With the new year comes an array of inevitable resolutions for how we’re all going to change our lives for the better. Most of them last not much longer than that bottle of Champagne popped open as the clock strikes midnight on January 1st.
Here at Lazenne we’ve decided to create more realistic resolutions for 2015, ones that we know we’ll enjoy and which will enrich our lives. We’re not talking about stand up paddle-boarding lessons or competing in a triathlon (they were on last year’s list). Instead we’ve resolved to take a more global view to the grape and to delve into the world of lesser known wines, regions and varieties.
What a better way to start then with three categories of wines we’re really looking forward to becoming more familiar with in 2015.
So down the rabbit hole we go!
German Pinot Noir
Yes! They don’t just make white wine in Germany! Considering the German climate, it’s no surprise really that the red wine grape that is getting all the acclaim is Pinot Noir. Known locally as Spätburgunder, (literally meaning late maturing Burgundy, get it?), those Germans have gone and cultivated one of the most delicate (read: fussy) grape varieties of all, and nailed it. Pinot Noir thrives in cooler climates (New Zealand’s Central Otago is a prime example) and has found its match in the soils of the acclaimed Baden and Pfalz wine regions where it produces an elegant, light-to-medium bodied wine redolent of strawberries and raspberries. We’re looking forward to matching a glass with another German favourite; the Schnitzel! If you’re looking to expand your Pinot Noir repertoire beyond Burgundy and the USA, here’s a great place to start.
Unusual European Delights
Have you noticed that the shelves of your local wine retailer have becoming a little more international these days? The world has suddenly woken up to the fact that counties like Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Georgia have established wine traditions and produce an array of top quality wines made from unusual, foreign sounding grape varieties such as Žilavka and Saperavi. It seems like we’ll be accompanied through the seasons by Central and Eastern European wines. We envisage summer afternoons sipping a wonderfully fresh and mineral Assyrtiko from Greece’s Santorini, followed by a round and rich Malvasia Istriana from Croatia on early autumn evenings, then warming up in winter with a full bodied Vranac from Montenegro and letting a fragrant and floral Macedonian Temjanika put a spring in our step.
English Sparkling Wine
English wine? We know that may sound like a paradox, but the English wine industry is the sleeper of Europe and we predict big things for it this year. The number of vineyards in the country is steadily increasing, mainly centered in the south, where winemakers are planting cool climate varieties such as Bacchus, Madeleine Angevine and Dornfelder, along with more recognized names such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. With a fairly similar latitude to the Champagne region and some lovely chalky soils in the North and South Downs, it’s hardly a surprise that it’s the country’s sparkling wines that are really getting the wine world talking. We’re already planning to pop a cork or two to mark some of the year’s quintessentially British events: Wimbledon, Royal Ascot and Glastonbury!
Have you any favourite wines or vineyards from our list to recommend? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below! If you’re visiting vineyards in Europe in 2015, don’t forget to check out the Lazenne range of products, perfect for transporting your purchases with safety and ease!