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January 09, 2023 2 min read

Relax, renew, create, repeat 

Take a deep breath and exhale slowly. There, congratulations! You’ve made it through 2022. Now the new year beckons you with a litany of so many hopes, dreams and aspirations you could take a shovel to them.  

There’s a reason so many festivals worldwide happen around the winter solstice. As the days lengthen we start to feel slight changes in our mood. Complex biological rhythms telling us that renewal and rebirth is only around the corner as Spring starts to motion us from a distance.  

As someone who loves a good list (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?), New Year’s resolutions  are the annual ritual I can’t avoid.  But to know where we are going, you must take stock of where we’ve been. So if you’ll grant me this indulgence, I’d like to cast a brief eye over my past year in wine, and more specifically what I’ve learnt. 

  • Amontillado Sherry, where have you been all my life? If you’re having friends over for dinner, start them off with a selection of savoury snacks and a glass. They’ll forgive you for nuking the steak. 
  • Food pairing is still an underappreciated art and it pays to give it more thought. One interesting idea I heard was to pair wine with food of the same weight.  A medium-bodied Pinot Noir with hake isn’t as outlandish as it sounds.  
  • Wine is still intimidating for many, but wine professionals don’t always have all the answers. Its ok to say “Actually, I don’t know”. People appreciate honesty and enthusiasm. 
  • Wine is ultimately a sensual experience.  Parker points and prices will sometimes interfere with this and there’s  no getting away from that. 
  • There is something to be learnt in every bottle, even those you don’t like. Mistakes, faults and regretted choices are the portals of discovery. 
  • Restraint at any wine tasting is essential. After all, brakes make your car go faster. 

 

If I could sum up my 2022, it would be that passions are not found or unlocked but instead created. A winemaker’s passion is to give a fitting expression to the terroir year in, year out. It takes a  lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears and all on repeat. It’s also a lot of fun.

- Shane Golden


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