Drink less, but drink better

Would You Drink This Red Wine After Dry January?

Are You Doing Dry January?

I suppose I should address the elephant in the room when working for a wine company – the relatively recent development of ‘Dry January’.

As long as there is a sun in the sky some people will feel awful about themselves after Christmas overindulgence. When a water biscuit is topped with stilton, Quality Street toffees and brandy cream are considered the norm.

Throughout the first month of the year, we feel the need to rebalance post the festive feasting. By joining the gym, hitting the road, and recalibrating our diet.

In my advancing years I think this is too much of a shock to the system. Why not exercise the whole year around – keep things ticking over and not put your beloved body through that January upheaval?

Drink A Little Less… But Drink Good

Anyway, back to the subject in question.

Wine has long been considered a luxury – and in these tough times even more so. Conversely, a little bit of spoiling is much-needed, especially on the chilly nights leading to that there spring.

With that in mind, how about trading up to something a little posher? Restricting oneself to fewer bottles in the checkout basket.

Let’s Talk About What Wines To Choose If You Aren’t Doing Dry January

If you normally drink Rioja Crianza (up to 12 months aging in barrel and 12 months in bottle). How about a bottle of Reserva instead (12 months aging in barrel and two years in bottle)?

The Reserva wines of Rioja hit that sweet spot of quality to value, where the bodegas have done the bottle aging for you, so the wines are ready for blast off!

Once you have recalibrated your budget, a whole new world of wine choices opens before your very eyes that will exhilarate your olfactory and tantalise your tastebuds. Slowly sipping a quality glass while snuggled up at home is one of life’s finest indulgences.

Neil’s Fireside Reds

Personally, I’m having a crack at, what I like to call, fireside reds. I’ve fallen head over heels for a Ribera del Duero red that has been rocking my world these past few weeks.

The La Capilla Crianza is a new venture for the Marques de Caceres stable and, the boy has they produced a beaut. Almost 100% tempranillo with a smidge of merlot has had 14 months cwtched in fine-grained French oak barrels, half in new and the other half in one-year-old barrels. Aging in the bottle is between one and a half and two years.

Production in 2018 was limited to 224 barrels, giving it almost a boutique quality. Add to that the close proximity to cult winery Dominio de Pingus and you have yourself a very unique wine indeed. On the palate, the wine shows spicy dark fruits, with secondary layers of mocha and silky smooth tannins.

The weighty alcohol is delivered politely and with little fuss. This absolute belter retails at £21.99 in our shop.

Come in and see us, even if you have to wait until you’ve completed dry January!


Neil Cammies

Former columnist for the Western Mail and is now working for Fine Wines Direct UK. Hosting tastings, building client relationships, and writing about his experiences in the wine trade.

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