When we want to know what's in or what trends are headed our way, we look to Berlin, London, Paris and, of course, New York. And so while reading an interesting food magazine article about current gastronomic trends in the Big Apple, I started thinking about whether the trends and synergies of the wine world are actually in line with those of food.
The article pointed out that what's currently “cooking” in New York mainly focuses on eating better and cheaper. This is great news, because as anyone familiar with the city knows, this was basically impossible unless you were going for fast food.
THE FOOD TRUCK REVOLUTION
Until recently, our only options at festivals, concerts or parks were basically hotdogs and hamburgers, along with beer or soft drinks. Now, on the other hand, we face an abundance of interesting foodie fare on wheels. The sandwich has gone gourmet, inspired by the classics of other cuisines and cultures. It is joined by an array of surprising choices beyond our wildest imagination... Plus, the added value of aesthetics, both in terms of container (the truck) and content (the actual food), and the fact that the options are much healthier and nutritious. Given how wine is also a much healthier option to go with this food, at Bodegas Torres we're proud to lead the way with two different Wine Trucks: a larger truck for big events like summer music festivals, and a vintage-style truck for smaller-scale events or summer street markets.
GOURMET FOOD COURTS
Shopping centers and malls across America (and by extension here) have food courts, spaces that concentrate all of the dining options in one place. Until now, we were greeted by the same choices everywhere: big fast food chains of every imaginable stripe. In New York, however, food courts are cropping up with eateries that serve the polar opposite of “junk food.” Some of the stalls are run by renowned chefs who design the menus and dishes and are directly involved in management. The result: specialized, healthy gourmet fare that is also reasonably priced.
In a way, we already have something similar here, which is also gaining popularity. Who hasn't heard of the San Miguel Market in Madrid or the Colón Market in Valencia, as well as others that offer exquisite food experiences while bringing new life to spaces like these old traditional markets? Wine is an essential element of the gourmet dining offered at these places. Not only are Bodegas Torres wines served at the aforementioned venues, but we also use these spaces to create events like our recent Valencia Torres Experience.
THE SINGLE-FOOD CONCEPT
Get ready for the arrival of a very unusual type of restaurant: super-niche spots dedicated to just one food. This doesn't refer to a culinary style as much as to the ingredients or the main ingredient they serve. A seafood restaurant does not fall into this category, but a restaurant dedicated exclusively to mussels in every shape or form does—and it has the potential of becoming a foodie hotspot.
Is it possible to identify a comparable trend in the wine world? Varietal wines have been around for a long time and have largely represented the winemaking style of the New World. Therefore, they probably don't make for the best point of comparison.
What is comparable to this hyper-specialization, however, is the current trend of reviving genuinely indigenous and certain heritage varieties and adding them to blends or making varietals that express this authenticity.
REASONABLE (AND I'D ADD AFFORDABLE) PRICES
The big-name chefs of the “city that never sleeps” have embraced these eateries, which are similar to our local gastrobars. They saw how their luxury restaurants weren't necessarily attracting a new, younger clientele—people who are developing a serious interest in gastronomy and don't shy away from etiquette, protocol or conventions.
Their new restaurant projects are more informal, with more laidback service, opening hours better suited to their new clientele, a shorter, but very selective wine list, and equally high quality in terms of food and wine. Even the great Alain Ducasse—whose two formal-style dining ventures in New York had not really caught on—finally succeeded with this formula.
Locally, we have the gastrobars or “second restaurants” of our most celebrated chefs. These have become so incredibly popular that getting a table on a Friday or Saturday night is an impressive feat. When it comes to wine, the focus here is clearly on local production, greater authenticity or wines with a story to tell; wines that have more going for them than a stylish label.
With the project 7 MAGNÍFICS Bodegas Torres is clearly moving in this direction. Our technical teams work with very select plots and enjoy great creative freedom. These wines offer a truly authentic expression of terroir in which tradition and modernity come together. They are small-scale productions with a modern look and a story to tell. Wines that are so good even the most renowned chefs and sommeliers are falling under their spell. Plus, they are unbelievably affordable for wines of such quality.
As you can see, in a way food and wine trends are heading in the same direction (at least conceptually speaking), even if they come to us from across the pond.