Bring us another deck chair and a glass of good wine!

December 7, 2016

Last year’s glitter and excitement was great, but this year all I want for Christmas is a comfortable recliner and a glass of bubbles. After all, the festive season in Australia is about barbecues, playing cricket by the river with the kids and enjoying an afternoon drink with friends and family. It’s what Aussies do best, so don your thongs, grab a glass and … well, that’s about it. US readers please note – what we call thongs, you call flip flops – they go on your feet.

Anyway, between glasses you will invariably find yourself gazing through the gum leaves at the vast expanse of blue sky, vaguely aware of the lazy caw of nearby crows… this my friends is the moment to reflect on the year.

As I reflect on 2016, many moments come to mind. I have attended some superb tastings, some glamorous and formal, some delightfully quirky and spontaneous; each experience beautifully enhanced by the company of wonderful people. The highlights of the year would have to be my trips to Jonah’s luxurious Restaurant and Boutique Hotel at Whale Beach, and Torbreck Vintners in the Barossa Valley. Seaplanes, luxury luncheons, vineyard tours and uncovering the vast history of wine are at the top of my indulgences list – it has been a good year.

2016 has flowed with the currents I have come to expect from the wine industry. Sparkling Roses, sprightly spritzes and bubbly Prosecco in the summer months, progressing to warm reds and even whisky in the chilly winter months. And while it felt like winter would never end, summer has finally returned, to complete the cycle. Light, crisp, fresh and sparkling is back on the menu and frozen cocktails are rapidly gaining popularity.

If the cricket game lasts long enough, you may find your reflections reach deeper levels. This is where you might conjure up the distant memory of your new year’s resolutions. Being one of those lucky people that work in the field I love, my resolutions mainly centered around La Vigna and how best to care for my customers. If you received sincere, accurate and helpful service in your dealings with La Vigna this year, then my year was all I hoped it would be.

By this time, you have watched with mild amusement as fellow picnickers struggle to recover their ball from the river and shielded your wine glass from a massive black dog that decided to shake himself dry centimeters from your chair. You have shared good food, good wine, good company and even had time to ponder. What better way to spend the festive season?

On that note I would like to thank all of you – the dedicated readers of The Secret Cellar, each customer who has walked through the doors of our store, and all the wonderful people with whom I have shared a laugh in 2016. The retail wine industry is both fun and challenging, and I am sincerely grateful for your support. There are few greater pleasures than helping customers find the perfect bottle for their important events and celebrations.

If you haven’t quite finalised your drinks list for this festive season, there is still time. Drop in to the store and we will be happy to help. For now, I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year. May your eskies be ever full of good wine!

- Ann Marie,

La Vigna

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