While imbibing sufficient quantities will certainly impact your rhythm, funky wine earned its moniker through its smell. As Jay McInerney put it, funky wine has an aroma like a “barnyard funk that suggested a lack of hygiene in the wine cellar.”
This may not sound like a ringing endorsement, but hype around funky wine, also known as natural wine, has been growing for the last two years and is continuing to blossom.
Could this new funky wine grow to become a valuable asset? Read on to learn more about funky wine and whether it will be toppling some of the finest wines of the world.
Funky fad or serious investment contender?
Among many important factors, older wine tends to be more expensive because of the strict time, patience and storage requirements demanded by fine wine inspection rules. Time is particularly critical in the wine investment game; experts say 7-10 years is the minimum amount needed to make fine wine investment meaningful.
As recent wine investment figures show, fine wines like Petit Mouton 2011 and Krug, Vintage Brut 1990 have been at the top of the investment charts for the past five years. Needless to say, popular new funky wines won’t be changing the boards anytime soon. But could they eventually?
The explosion of interest in craft beers has seen experimental brewing practices and unusual flavours hitting bars and shelves around the world. It should come as no surprise that there is an audience getting excited about similarly unorthodox approaches to making wine. But some wine connoisseurs think that the natural practices shouldn’t be taken seriously or treated as a long term wine investment and funky wine will just stay as a niche craze.
In a wine trends article on Country & Townhouse, the assistant buyer for wine and spirits at Fortnum & Mason, Jehan Sacaze said that the natural wine market will only stay as a niche market this year, whereas the best wines to invest in would include “the fairly classic grape varieties which come from Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne.”
The value of fine wines has risen by 20 percent in the last year, with vintage classics like DRC, Tache 2004 rising in value from £11,460 to £28,500, over five years.
Funky wine has divided wine connoisseurs
Over the years the funk has grown to become a popular addition to the wine world, but wine lovers are divided. Chris Howell, a winemaker at Cain Vineyard & Winery in Napa Valley said some winemakers would do anything in their power to eradicate the Brett microorganism which has a tendency to spread and settle wherever it is formed.
Whereas, oenology professor Dr. Linda Bisson always speaks fondly of funky wines, comparing some of the smells as similar to peppercorn, tobacco, smoked meat and pencil shavings, depending on the area or country the wine is produced.
Bisson adds, when talking about the character that funk creates for wine: “It seems that once people know that [a character] has nothing to do with the vineyard, or the vineyard site, and it’s an organism that’s taken up residence in your winery, they’re not so enamoured of it.”
Funky wines have an uphill battle to be taken as seriously as Bordeaux’s Cabernet Sauvignon or say, a fine Merlot.