Thursday, 24 April 2014

All Aboard! Why The Wine Tube Map is Our New Best Friend

From the classic blue of the Piccadilly line known to all as it brushes the tourist hot spots, to the vibrant yellow of the more lumbering Circle line, there's no doubting that the London Underground, better known as the 'tube' is famous worldwide.

From bored and fed up commuters to excited tourists, the tube carries thousands of people in all directions; from favourite old haunts to surprising new places (granted I am yet to venture as far as Upminster or Uxbridge at the very ends). Whether you're an Underground regular or a tube dabbler, I'm sure you'll agree it's easy to navigate and if you go too far, you can always get off at the next stop and get your bearings.

Applying the same simplicity to wine, Nikki Welch, with her team at Convivium Wine, developed an easy way to travel the wine world by grouping wine styles together to create 'lines' and allowing us to move along the lines to discover new wines. Introducing the Wine Tube Map.

This. Is. Genius. If you are looking for a simple way to explain wine to let's just say, less informed friends, then this tool is your new BFF. For even the most non-discerning wine drinkers it's simple to explore new wines in keeping with their comfort zone of say, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (yawn!).

Each line is themed with a flavour profile and each station is a grape, region, appellation or collective group. As the lines and stations are simply labelled it removes stigma and prejudices about certain styles or regions for those who haven't flipped through the WSET textbooks.

With seven lines; Aromatic, White Central, Red Central, Easy Loop, Fizz, Rediscovery and Revelation, there is plenty to explore and if you're anything like me, you'll need an unlimited Oyster Card - I'd like to travel to all of the stations thank you! If you fancy changing direction, but not straying too far, look out for the interchanges - stations which fit onto more than one line, like Chardonnay and New World Pinot Noir.

The key is pretty handy too. If you're looking at a label on a supermarket shelf, it can be difficult to know whether what you're reading is the name of the grape variety, the style of the wine, or the name of the geographical region the wine is from. The key shows which is which, meaning you also learn something along the way!

Where will your journey take you?

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