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The Blog

New Year New Wine

14 Jan 2022 by Phil Probert/Martha Rudd

Have you made a New Year Resolution? Apparently in 2022 some of the most popular involve losing weight, getting fitter, learning a new skill or making more environmentally responsible choices. 

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Low and No Alcohol

A wine shop is probably not first on the list when you are thinking about this sort of stuff. In fact the plan is usually to give us a swerve. Dry January and all that, if you are focusing on a healthier New Year, there are choices for reducing Calories or Alcohol intake without drinking water all the time. Switching some of those Lagers and IPA’s for a low or no alcohol alternative could help. The Napoleon Complex from Roosters might only be 2.8% but will scratch that beer and football itch while The Vanderstreek Playground IPA is a non-alcoholic belter. Perfect for a school night when you can’t face a cup of tea.  Our Appalina range of Non-Alcoholic range are the best alcohol free wines we have yet tasted.

Perhaps you’re doing Veganuary then we’ve got plenty of Vegan wines which might suit without costing the earth. Our Calusari range from Romania is only 7.99 and has been a popular Wednesday night wine for quite a while with a Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio and Rose to choose from. That tofu has never been so tempting! For those trying out a bit of Plant based goodness then the Solara Natural Merlot could be the answer. It's not just Organic and Vegan - this is Natural to boot and so slightly lighter than some reds and particularly well suited to Veggie lead cuisine.

There are all sorts of ways you can look for a more environmentally conscious choice with Organic wines being more and more widely available. This usually means fewer pesticides and chemical fertilizer being used in the farming of the grapes. Biodynamic takes this a step further with even more focus on lunar cycles and traditional farming and wine making practices. Terra Vitis adds a greater focus on sustainable Viticulture significantly reducing the amount of chemical used including Sulphites at ALL stages. A great new line with no Sulphites is Jaume Infusion at 10.99  which is soft and appealing: with the gentleness of Grenache but with a little texture like Syrah.  Many Wineries also utilise techniques to reduce the weight of the glass in the bottles and mitigate their Carbon footprint through low energy technologies. The Clavel wines from Saint Gervais on the opposite side of the Rhone Valley from Chateau Neuf Du Papes are a great example of this low interventionist philosophy in the vineyard and in the cellar. Syrius at £10.99 is a classic generous Rhone red very drinkable yet textured and oozing with dark autumnal hedgerow berry juiciness. The Clair de Lune £15.99 from old vines is an altogether gnarlier thing with black olive savouriness alongside intense black fruit decant and serve with a thick steak for ultimate winter Joy.

Some of this is legally defined in terms of the labeling and clear to the consumer however this is not always the case especially in relation to Natural wine making and sustainable viticulture. This lack of regulation can sometimes mean that the degree of Naturalness cannot be pinned down and wines can develop some flavours which might not be in the mainstream spectrum. It can also give rise to some of the most exciting and authentically expressive wines on our shelves. Despite the complexities and vagaries of labeling and what does or does not constitute Natural wine, the basic premise that wines should be made with the primary focus on quality and authenticity is something we have always striven to support.

You’ll find our Organic, Vegan, Natural and higher environmental standard wines labelled up in our Harrogate and Collingham stores. Please feel free to ask for more information from any of our colleagues and we will be happy to help.

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Vegan, Organic and Natural Yumminess