The Chilean people prefer fresher wines with less alcoholJune, 4 2015

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Tastes have been changing in Chile and, with them, people's wine preferences. In recent years, some varieties and grapes have gained ground, while others have become less important. The styles of wine have been evolving too towards fresher, lower alcohol styles with less oak-ageing.

Although Cabernet Sauvignon is still Chile's favourite, it has been decreasing as a proportion of total consumption, making room for other varieties and for sparkling wine.

These are the findings of a survey of sommeliers carried out by the Association of Sommeliers of Chile in conjunction with Viña Ventisquero, revealing the main changes and trends in Chilean wine consumption.

One of the varieties which has been growing in importance is Carménère, which is now Chile's second favourite red variety, after Cabernet Sauvignon. Meanwhile, Merlot, which used to be in second place, has been losing favour in recent years.

There are key changes too in white wine consumption. Sauvignon Blanc is now the firm favourite, displacing Chardonnay, which was number one ten years ago.

According to the survey, the freshest wines, with lower alcohol and less wood have gradually been winning over more people in Chile.