Wine Instagram 2020, a window into drinking widely

by  |  04-01-2021  |  2 Comments

“Well, it tastes good to me…”

I don’t know who I’m borrowing this from as others have said it prior to me in that if you want to learn about wine, drink a different wine, from a different part of the world, every night for a year. You’ll learn things and come away seeing the broad landscape that is wine. (Side note, this is basically want WSET does but with some structure and planned guidance.)

Absolutely every winemaker I respect is religious about wine exploration. They taste different wines, from literally everywhere, and many will even hold regular tastings with their staff to expand their understanding of wine as well. It gives you a window on to what’s possible with different grape varieties and what people are trying throughout the world.

For anyone who works on the critical side of wine whether that be judging, writing, or just wanton punditry (you know who you are), the need to taste widely goes up ten fold. But, in addition to that, you have to continually do it lest you lose touch with what wine “is” at any given moment.

My being based in Spain isn’t like being based in London or San Francisco or Hong Kong. Wide access to wine isn’t readily available, even with mail order on the rise. But despite that I constantly do what I can to taste as much as I can.

So, in the past, I’ve made a series of wine predictions this time of year which I thankfully stopped doing last year as I would have looked like an raving idiot given how the year went. I didn’t pick it up this year either because of, you know, “meh”.

Looking at the broader picture is still a fun process however and as it’s very easy to rip into 2020 as being one of the shittiest years in our lives (as it was) I also wanted to have a look at my Instagram account, @mhudin and see exactly what I was drinking last year. Those are fond memories worth reviewing.

With a great deal of counting help from my editor and co-imbiber, it appears that there were 115 shots of wines on my account last year. This isn’t to say that I only had 115 wines for the year (it was most definitely much more) as some were multiple bottles from the same region and more importantly, there were literally too many wines to post all of them as I don’t really like doing more than one shot a day. And then there were some wines that just weren’t amazing so I didn’t make a mention of them.

In terms of countries, it breaks down as such:

  • 90 Spain
    • 74 Catalunya
      • 27 Priorat
      • 12 Montsant
      • 12 Empordà
      • 11 Penedès (and region)
      • 4 Corpinnat
      • 3 Pla de Bages
      • 2 Cava
      • 2 Terra Alta
      • 1 Conca de Barberà
    • 6 Bierzo
    • 2 Ribeira Sacra
    • 1 Rias Baixas
    • 1 Cariñena
    • 1 Somontano
    • 1 Calatayud
    • 1 Cigales
    • 1 Castilla y León
    • 1 Rioja
    • 1 Sherry
  • 7 South Africa
  • 6 France
  • 2 Georgia
  • 2 English
  • 1 California
  • 1 Bolivia
  • 1 Greek
  • 1 Ukraine
  • 1 Moldova
  • 1 Croatia
  • 1 Italy
  • 1 Australia

That’s not bad given how the year ended up and nearly all my travel plans were canceled.

The dearth of French wines is a bit surprising, but I suppose it’s because there were many that were drank and not posted. Also, I was supposed to be in Burgundy, Bordeaux, Southern Rhône, and Languedoc, but all that got scuppered. And then there’s the fact that I usually buy French wines at the cellar when I can, so if I’ve got a box of say, Familie Perrin’s awesome Gigondas or Forey Pere et Fils excellent-value Bourgogne Rouge, I’m not going to post those every time I open a bottle–that would be far too repetitive.

And the Priorat shouldn’t come as a surprise given that I live in the region, love the wines, and wrote my annual report about it earlier this year. Same goes for Empordà, Montsant, and Pla de Bages.

Why is there that spike of Bierzo? Well, there’s a fresh report coming shortly on that tasty region as well as Somontano.

Again, I need to emphasize that there was, uh… a lot more wine opened than these this year, but this forms some kind of an overview of what I’ve been drinking and I can see that in 2021, I really need to double down on my efforts to taste broadly as it’s very easy to fall into drinking what you know.

Doing so shrinks your horizons only to what’s in front of you, and sees you end up like a winery I recently visited where they have a wine priced at 1,200€ (per bottle) but tastes like it should cost about 24€, maybe.

Why the high price? Well, because it “tastes great to us”, the calling card of those who don’t challenge themselves.

Comments

2 responses to “Wine Instagram 2020, a window into drinking widely”

  1. hermann haverstick says:

    1 Italian?

    • Miquel Hudin says:

      As I mentioned, there were many more wines drank than appeared on Instagram.
      I don’t intend to change that even though I saw yesterday someone intended to document every single wine he tastes this year…

      Probably a good 15 or so Italian wines in total laat year. Exceedingly hard to get better wines from the country as they can’t compete with Spanish on price point. And honestly, if there’s something I really want to drink more of, it’s Greek.

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