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ADVENT CALENDARS AND PROSECCO

Jurlique-Advent-calendar
Jurlique-Advent-calendar

Jurlique is claiming victory. The Australian skincare brand seems to have won the race and the coveted accolade. It is the first beauty brand to release photos and details of its 2022 Advent Calendar.

Every year, the fashion industry competes to see who can release details of the release dates for pre-order of their much-anticipated Christmas promotions. Many are sold out before November.

Pre-order dates are getting earlier and earlier. As are announcements of the pre-order dates.

Founded by Ulrike and Dr Jurgen Klein on their farm in the Adelaide Hills, south Australia,  Jurlique  has announced that orders for their goodie-packed calendar will be taken from early October. Thus beating big names and best-sellers like Jo Malone, Selfridges, Acqua di Palma, Net-A-Porter and Liberty.

No newspaper, magazine or website will be without reviews of this year’s promotional offerings. Everyone wants to get into the conversation about the best and most luxurious buys. Retail prices and the value of contents will be compared and  the best bargains revealed.

Thought to have originated with 19th-century  Lutherans, the first  mass produced Advent calendar was made in Munich in 1851.  Now they are big business.  Samples turn into sample.  The money is made in the marketing and brand awareness.

From now on, we will be swamped with cardboard calendars offering everything from craft beers, pet gifts and adult toys to chocolates.

Prosecco
Prosecco

Whereas early advent calendars contained decorations for the Christmas tree as well as poems and motivational quotes, chocolate manufacturer Cadbury launched its first chocolate advent calendar in the UK in 1971.

Once there would have been 25 doors, with an extra large chocolate behind door 25 for Christmas Day but more recently, to aid production,  calendars only have 24 doors ordered in 6 rows of 4 as it’s easier to pack.

Fine spirits retailer The Whisky Exchange has won the race to announce the first  booze  calendar and contents.

Its 25 Spirits for 25 Days Christmas Advent Calendar contains 25 x 3cls Perfect Measures, including exclusive bottlings not to be found elsewhere like Frapin 1993 , Patron Anejo Barrel Selected and Mauritius 2019 Moscatel cask rum.

The whisky selection features classics such as Saliza Amaretto liqueur, Clairin Communal Rum, Mezcal Amores Verde Momento and Glenfarclas 25 Year Old which sells at £215 a full 70cl bottle.

The 2022 calendar is available from October on thewhiskyexchange.com, priced £175.

That isn’t as madly early as you may think. Traditionally, Advent lasts from November 11, the feast of St. Martin, until Christmas Day. Place your order to avoid disappointment.

August 13th is National Prosecco Day  the traditional time for thinking about Prosecco and thinking about ordering your Prosecco Advent Calendar for this Christmas.

There are some great benchmark Proseccos about. Like Galanti Extra Dry, Villa Sandi “Il Fresco”, Maschio, Sensi 18k, Bottega Pink Gold, Tesco’s Finest Valdobbiadene,  La Gioiosa and Naked Wines small producers like Paolo Saccetto’s  Prosecco Superiore Col de L’Utia and Alessandro Botter’s Prosecco Spumante Borgo di Sassi.

And there is also very good Liverpudlian Prosecco.

Merseyside is the place to go for National Prosecco Day.

Forget Kylie and the Delevigne sisters.

Scouser fizz fiend, Katherine Jones loved her flutes but hated putting on weight.

Since she couldn’t or wouldn’t cut out Prosecco from her daily diet and, after shuttling back and forth between Liverpool and Treviso in Italy, she came up with her own low calorie, organic, waistline-friendly and proudly skinny Prosecco, ThinK.

Think
Think

 

Katherine, who is an international business management graduate and has interned in sales for companies in America and China, also worked for Enterprise-Rent-A-Car.

“I was at a weight loss boot camp and met a woman who is an investment banker. We got talking and she like the idea and provided a start-up loan. I did a lot of wine tasting before finding a family-run winery which happened to be vegan.

“Lockdown was the best thing that could have happened in terms of the business. People were at home and wanted to drink but be mindful of living a healthy lifestyle and our sales exploded through the website. My house was filled with bottles because I was packing the wine from home.

“I wanted to create a drink that people would be able to enjoy, but was also better for them with the reduced sugar. And not compromise on taste and quality.”

That ThinK Wine  Group wine is 0-carb means that people on a keto diet often purchase it. “I created the wines for me, knowing that if no one ever purchased it I would happily get through the lot myself! Eventually!”

Katherine partnered with a highly regarded, vegan and organic vineyard in Treviso near Venice to produce 11% , 62k calories per glass  sparkling wines – ThinK Prosecco and ThinK Pinot Grigio Sparkling Rose. Both have calories approximately 40% less than standard dry.  There is also an organic vegan sparkling rose.

“Why should people have to compromise on taste to live a healthier lifestyle? It  took two years of extensive research to find the right vineyard.”

Katherine, 32, from Aigburth,  is director of both  ThinK Wine Group and We Are Social Nation,  a celebrity/influencer marketing and digital marketing agency.  “I was attending lots of events and celeb parties. I’d go to the opening of an envelope. I piled it on and asked myself : How can attend these functions without feeling guilty?

“By making my own Prosecco.”

We all drink the stuff.  But how many of us know where it is? It’s about an hour from Venice.

From May to August, the Prosecco region hosts sixteen weekend wine shows (“moistras”) and al fresco BBQs.

Or , “bubbles”. In Prosecco you are forever imbibing bubbles.

The “Prosecco Road” is Italy’s oldest wine route. It’s 60kms long and connects you with 120 wine producers. Like Andrea Miotto in Vittorio Veneto. He graduated from the world’s oldest wine school in Conegliano, the hub of Prosecco world. The school was founded in 1876.

La_Gioiosa_Brut_Prosecco_DOC_Treviso
La_Gioiosa_Brut_Prosecco_DOC_Treviso

You’d think a wine drunk so young can’t be old. But it is. 700 years.  It was originally called Pucinum.  Some families in the garden of Venice worked with the Glera grape since 1600.  It may be easy to drink. But it’s hard to make. The vineyards are nearly vertical.

Between Venice and the Dolomites you quickly learn the difference between frizzante ( semi-sparkling) and tranquillo ( still). And to tell a Gregoletto from a Cornetto. You learn that Prosecco is named after a village near Trieste. And passito is Prosecco’s dessert wine.

The “Strada del Vino” takes you past Palladian villas ( built to escape Venice’s mozzies)  , “pieves” (churches), frescoed loggias, the twelfth century Cistercian abbey at Follina, the Mollina Del Croda water mill  and lots of wineries offering tastings and  osterias showcasing “cucina caslinga” ( regional cookery). Don’t miss Locanda Marinelli overlooking Col San Martino near Valdobbiadene.

At the Casa a Giorgio in Conegliano I received unusual pairing tips from Giorgio’s son. Marco turned up the ambient music and said, “ Snails with Sting.  Bee Gees with rabbit. Beer with pizza. And Prosecco with everything!”

Prosecco should be factored in as a two-day tour or a day trip away from the perspiring queues, crammed calles,  pathologically persistent selfie stick salesmen and not great food of Venice. Vineyards have guesthouses. And Conegliano has the Hotel Cristallo.

The toast should always be  “To the land of joyous bubbles and rising pearls!”

And Liverpool. And Tesco’s.

Tesco-Finest-Prosecco-Valdobbiadene
Tesco-Finest-Prosecco-Valdobbiadene