Food & drink

Lockdown turned me into a wine drinker and I’m not mad

*Contains gifted products

Being a wine drinker always struck me as being distinctly more adult that I feel.

I’ve always been a tiny bit envious of those who know the ‘right’ bottle to choose for a present and the casual ease of sharing a bottle over dinner. In contrast, my experience of wine is limited to weddings, work events and Christmas parties where I’d gulp through a grimace solely to reach my perfect level of happy drunk.

In the back of mind, I always wondered if this would change. I always looked longingly at scenic vineyard tours when travelling but swerved them every time, knowing that tasting sessions would be wasted on me.

2020 set the wheels of change in motion. Partly influenced by a gorgeous Italian insisting wine is one of life’s greatest pleasures, I found myself sipping (and nearly enjoying) a crisp glass of white alongside a cream cake overlooking Lake Bled. When lockdown hit, my flatmate and I ended up with a selection of wines from our local shop among our impulse purchases of houseplants and dessert. During the warm April afternoons, the novelty of people-watching with a drink on our balcony started to work its magic; I was coming round.

At the perfect moment in this journey, The Wine List got in touch. The monthly subscription service focuses on learning about wine in an entirely non-pretentious way – a preconception I secretly held about real wine buffs. Along with two wines worth £16 each, the box contains tasting cards and a different ‘wine principals’ lesson every month.

Our box arrived on a Friday, perfectly timed to enjoy a weekend spa evening complete with Mean Girls, chocolate and a glass of Massaya White hailing from Mount Lebanon. Could we be any more of a feminine cliché? The other bottle, Carla Sucia from Mendoza in Argentina, is still waiting unopened for us to enjoy on a chillier evening.

As a complete novice, all white wine still tastes virtually the same to me so the tasting cards come in really handy here. You can make notes on one side, then flip it over for a whole load of information about the region, suggested food pairings and the winemaker story. I’m always trying to find ways to support more independent producers and businesses so the latter was a great touch for me!

Intrigued? If you want to give it a try, visit The Wine List’s website and use the discount code WANDER30 to get 30% off your first order!

So the burning question remains: am I a true convert? The jury’s still out. As a committed gin lover, I’m not sure anything will sway me 100% from my preferred tipple but certain situations do lend themselves perfectly to other options. I can say with some certainty that while I still don’t love it, I’ll absolutely sway towards ordering a glass of white or rosé more often. As for the fuller bodied reds, I might need a little more convincing – a job my flatmate is taking on with gusto.

Laura x

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