Dry January is just a distant memory of misadventure and misery

Fellow Wine Lovers,

This week we feel we have discovered the mistress of the understatement:  Susannah Gill, a lady from London who has just broken the women’s record for the World Marathon Challenge.  She ran seven marathons in seven days, enjoying the chill of -35˚C in Antarctica and toasting her toes in 35˚C in Cape Town, before finishing the feat in Miami. Her average time was 3hrs 28mins per marathon  and afterwards, Gill admitted the challenge of running successive marathons in Antarctica, Cape Town, Perth, Dubai, Madrid, Santiago and Miami in the space of a week, while having very little sleep, “had been tough”.

In other news this week, Brexit seems to continue to dominate the front pages, despite Liam Neeson’s best efforts. We saw that deals had been signed with the US and Chile on the wine front, ensuring no disruption of supply. Meanwhile, Theresa May got some more points on her Eurostar loyalty card, popping over to see her old mates for a quick chinwag in Brussels. The real news in Europe, aside from all the clickbait stories surrounding Brexit, is that France has recalled their ambassador to Rome after the Italian Deputy Prime Minister met leaders of the Gilet Jaunes. Finally, we were amazed at Donald Tusk’s suggestion that there may be a special place in hell; we’d always thought it was amongst the small print on the terms and conditions you click for new software.

I don’t know about you but if the rest of the games in the Six Nations are as exciting as last weekend, we are in for a treat. If France turn up for both halves on Sunday it should be quite a game; on Saturday, Scotland will host an Irish team keen to make a point and a much changed Welsh side travel to Rome.

On the football front, Tottenham have had another knockback on their stadium which is great news for Arsenal as they will get a game at Wembley this year after all!

Often at this time of year we turn some of our attention to the horses, it is barely a month till Cheltenham, a festival which holds a special place in our hearts. Disaster struck this week though, as up to 100 stables are on lockdown following an outbreak of equine flu. So if you see horses on the common, stay away from their sneezes!

We’ve been spotted on the tube by several of you so we’ll come clean and tell you that we’ve been out and about on the town tasting again this week. We like to think of it as working, I’m sure you all have a view. Tuesday saw us on a trip to Vintners Hall.  It’s always a joy to go along to ‘Head Office’ as it were. We tasted a selection of tasty morsels, a couple of the new vintages of old favourites too. Thursday saw us in the function space at Oxo Tower where we managed to whizz round in superfast time despite bumping into a few old chums. We tasted a Sauvignon Blanc IN A CAN!  Can you believe it? The wine trade, full of stuffy old geezers with red trousers and Beaumes de Venise aftershave, has put Sauvignon Blanc in a can! I have to say it tasted fine, and we wondered if it might be just the thing for a picnic, come summer?

If the raucous, and occasionally ribald, Italian tasting we hosted last night is anything to go by, most of us are well over being abstemious and Dry January is just a distant memory of misadventure and misery. Just in time too because we have the celebration of Saint Valentine to contend with next week and, frankly, there is nothing better to help you get through that mountain of cards from secret admirers than a long stiff drink!

With this in mind we’ll have a couple of wines open this weekend with very loose connections to February 14th.

In the white corner we’ll have a pink fizz which, whilst clearly not white, is often a winning choice on Valentine’s Day – Domaine du Landrau Cremant de Loire Rosé – £15.99 which, as we all know but I’ll remind you, is a blend of Grolleau and Cabernet Franc.  Delicious, with a fine mousse, crisp fresh raspberry tinged fruit and a lovely mouthfeel, this is a perfect aperitif and awesome with an indulgent pile of smoked salmon!

We looked around for a suitably naff red to link with Valentine but it seems we have no wines with hearts and suchlike on them and Meerlust just felt a tad inappropriate.  So the red representative this week is a wine from Valencia, made using grapes from forty year old Monastrell vines, which are then blended with a dollop of Cabernet Sauvignon.  It’s a mouthful of damsons and cherries and is a fab all-rounder from a food point of view. 

Its name?  El Bon Homme 2016 – £13.99 – for the good bloke in your life!

In the eto we have Cambria Benchbreak Pinot Noir (£27.49) from Santa Maria Valley in California – it’s been in there all week so we can see how it has got on under the rubber seal…

And now we must off – have a bon weekend avec your bon homme or bonne femme and batten down those hatches!

Comments are closed.