After the wonderful excesses of #Yuletide many flock to the campaign #DryJanuary in a bid to recover from festive overindulgence. Here at Luvians we preach something altogether more fun, #TryJanuary! After all that lovely meat and pudding, with the wines and spirits to match, it’s time to try something a little different as we bask in the quiet of January.
January is a month for light and refreshing reds, weighty and luscious whites and why not a beer or two as well? Our selection embraces the need for some refreshment for our tired palates while offering a little warmth during the wintery embrace of January.
Eschenhof Holzer, Haide – Made from a curious Austrian variety from an avant-garde and rather curious young winemaker, this Roter Veltliner is not to be mistaken with the more famous, and unrelated, Gruner Veltliner. It’s named for the grey skin and pinkish flesh that gives the ripe grapes a rotten look and is just perfect for wintery times. Its honeyed tones and juicy limey acidity give it a delightful weight, making this moreish white the very wine for sipping during a winter’s evening.
Feudi di San Gregorio, Albente – An unusual varietal Falanghina is native to Campania, found the west coast of Italy towards the south. Here volcanic soils define the exceptional wines of the region. Albente is the work of Feudi di San Gregorio, a winery set up to preserve the many fantastic and little known varietals of Campania. It is a wonderfully textural white, with delicate aromas of orchard blossom giving way to the soft acidity of just ripe peaches and hints of lemon. Deceptively simple and very drinkable, it is just a stonking example of the allure of Italian whites!
Leitz, Dragonstone – From one of the more modern styled German Riesling producers comes a very traditional Kabinett style wine, its lower ABV of 10% revealing the astounding quality of fruit Leitz nurtures in his historic vineyards. While the lower alcohol means more residual sugar in the wine, and still many Brits flinch at the thought of sickly sweet and poor quality German wines, it does not detract from the crystalline purity of this wine. A pronounced stoney foundation, savoury hints of crushed wet rock, rises up into soft peach, zingy cherry and tart rhubarb, weaving together to create a powerful expression of off-dry Riesling full of delightful character. An excellent wine to enjoy if the horrors of over indulgence still haunt you!
Omero, Oregon Pinot Noir – This is the grape of the season, so frequently paired with festive dishes it makes you want to cry and guzzle the port or grimly hold onto that glass of sparkling something you got on the way in the door! But with David Moore’s attention to detail and careful vineyard management, this is a subtle and expressive New World interpretation of the classic variety. Abundant freshness and integrative oak, hinting at black pepper spice and vanilled tones, creates a wine full of redcurrant and raspberry, with alluring hints of elderflower perfuming the nose. Soft and succulent, this is a wine to refresh a tired tongue if I ever tasted one!
G D Vajra, Dolcetto d’Alba – From a region better known for one of the great Italian wines, Barolo, comes Dolcetto, an easy drinking varietal to be enjoyed in its youth. Aldo Vaira creates wines renowned for their varietal purity and pristine quality and in this spritely wine there is an alluring aromatic purity that demonstrates his skill and precision. Unoaked the grapes sing; full of sour cherry, redcurrants and violets with dusky supple tannins lending a lightly worn structure to this utterly superb wine. It has to be my favourite wine of this selection, a really wonderful and pure expression of a sadly little known grape that is sure to lift spirits!
Samuel Smith, Nut Brown Ale – In the comedown from festive frolics beer most definitely has its place and where better to turn than one of the truly great British beers? The most traditional of traditional producers, Samuel Smith Brewery draws water from a well sunk in 1758, ferments using a yeast strain from the 19th century in open slate fermenters, and stores the beer in oak barrels made by their own coopers. Utterly uncompromising, they also produce almost all their beers to vegan and organic standards. And the result is beers like Nut Brown Ale, full of the nutty malty richness of walnuts while retaining a beautifully dry balance. Ideal winter drinking, even if the labels are also uncompromising historic relics!
Brewgooder, Cleanwater Lager – A beer that gives 100% of its profits to assisting charities like WaterAid and Oxfam in helping poor communities throughout the world get clean water is the kind of thing we should all embrace with the new year. Helping a poor community get easy access to clean water is one of the most significant and effective investments that can be made. It eliminates the need for many other sources of aid and massively reduces the effort expended by communities to source what is often dirty water that can do more harm than good. Not only do we reduce wasted effort and vital calories, we also help reduce the burden of woman and children who inevitably bear the burden of having to source and collect what water there is. Brewgooder want to help 1 million people get access to clean water, and we’re right there with them. So crack open a can and feel a bit more human this January!