Cheers to a very trendy 2014

We’ve almost finished the delicious bottle that was 2014 – and what a classic vintage it has been! As I celebrate one year of blogging on The Secret Cellar I thought I’d take a look back on this year’s journey through the world of wine and the strongest wine trends of 2014. For me it was a year of new discoveries, travelling and tasting widely in order to source fresh and different wines for La Vigna. This year I also had the privilege of sharing these discoveries with all of you through La Vigna’s blog.

I started 2014 with a trip to the United States, where I scoured the wine bars and wine stores of New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia for wine’s next big thing. What I found in New York was a new love affair with American Rye Whiskey and the revival of an old flame – Riesling. In Brooklyn I stopped by a well known wine shop called UVA to check in on another international trend – natural wines. Natural wines are made with as minimal intervention from the producer as possible and are generally cloudy and unsulphured. I followed this trend to Paris later in the year when I dined at the famous Le Chateaubriand (I hate to brag – I’ll try to stop!). Next door to the bistro, their wine shop ‘Le Cave’ houses rows of bottles on the walls and has a focus on natural wines. France also held the bounties of Burgundy and Champagne and although I missed the festivities of Beaujolais Nouveau Day, I tasted my fair share of Beaujolais too.

Then it was on to Italy for the enormous trade show Vin Italy and here I uncovered another trend for 2014 – the emergence of regional Italian wines, particularly from Sicily, Piedmont and Tuscany. It’s no longer a surprise for me to hear customers requesting Sicilian wines like Nero d’avola or Frappato; this trend has definitely reached Perth. In fact, wine is growing more diverse and reaching us from more parts of the world than ever before. As I explored on the blog back in May, Greece, China, England, Uruguay and Morocco are some of the more unusual countries producing wines for an ever more eager international (including Australian) market. Finally, craft beer (as well as the growth of ciders and ginger beer) has been a strong trend for the last 18 months, with no end in sight.

All of these wine trends tend toward a wider trend: that the world of wine is becoming more susceptible to trends! Historically, the traditional wine grape varieties have held sway all over the world but in the last 20 to 30 years consumers have had a growing interest in discovering new grape varieties, new regions and new producers. Undoubtedly this is related to increasing wealth and travel, especially for Australians. Whatever the reason, wine has now joined the ranks of fashion and music, where new trends emerge every season. As for me, I love reminding people about that which is not currently in fashion but still carries on being fabulous until its turn in the spotlight again… wine styles like Sherry, spirits like Grappa and grape varieties like Viognier.

Not all of my travel this year was international – I worked hard experiencing vintage for the first time at the outstanding Laughing Jack Winery in the Barossa and popped round the corner to help judge the Swan Valley Wine Show. Closer to home we’ve also learned how to love aged wine together on the blog, including exploring how to create and stock your own cellar.

Wow. It’s been a busy and exciting year! As 2014 ends, I’m looking forward to winding down and chilling out with friends and family over good wine and food. I wish the same for you this Christmas and thankyou for taking the time to read The Secret Cellar this year – I’ve loved sharing my adventures with you. If you have any thoughts about what you’d like to learn about wine in 2015 please let me know in the comments, I appreciate any feedback you have to offer. Merry Christmas!

The Secret Cellar Christmas 2014 Mixed Dozen

I have put together a very special mixed dozen for your Christmas festivities for just $299.

We start with a French Champagne, Prince Laurent Brut NV, to welcome your guests, followed by Pommier Petit Chablis, which has a crisp, mineral edge to get the palate started for the feast to follow.  Also included is a bottle of Woods Crampton Rose, a zippy Pinot Gris La Boheme from the Yarra Valley, a crunchy Chenin, Rusden of the Barossa and, sunshine in a glass, Brash Higgins Zibibbo. Onto reds, a juicy Sangiovese Merlot Cab blend by Carpe Diem from Margaret River is followed by Aristocratico Valplicella from Veneto and Manso Tempranillo from Spain. Seppelts Original Sparkling Shiraz will complement the Christmas ham and turkey and to finish a lush and viscous Pedro Ximenez Conde de la Cortina to drink with your Christmas sweet delights! Last but not least a 650ml bottle of Rogue Santas Private Reserve Beer to relax with on Boxing Day…

Wines in the Christmas Dozen

1 bottle of each of the following:

  • Champagne Prince Laurent Brut NV
  • Pommier Petit Chablis
  • Woods Crampton Rose
  • La Boheme Pinot Gris
  • Rusden Chenin
  • Brash Higgins Zibibbo
  • Carpe Diem Decantanto Sangiovese Merlot Cabernet
  • Aristocratico Valpolicella
  • Manso Tempranillo
  • Seppelts Original Sparkling Shiraz
  • Conde de la Cortina Pedro Ximenez
  • Rogue Santas Private Reserve Beer


You can order more than one mixed dozen, but the selection of wines is fixed as listed above. Order by opening the Wine order form below and once you have submitted your request, I’ll be in touch to arrange payment. 

**Please pre order to ensure your Christmas dozen is ready for collection before the big day. Please note this offer is pick up from La Vigna only – delivery is not available**

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