Best of 2021: Issues of the Year

Issues of the Year

As you digest 20 kilos of unnecessary protein and idly consider the reality of turning ‘intended exercise’ into ‘actual exercise’ we would like to help you stay warmly on your sofa with our continued Awards of the Year.

Essentially, we’ve trawled back through this year’s 150+ stories (!) to find the people, businesses, products etc that stood out in the Covid-inspired pile of dung that is 2021.

Today, we’re looking at the issues of the year. The things that the industry talked about, that filled the pages of the press – and that drinks Twitter habitually got itself in a rage about.

Unsurprisingly, given the tendency of the drinks world to talk to itself, and for small groups within it to spend days yelling at each other, there isn’t always much of an overlap between the three…

To make life more fun, we’ve also included ‘Revelations of the Year’ here too.

Winner: Issue of the Year

No question what the biggest issue was of 2021. Wax was everywhere on social media, with furious debates, accusations and counter-claims all over Twatter. Forget the imminent economic or climatic implosion of our planet, drinks Twitter knows how to grapple with the issues that really matter.

The general conclusion was that wax-dipped bottles should be punishable by death and that bottle-shaming was having a terrible psychological impact on our youth. Not that this stopped Bodegas Ludicroso from going almost fully-dipped in its Waxisimo range


You’d think that the smallest European wine vintage for a century might attract some attention within our issues of the year. And it did. Just not as much as whether wax is bad or not…

Still, there were a good few stories about this issue. The Champenois initially decided to use journalistic hot air to protect the vines, but when this didn’t work they opted for human sacrifice. The French government moved fast, opting to sell new smaller ‘vin vial’ bottle sizes – while the Burgundians reassured everyone that their quality was, as always, exceptional. Even if there was no wine.

It wasn’t all bad news though – Italian producers warned us of an ‘apocalyptic shortage‘ of their pink fizz, which led millions of people to search for the world’s smallest violin.

This was a year when a couple of big names looked to space. The Bordelais decided to extend the boundaries of their appellation vertically, and Penfolds, shortly after Chinese police uncovered millions of ‘counterfeit fans’, outlined plans to plant the first ever vineyard on Mars.

As for revelations, there were some truly surprising ones. We had to issue an apology when we realised that Ace of Spades champers isn’t crap after all, and we found the heartfelt ‘we’re sorry’ that Brewdog really wanted to send to its furious staff but didn’t. Perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised that cavemen were big on food and wine pairing, given last year’s shock revelation that dinosaurs invented sherry. But we were.

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