5 hottest wines of 2019 according to Maple & Ash Wine Director Amy Mundwiler


Wanting to expand your wine list or wine palate? Could these five hottest wines of 2019 become your next wine obsession?

Experimenting with wine doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Sometimes the hottest wines are just one shelf over from your favorite bottle. With a little nudge, sense of adventure or just a little curiousity, a new favorite wine could be waiting to be discovered.

Maple & Ash, the Chicago restaurant home to two-star Michelin chef Danny Grant, offers an innovative approach to the traditional steakhouse. The wood fire cooking adds nuanced flavor to its robust menu. From traditional steaks to flavorful seafood, the menu is approachable yet elevated.

Additionally, Maple & Ash has a celebrated wine program. Considered a world’s best by Wine Spectator, the wine program looks to push the envelope in wine choices. From unexpected locales to new takes on old favorites, her list of recommended wines balances approachable with innovative.

Although many guests to Maple & Ash are foodies and wine enthusiasts, her recommended wines aren’t just for the developed wine palate. All of these wine are approachable for the casual wine drinker or the person who wants to explore wine.

Here are Amy Mundwiler’s five hottest wines for 2019.

5 hottest wines of 2019, recommended by Amy Mundwiler, photo provided by Maple & Ash

Kumeu River Single Vineyard Chardonnays (Auckland, New Zealand)

Chardonnays can be divisive with the casual wine drinker. This particular New Zealand Chardonnay can get people to let go of their preconceived notions. Mundwiler said, “Next time someone lets me choose their bottle, I’ll present one of these to them blind–sometimes that’s the best way to open people’s minds to something new.”

She describes the wine as “beautiful acidity” but also “round and lush.” When thinking about pairing this wine with some of the restaurant’s dishes, she recommends roasted or cold seafood. More specifically, a Dover sole with fresh green vegetables and a butter sauce would offer a lovely pairing.

Parpette Cedric wines (Côte-Rôtie, Rhone, France)

While French wines are often popular choices, this particular wine maker is a lovely discovery. With the harsh winter, more people are looking to hearty stews, juicy steaks and heavier foods to satisfy. This Syrah wine stands up to the heavier, robust foods.

For this wine, the flavors are a little floral but also spicy. Additionally, dark fruit is a strong flavor. Combined these wines stand up to the hearty, winter foods.

Occidental Pinot Noirs (Sonoma Coast, California)

Sometimes a wine is wonderful due to the care of an expert vintner. Due to the knowledge and passion from Steve Kistler, Occidental wines are a must try. When such craft goes into making a wine, each bottle is almost perfection.

Thinking about this wine, Mundwiler recommends some earthy flavored foods. Mushrooms and decadent truffles would pair nicely with this Pinot Noir. For a lighter option, consider a tartare or even a pasta with white sauce.

Pilcrow Cabernet Sauvignon from Mount Veeder. (Napa Valley, California)

Napa cabs have a long, rich history. Frog’s Leap wines are part of that wine tradition. Many people are drawn to the big, bold flavors of the regions iconic red wine. In this case, this particular wine is considered both elegant and pretty.

Aside from the fact I’m already a huge fan of Jonah Beer and the Frog’s Leap wines, Pilcrow is such an elegant and pretty wine coming from Mount Veeder.

Carpenter Pinot Noir / Hawkes Cabernet (West Sonoma, California)

Sometimes a personal connection can bring people together with wine. For Mundwiler, she fell in love with the location before even sipping on this particular wines. Whether it is the beautifully aged wine or the connection to the area, she considered these wines an absolute pleasure to drink.

For the Hawkes Cabernet, Mundwiler recommends pairing this wine with some rich, meaty red wine based sauces. Even the mother sauce, bordelaise, would make a delightful play with this wine.

Regarding the Carpenter Pinot Noir, she recommends a variety of dishes. Options like chicken, lamb and even some hearty fishes could stand up to this particular wine.

Thank you to Maple & Ash’s wine director, Amy Mundwiler for sharing her wine knowledge and suggestions. All of the wines are available at the restaurant. Maple & Ash is located in Chicago, Illinois.

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Have you tried any of these five hottest wines of 2019? What is your favorite wine that you are drinking for 2019?