You’ve undoubtedly heard all about Dry January; maybe your friends and family are having a go, or perhaps you’re giving it a try yourself! The idea of spending a whole month without touching a drop of alcohol is gaining traction in the public’s imagination, often stemming from a desire to form new habits and simple curiosity about what difference it might make. Well, here at iDealwine, you can imagine that such a concept doesn’t come so naturally, so we’ve come up with our own interpretation of this unstoppable trend…
All good things in moderation
The end of year festivities can be a time of great enjoyment, when we lean into the joyful indulgence of Christmas treats and beautiful home-cooking. It’s no surprise that, come January, many like to take the chance to ‘reset’ by re-considering their food and drink choices.
For others, though, it’s quite unthinkable to totally deprive ourselves of the fine wine that can bring so much enrichment to our lives. Especially during a period of the year that can feel somewhat morose, the pleasure of accentuating a lovingly thought-out meal with a fantastic wine can’t be understated. We’re not talking about pushing any limits! Here’s our philosophy going forward in 2021: fine wine is a drink to be savoured. A reasonable resolution might be to consume less in quantity, but better in quality. This mindful approach might give you a deeper appreciation for what’s in the bottle, and maybe you’ll find a new favourite in the process.
A Dry White January?
Attempting a new approach to the month of January can be refreshing, so why not take the chance to explore the world of dry, white wines? Whether still or sparkling, these wines often come from cooler climates, and this translates into low sugar and alcohol levels in the resulting cuvées. These should be kept in the fridge, and we recommend using a little vacuum pump so that you can keep the bottle fresh if you don’t finish it. Northern regions will be your best bet when seeking a wine like this, and Germany is a great source of very dry whites that range from 8-11% alcohol.
In this same spirit of choosing low-alcohol drinks, you might like to go for a cider or perry. We really like those made by Eric Bordelet. Whilst you might consider cider something to enjoy on a hot day, its aromas also pair nicely with sweet breads like brioche, as well as the classic French galette des rois, a traditional pastry which is made for Epiphany, then enjoyed throughout the month of January.
Another wine that fits conveniently into the dry category is champagne! The fizz-producing region had a particularly bad time in 2020, what with so many events being cancelled, and this has pushed us to reconsider this fabulous wine. It can be enjoyed on its own or with a delicate dish like seafood, for a perfectly refined way to start off the year. Of course, keeping the ‘dry’ theme in mind, you should keep an eye on the dosage!
What about Veganuary?
Sister-trend to the alcohol-free movement is the increasingly popular Veganuary! Of course, this is more to do with food choices, but anyone who’d like to follow this lifestyle to the letter should also look at the wine they’re drinking. Egg white is often used as a fining agent in wine, as it collects floating sediment together and sinks it to the bottom of the barrel. This means that, whilst there are no animal products in the wine itself, eggs can be used during the production process. Never fear, though, as many natural wines don’t involve this process (hence why they can look a little cloudy – a bit unusual but nothing to worry about!). There are also alternative fining methods that use plant products, and this is the case for the wines at Château Dauzac, for example.
As is often the case when making changes to your eating and drinking habits, this is simply a question of doing your research. There are plenty of wines that are vegan (without necessarily being labelled as such), and infinite ways to enjoy a nice bottle with a meat-free meal! An important point when pairing is that the wine shouldn’t overpower the dish, and vice versa, which still leaves plenty of room for inventive and delicious meals that will still find their perfect, matching cuvée.
Finally, if you’re still set on your Dry January, or encouraging others who are, note that we’ll be ready and waiting to welcome you back into the fold of fine wine once the virtuous venture is complete 😉