It may be dry January for some but we’ve still got this month’s top wine picks
Eat here: Balfour Winery Vegan Dinner
Kick start Veganuary in style at this special four-course vegan dinner at Balfour Winery’s tasting room. The evening will begin with a glass of Blanc de Noirs 2018 followed by vegan dishes such as King oyster mushroom “scallops”, Aubergine, date chickpea and pepper tagine, coriander falafel and Vanilla rice and oat milk pudding brûlée. Each course will be accompanied by a pairing of either Balfour wine or Jake’s drink specially selected by head winemaker, Fergus Elias.
Tickets to the event, on January 15, cost £80, balfourwinery.com
Drink from these: Olly Smith Wine Glasses
If you had a few wine glass casualties over the festive period as we did at The Southern Quarter HQ then January is the perfect time to update your collection. Wine writer and broadcaster Olly Smith has sipped from a few glasses in his time so should know a thing or two about the subject. The Saturday Kitchen wine expert has teamed up with German glassware manufacturer Stölzle Lausitz to launch two sets of white wine, red wine, fizz and gin glasses – one for everyday drinking and one for best.
The Charm range costs £14.95 for a set of four glasses and the Exuberance is £19.95. OllySmith.com
Book this: The Avalon Waterside Lodge at Oastbrook
Oastbrook Vineyard is already home to the quirky Hobbit House and a selection of bell tents for summertime glamping but from late spring 2022, the estate will also offer guests a waterside lodge, overlooking its pond. Sleeping two adults (and up to two children on a sofa bed), the lodge will have an elevated decking with a hot tub overlooking the water.
Prices from £160 per night, oastbrook.com
Sip this: Highweald Wine Estate Reserve NV
Launched just before Christmas, this debut release from Highweald Wine Estate in Ansty, West Sussex is a classic blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Highweald was established in 2016 with the planting of over 120,000 vines and, together with a non-vintage rosé, this is their first release to market. Who says sparkling wine season is over? Go on treat yourself to a bottle.
Experience this: Sommeliers on the Slopes
Ski season is here and if you plan on travelling to the Dolmites this year then check out Alta Badia’s programme of wine vents for 2022. Organised by South Tyrol Wine Consortium and South Tyrol’s Sommelier Association, Sommeliers on the slopes has returned to Alta Badia for the 2021/22 winter season with two dates in January – 11th and 25th. Participants will be accompanied by a ski instructor as well as a professional sommelier for the chance to taste some of South Tyrol’s finest wines in two different mountain huts whilst admiring the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The price of the wine tasting session, including the ski guide is €40 per person. Altabadia.org.