It has been an eventful year for wine writer and communicator Sorcha Holloway. Her breakthrough Twitter forum #ukwinehour has gone from strength to strength and has brought wine conversation and debate to a huge international audience. Hear she shares the highs and lows of the last 12 months and also looks back on an important week for her close family and how they all spent Christmas together.
Sorcha Holloway is taking a well deserved holiday through the new year. But before she departed she was able to share these thoughts from her Christmas week and a quick look back over the year.
What did you get up to at Christmas?
I’ll be at home with my family, with in-laws visiting from South Africa. It’s my first Christmas as a Step-Granny too so that will add a little bit of extra magic! We are going away after Christmas for a much-needed digital detox – I will hang a “gone fishin’” sign on my Twitter profile.
What did you eat on Christmas Day?
We are very predictable with the food – it has to be a turkey. But in a break from tradition, however, we had our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve night. It can be a good idea for step-families, so everyone gets to spend some time together.
What did you drink?
I usually find the Christmas wines find me. First of all we had some Sherry – Apostoles Palo Cortado from Gonzalez Byass, which is a firm favourite, plus I had a bottle of Williams and Humbert’s “As You Like It” Cream Sherry ready and waiting. I discovered it on a recent trip to Jerez and the bodega with Sherry Wines UK – it’s delicious!
This year’s magnum of fizz was the fabulous 2011 vintage Classic Cuvée Reserve Brut from Dorset’s Langham Winery, trophy winner at this year’s Southwest Vineyard’s Association Awards. Dermot Sugrue’s Trouble with Dreams 2014 also made an appearance.
For Christmas dinner it was a magnum of Brunello, the 2010 from Poggio Antico, the first winery Mr H and I ever visited in Italy. We picked it up when we revisited in the summer. Sometime over the festivities I will also open a Gramercy Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2013 – my wine of the year without a doubt.
What would be your ultimate dream Christmas?
I don’t think I could ever want more for Christmas than I will have this year. As long as I have my core family around me, I’m happy. Family is very important to me, not forgetting the cat. Good wine is a bonus.
Favourite Christmas related film
It has to be Love Actually – draws me in again every time! I’m such an old romantic.
Favourite Christmas song
Tim Minchin’s alternative Christmas song “White Wine in the Sun” – it sums up how I feel about Christmas, really. But wait, can I have two? My other favourite is the David Bowie/Bing Crosby duet of The Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth – I’ve loved it since I first saw it on television as a kid.
What Christmas song would you happily never hear again…
Santa Baby – Any version!
Any classic old Christmas TV favourites from the past (Morecambe & Wise etc)
I always loved the Two Ronnies, and the Christmas Specials from One Foot in the Grave. Classic comedy.
How has 2018 been for you overall?
There were many highs for which I am very grateful – in particular the MUST Conference in Estoril in June, and my first trip to Vinitaly. Most rewarding is the continued growth of #ukwinehour and the great friendships I have made through that. And let’s not forget writing for The Buyer!
We have all been affected by Brexit, I think, and migraine has been a real problem for me this year. However, my whole year has been overshadowed by the death of my father in March. I never knew such loss before – it hit me much harder than I ever anticipated. The first half of the year is a bit of a blur really and I still haven’t quite regained my equilibrium.
Hopes for 2019…
I really hope to find my “mojo” again in 2019. I miss it! I hope that #ukwinehour will continue to strengthen of course, and I plan to write a lot more too. As always, I look forward to visiting wine regions which are new to me and tasting fabulous wines I have yet to discover. I really need the migraines to go away so I can finish my WSET Diploma – it’s impossible to study right now. My biggest hope of course is for Brexit to be cancelled, but I fear that is perhaps a tad over-optimistic.