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What’s up winos,
Happy New Year and all that! Hope you had a grand old time, and hope you quaffed some serious booze. I’m still recovering from packing all those boxes tbh. You guys really came through on the ordering front and I love ya for it. I can always get a new back!
The new year is all about changing things up, right? Like getting a fringe or downloading Duolingo or whatever. So I thought for the first email of the year I’d encourage everyone to get out of their boxes and try something new. Me included. Maybe this will be my year of finally morphing into a red wine girlie. Maybe instead of dry January I’ll do red wine January. Not sure the NHS would sign off on that, but whatever.
I was trying to think of a fun new format for this email, but since it’s tough to improve on perfection, I thought I’d do something like a ‘Netflix recommends’ thing, for example: since you watched Twilight: New Moon you might also like Twilight: Eclipse. I mean, what? That’s not what I did over Christmas!
If you like… Chardonnay
Time to level up. That’s right kids, it’s time to try that elusive Savagnin. Not Sauvignon, as I thought in my mistaken youth, but Savagnin, the epic Jura variety that will blow your head off. Acidity off the charts, puckering fruit and a touch of something floral, rounded off with a lovely, mouth-filling texture. What’s not to like? This bottling from Domaine Ratte is an excellent place to start if you’re a novice - it has all of the above adjectives but it’s not so weird that it’ll put you off. Ideal, I reckon. Once you’re addicted, you could graduate to this from Domaine de la Borde, or this from Tissot, or this from FRM... If you’re gonna do it properly, the Savagnin game is not a cheap one, but it’s so worth it. You’re welcome.
If you like… Albariño
It’s time to find out what everyone’s banging on about when they talk about ‘volcanic soil’. Whites from places like Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Mount Etna are full of this smoky, rich, mineral, tangy-fruited character that is like nothing you’ve tried before, believe me. I’m loath to repeat myself, but the Trenzado is the perfect entry level volcanic wine, a nice jumping off point for the big guns like Bodegas Tameran or Envinate. Be warned tho, you’ll never look back once you start on this journey. Who wants to look back anyway?
If you like… Riesling
Okay a) if you like Riesling then you are correct and you shouldn’t be changing your habits, but b) if you are stuck on Riesling then you’d be doing yourself a disservice to not try out some natty Chenin. These are some of my favourite wines I’ve tried this year, all the beautiful searing acidity that Riesling so happily provides plus a smack of ripe fruit and a finish that won’t quit. This bottle from Michel Autran was my gateway drug, swiftly followed by this from Mosse and then this from Thomas Batardiere which is probably in my top five wines of last year. Actually, it definitely is. In the hands of these producers, Chenin is anything but bland. Woof. Get on these.
If you like… Easy Skinsy
Look, I get it. I too was once an easy skinsy girl. But enough treading water, it’s time to dive in. If you’re gonna be into orange wine, you need to get your hands dirty. This one from COS is a great step up from entry level skinsy, and if you can handle that, the world’s your oyster. You can graduate from COS to Momento Mori, then onto Le Coste, then on to Radikon… why limit yourself? Don’t. The more you get into orange wine the more you’ll love it, I guarantee you. You’ll wonder what you’ve been missing this whole time.
If you like… Pinot Noir
Here’s the thing - if you like Pinot Noir, you’re either a millionaire or you’ve been drinking substandard bottles. That’s right, I said it! Proper Pinot commands such an insane price that no-one could blame you for settling. But what if there was another way…? Enter Trousseau! Yep, we’re back in the Jura (in spirit, I never left the Jura after we went there in April. Local townsfolk say they can still see my ghost wandering the street, loitering outside the Tissot cellar door). Jurassic Trousseau is light as air, floral, fragrant, lifted, ethereal, elegant… all the adjectives under the sun. Without sounding like a broken record, the Trousseau from Domaine Ratte is, for me, the jewel in the producer’s crown - far and away my favourite, and a banging intro to all that this variety has to offer. Aviet also puts out some cracking bottlings, or if you want to hop across the border, Fedellos does a lovely Bastardo (the Spanish name for Trousseau, I’m not just getting fresh with u).
Do we have time for one more? Is anyone still reading? Say hi if you are?
Jk I’m rambling, I’ll wrap it up here. Maybe part 2 next week? Maybe not?
Last order of business - if you wanna come listen to someone chat about wine who knows a heck of a lot more than I do, grab yourself a ticket to our tasting with Jamie Goode at the end of Jan. I’ll be the one in the corner making notes.