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The Best Wines To Drink In 2022

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Which wines are people looking forward to enjoying most in 2022? Every year I ask a group of top writers and sommeliers to forget about trends and predictions and say what they personally want to drink more of in the next year. After two years of the world being upside-down people seem to be turning to sparkling wines for comfort, but also doing deeper dives into lesser-known areas of popular regions, such as Montecucco in Tuscany and The Aube in Champagne. See which choices inspire you for trying something new in 2022.  (And also check out The Best Spirits And Cocktails To Drink In 2022.)

Lesser Known Appellations of Burgundy — Lauren Mowery, Travel Editor, Wine Enthusiast Magazine

As someone who has shied away from the wines of Bourgogne due to high prices, I was pleased to moderate a panel of Bourgogne winemakers last year for Wine Enthusiast. The topic: finding value beyond the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits in lesser known appellations. We discussed the Mâconnais, the Côte Chalonnaise, as well as the Grand Auxerrois, where heavenly expressions of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir can be explored at down-to-earth prices. I’m looking forward to drinking more of these wines in 2022. 

Ancient World — Yannick Benjamin: Sommelier, Contento Restaurant, Wheeling Forward

Within the last year I have taken a deep interest in the Wines of The Ancient World. I created a section on the Contento Wine List completely devoted to this fascinating world of antiquity. Places such as Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, Cyprus, Israel and Lebanon are the cradle of wine civilization that goes back 8,000 years. I will continue my quest to fully understand this important part of the wine world and its indigenous varieties such as Voskehat, Tsolikauri, Narince, Xynisteri, and Merwah. In order to understand the present we must understand the past. 

Small Format Bottles and Cans — Julia Coney, Writer, Black Wine Professionals

I’m looking forward to drinking more small format bottles and cans. These wines have improved over the past few years and I’m interested in discovering some hidden gems from around the world.

Crémant d’Alsace — Matthew Kaner, SOMM TV Network

In 2022 I can assure you I’ll be popping a lot of bubbles, and though I’m a Champagne lover, I will be drinking a whole lot more Crémant d’Alsace! The AOC was established in 1976, but the history goes back to 1900 when the area was still being tossed back and forth between France & Germany. The importance of generational family farming operations, and its rich diversity of terroir with 51 distinct Grand Crus make Alsace a region we all need to incorporate more into our weekly drinking!

Bordeaux with New Varieties — Deborah Parker Wong, SOMM Journal

In 2022 I’ll be teaching a semester-long class on the wines of France and I’m looking forward to tasting Bordeaux blends that include any of the recently approved new varieties: Alvarinho, Petit Manseng and the unicorn grape, Liliorilia. It’s not likely that I’ll be able to taste Liliorilia as a mono-varietal wine but I’m curious about what it will contribute to a Bordeaux blend.

Pfalz and Xinomarvo — Brent Kroll, Maxwell Park

In 2022 I’ll be enjoying wines from Pfalz, especially the Pinot Noir. I was able to visit Pfalz this year and they were showing how the climate there for Pinot is similar to Burgundy 30 years ago. They have a list of top producers longer than a CVS receipt. The wines are typically ageable and have great value. Keep an eye out for Rebholz, Chrismann, Pfeffingen, von Winning, Rings, Krebs, Schwedhelm, and Julg if you haven’t had them.  

I’ll also be enjoying Xinomarvo from Greece. This has the structure of Nebbiolo and a lot of the aromatics of Mourvedre from Bandol. I love the power and the salty olive tapenade notes. I open up a bottle of this with a little age for just about any wine drinker. There are nine clones of Xinomavro with the best typically but not always coming from Amydeon and Naoussa. Delamaras, Katsaros, Foundi, Alpha, Kir Yianni, Diaporos, Karydas and Aregatia are ones to drink or lay down.  

Small Wineries — Victoria James, Cote

With the launch of our Cote Wine Club, I am constantly scavenging the market for hidden gems to bring to our subscribers. I’m looking forward to drinking a lot of these rare wines with the club—we are now having small wineries put aside whole vintages and cuvées for us. As a sommelier, I’m so fortunate to be able to drink the new and coolest wines, but it makes it’s even more special when we are able to share our exclusive access with guests.

Montecucco and Austrian Sparkling — Clive Pursehouse, Peloton Magazine

In 2022 I’ll be saying “make mine a Montecucco!” Sangiovese from Montecucco is what I’m talking ’bout. This small region nestled in the Maremma, between the Brunello di Montalcino and Morellino di Scansano makes a range of Sangiovese based wines that pack all that fresh red fruit and structure we love but really go easy on the wallet. While Tuscany is already so well established, finding an off the radar option that offers a different terroir for the beloved Sangiovese from small family-owned wineries. 

A wine style called Sekt offers an array of puns to choose from, but Austria offers more than just the pun-worthy style of sparkler. Their stricter quality standards than their German neighbors mean that Sekt is certainly more than just quaffable1. Sekt can be dead sexy of course (forgive me), Austria’s answer to top tier bubbles, the Grosse Reserve and Reserve are particularly good, but the Austrians make so many great natural wines. Meinklang of course is a global favorite, in addition to the traditionally made Sekts there are plenty of good Pet-Nats to get after from Austrian producers as well.

Romainan Wines — Wanda Mann, SOMM Journal

I haven’t traveled abroad since 2019 — wine and spirits have been my passport to far-flung places during the pandemic. So, I’m not setting any limits or restrictions on what wines I’ll taste in 2022, I want to try them all! I’ve been drinking more Sherry lately and want to dive deeper in the new year. I recently attended a Romanian wine tasting in New York City and I was fascinated by the rich history and character of the wines. Spanish wines have always been a favorite, but I’ve recently tasted some excellent wines from the Canary Islands and will continue to seek them out. Italian wines continue to captivate me, and the volcanic wines of Etna are especially intriguing. And traditional method sparkling wines, from all corners of the world, will always capture my attention. 

Cornas — Alice Feiring, Writer, Author of To Fall in Love, Drink This

I’m looking forward to inspiration. I’m really in the mood for old Cornas. Smoky, earthy, hint of horse sweat and a whole lot of place. Please send. 

Grower Champagne from The Aube — Treve Ring, Writer

Well, has there ever been a better time in to drink champagne? Specifically grower champagne from the small producers that would feel the brunt of 2021s crazy frosted/flooded/mildewed vintage the most. I’m particularly keen on producers in the Aube, the long-neglected south, who are finally getting their turn to shine with their unique limestone laced soils.

Burgundy — Vicki Denig, Writer

This year, I’m looking forward to drinking a lot more Champagne and Burgundy – if the past two (!) years have taught us anything, it’s that life’s too short and most definitely worth celebrating. Find hidden gems, drink the good stuff, and don’t be afraid to splurge within reason.

Champagne, Tequila and Sake — Sarah Blau, San Francisco Wine Trading Company

I’m not overly picky about what I drink, but if I am asked what I want in my glass 1 of 3 options will come out: Champagne/Bubbly or Sake or Reposado Tequila. Each fits a different mood, but no matter what, after a sip of any of them, a big smile of satisfaction spreads across my face. After two years of isolation, I am going to continue to drink what brings joy into my life and so should you.

Alto Adige — Yolanda Shoshana, Writer

I’m looking forward to wine from Alto Adige. The wines make me feel like I’m in the Alps in Italy sipping wine.

California Sauvignon Blanc — Tim Teichgraeber, Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book

My work has me mostly focused on California wines, and I continue to be thrilled by the cool climate Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah coming off the Sonoma Coast and Anderson Valley from producers like MacRostie, Drew, Baxter, Littorai, and Fort Ross. 2020 was a disastrous vintage for North Coast red wines because of smoke taint, but the 2020 Sauvignon Blancs that were picked before the wildfires are insanely good. Sauvignon Blanc is probably my favorite white variety, and I really like how California wineries are coalescing around a sunny but crisp and unoaked style. I’m also looking forward to touring the Loire Valley in April and tasting a lot more Sauvignon Blanc there.

If this whole Champagne shortage rumor turns out to be true, I’ll be perfectly happy with sparkling wines from Roederer Estate, Domaine Carneros, Schramsberg, and Gloria Ferrer. Now that many American Zinfandel producers are making less ripe, more balanced wines I think the category is actually exciting again. One thing that California still doesn’t often do really well is medium-weight red wines. A friend turned me on to an incredible Susumaniello from Masseria Li Veli in Puglia, and I definitely want more. I’m also a sucker for a good Valpolicella Ripasso from Veneto, Travaligni Gattinara from Piemonte, or Frappato from Sicily.

I CliviPaige Farrell, Writer, Sommelier

2022 on the verge, and I am, as e.e. cummings wrote, “locked in foreverish time’s tide at poise.” I am remembering a visit to Italian winery I Clivi in the sleepy town of Corno di Rosazzo not far from the Slovenian border, within Friuli Venezia Giulia. Bud burst has just begun when I arrived and the precursor sap still glistened on the vines. Here, where gentle rolling hills of vineyards keep time with fruit trees on the verge of intoxicating bloom, it’s impossible not to take grateful pause. The wines of late winemaker Ferdinando Zanusso and his son Mario epitomize grace and purity, especially their elegant, sparkling “RBL”, made with Ribolla Gialla. A single vineyard, nuanced, herbal white made with Tocai Friulano, the Brazan Bianco, with several years bottle age, offers both complexity and verve. With these charmed muses, I will contemplate gratitude and new beginnings! 

Northern Rhône Syrah — Lauren Daddona, Sommelier 

2022 will be the year of Northern Rhône Syrah. I am craving wines of impact and personality — but I am not willing to sacrifice freshness. This is Syrah that clocks in closer to 13% than 15% abv and has loads of heady aromatics: savory, floral & spice. Syrah is inherently intense and in the right hands maintains a vibrancy on the palate that is essential to the mission! Cornas particularly has been commanding my attention, fiercely unapologetic – and bring it on! Truth be told, it will be an open invite for all appellations, and I’ll particularly relish the opportunity to seek out bottles from Collines Rhodaniennes or Côtes du Rhône from superstar Syrah producers like Rostaing, Voge and Jamet.

The Whole Picture — Pascaline Lepeltier, Sommelier, MOF

For next year, I will sound rebarbative but my focus will still be on finding and supporting vigneronnes and vignerons who are writing the present and the possible future of the wine industry, wherever they are, whatever they grow. The ones that are looking first and foremost about how to preserve their land and give back as much as they take in a win-and-win contract with their vineyards, the ones who are creating and supporting labor structure where we ever work can not only make a decent living, but also thrive and grow, the ones who are observing what need to change and evolve in order to make the most expressive wine from their place. There are more and more of them, everywhere, including in traditional areas like Bordeaux (with few replanting a lot of the old, indigenous grape varieties like Bouchales ou Mancin, working on seedings, etc.) or in Beaujolais (with the trials with old and new hybrids). Most of the dynamic comes from areas with less financial pressure where creativity is possible, and it is really exciting to see the multiple ways these ideas can be incarnated into agro-ecological farming supported by scientific research like 30 natural wineries in Italy with VinNatur, permaculture, practical school or new co-op system (like the Kalche wine project in Vermont). So all in all, time to stop being a label-drinker and to cherish the chance of being a drinker and a supporter of alive, real wine.




Which wines are people looking forward to enjoying most in 2022? Every year I ask a group of top writers and sommeliers to forget about trends and predictions and say what they personally want to drink more of in the next year. After two years of the world being upside-down people seem to be turning to sparkling wines for comfort, but also doing deeper dives into lesser-known areas of popular regions, such as Montecucco in Tuscany and The Aube in Champagne. See which choices inspire you for trying something new in 2022.  (And also check out The Best Spirits And Cocktails To Drink In 2022.)

Lesser Known Appellations of Burgundy — Lauren Mowery, Travel Editor, Wine Enthusiast Magazine

As someone who has shied away from the wines of Bourgogne due to high prices, I was pleased to moderate a panel of Bourgogne winemakers last year for Wine Enthusiast. The topic: finding value beyond the Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits in lesser known appellations. We discussed the Mâconnais, the Côte Chalonnaise, as well as the Grand Auxerrois, where heavenly expressions of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir can be explored at down-to-earth prices. I’m looking forward to drinking more of these wines in 2022. 

Ancient World — Yannick Benjamin: Sommelier, Contento Restaurant, Wheeling Forward

Within the last year I have taken a deep interest in the Wines of The Ancient World. I created a section on the Contento Wine List completely devoted to this fascinating world of antiquity. Places such as Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, Cyprus, Israel and Lebanon are the cradle of wine civilization that goes back 8,000 years. I will continue my quest to fully understand this important part of the wine world and its indigenous varieties such as Voskehat, Tsolikauri, Narince, Xynisteri, and Merwah. In order to understand the present we must understand the past. 

Small Format Bottles and Cans — Julia Coney, Writer, Black Wine Professionals

I’m looking forward to drinking more small format bottles and cans. These wines have improved over the past few years and I’m interested in discovering some hidden gems from around the world.

Crémant d’Alsace — Matthew Kaner, SOMM TV Network

In 2022 I can assure you I’ll be popping a lot of bubbles, and though I’m a Champagne lover, I will be drinking a whole lot more Crémant d’Alsace! The AOC was established in 1976, but the history goes back to 1900 when the area was still being tossed back and forth between France & Germany. The importance of generational family farming operations, and its rich diversity of terroir with 51 distinct Grand Crus make Alsace a region we all need to incorporate more into our weekly drinking!

Bordeaux with New Varieties — Deborah Parker Wong, SOMM Journal

In 2022 I’ll be teaching a semester-long class on the wines of France and I’m looking forward to tasting Bordeaux blends that include any of the recently approved new varieties: Alvarinho, Petit Manseng and the unicorn grape, Liliorilia. It’s not likely that I’ll be able to taste Liliorilia as a mono-varietal wine but I’m curious about what it will contribute to a Bordeaux blend.

Pfalz and Xinomarvo — Brent Kroll, Maxwell Park

In 2022 I’ll be enjoying wines from Pfalz, especially the Pinot Noir. I was able to visit Pfalz this year and they were showing how the climate there for Pinot is similar to Burgundy 30 years ago. They have a list of top producers longer than a CVS receipt. The wines are typically ageable and have great value. Keep an eye out for Rebholz, Chrismann, Pfeffingen, von Winning, Rings, Krebs, Schwedhelm, and Julg if you haven’t had them.  

I’ll also be enjoying Xinomarvo from Greece. This has the structure of Nebbiolo and a lot of the aromatics of Mourvedre from Bandol. I love the power and the salty olive tapenade notes. I open up a bottle of this with a little age for just about any wine drinker. There are nine clones of Xinomavro with the best typically but not always coming from Amydeon and Naoussa. Delamaras, Katsaros, Foundi, Alpha, Kir Yianni, Diaporos, Karydas and Aregatia are ones to drink or lay down.  

Small Wineries — Victoria James, Cote

With the launch of our Cote Wine Club, I am constantly scavenging the market for hidden gems to bring to our subscribers. I’m looking forward to drinking a lot of these rare wines with the club—we are now having small wineries put aside whole vintages and cuvées for us. As a sommelier, I’m so fortunate to be able to drink the new and coolest wines, but it makes it’s even more special when we are able to share our exclusive access with guests.

Montecucco and Austrian Sparkling — Clive Pursehouse, Peloton Magazine

In 2022 I’ll be saying “make mine a Montecucco!” Sangiovese from Montecucco is what I’m talking ’bout. This small region nestled in the Maremma, between the Brunello di Montalcino and Morellino di Scansano makes a range of Sangiovese based wines that pack all that fresh red fruit and structure we love but really go easy on the wallet. While Tuscany is already so well established, finding an off the radar option that offers a different terroir for the beloved Sangiovese from small family-owned wineries. 

A wine style called Sekt offers an array of puns to choose from, but Austria offers more than just the pun-worthy style of sparkler. Their stricter quality standards than their German neighbors mean that Sekt is certainly more than just quaffable1. Sekt can be dead sexy of course (forgive me), Austria’s answer to top tier bubbles, the Grosse Reserve and Reserve are particularly good, but the Austrians make so many great natural wines. Meinklang of course is a global favorite, in addition to the traditionally made Sekts there are plenty of good Pet-Nats to get after from Austrian producers as well.

Romainan Wines — Wanda Mann, SOMM Journal

I haven’t traveled abroad since 2019 — wine and spirits have been my passport to far-flung places during the pandemic. So, I’m not setting any limits or restrictions on what wines I’ll taste in 2022, I want to try them all! I’ve been drinking more Sherry lately and want to dive deeper in the new year. I recently attended a Romanian wine tasting in New York City and I was fascinated by the rich history and character of the wines. Spanish wines have always been a favorite, but I’ve recently tasted some excellent wines from the Canary Islands and will continue to seek them out. Italian wines continue to captivate me, and the volcanic wines of Etna are especially intriguing. And traditional method sparkling wines, from all corners of the world, will always capture my attention. 

Cornas — Alice Feiring, Writer, Author of To Fall in Love, Drink This

I’m looking forward to inspiration. I’m really in the mood for old Cornas. Smoky, earthy, hint of horse sweat and a whole lot of place. Please send. 

Grower Champagne from The Aube — Treve Ring, Writer

Well, has there ever been a better time in to drink champagne? Specifically grower champagne from the small producers that would feel the brunt of 2021s crazy frosted/flooded/mildewed vintage the most. I’m particularly keen on producers in the Aube, the long-neglected south, who are finally getting their turn to shine with their unique limestone laced soils.

Burgundy — Vicki Denig, Writer

This year, I’m looking forward to drinking a lot more Champagne and Burgundy – if the past two (!) years have taught us anything, it’s that life’s too short and most definitely worth celebrating. Find hidden gems, drink the good stuff, and don’t be afraid to splurge within reason.

Champagne, Tequila and Sake — Sarah Blau, San Francisco Wine Trading Company

I’m not overly picky about what I drink, but if I am asked what I want in my glass 1 of 3 options will come out: Champagne/Bubbly or Sake or Reposado Tequila. Each fits a different mood, but no matter what, after a sip of any of them, a big smile of satisfaction spreads across my face. After two years of isolation, I am going to continue to drink what brings joy into my life and so should you.

Alto Adige — Yolanda Shoshana, Writer

I’m looking forward to wine from Alto Adige. The wines make me feel like I’m in the Alps in Italy sipping wine.

California Sauvignon Blanc — Tim Teichgraeber, Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book

My work has me mostly focused on California wines, and I continue to be thrilled by the cool climate Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah coming off the Sonoma Coast and Anderson Valley from producers like MacRostie, Drew, Baxter, Littorai, and Fort Ross. 2020 was a disastrous vintage for North Coast red wines because of smoke taint, but the 2020 Sauvignon Blancs that were picked before the wildfires are insanely good. Sauvignon Blanc is probably my favorite white variety, and I really like how California wineries are coalescing around a sunny but crisp and unoaked style. I’m also looking forward to touring the Loire Valley in April and tasting a lot more Sauvignon Blanc there.

If this whole Champagne shortage rumor turns out to be true, I’ll be perfectly happy with sparkling wines from Roederer Estate, Domaine Carneros, Schramsberg, and Gloria Ferrer. Now that many American Zinfandel producers are making less ripe, more balanced wines I think the category is actually exciting again. One thing that California still doesn’t often do really well is medium-weight red wines. A friend turned me on to an incredible Susumaniello from Masseria Li Veli in Puglia, and I definitely want more. I’m also a sucker for a good Valpolicella Ripasso from Veneto, Travaligni Gattinara from Piemonte, or Frappato from Sicily.

I CliviPaige Farrell, Writer, Sommelier

2022 on the verge, and I am, as e.e. cummings wrote, “locked in foreverish time’s tide at poise.” I am remembering a visit to Italian winery I Clivi in the sleepy town of Corno di Rosazzo not far from the Slovenian border, within Friuli Venezia Giulia. Bud burst has just begun when I arrived and the precursor sap still glistened on the vines. Here, where gentle rolling hills of vineyards keep time with fruit trees on the verge of intoxicating bloom, it’s impossible not to take grateful pause. The wines of late winemaker Ferdinando Zanusso and his son Mario epitomize grace and purity, especially their elegant, sparkling “RBL”, made with Ribolla Gialla. A single vineyard, nuanced, herbal white made with Tocai Friulano, the Brazan Bianco, with several years bottle age, offers both complexity and verve. With these charmed muses, I will contemplate gratitude and new beginnings! 

Northern Rhône Syrah — Lauren Daddona, Sommelier 

2022 will be the year of Northern Rhône Syrah. I am craving wines of impact and personality — but I am not willing to sacrifice freshness. This is Syrah that clocks in closer to 13% than 15% abv and has loads of heady aromatics: savory, floral & spice. Syrah is inherently intense and in the right hands maintains a vibrancy on the palate that is essential to the mission! Cornas particularly has been commanding my attention, fiercely unapologetic – and bring it on! Truth be told, it will be an open invite for all appellations, and I’ll particularly relish the opportunity to seek out bottles from Collines Rhodaniennes or Côtes du Rhône from superstar Syrah producers like Rostaing, Voge and Jamet.

The Whole Picture — Pascaline Lepeltier, Sommelier, MOF

For next year, I will sound rebarbative but my focus will still be on finding and supporting vigneronnes and vignerons who are writing the present and the possible future of the wine industry, wherever they are, whatever they grow. The ones that are looking first and foremost about how to preserve their land and give back as much as they take in a win-and-win contract with their vineyards, the ones who are creating and supporting labor structure where we ever work can not only make a decent living, but also thrive and grow, the ones who are observing what need to change and evolve in order to make the most expressive wine from their place. There are more and more of them, everywhere, including in traditional areas like Bordeaux (with few replanting a lot of the old, indigenous grape varieties like Bouchales ou Mancin, working on seedings, etc.) or in Beaujolais (with the trials with old and new hybrids). Most of the dynamic comes from areas with less financial pressure where creativity is possible, and it is really exciting to see the multiple ways these ideas can be incarnated into agro-ecological farming supported by scientific research like 30 natural wineries in Italy with VinNatur, permaculture, practical school or new co-op system (like the Kalche wine project in Vermont). So all in all, time to stop being a label-drinker and to cherish the chance of being a drinker and a supporter of alive, real wine.

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