Worshipped by the ancient Greeks and believed to have medicinal properties, wine has been a staple in human culture for thousands of years.
The earliest evidence of the existence of wine can be found in China and Georgia around 7000BC and some of the oldest vines have been found in Lebanon.
The tannins in red wine have antioxidant properties which can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke, diabetes and heart disease. The latest research in Taiwan also suggests that tannins could inhibit two of the key enzymes in the Covid-19 Coronavirus so there really has never been abetter reason to try something new.
In a time when social distancing and self-isolating have become a normal part of every-day life, a glass of wine is the one of the most popular activities you can enjoy over a Zoom, Facetime or Skype video call with friends or family, particularly if it’s a special occasion. It could just be something to have in your hand to sip or, get a few friends on a multi way call, each with the same wine and a few snacks and you’ve got your own version of a wine tasting – the new sociable social distancing!
The most expensive bottle of wine ever sold is a 1945 Burgundy Grand Cru which sold for $558,000.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should always aspire towards the most expensive bottles. It’s true that spending slightly more than the price of the cheapest bottle of wine you come across means you will get better quality because when profit, duty and VAT are all taken into consideration, less is left over for the actual cost of the wine in cheaper bottles. Finding something that you like is most important and because everyone’s taste is different there is no right or wrong.
Whilst we’re on right or wrong there has always been great debate about cork versus screw top. Whilst nothing will ever replace that amazing sound of a popping cork signalling the opening of a bottle, a screw cap does mean that the wine will stay fresh longer and are popular in pubs for exactly this reason. Also useful if you’re looking at the odd glass as a health benefit and not drinking the entire bottle in one sitting!
Global Drink Wine Day is also an excellent opportunity to try something a little bit different and here are our suggestions:
Malbec is one of the most popular red wines of the moment and synonymous with Argentina.
We have three fantastic value for money Argentinian favourites in Finca del Alta, £7.95, Santuario, £8.75 and Inacayal, £8.95.
If you fancy pushing the boundaries our Chateau Paillas2010 Cahors, £11.95 is a fantastic, rich, deep, strong, well-structured, firm and full French example which is just reaching peak maturity. Or you could go completely off the beaten track with the smooth, soft and chocolatey New Zealand LeftField Malbec 2019, £13.95.
If you’re an Argentinian purist looking for something extra special then our Inacayal Single Vineyards 2017, £21.50 is rich, complex, full of flavour but not overpowering despite its 15% ABV
Sicily is the tiny volcanic little triangle off the toe of Italy whose climate and terrain offer unique flavour and minerality.
We've spent a long time searching for the perfect Sicilian whites and are thrilled to finally add these to our collection.
Alcesti Grillo DOC2019, £9.25 crisp, dry and intense with hints of volcanic salty minerality at the finish. For something completely different then try Alcesti Zibibbo IGT2019. A cousin of Muscat, Zibibbo is open fresh, zingy and inviting with hints of citrus orange and rose and a generous finish with a mineral aftertaste.
A different country:
Romania might not automatically spring to mind when thinking of a wine producing country but the same was once said about both Chile and Argentina!
Remarkably Romania has been producing wine for the same amount of time as France but a lack of resources meant the industry struggled until recent investment which has been a hugely successful.
We stock wines from both the Umbrele and Calusari vineyards. Calusari wines in particular, are firm favourites both with ourselves and our customers.
Calusari has enjoyed a 20million euro investment from Englishman Philip Cox, replanting many of the original vines and transforming Calusari into producing a variety of superb and well-priced wines. A velvety, smooth Pinot Noir, a crisp, fresh Pinot Grigio and a soft, fruity Pinot Grigio rose with hints of caramel, all priced at £7.65, are fantastic every day drinking at excellent value