There are some serious ones which are designed to highlight conditions, illnesses as well as important humanitarian, cultural and social issues. However, some awareness days are more light-hearted and simply for a bit of fun really.
I’ve mentioned a few of them in previous articles but I couldn’t let this month go by without bringing another nice one to your attention. Yes, folks, for those who wish to observe it, Friday, February 18 is National Drink Wine Day 2022. Sip, sip, hooray!
For me, wine is one of life’s little luxuries. A small pleasure if you will, and who would deny us these?
I’m pleased to say that my palate has matured and my taste in wine has improved greatly since my first experience of the good grape back in the 80s. Jings, we drank some questionable stuff back then but there simply wasn’t the same availability or choice that there is today. You had two choices in the pub – red or white.
The same thing seems to have happened with gin. I remember only two or three types in the pub gantry but nowadays there’s just about every flavour under the sun and with umpteen fancy tonics to match.
Despite the abundance of wines to choose from these days, I’ve fallen into a bad habit of sticking to the same variety over and over. We all have our little ways and we like what we like. You could argue what's the point in having something different just for the sake of it, but life would be dull if we didn't try new things, right?
I am a big fan of big French whites such as the offerings from Pouilly-Fumé, Chablis and Sancerre. These wines will always be made welcome in my house. I’ve also developed a taste for white Châteauneuf du Pape but I tend to keep that one for special occasions. Ooh la la.
As much as I love these French beauties, I struggle to get past my absolute all-time favourites – New Zealand’s Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs. I’ve had a lengthy love affair with these wines and every time I try to switch to something new for a change, I always find myself choosing one of these over everything else on the shelf. I am happy to sip on pretty much any of the wines from this region – I’ve never had a bad one yet.
Regular selections are Brancott Estate, Villa Maria and Oyster Bay which are all readily available from all good wine shops, supermarkets, and online retailers.
My ultimate New Zealand Sauvignon and absolute favourite is Cloudy Bay and if you fancy a bottle of something special then this would be my personal recommendation.
Pick up the delicious Cloudy Bay from selected supermarkets or from Majestic www.majestic.co.uk
However, this week in the course of my research to find you some other nice wines to try for National Drink Wine Day, I was introduced to these corkers from VIDA wines and spirits website www.vidawines.co.uk
Kristančič Pavo White Cuvee 2018 – 75cl l ABV 13.5% l £19.79 - This is a gorgeous Slovenian blend of three white varieties; the internationally respected and loved Chardonnay, Istria’s own, richly textured Malvasia, and the uniquely minerally and sea-breezy Rebulla. This silky mix of quince, dried herbs and apple fruit would be perfect here, mingling with the moist lemony juices.
Winzerhof Sax Frühroter Veltliner 2020 Kamptal, Austria £14.39 - Winzerhof Sax Fruhroter Veltliner 2020 might sound a bit of a mouthful, but it is! A delicious wine, full of white pepper spice and hints of aniseed and lime, this is a vibrant, mouthwatering wine from the Kamptal in Austria.
Red – Rossidi Rubin 2016 – 75 cl l ABV 13% l £21.29 - Rubin is a fascinating, but still reasonably scarce grape variety, planted in little pockets across Bulgaria. However, interest in this fresh, fragrant red grape variety is sky high right now. The secret to Rubin’s swagger is that it is a cross between the pale, but fragrant and noble Nebbiolo variety from the area of Piedmont in Italy, and the rich, intense, deeply-coloured variety of Syrah.
There’s a famous quote - “A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine”. I can get on board with that. A special dinner without wine is a bit of a disappointment. A well chosen wine is the perfect accompaniment to a dish, enhancing and complementing the flavours which makes for a better experience all round.
Some might say we don’t need a specific date in the calendar to celebrate something but perhaps on National Drink Wine Day we can make an exception. Go on…make some pour decisions.
(Please drink responsibly. Over 18s only.)