Nobel, commercial, international or mainstream, call them what you will, but ‘high street’ grape varieties are invading our wine lists and our wine isles. Sauvignon Bland, Merlot-so-so and Pinot Grigio-no can leave an uninspired taste in your mouth. So is our wine choice suffering from an attack of the clones? ………
Secret Diary of a Wine Girl
What do you get the man that has everything? This Fathers Day I’ve received a peculiar number of ideas from beauty companies, of all things! But the thought of giving my Dad a man-oisturiser or a man-icure leaves me feeling all metrosexual and a little bit floppy. If your Dad is anything like mine then time with family and friends is top of his gift list so getting him a bottle of the good stuff to share with them is treat enough.
From the guys I told you about that sell the amazing Château Filhot Sauternes, ThePerfectCellar.com are offering 16% off all orders placed before midnight on the 12th June and their Château Les Ormes 2008, Saint-Julien, Bordeaux is just what the Daddy ordered! A classic left bank blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot grapes it’s seriously luscious, fruity, herbaceous, robust and manly. Serve it with something you know he’ll love; steak frites, casserole, bangers & mash or mature cheese. ………
If you find wines from France a bit of a mind field then this Syrah-Viognier from micro-négociant Nicolas Perrin is a great introduction to where contemporary French winemakers are heading. Très down-to-earth in it’s approachability this is a traditional blend from the Rhône Valley made in a full and fruity New World style. Predominately Syrah (aka Shiraz) it’s ripe with purple fruit characters, violets and black cherry. A splash of Viognier is mixed in the blend (typical of Rhône reds) which adds a fresh and floral touch to a wine I could happily drink day in, day out.
Eton Vintners, Windsor (etonvintners.co.uk) RRP £10.95
Since Baby Bouquet arrived I’ve been swatting up on my nursery rhymes and they’re surprisingly downbeat; if Jack and Jill aren’t tumbling down a hill, then Humpty is irreparably damaged or the best part of a case of wine (ten green bottles to be exact) has met its demise. At a time when green bottles are a sign of comfort for most new mums, singing about them crashing one by one is quite terrifying!
You only need to google ‘wine’ and ‘mums’ to see I’m not exaggerating; Mums are talking and reading about wine and there are some awesomely named websites that really hit the nail on the head. Take the Knackered Mothers Wine Club, OMG I so need a glass of wine or I’m gonna sell my kids and the bluntly named Moms who need wine…..! ………
When I look at my toolkit of go-to brands it’s the ones I think of the least that I rely on the most. Like my Eve Lom moisturiser and my Seven for all mankind skinny’s once they’re on you can get on with things or as the French say “..if your clothes are right you don’t notice the clothes you notice the woman.”
When it comes to wine the same should apply, you want to enjoy the bottle you’re drinking but the moment you’re drinking it in should speak for itself, which makes pairing your wine with the drinking occasion a trick worth mastering.
Take this bottle of Café Cabernet produced by Linton Park in Paarl, South Africa; on its own it’s a little too shouty, a bit full on and kind of raw but drink it with some good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa is best) and it smooth’s away the edges, brings out the blueberry and spiced plum flavours and allows you to gobble up those last few bits of Easter chocolate effortlessly. When the wine is right you don’t notice the wine you notice the moment.
Café Cabernet is available from thedrinkshop.com, £8.99. Chocolate not included!