In early January there was a little ripple of excitement through the wine ranks of the twitterarti thanks to the hashtag #tryanuary. Andrew Barrow investigates the wines creating a storm in the twittersphere.
A small wine tasting session resulted in a Greek wine trumping all those around it. I wasn’t at the tasting sadly and the wine Krulux Mouowr Mouxtapo 2012 isn’t imported into the UK. But the grape is about as obscure as you can get. Mouxtapo is apparently only grown by one single producer. Now that really would be something unique and new to try. I asked Paola Tich, who was at the tasting, about this elusive wine—she also runs the rather excellent Park and Bridge wine shop in Acton—to suggest something that is available in the UK. From her shelves she picked the Adega de Penalva Dao Tinto Indigena Blend 2011 (Portugal, £8.95) describing it as “a juicy blend bursting with ripe black fruits & licorice. A blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (aka Tempranillo) & Jaen”. But not holding back she also suggested the Pfaffl Wien 2 2012 from Austria (£13.50) “We keep ordering this when eating out. So we thought it was high time we stocked it! Silky berries with a bit of crunch and spice. Medium bodied. And very moreish.”
This is why I love independent wine merchants so much, the quirky and the unusual amongst the quality ‘norms’ of Chardonnay, Sauvignon et al.
It is also why I adore Twitter so much too. When looking for new wines to try in the new year (#tryanuary) the Majestic staff replied to my query via Twitter, the team in High Wycombe suggested their Château Musar 2001 Gaston Hochar (£26) “a big glass of exotic spice and herbs – ideal in the winter months”. While their colleagues down in Reading went for an Argentine Torrentes - Viñalba Selección Torrontés 2013/2014 Lujan de Cuyo comes in at £11.99. “Argentine Torrontes is something a bit different but a nice, dry, aromatic treat.” Brilliantly, you can currently buy 2 or more bottles labeled as part of the 'Mix and Match' promotion and save 33%.
Chix & Buck, a wine shop and parlour in Brixton, pride themselves on a range of exclusives. You can sample in house—perhaps with a selection of cheeses or charcuterie—or take away, or of course buy online. They suggested two wines for #tryanuary: a Pinot Noir (known as Spätburgunder) from Germany (£22 Steitz Spätburgunder 2011) and, if you are feeling flush, a top grade Austrian St. Laurent (Weingut Heinrich III St Laurent Reserve 2011 £35).
Far too many exotic and exciting wines to try to even contemplate a dry January; there are more wines available than days in a year so why starve yourself?
Read more articles by Andrew Barrow here