Whilst next year’s Matthew Clark Wine List is not published until April, here in December, work is underway to best represent our 1,450 plus wines in book form. There is always a theme to the list, this year's list featured some wine milestones that have happened over the last 206 years that Matthew Clark have been trading.
I particularly enjoyed writing about how, in 1954, the Mayor of Châteauneuf-du-Pape arranged to have aliens banned from visiting or even flying over the village's precious vineyards - an inspired piece of wine marketing, during an era filled with extra-terrestrial hysteria.
Next year's theme is inspired by a couple of awards we were delighted to have received this year: The International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Wine Importer of the Year and the Sommelier Wine Awards’ Fine Wine Merchant of the Year. This led me to think about the passion our winemaking friends around the world have for their produce and how this is demonstrated right the way through the year. Whether carrying out strenuous work in the vineyard, planning a new vineyard or making changes in the winery; their passionate is reflected in the wines they produce.
The Matthew Clark list has, for many years now, featured an array of beautiful images to visually communicate the year's theme and it's in the run up to Christmas I usually select these for the new list. So here I sit, the gloom of a foggy December day outside, looking at beautiful vineyards and impressions of vintages past, trying to select the best out of thousands, it's a harder job than it sounds - I hope you enjoy them next spring!