January is traditionally the time many of us decide we need to take ourselves in hand and get stuck into a whole host of new year’s resolutions in a bid to get back into shape.
One of the most popular in recent years is the ‘Dry January’ trend, where you pledge to give up alcohol for the whole month to give your body a bit of a rest and ‘clear out’ your system.
But if the thought of getting through these dark and chilly days without at least a few sips of your favourite tipple is a step too far – especially in these challenging times – then may we suggest a slightly different approach: drink less, but drink better.
What we mean by this is buying better quality products from local producers who put their heart into everything they make, as we do!
Make it mead
A good place to start, particularly if you want to at least give a nod to looking after your body, it to choose a drink whose ingredients have supposed health-giving properties.
The so-called ‘nectar of the gods’, mead has long been rumoured to have aphrodisiac properties, and was historically presented to newlyweds to enjoy during their honeymoon in order to ensure a fruitful union bearing plenty of children.
Here at Lyme Bay Winery, all of our meads are made from fermented honey, which is the main source of sugar in the fermentation process – rather than grape juice, which many other producers rely on.
Our honey blends have been carefully selected to give the unique rich, caramelised character our meads are known for. These include polyfloral honey from the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, and a small amount of English honey. Although we cannot buy as much English honey as we would like due to the lower production in this country, it complements the Mexican proportion perfectly in giving a really rich, slightly herbal aspect to the blend.
Of course without bees there would be no honey, and many other human and animal foodstuffs depend upon the bees’ pollination. Therefore the more mead we can make, the more honey we need, and the more the bee populations are supported – so if you want to help the bees, buy more mead!
Distinctly English wines
All our wines are made from the finest grapes sourced by a select group of growers that we consider to be the best in the UK.
The grapes, or ‘parcel’, we get from each of these growers are used for a distinct purpose in our wines – sometimes to bring what we call ‘lifted fruit’ within a blend or to add complexity. In some cases the grapes form a small parcel of wine in itself, if they give a complete wine of exceptional quality.
For our still wines, we select only the specific vines that give grapes of a high enough quality with no compromises, as our managing director here at Lyme Bay Winery, James Lambert, explains: “While this mostly means that, for varieties like Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, the vines of our growers in Essex and Kent are often derived from ancient vines grown in Burgundy, our aim is to perpetually showcase the distinctly English terroirs of our growers, which we believe are world class and will increasingly be seen as such.”
As with our still wines, each of our sparkling wines is also distinct, of exceptional quality and has its own, specific purpose. “A good example of this is our Brut Reserve”, says James, “which sits squarely between a Prosecco and Champagne. Zesty and fruit-driven but made in the same way as Champagne, it’s a great example of a sparkling favourite but with a distinctly English identity.”
If the idea of rum makes you think of something you’d only drink in a cocktail on a hot holiday isle, we think a couple of tots of our award-winning Jack Ratt Lugger Rum might change your perspective.
Unlike most commercial spiced rums, Lugger Rum is not defined by an overpowering vanilla characteristic. Instead, our aim was to create a rum that offers a full profile of spices of a standard not yet seen in the UK.
After extensive research and tasting, we settled on two rums to use as our base: the first a five-year-old rum from Trinidad bringing complexity, caramel and a smoothness you can only get from an aged rum; and the second a white rum from Guyana, home to demerara sugar, with a unique smoothness and quality.
Once on site, we carefully blend these to our unique proportions and age the resulting combination for a further six months in used Tennessee Whiskey barrels to add weight, smokiness and complexity. After this we spice the rum with nutmeg, orange peel, cloves and vanilla, before bottling on site at our BRC Grade A facility. Each bottle is labelled by hand, ensuring none leave us with even a single imperfection – a final testament to the care and passion with which it was made.
Order drinks online for delivery
If you’d like to place an order for these or any of our other delicious and meticulously made drinks you can order online or get in touch with our friendly Winery team via email at email@example.com or by calling us on 01297 551355.