get requests for Cabernet Sauvignon all the time and maybe it stands out to me because it’s usually a hot day when it happens. And I think to myself, ‘as hot as it is, this person wants a big, juicy, highly extracted, over-tannic, elevated-in-alcohol Cab?’ It is at that moment I encourage the guest to ‘pack their bags’ — we are headed to Italy to explore Valpolicella instead.” —Ray Sholes, Head Sommelier, Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink, Miami
“When it comes to rosé, the pale pink Provence style is still very much en vogue and highly requested. These rosé wines are made from the typical blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cinsault and sometimes a little Cabernet Sauvignon. Ultimately, the guests and clients who follow the ‘rosé all day’ mantra desire fresh acidity on the palate, with various nuances of tart berry notes and a kiss of salinity.” —Charles Springfield, Certified Sommelier, author, wine educator and founder, The Life Stylings of Charles Springfield, New York
“Moscato is popular because it’s a safe choice for many new wine drinkers and honestly, it’s perfect for people that aren’t accustomed to drinking wine. The grape variety we sell is an Italian Moscato made in Piedmont, Italy, by Chateau Elan …….