I can't remember the first time I wrote about how Sherry was going to be the next "big thing". Actually I can, it was back in 2003.

It never was though, was it?

And yet now I find myself back in that same position, predicting that Aunty Shirley's festive favourite is going to be the next must-have drink.

So says the latest J Walter Thompson Innovation Group report anyway - which lists it alongside purple sweet potato and pandan (no, I don't know either) as the three "hot" ingredients for 2018. Several wine suppliers are also reporting a significant increase in interest and, crucially, sales (see our feature "Breaking new terroir" in the January edition).

It's not really Aunty Shirley's favourite we are talking about here, though. It's not the sweet stuff we put in trifles but the dry sort, the Manzanillas and Finos. These should be served proper cold and in a decent sized wine glass, with tonic for a simple mixed drink or in cocktails.

In fact, the latter is why it is emerging as a hipster favourite – mixologists are fond of it these days, which is introducing a new audience to Sherry's somewhat unique taste.

Of course I can't guarantee that Sherry will be flying out of the fridge in 2018, in the same way I can't say for sure that pandan will be pirouetting out of the kitchen pass (oh, alright I looked it up like a proper journalist. It's a leaf used in southeast Asian cooking).

In fact drinks trends are about as hard to predict as Brexit negotiations – who forecast that Prosecco would pop up in the way it did? The Aperol Spritz? The Pornstar Martini?

However I'm a massive fan of Sherry, so I'm highlighting it here in the hope that finally - some 15 years on from my first columns on the subject - that this time the predictions are right.