Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


A year to remember – and a wine to celebrate its end

The understatement of the year might be that 2020 is 12 months that we will all remember. As if anyone could forget.

The past year has been a bitter sweet journey for some of us and just plain bitter for others. It’s with a heavy heart that I recommend a wine of the week for Christmas this year. Not only has the pandemic destroyed the lives of so many people who I never knew, the year of 2020 has seen a couple of very close family members become extremely unwell. Like the pandemic, it just doesn’t seem fair. Life is not ‘fair’. As I write this from my home here in New Zealand, I am acutely aware (and enormously appreciative) that this country  has come to feel like such a sheltered haven from the pandemic and  struggles that so many people are facing around the world this Christmas. So it seems  indulgent to suggest a decadent wine of the week, but here we have it. We’ve all got to take love where we can find it. And wine in all its variety and glory is one of those constant things that brings love to many people’s lives. The love of the flavour and the mild effects are one thing, but, for me, wine evokes memories of place, people and all the fascinating factors that go into making good and great wines. This makes it the world’s most natural and most fascinating thing to drink, for me and for many others.

This week’s top wine is a pink sparkling wine from Daniel and Adele le Brun in Marlborough, New Zealand. It’s just won a stack of awards and it also gets my gong for top pick of their current range of top quality sparkling wines.

If you’re reading this, I hope your Christmas day goes well and is spent with people you love and, hopefully, something tasty and evocative in your glass too.

Wine of the week 

No 1 Family Estate Rosé $47 is… made in the traditional method (the same way as champagne) and is made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes. It’s fresh, bright and bold in flavour with a pale pink colour and loads of bubbles, making every mouthful a refreshing, zingy and fun experience.

It’s even more delicious as it sits in the glass and warms up so be brave and serve it lightly chilled instead of icy.

Merry Xmas and best wishes for a safe end to this week and to this year. I’m looking forward to a new improved version of a year in 2021.

No.1 Rosé RRP $47.00