One of our favourite events of the calendar is just around the corner, next Tuesday to be precise. It’s Saint Patrick’s Day, when everyone celebrates being Irish, whether or not we are! March 17th is an annual excuse to wear ridiculous green novelty hats and glasses, roll out our excruciatingly bad Irish accents and drink a pint or two of Guinness, wherever we are in the world.
That we pay homage to the patron saint of Ireland by drinking the country’s (even world’s) favourite malt beverage is hardly a surprise; after all, the Emerald Isle doesn’t exactly boast a thriving wine industry, does it? Yet, it made us wonder what saintly wines existed, so we did a bit of research. It turns out that the French may be the holiest of them all, with an impressive array of appellations (AOC’s) bearing a saintly name.
We all know people who plan their holidays around sporting events, like the FIFA Football World Cup. Others match their leave dates with music festivals, such as Glastonbury and Coachella. Then, there is another group, the wine lovers; where holidays always seem to conveniently take place in wine producing regions and coincide with grape festivals.
If, like us, you fall into the latter category, here is a selection of the world’s best wine festivals to mark in your holiday diary and ignite your wine wanderlust:
You may have noticed the word organic has started appearing in conjunction with the word wine with rather more frequency over the recent years. Considering that our supermarkets are full of organic products, it’s no surprise that this trend has spilled over into the world of the fermented grape as well. Yet this is one word which has a mind-boggling array of definitions, so, when we talk about organic wine, what does it actually mean?
If you’ve had the pleasure of spending some time in the South of France, you’ll know this sparkling stretch of Mediterranean coastline is synonymous with sun-kissed afternoons drinking carafe after carafe of pretty salmon-hued Côtes de Provence rosé. The arrival of shorter days and cooler nights doesn’t seem to hamper anyone’s enthusiasm for a glass of it, either! In fact, even the merest hint of sun during winter is accompanied by cries of ‘time to open a bottle of rosé!’
Never fear, however, if you’re not a fan of said pink drink. It doesn’t hold a liquid monopoly along the Côte d’Azur! Far from it in fact! If you prefer to seek out a locally brewed beer, a specialty spirits bar, the perfect view to share a bottle of Champagne, or (dare we say it), a glass of vin blanc or vin rouge, here’s our drinker’s guide to the French Riviera!