The Chinese year starting on the 16th of February 2018 is the year of the dog. As you probably know, each year in the traditional Chinese calendar corresponds to one of twelve animals and determines the Chinese zodiac sign of those born in that year (for example, the star sign of those born between the 28th of January 2017 and the 15th of February 2018 is the rooster).
We have channelled our inner astrologist to tell you about your drinks personality and the tipples you should try according to your Chinese horoscope sign for the year of the dog.
Born in the years: 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996 or 2008.
Witty, alert and always quick to jump on an opportunity, the rat is the first animal in the Chinese horoscope (legend says, it was the first animal in the queue to meet the Jade Emperor, thanks to a bit of cheekiness to get ahead). You’re positive and adaptable, able to thrive even in adversity.
Your lucky drink: You will enjoy tipples as lively and versatile as yourself, and, being the earliest animal in the stars, you’r luck drinking moment will be the aperitif time. Italian Sparkling wines are the drinks for you this year, whether you casually enjoy a Prosecco or dip into other bubblies such as Franciacorta, Trentodoc or even Lambrusco.
Born in the the years: 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997 or 2009.
Strong, persistent and honest, with the ox, what you see is what you get. You like to take your time with projects and have great stamina. You can be stubborn at times, but in general, it takes a lot to really bother you. You’re committed and determined and that makes you a good leader.
Your lucky drink: Give magnums of wine a chance this year. These large format bottles help keep wine fresh for a long time and are, like yourself, majestic creatures that will fill a room with their presence (here are some of the best magnums of wine we’ve tried recently).
Born in the the years: 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998 or 2010.
Brave and intense, you’re as passionate as they come and you always trying new things in life. You love attention and power, and you have limitless enthusiasm. You tend to be the instigator of your group, always putting together a plan whether it’s a work project or a night out.
Your lucky drink: Roaring Rieslings and other sharp, dry white wines will please your adventurous palate this year. Enjoy wines with minerality and structure, high acidity and a “can’t be ignored” quality to them. Try out Rieslings from regions like Mosel, Germany (for more ideas, check out this Riesling special), or indulge in Sancerre or Chablis, for a francophile glass.
Born in the years: 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 or 2011.
Kind-hearted and fun, rabbits are lovers not worriers. You’re approachable and amiable, with enough charisma to succeed while making friends. You can be a bit impatient and have a little wild side (does the expression “mad as a March hare” ring a bell?) but in general, you’re pretty chill.
Your lucky drink: Gin. Quick to make and even quicker to drink, gin is one of the most sociable tipples out there and just like the rabbit, it has a sharp edge and we like it even more because of that. Look for gins with different botanicals and get creative with herbs, fruits and flowers as you garnish eye-catchy Gin & Tonics (looking for ginspiration? Check out these six new Irish gins).
Born in years: 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000 or 2012.
Regal and creative, you’re a dreamer with the courage to turn those dreams into a reality. Unstoppable and ambitious, you can have a temper, but as things tend to go well, you rarely show it. The dragon is one of the luckiest animals in the Chinese horoscope and a creature of optimism and great imagination.
Your lucky drink: A dragon’s palate shall be honoured by something equally elegant and complex, whiskey. Choose Scotch or peated whiskey for that smokey character that evokes your fire-breathing sign. Alternatively, you can mix a delectable smoked Old Fashioned! (here are some whiskeys we love to get you started).
Born in the years: 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001 or 2013.
Mysterious and wise, the snake’s emotions run deep and it tends to be meditative and insightful. Earning its trust is not an easy task but once you do, you’ll have an ally for life. These independent spirits are adaptable and able to reinvent themselves.
Your lucky drink: This year of the dog, don’t be afraid of Tequila’s bite. While often misunderstood, the Mexican spirit is filled with wonders and can be beautifully complex (sounds familiar). Look for añejo (aged) tequilas, or dare to try sophisticated tequila-based cocktails like the Oaxaca Old Fashioned.
Born in the years: 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002 or 2014.
Noble and gracious, horses love their freedom and their space. They are cooperative and helpful to those who treat them well and while they’re quite agreeable, once they’ve had enough, you’ll know. Agile and elegant, they combine strength and flair.
Your lucky drink: Wines from Burgundy show that same balance between power and grace so they’ll be the ones to try if this is your star sign. Hard to tame Pinot Noirs and magnificent Chardonnay from the region’s numerous appellations will be the ones to try (here are some suggestions to get you started).
Born in the years: 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003 or 2015.
Likable and crafty, you’re social and easy going. Generous and fun-loving, you are not afraid to show your silly side, but you know you don’t need to be the loudest to be the soul of the party. You’re friendly, but rather be part of a group than the centre of attention and you go out of your way to avoid conflicts.
Your lucky drink: Your quest for harmony and balance can only be matched with biodynamic wine. Winemakers go the extra mile to work in tune with natural and cosmic forces to craft these, and the results are works of love and determination (go to the beautiful south of France to try these fine examples).
Born in the years: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004 or 2016.
You’re very clever and like to laugh. Your sense of humour and intelligence make you very charismatic, although you can by a bit too “in your face” if you don’t restrain yourself. You’re an astute problem solver and the phrase “work hard, play harder” was made for you.
Your lucky drink: You will let your more cheerful side come to live this year of the dog if you embrace Tiki Cocktails. These tropical and bright creatures offer a mix of bartending skill and creativity without taking themselves too seriously! (here are some of our favourite places to get our tiki fix around Ireland).
Born in the years: 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 969, 1981, 1993, 2005 or 2017.
Confident and outspoken, you are never afraid of being yourself and telling it like it is. Fortunately, all your big talk is backed by great talent, a trait that could make you a great entrepreneur. You’re a fantastic story teller and are brilliant at motivating yourself and others.
Your lucky drink: You know there’s no need to wait until it’s dark to get moving so brunch cocktails shall be in your future for the year of the dog. From classics like Bellini or Mimosa to the many modern and mouth-watering creations today’s bartenders are mixing, why wait until five o’clock, right?
Born in the years: 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 or 2018.
Known for being loyal and selfless, dogs are also known for having very good instincts and being excellent judges of character. A dog can’t hide its feelings, whether joy or anger, which makes of them the truest of friends (and the best poker rivals, but that’s another story). Dogs love food and are pack animals, so the quickest way to their heart is via their bellies.
Your lucky drink: For food-friendly wines you can count on, go no further than Spain. Spanish wines are as diverse as dog breeds themselves, and as the different winemaking regions are also so rich in gastronomy, they’re often drank along dishes or tapas, and of course, shared with friends (check out seven less famous but wonderful Spanish regions to choose from).
Born in the years: 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007 or 2019.
Unpretentious, laid-back and cheerful, you don’t sweat the small stuff and like to focus on the big picture. You are indulgent and appreciate the wonders of la dolce far niente, but at the same time, you quickly respond to a friend in need and are very generous.
Your lucky drink: Give yourself time to try different craft beers. You know there’s no need for snobbery when you have quality, so you’ll have great fun visiting a craft beer festival or ordering a tasting flight at your favourite pub (here are the craft beer trends for 2018, to add a few to your bucket list).
Gabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.
Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.