It’s Christmas time, Mistletoe and Wine……
It’s Christmaaaasssss…. Though all involved may well be frazzled and fried, exactly like a turkey on Christmas day, the big day is nearly here once more. Following that the arrival of a new year 2018; what will that bring?
2017 has been another year of ‘healthism’: This isn’t always a bad thing; I mean look at the athletes in our company:
- Damien Archer-Good our super salesman in the South completed his second Ironman, this time in Spain. An outstanding achievement for someone who likes to savour the succulence of a serious Sangiovese of an evening!
- William Tindal came third in the open water Lough Dan swim to become Ireland’s third strongest open water swimmer. We know he has big paddles, but there was a bit of training involved there too!
- Anthony Tindal continues to defy the odds by launching his great limbs into the sea and overtaking Jellyfish off the Wicklow coast.
- Fanny Wennerstrom has had to cut back on her gymnastics whilst studying for her Diploma in Wine, but we reckon it takes some gymnastic expertise to navigate the Galway roads come summer time…
- Nigel Werner donned the Lycra to produce some serious times on his cycle 640km around Portugal.
- And finally there’s talk of a Tindal Team running the Marathon du Medoc next September … watch this space!
If the world listened to increasingly frequent reports about the dangers of alcohol, we’d all be looking for new jobs. Cancer, heart problems, domestic issues… it seems that alcohol is the ‘hot topic’ in all the worst ways at the moment. Wine unfortunately is lumped in there with Buckfast and Dutch Gold. So before you ‘hit the bottle’ today, let’s reflect on just how incredible wine is:
- It’s made from grapes. Not just one grape, but a myriad of grapes mostly from the species of Vitis Vinifera. Each grape lends so much individuality to each wine (except maybe Glera and the lesser examples of Pinot Grigio!).
- Grapes are susceptible to all kinds of diseases and extreme weather occurrences leaving producers in some more marginal areas wondering if it’s worth it in bad years.
- Wine style relies on so many factors, factors that have multitudes of variances and produce millions of different styles. Giving enthusiasts the excuse to study for years and years (yes Harriet, that applies to you!).
- For centuries wine has been produced. Originally for medicinal purposes moving more to enjoyment with the discovery of its beneficial powers!
- The wine industry has been carried through generations of some families; whether growers, Châteaux owners, importers, wholesalers, retailers, hoteliers or restauranteurs: wine has become a legacy.
- What other drink improves in bottle over many years, allowing forgotten bottles to be rediscovered and rejoiced by lucky recipients.
- And last not least; let us not forget the proven medical benefits of wine. Feel free to note these down and produce when confronted by a health aficionado; treat them like your ‘secret weapon’:
- Red wine in moderation is good for the heart (and the soul).
- Resveratrol seems to be the magic compound of wine; found in the skin of red grapes and proven to:
- Activate a gene that protects the brain and body from ageing, making it a suggested treatment for Alzheimers.
- Promote anti-cancer activities in the body. A study in Melbourne are investigating links between red wine and prevention of bowel cancer.
- The Chinese consumers seem to have it figured out, according to this article in the Drinks Business: “wine consumers are saying they drink wine to help them go to sleep, or because it’s good for their skin.”
“wine consumers are saying they drink wine to help them go to sleep, or because it’s good for their skin.”
What’s been happening at Tindal Wine Merchant’s in 2017? Well, we’ve been sipping, slurping, shipping, storing, selling aaand ….waxing lyrical about all our wines. Those list favourites like Bouchard Père et Fils, Luis Canãs, Walnut Block, Les Deux Cols and our own label wines like Puna Snipe and Swallows’ Tale have continued to serve us well. Simon Tyrrell our intrepid winemaker has been extending his talents to the Monastrell grape in Spain. The new ‘Irish made’ wine is now in stock and awaiting orders! Welcome Oludeo. Reports from Simon include lines like this: “The wine is now at 992 specific gravity…” and this “and began fermenting with wild yeasts on the 6th. There’s 2516 kg of crushed and destemmed fruit and 400 kg of whole bunch” making some of us think he’s talking in some kind of code, others realising how incredibly fastidious and ‘in control’ he is of these new babies…
We mustn’t forget some of our outliers on the list. The ‘maverick’ Chileans that Anthony brought in at the beginning of the year, include wines made with wild Pais vines and those using minimal practises to provide complex and delicious results. Our Avondale wines from South Africa; biodynamic and using amphora and skin contact to give amazing depth and complexity, especially on the Cyclus white blend. 2018 will see the revival of our Australian Portfolio with new wines coming in from suppliers in the Clare Valley and McLaren Vale. Harriet’s trip to Australia last year highlighted the quality coming from there. The word coming from Australia is definitely ‘not cheap mate’ but up there with some of the finest old world areas on quality. Diversity keeps us moving forward.
“All the diversity, all the charm, and all the beauty of life are made up of light and shade.” (Leo Tolstoy)
This doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about our friends in the Old World. Nigel, Anthony and Harriet’s trip to Burgundy has produced some fantastic smaller producers, offering small allocations of interest to sprinkle on your lists. Bouchard Père et Fils are increasingly revered in the press. Their vineyard holdings are yielding some fantastic fruit, something that is becoming more difficult to remain constant with the extreme weather patterns hitting Burgundy each year. Simon’s Rhône list is increasingly evolving. With Anthony, William and Simon just back from a trip there; there’s no risk of the river of wines from the Rhône Valley and Southern France being ‘dammed’ on our list! It’s been a busy year for travel; Spain, Italy, France, Chile and Argentina are amongst those that we tasted our way through finding new producers, styles and wines for our 2018 list. These new wines alongside a huge representation from the rest of our list will be showcased on Monday 12th February at our 2018 Portfolio Tasting in the Marker Hotel. With three masterclasses and a big turnout from the producers, this will be one of the best opportunities you’ll get in 2018 to brush up on your wine knowledge and find some new favourites.
So thank you to all of you involved either directly or indirectly with Tindal Wine Merchants in 2017. We appreciate your custom, your product and your time. We’re all in the same boat; fighting a battle against health propaganda, taxes and poor product. But let us all remember why we became involved in wine. We’re passionate about the wine, the stories, the styles and most of all the people. Here’s to a successful and enjoyable 2018.
Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year from all at Tindal Wine Merchants.