Drinking at Christmas

December 17th, 2007 | Uncategorized

The UK government is having a bit of a crackdown on excessive alcohol consumption – and probably not before time. It’s a little depressing to see some UK town centres regularly filled with hoards of young drinkers sprawled about the place in a drunken stupor (unfortunately a sight not exclusively reserved to Christmas time).

However, when it comes to excessive drinking I am not sure that the wine industry is entirely to blame, as I rather suspect that many offenders who stagger the streets on a Saturday night are more likely to be filled with beer and spirits, rather than bottles of Albariño!

At Castro Martin we always try to promote wine consumption in moderation, and I am sure that it will not be too long before we will include a message on our labels to that effect.

One of the other trends that we have also noticed recently are the increased levels of alcohol in wine. It is now quite common to see some new world wines reaching nearly 15% alcohol (the level of fortified wine). This is not intended as a criticism of the new world, as this higher alcohol simply results from the natural process:

Warm climate = more sugar = more alcohol

Until now, this has never been a concern in Rias Baixas – the anticipated alcohol range for Albariño would normally be between 11,5% and 12,5%. Having said that, for the last two years at least, we have seen wines at the upper end of this band, and we are left wondering if this is the effect of global warming on our verdant little corner of Spain.

As a positive selling point I always mention to our customers that Albariño is a ‘drinking’ (food and/or aperitif) wine, where two people can sit down, share, and easily finish the bottle, without feeling too many adverse side effects….. in other words, enjoyable, easy drinking.

So, enjoy your Christmas holidays, and try not to overdo it on the turkey either!

(For more information about the UK drink awareness campaign click here.)

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