Forget new year, new you. I’m more excited about the prospect of new year, new wines!
Seriously, we’ve never been so spoilt for choice thanks to a combination of exciting wine regions and a new generation of winemakers making it. Bulgaria’s staging a comeback, New Zealand reds are on a roll and great German Riesling remains an absolute bargain.
But this year there are a couple of countries in particular worth keeping an eye on...
South Africa has really upped its wine game, especially their Sauvignon Blanc from cooler climate regions (think freshness, bottled) and their Rhone-style reds.
Also, look to Italy for brilliant value reds from the south and crisp whites and light, fruity reds from the north.
English Sparkling Wine hit the headlines last year, now that producers are making wines to rival Champagne. The best are made in the same way as Champagne using traditional grape varieties. They’re undeniably on the pricey side but if you want to invest in something memorable for all the right reasons, look out for names like Wiston, Hambledon and Ridgeview.
Finally, this might be the year that non-alcoholic drinks grow up. Take Seedlip for example, a new distilled non-alcoholic spirit to be drunk like you would a G&T. You get a flavour hit (in this case, a kind of woody, citrusy spice) but not the alcohol, so solving the what-to-drink-when-you’re-not-drinking dilemma. And the bottle looks beautiful. Genius. In the meantime, I’ll stick a bottle of Italian white in the fridge door.
Helen McGinn is the author of the award winning wine blog and best-selling wine book 'The Knackered Mother's Wine Club'.
Visit her blog here, it's a great one to add to your reading list!