Believe it or not, that time has come again.
The pumpkins will barely have stopped smouldering, wafting aromas of charred squash from their carved insides, toasted by the eerily flickering candles. The ringing in your ears from the cacophony of over-zealous neighbours’ firework displays will be gently receding into the general background noise.
In their place will be the crescendo of a familiar sound. Bells. Jingle bells. Yes, retailers are rolling out the Christmas Retail bandwagon.
The only blessing is that this is one of the biggest seasons for wine buying, so it is also a great time for opportunities to taste wines not just for fun, but with a specific goal in mind – easing your way through the season of parties, meals, holiday gatherings and other annual rituals.
First, I suggest you make a plan. Why not decide on making this a year to explore a specific region, or grape, or style, or … shape of bottle, or something. It will help you to limit the options to a manageable level, plus it can help you avoid the temptation of dull promotions, and adds a sense of adventure to the selection.
Once you have this, go and check out events around the UK such as The Wine Gang’s Christmas Wine Fair.
This is a new trend for this sort of event, not driven by retailers, but by wine journalists who bring their collective efforts together to review hundreds of wines and then bring the selection to life at the event. It means that the selection will be more varied than any one retailer might achieve, and focus on wines for their quality rather than simply their price.
Best of all, all the wines are available for sale, and delivery, from the event, so you can taste any wines that interest you. Imagine going into a shop and being able to taste ANY of the bottles on the shelf before buying any. Like an endless pick-and-mix counter with free samples!
Dates for your diary:
THE WINE GANG CHRISTMAS FAIRS
B A T H (THE GUILDHALL) – 2 November
L O N D O N (VINOPOLIS) – 9 November
E D I N B U R G H (THE ASSEMBLY ROOMS) – 30 November
Let me know if you pop along and what you found. I may even see you at the London event