As one year finishes and the anticipation of a new one commences, we are often drawn to reflect on the successes of the 12 months past. And at iDealwine, we’re no different. It turns out that you, our valued clients, are not only great lovers of wine, but also great readers! And if our blog statistics are anything to go by, you have very varied taste. So let’s take a moment to look at what caught your attention in 2019.
A personal touch
To begin with, two of our more popular articles this year shone a light on the history, work, and production of specific winemaking domains, those of Jean-Michel Stephan and Giuseppe Quintarelli. The former cultivates his vines within the famous Côte-Rôtie appellation of the Rhône Valley, and the latter works a little further afield, in Valpolicella – a picturesque village to the north of Verona, Italy. Whilst these producers will of course rightly vaunt the unique and special nature of their wines, it is true that they share a passion, an authenticity and an understanding that a really good wine must be crafted with care. Quintarelli is undoubtedly the ‘Maestro of Amarone’, and you can read about his work here, complemented nicely by the success of Jean-Michel Stephan, whose natural approach to winemaking puts him at the forefront of innovation in the wine industry.
Taking the next step
Another article that piqued your interest this year was about how much it costs to acquire a hectare of vines. As wine-lovers, it’s only natural that you’d be curious about the process that takes place before you pop the cork. As a thriving industry, it’s also undoubtedly interesting to understand the business side of the wine sector beyond the joy of sharing a treasured bottle. Perhaps some of you were interested for further reasons – it wouldn’t be surprising if you, too, have ambitions to produce your own wine. You wouldn’t be the first to take this passion and turn it into a career! We’re excited to see what might come of this…be sure to let us know if you make a purchase, as we’d love to taste the results!
A studious bunch
Something that you found particularly helpful this year was our guide to the WSET Level 3 exam. For those of you who don’t know, WSET stands for Wine and Spirit Education Trust, a globally recognised organisation providing qualifications in wine and spirits. WSET offers 4 levels of study, so level 3 is not for beginners. Usually this level of study is for professionals, although you could just be a very keen amateur. It’s quite a commitment, but if you’re intrigued, take a look at the article. Maybe you could start at a lower level and work up, or maybe you already feel ready to dive in at the deep end…
Whilst this dish is quintessentially French, it seems to have caught your eye as an interesting one to try. Foie gras is traditionally served at Christmas in France, though of course that doesn’t stop you enjoying it elsewhere and at any time of the year! The article looks specifically at the best wines to serve with this speciality. The question of how to pair food and wine is a very important one, as it is this that can make the difference in bringing out the best of both the food and the wine – when they complement each other, they can express their character to the full. We suggested Champagne and white moelleux as the ideal wines to serve, though there are alternatives to try if you’re feeling more adventurous.
In the vineyard
By far the most popular articles of the year were those that took a closer look at the viticultural industry, dealing with more general subjects about wine, its production and its specificities. In short, the sorts of things you always wondered but perhaps didn’t get round to finding out! ‘Why plant rose bushes at the end of vine rows?’ is an understandably intriguing question, one that you might have already pondered if you’ve been lucky enough to visit a vineyard. The question of why Bordeaux has Châteaux whereas Burgundy has Domains was also a popular read, demonstrating your keen interest in getting to grips with the basics as well as a bit of history. And then it’s clear that your desire for knowledge broadened even further with our most popular article of the year: ‘Methuselahs, nebuchadnezzars…what’s in a (bottle) name?’. It’s true that the world of wine is full of its own particularities, fun words and bizarre traditions, so it’s not surprising that this question, covering history, religion, language and aesthetics, found its way to the top of the list.
Overall, it looks like you’ve enjoyed our educational content more than anything, and it’s great to see that you want to expand your knowledge beyond the wine in your glass to better understand it!
Let us know what you’d like to see from us this year, and we’ll do our best to write it!