We’ve almost made it to end of 2020, and what a ride! The best analogy of 2020 I’ve read is that it’s like looking both ways before crossing the road, and then getting hit by a submarine. After such a year, is it even worth making any New Year’s resolutions for 2021?
Well, we think YES! New challenges, new goals, new opportunities…..a perfect way to kick off a new year. However, instead of the usual plans for new diets, new exercise regimes or new hobbies, we think you’ll find our wine resolutions much easier to stick with.
BROADEN YOUR HORIZONS
Everyone has their favourite wines, and we've probably enjoyed them over Christmas. Now is the time to mix it up a bit, push yourself out of your wine comfort zone and taste something new! Find a new grape, a new region or even revisit a wine you weren’t fond of in the past. Wine (like your taste buds) is ever-changing and should always be approached with an open mind.
LEARN THE LINGO
There is some fantastic terminology in the wine world – bung hole never fails to raise a smile and I always find it bizarre when a wine is referred to as chewy. Set yourself a challenge of learning 10 new phrases and words that will help you better understand wines. Start with tannins, finish, lees, sec, terroir and why not look up bung hole and chewy as well! With a few well-placed phrases, you’ll soon sound like the wine expert we all aspire to be.
CREATE YOUR OWN WORLD TOUR 2021
Do you know the different between New World and Old World wines? There’s such an incredible variety of wines out there. Assign each month to a different region to give you a structure to exploring new regions. Include some of the better know countries (France, Spain, Germany) and then introduce some lesser-known (but amazing) wine from Greece, Croatia and Hungary.
Don’t discount wine made on your doorstep. English wine has come a long way from the home-made offerings, where the strength and flavour may have threatened your sight. Today, the English wine industry is producing internationally recognised, award-winning wines which are competing in the global marketplace. With over 500 vineyards in the UK, chances are there is one not far from you! Many of these, like Welcombe Hills Vineyard, run Vineyard Tours and Wine Tasting events giving you the opportunity to taste wonderful local wines whilst sitting amongst the vines they came from.
KEEP A TASTING JOURNAL
Keep track of wines you are trying, and start your own tasting journal. It’s a great way to explore deeper the flavour profiles or wines, and think more about the different flavours in a wine – and may even prompt you to research the wine further! Buy a specific notebook (who doesn’t like new stationery in January??) to list the names of the wines you try, where it was made and what you can taste from the wine. Is it fruity? Herbaceous? Can you detect any vanilla or smoky aromas coming through? You’ll soon be able to compare how a Pinot Noir from the northern hemisphere differs from the same south of the equator!
CHOOSE QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Apparently, Brits will spend an average of £9.73 on a bottle of wine. However, is this giving you the best balance between quality and price? Production costs (bottling, tax, transport) are fixed and don’t change with the price of the wine. For example, you’ll pay the same amount of tax on a £5 bottle as you would do on a £50 bottle. Also, the value of wine on a £5 bottle is just 50p but £3 in a £10 bottle – you get less wine for your money with the cheaper options.
Have you been reluctant to try a more expensive wine? Work out how much you would normally spend on wine in a month and spend the same amount but on slightly more expensive wine that you would do normally - thereby achieving a "drink less" resolution too!
FIND NEW FOOD AND WINE PAIRINGS
Enhance your wine journey by exploring different food pairings. As a general rule, you’re looking for food which brings out the best characteristics of a wine, and fires up your taste buds! Start with Fish & Chips with sparkling wine and progress to a fruity Riesling with a spicy Mexican chilli and a Merlot with meats in a BBQ sauce. The possibilities are endless!
If health is on your mind for next year’s goals, don’t discount the benefits of wine! The key here is to remember to drink responsibly and enjoy in moderation for lower cholesterol, better heart health and improved cognition. End 2020 with a toast to the new year and a happier and healthier you!
From all of us at Welcombe Hills Vineyard, we wish you a healthy and happy 2021 whatever your goals may be!