Happy New 2016 everyone!
It has been a full year of reporting about wines to buy or to avoid for us and we have received quite a few emails from our community members with some suggestions and simply thanking for the roundup reviews. Well, the pleasure is all ours as we do like to write about wines (organic wines in particular!)
This January edition is a bit unusual as there won’t be any wines in it – surely you have indulged during Christmas and thinking about detox, weight loss or simply drinking less. Have you had some amazing bottles of wine during festive season? We bet you had!
We initiated a discussion on the Forum whether you should do Dryathlon this month or not – make sure you post a reply with your views. We will also draw one random reply to win a bottle of Petit Mas Sinen – an organic wine from Priorat that was featured on our site as Best organic buy of the month – November 2015. We are looking forward to your posts!
Also on the Forum, we have posted a quick question about Paleo diets – do you think it works or it is just a fad? Dimitri is happy to report that he has followed it for just one week – no pasta, no bread, no sugar and two alcohol free days – and lost a kilo. Yes, he also went to gym twice, swam twice, did an Iyengar yoga session and played tennis (each activity approx. an hour, so nothing too strenuous). He feels better, lighter and there are no strict rules as such. Sounds good? Have you tried it? Is it just eating less and exercising more or Paleo really works? Share your thoughts and experience with us on the Forum!
As you may know, the guideline limits for alcohol consumption were recently lowered for men – it means just 14 units of alcohol are recommended for men every week. That is around 9-10 small glasses of wine. Is it a Government attempt to further try to reduce binge drinking?
On top of that, as we have also suggested in our guide how to drink well but less, you should have plenty of water everyday and try introducing one (two is definitely better) alcohol free days.
One of the easiest ways how to get those alcohol-free days in and do not feel like you’re longing for a glass of wine (or two) is to cook something that is not very ‘matchable’ with wine (think spicy Thai or pan-Asian food and reds) and introduce an alternative to wine drink (i.e. mix grape juice with sparkling or still water or mix cranberry juice with sparkling water or even a light tonic). If you want to get further you need to train you body (and mind most importantly) on getting less alcohol with your meals. We know how you can introduce it gradually – have you thought about low alcohol wines?
The Doctor’s Sauvignon Blanc is available at Waitrose Cellar for just under £9 per bottle and is also just 9.5% abv. It means that you can squeeze in half a small glass of wine without breaking the guideline limits.
Trittenheimer Apoteke Riesling Kabinett 2008 is another example of a low alcohol wine but now from Majestic Wine. It will cost you just under £10, but you can save £1 per bottle if you buy a pair. It is an off-dry white that would be great with the spicier and more fragrant Asian dishes and you are slightly better off with the reduced alcohol content.
There are also de-alcoholised wines as such, but we have tried quite a few and quite frankly rather mix grape juice (you can buy Merlot grape juice at Waitrose supermarkets) with water. Similarly, if you want something ever lower in alcohol, you can opt to a 1% low alcohol cider. It actually doesn’t taste so much different and you get a massive ‘saving’ in terms of abv. It doesn’t mean you need to compensate by drinking quite a few pints!
Food-wise it is definitely all about eating organic, cooking from scratch and enjoying it mindfully. If you haven’t tried Abel and Cole for their veggie boxes, but also game and poultry boxes, fruit ones and other organic produce, you should – they run regular introductory offers (we have got our 4th box for free!) and you can add or remove the produce for your next delivery with ease. Highly recommended.
We have been busy too last year. The latest online wine merchants review could be found here – find out more about how different online wine retailers handle delivery, returns and what special promotions are available. Our full review of wine clubs in the UK is here, hopefully you make the most of it.
Wine club of the month
Just to add a bit of competition between the clubs and also for you to know where the most value is, we decided to launch a simple top wine club review each month within this summary article.
So the wine club of the month of January 2016 is… Laithwaite’s Wine plan. It has got a very attractive introductory offer: you save £50 on their intro wine plan 12-bottle case, plus pick the case, get two stemless wine glasses (worth £14.99) and free delivery. What’s not to like? The choice of intro cases is a bit limited though, yet if you know it is red, white or mixed case that you want to try – order away with confidence.
On top of that, as we track how many of our visitors actually bought from / subscribed to different wine clubs in 2015, we can say that Laithwaite’s Wine was a close second to Waitrose Cellar (yet as the latter is not a wine club entirely, we need to give this imaginary trophy to Laithwaite’s Wine!)
It is more a wine club of the year, but it is a good start for 2016- other wine plans can only get better to stay competitive.
More wine club news and healthy and happy wine lifestyle tips to come in our reviews to follow, but for now just take care and enjoy January!