In the world of wine, there is always something fresh and exciting waiting around the corner, and we do not just mean a nice glass of Alsatian Riesling. A summer wine tasting, a promising new vintage, access to new wines and grape varieties … such things will always pique our interest. But times are changing, and the way we think about and partake in wine is evolving more quickly than ever before: in many ways, this is proving to be a great thing, with curiosity and innovation taking centre stage.
Whilst we all fondly remember our parents’ drinks cupboard and that dusty old bottle of QC Cream at the back, (don’t we?!), there is another, more sophisticated side to sherry that is gaining popularity on our shores. As an introduction, Amontillado is an ideal style: gorgeously complex, caramel and nut flavours on tap along with fruity flavours supporting. With all that diversity of flavour, it pairs well with so many different foods, Spanish charcuterie being particularly complimentary. Therefore, if you are looking for an aperitif, a food accompaniment, a digestif or even an addition to a cocktail call in and browse our extensive sherry range and have a chat with one of our team so you can get the best out of this on trend and versatile tipple.
We have also seen a renewed and increasing interest in sustainability and how a wine is produced, which is one of the core values at the heart of our shop, along with quality and expertise. These days, ethics play a big role in our consumption. We want plump, rosy-cheeked chickens that roam freely producing our eggs and we want untainted, tenderly nurtured grapes going into our wine. Whilst this may not happen in the larger, mass producing, commercial operations there is plenty of it happening in smaller productions, with vegetarian, vegan, organic and biodynamic wines all making their presence felt
A truly beautiful winery in South Africa, Waterkloof, produces wines with all these elements, and although there is debate around the efficacy of biodynamic techniques, there is no doubting the sense of freshness and purity you seem to find in many of the wines made this way. The ‘Circle of Life White’, a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Semillon, was a personal highlight, a truly seductive wine for £13.95, but the whole range allows Mother Nature to shine, with the results being a clean, complex style that is especially suited to those who might be sensitive to sulphites. All of the products in our shop are colour coded so just by walking around you can see which are vegetarian, vegan, organic and biodynamic, helping you pick out that perfect bottle no matter what your preference.
Finally, it would be remiss not to highlight the emergence of the virtual wine tasting as a new way to enjoy a hosted evening with friends or family. Everyone who knows our shop knows that we are all about welcoming you in, whether it is to buy a bottle, seek advice or come to one of our events. Being around you in person is always preferable, but there are several benefits with the online version, and the industry has become rapidly accomplished at hosting them. With extended exposure to the host, you can learn a lot more about wine than you might otherwise and you can also relax and truly appreciate the wine, perhaps with the perfect meal and in the comfort of your own home. This is a great way to team build and catch up with your colleagues where the new normal means that your workplace may have changed and may even be from home. Even with the return of live tasting events, there will surely be a place for the online version going forward.