I wonder did people bother with ‘dry January this year? I mean haven’t we enough on our plates to be worried about?
In a year that had a pandemic, unusual USA elections, and Brexit, you would forgive me for wondering where to start, when looking back at 2020?
I suppose the main disruption to all our lives was (is) COVID-19. And I’m sure the world does not need me to add to the bountiful supply of information on same. So, as this is a wine blog, in the main, I guess you’ll forgive me for focussing on that subject matter rather than other global issues.
Look at How our Oenophile Habits have been Shifted.
2020 caused a big shift in our wine habits. For instance, we now buy more wine online than ever before. Many people have now started to taste and learn about wine virtually. And look at where we’re not drinking wine – parties and bars and sometimes not even at home with friends!
Maybe the only thing that this coronavirus hasn’t changed is what we put in our glasses. Last year, we still favoured white and light reds during the summer, and warmer reds in recent months.
From an industry point of view, 2020 also saw the earliest harvest ever in Burgundy and devastating fires in California, for the fourth year in a row. Surely an alert for all of us that climate change is a truly serious issue for wine regions. I would expect many of 2020’s trends to evolve this year in particular the health and wellness boom during this stay-at-home pandemic.
Hopefully the promised vaccines will go a lot of the way towards returning our social lives to a new normal, whatever that will be.
Some Wine Trends to Watch Out for in 2021
As I alluded to above, 2020 will be remembered for many things. In a world of lockdowns and economic uncertainty, people took comfort in things they could easily access. This was a good thing, I believe. We were all speaking to friends more often, reading (or re-reading) books, cooking, participating in outdoor exercise and buying local.
Unfortunately, it was also a devastating year for so many businesses associated with wine – restaurants, hotels, bars, catering and tourism. Fingers crossed that in 2021 things will be better for our industry. This will be vital for people’s livelihoods and the Irish economy as a whole.
Our view here in Green Acres is that changing the calendar to 2021 will not immediately change the narrative. However, we hope that normal service may start to resume by the middle of 2021. At that stage vaccinations should become more widespread. Also, the medical community will learn more about how to control the virus.
Speaking of trends, I have no doubt that rosé will be a big hit in the coming spring months. Particularly pink prosecco. This will have a novelty factor after a recent Italian law change. The Law states that Pinot Noir grapes can now be used to make the sparkling wine with a hint of pink. Here are some others:
- A focus on health, wellness and natural drinks
- Better online wine tasting options (the new happy hour?)
- There may be a wine seltzer (ugh)
- Sustainability will be even more important
- Streaming live experiences and tastings will become the norm
Did You Stick to a Dry January?
So, ‘dry January’. How did you get on? Fair play if you stuck to (are sticking to) your goals. Personally, I did not pursue a dry January. I did experiment though with some lighter-in-alcohol wines instead of my usual winter wines.
I mean, after the year we’ve just finished, who could blame us? Popping a bottle of wine at night provides one of life’s most simple pleasures. During 2020 we persisted, we survived, and this year we’ll continue to fight on.
Are Low-Carb Wines good for Weight Loss?
You will not believe how many people that asked me about wine and weight-loss during January.
Of course, this coincides with New Year resolutions, healthier lifestyles, more wine consumption during the Holidays and ‘dry January’. Obviously, I’m no dietician or medical professional. So for professional advice I recommend you contact somebody that’s qualified in such matters.
I am aware though that some wine options that are lower in alcohol. Also, residual sugars are also lower in calories and carbohydrates as a result. How do I know?
There are a few key specifications you can look for to identify low-carb wine. I have touched on this topic in previous blog posts such as “Give Sweet Wines a Chance”
- Alcohol by volume (ABV). The alcohol level is required to be listed on bottles and can be found as “ABV” or alcohol by volume. For a low-carb wine, aim for 13 percent or less.
- Residual sugars: Low-sugar wines are naturally low in carbs because sugar is a type of carb. Finding residual sugars can be a bit more challenging compared to ABV. Low-carb wines will have less than 10 grams per litre (g/L).
- Dry taste. Even if you can’t find the exact amount of residual sugars, you can use your taste buds as a guide to find low-carb wines. The drier the wine, the lower the sugar content. Varieties like Champagne, sauvignon blanc, and chardonnay. Pinot grigio, merlot, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, and Malbec generally contain somewhere between 2 to 4 grams of carbs per 5-ounce glass.
Needless to say I am not going to answer my own question above – because I cannot. But what I can give you is an indication of general carb estimates per 5-ounce glass:
- Extra Brut Champagne: 1 gram
- Sauvignon blanc: 3 grams
- Pinot gris/grigio: 3 grams
- Chardonnay: 3.2 grams
- Pinot noir: 3.4 grams
- Gamay: 3.5 grams
- Cabernet franc: 3.6 grams
Here’s to a wine-filled 2021
Please raise a glass to the souls we lost during this pandemic and to every essential worker who soldiered on for the greater good. May 2021 bring you a should-to-shoulder, convivial, gathering around a dinner table heaving with bottles of beautiful wine.
If you would like to talk to any of the wine team here in Green Acres about wines, pop-in, call us, browse online or email me at email@example.com.
#maskingforafriend – Talk Soon – James.