New Year, New Wine...

For many a new year symbolises a fresh start, and the perfect time to try something new, so in 2022 we recommend giving some lesser-known types of wine a swirl! 

Opt for Organic

Organic and biodynamic wines are growing hugely in popularity and are set to be firm favourites in the year ahead. Organic wines are produced without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals but biodynamic wines take it one step further. Biodynamic relates to a way of farming that follows a sustainable, holistic approach that views the vineyard or farm as a closed, diversified ecosystem that harnesses the natural cycles of the earth. Expect an element of grit and earthiness from organic and biodynamic wines, they are often a pure representation of the grape type and full of raw, powerful flavour. 

Regional flair

There are always new wine regions to try too. Lebanese wine has been produced for thousands of years, but the output is fairly small which is why Lebanon might not spring to mind when you think of top wine producing countries. Lebanese wines are, however, of excellent quality. Greece’s indigenous red Agiortiko grape isn’t well-known, but in a blind tasting you’d be forgiven for thinking you were sipping a top-end red from Bordeaux. Then there’s the Tokaj in Hungary, a region specialising in top-notch sweet wines made from their leading grape Furmint. 

Say yes to no alcohol

Low ABV% and non-alcoholic wines are a great alternative for those looking to lower their alcohol consumption without missing out on the enjoyable taste of a glass of vino. Lower alcohol wines don’t always get the best reviews which is why selecting a good one is key. Lower alcohol wines are not technically wines, but are usually made up of a blend of fruit juices. Look out for labels that say the drink is made from fermented grapes, as those are more likely to taste of wine. Some fantastic options make wine first, then use a de-alcoholisation process. This preserves the rich, round aromas, leaving a drink that tastes very similar to the real thing. 

Community.Co Zero Alcohol Sparkling Rose NV (£5.49)
Created for maximum enjoyment and minimal guilt, Community.Co Zero Alcohol Rosé combine sparkling fermented grape juice with premium green tea, and has zero alcohol and half the calories of your average glass of sparkling wine. Not only that, it is also doing a little good in the world by giving back to the community, with 25p from every bottle purchased going to NHS Charities Together.

Mountain View Marlborough Pinot Noir 2019 (£12.99)
A delicious, full flavoured Pinot Noir with a naturally lower level of alcohol. This is achieved by slowing the vine's ability to make sugar (but not its ability to make flavour), leaving less than 10% abv in the final wine. It then spends eight months in premium French oak barriques, just like any other quality Marlborough Pinot Noir. 

Scavi & Ray Alcohol Free Sparkling NV (£8.99)
From an award-winning Prosecco producer, this non-alcoholic alternative is made from the same grapes. With less than half the calories of a typical glass of sparkling wine, it’s been under a gentle vacuum-based de-alcoholisation process to preserve the flavours of citrus, green apple and pear. 

 

Chateau Musar Hochar Pere et Fils 2018 (£16.99)
Chateau Musar is world-renowned, with the Hochar family making wines in Lebanon since 1930. This is a glorious blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon from a single vineyard that’s 1000m above sea level in the Bekaa Valley.
It has a complex nose of red cherries, sweet smoke and cinnamon spice aromas. Expect cherry notes and subtle earthy characters on the rich, concentrated palate - it is all at once fruity, fresh and elegant. 

Bizios Nemea Agiortiko 2012 (£25)
From a tiny estate in the village of Asporokambos, this wine is made from Greece's indigenous Agiortiko grape, offering a dense ripe black fruit intensity with perfectly integrated oak. Aromas of smoke, vanilla and oak on the nose are joined by notes of cherry and strawberry preserves on the palate.

Chateau Dereszla Furmint Dry 2019 (£11.99)
The grapes that make this wine are traditionally hand harvested and collected in small baskets. Made from the Furmint grape, it is a layered white with rich, spicy apricot fruit and lovely mineral freshness. 

5oS Project Cult Cave Shiraz 2019 (£17.99)
This is small-batch, avant-garde,
organic, biodynamic, preservative free and vegan friendly red. Made in the McLaren Vale in Australia, this Shiraz has sweet, juicy strawberry and blackberry fruit that leaps out the glass. On the palate it is medium bodied with incredible intensity and purity, with well weighted tannins that hold structure. 

Walnut Block Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2020 (£13.99)
A lovely organic number that’s full of citrus zing, gooseberry intensity and lovely mouth-coating richness, this is an absolute taste sensation. The grapes are handpicked from the estate’s oldest vines to ensure gentle handling. 

 

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