Wine trends in UK in 2024 and new Master of Wine

I’ve been into wine since I was about 6 years old – my grandparents had a small vineyard and were making their own wine (as well as spirits, a form of Eau-de-Vie from home grown plums and apricots) in their garage. They were making what we would now call Natural and Orange wines. Even from that early age I was fascinated by the whole process but I was also expected to help and was put to work in the vineyard picking grapes. I loved it, being at the centre of things, nature had done its part, now it was up to us.

There is something fascinating about watching things being made from scratch – grapes growing in the vineyard, pruning, harvesting the grapes, arrival of the crop at the winery, selecting through them, destemming, crushing, fermenting, making sure nothing goes wrong in the process, then bottling it and sharing it with people.

My granddad was a cooper by trade. I used to watch him craft the barrels (how the staves would be shaped, the fire, the toasting process), such a fascinating process. There is a certain smell that comes from the oak of a new barrel, which has stayed in my memory. I was recently reminded of this when my husband, who is a musician, brought home a new Martin acoustic guitar. On taking it out of the case, I was instantly reminded of this aroma - needless to say, he did not see this as especially complimentary!

In our house there is a fair amount of music and wine (with additional volume added by the kids). It’s a lively place. As I write this blog piece, I am being kept company with a glass of the single vineyard Sandro de Bruno Soave Superiore Monte San Piero, it’s from a tiny 1.5 hectare parcel and one of our top producers. I am loving this wine.  

I don’t think there was ever any doubt about what I wanted to do as a career. The influence of growing up around vines, wines and barrels meant that as soon as I finished university and an MBA degree in London, I immediately sought work in the wine industry.

I started out working for various small wine importers in London before joining Vinopolis (the wine museum), then Liberty Wines and most recently Oddbins. I’ve loved every minute of it, from being on the shop floor and then moving into wine buying. And somewhere along the way I managed to find the time to pass my Master of Wine qualification by 2016.

I’ve spent over 20 years in the wine industry so far, time flies when you’re having fun. I’ve joined the Amathus team as Head of Wine Business Development. I’ll be helping to raise the wine profile of the business whilst working closely with the trade and retail teams to drive wine sales across both parts of the company. I’m also really looking forward to developing training and events programmes for all parts of the business, in partnership with suppliers and regional bodies. There are so many exciting stories for us to tell. After only a few weeks I’m struck by how different each day is.

So how are people engaging with wine right now? Generally speaking, they’re drinking less, they’re re going out less regularly and when purchasing for drinking at home, they want an experience from the wine. They are interested in trying something different but the wine really needs to deliver on all levels – the quality, the packaging, the story.

The interest in Crémant has been around for a while but is growing steadily: such fabulous flavours, all the precision of producing Champagne and great value for money. There is an increasingly strong following for Organic/ Vegan wines and Low and No alcohol across all categories is gaining traction. A move away from heavier reds towards lighter, more food friendly wines is also gathering pace.

Amathus has a great choice of sparkling wines, recently I discovered a very interesting Crémant de Luxembourg – Bernard-Massard Millésimé Brut,our Head of wine Jeremy Lithgow MW, enjoyed it so much he had it at his wedding!

I simply love the white wines we carry from the volcanic soils of the Azores, namely the Branco Vulcanico. – it’s such an interesting wine, with saline, citrus flavours but an impressive focus and intensity on the palate.

There must be something in the volcanic soils that strikes a chord with me as I am equally excited about Assyrtiko the Artemis Karamolegos 34 in Santorini is such a treat, (from decreasing yields and more limited every year).

Quick fact on volcanic soils - vines are some of the few crops that grow in volcanic soils, the roots need to grow deep into the ground to reach for minerals and nutrients. Roots in Santorini can go as deep as 20m under the ground! Part of the vine under the ground can be up to 400 years old as the volcanic soil is resistant to Phylloxera!

Another favourite I’ve recently tried is Jana Provima Verdicchio di Matellica, a delicious wine, with honeyed notes, peach and mid-weight on the palate, it has recently had new packaging and is looking as great as it tastes.

On the lighter reds a must try is the Puddu Tiscali Cannonau di Sardegna (Organic / Vegan) – very moreish, mid-weight, floral with wild berries and rose petals.

A wine that really stands out is the Paritua Stone Paddock Scarlet, a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which has such a beautiful velvety tannin structure, very complex and a touch of spice. Pedroncelli Mother Clone Sonoma Zinfandel was a great surprise, it comes from very old vines - think plums, dark cherries, spice, chocolate, smoky oak and vanilla.

So many exciting and varied wines. I’m looking forward to discovering more and bringing the stories they have to tell to life for our customers!


Wines to try that Ana is enjoying from our range