Michael Smith

Natural wine has brought a sea-change with it. It forces you to re-evaluate many of your assumptions about what makes good wine good; some of these assumptions so basic and so engrained, you didn’t even realise they were there in the first place – a big one being that good wine should be a subtle, ponderous thing, something you take your time over, thinking through all the nuances it evokes.

You could argue wine has a far more fundamental job: to refresh us, to restore us, to quench our thirst. Hence
the trend for vin de soif, “thirsty wine” – fruity, simple, light and gluggable, this is wine to be drunk like prosecco, like beer.

Gamay, the Beaujolais grape, Pinot Noir’s unloved country cousin, is making some amazing vins de soif at the moment. Reds that are light enough to chill, far more fruity than tannic, and almost rosés to look at; what French enthusiasts might call ‘glou-glou’ – perfect for glugging, for beach barbecues, and even, at long last, a red wine we can heartily recommend to people wanting something to go with Thai or Indian curries. It’s a match made in heaven.

Our current favourite two in the shop are the brilliantly named “Thirst,” and “The Pink Moustache,” both from South Africa. Get a glass next time you’re in the shop, we’ll be serving thirsty wines at the bar all summer.

Borough Wines, 34 Robertson Street, America Ground, Hastings

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