This year has been a battle from the jump. From bushfires and toxic air to a global pandemic, but the end of 2020 is in sight as we collectively limp towards the finish line. As Melbourne emerges from the shadows of an 8-month lock down, it looks as though NSW is staring down the barrel of a similar fate. Many cities across the UK and Europe are being clamped down for a second time as COVID-19 evolves and surges on in frightening ways.
While our hearts are with everyone who is suffering and whose Christmas plans and long-awaited family reunions have been thwarted, it felt like a good time to reflect on what helped me through my 2020 lockdown.
I could tell you that it was exercise and good nutrition, but what really saw me through was delicious Australian wine.. and lots of it!
Pinot Noir has been my wine of choice in the cooler months for many years now, and at the top of the list has always been the Devil’s Corner Pinot Noir. It made an impression when I watched on enviously as my friends enjoyed it by the litre at the Taste of Tasmania festival in 2016, when I was pregnant and couldn’t partake.
Who knew that it would later become a lockdown survival kit essential!
When I was asked to collaborate with the iconic Tasmanian brand, I jumped at the opportunity.
Located along Tasmania’s east coast – a scenic two-hour drive from Hobart or an hour-and-a-half from Launceston – Devil’s Corner is home to the wild. They create delicious, bold, humble yet adventurous wines that head winemaker Tom Wallace weaves together with his belief that wines taste better with both the wild and the tame.
While I could drink the Pinot Noir every day (no judgement please), the 2020 Pinot Noir Rose is the perfect example of the Devil’s Corner blend of the best of both worlds - the light and dark, subtle and strong. It was the first bottle I celebrated with when I was finally able to sit in the park with a friend and together unstitch our shoulders from up around our ears for the first time in 8 months. The kids ran wild, the park was filled with Melbournians toasting to their new-found freedom and we all collectively breathed a sigh of relief.
The 2019 Sparkling Cuvee NV was the perfect addition to a special stay-at-home dinner, cooked by my lovely partner (who admittedly does all the cooking at our place), when we realised that date nights at home were about as exciting as it would get in the second half of the year. Light, refreshing and totally turned up the mood from the lockdown blues.
And finally, the 2019 Chardonnay is crisp and zesty and not too oaky as many chardonnays are known to be. This little beauty dressed up our glasses when we were reunited with our family, finally able to sit together at a table and enjoy a meal in person, after such a long time apart.
This year has been incredibly difficult and hugely taxing psychologically. For us here in Melbourne, we made it through 8 long months of separations, transitions, fears and anxiety but some good came out of it too. A deeper sense of connection to our communities, re-evaluating the important things in our lives and finding what brings us joy. One of those things, is most certainly Devil’s Corner wine.
For those people now facing their own versions of lockdown, I highly recommend putting together your own little lockdown survival kit and why not support Australian winemakers while you’re at it?