esoterica and Valentine

Fellow Wine Lovers,

First things first, no beating about the bush.  Today is Valentine’s Day.  You do all probably know that by now, even if perhaps you were unaware of it last night when you went to bed.  That sickening feeling you felt this morning at 6.45 when you shambled blearily downstairs and were confronted by a whacking great bright pink card, a box of chocolates, 2 dozen red roses and a beaming, expectant partner will never, ever really go away.

‘Sorry, darling, I thought we’d celebrate this evening?   You know, bit rushed in the morning and all that, I’ve got a nice bottle of champagne all ready to go but it just seems a bit early right now….’

And, whilst your thinking that you’re doing an amazing job dodging a relationship bullet, your eyes are giving you away, filled with blind panic and shame at the codswallop you are spouting, safe in the knowledge that you are busted big time, once again.  Time to up your game, you say to yourself, as you surreptitiously google what time the card shop opens…

Forget the card shop though, that moment has gone.  There is still Champagne though because yes, you were right, 6.45 is too early to enjoy the bubblier side of life unless you’re in the Lounge at Gatwick.  And we have them chilled, sparkling wines and champagnes, ready to go, to save your bacon.  Here are some pink options:

Domaine Landreau Cremant De Loire Morin Rose NV – £15.99 – for Champagne fans on a sparkling wine budget

Hawkins Bros Rose Reserve NV – £29.00 – the best thing to come out of Guildford since the A3, a traditional blend but with a little extra fruit than some of the more austere English examples          

Champagne Lallier Grand Cru Rose Brut NV – £37.99 – delicious, Grand Cru grapes, comes in a gift box….                                                 

Delavenne Pere et Fils Grand Cru Brut Rose NV – £45.00 – from Bouzy, which is officially the best name for a wine town, ever

Of course, we have plenty of other fizz available to tantalise your taste buds, all you need to do is remember to come straight home rather than go for a few drinks after work with your colleagues!


Not a whole bucket-load this week – no trips to exotic Northern locations, no loyalty based call ups to the reshuffled Cabinet, no cases of Coronavirus to report.  Sport and weather dominated last weekend, Alex actually won a rugby bet for the first time in a long time whilst this weekend looks a bit bereft of sport and potentially customers too, as half term is upon us.

Nope, just checked, not much else in the news that warrants further discussion, sadly.


Whilst we did stray up North to drink gin last week, this week we stayed closer to home thank god – Oxo Tower and Great Portland Street to be precise – and particularly tested ourselves against wines from North Macedonia, Armenia, Georgia, Lebanon and Greece, these last two feeling quite mainstream in this company.

Anyway, bottom line is, we’ve bought some esoterica.  I think it’s been mentioned before but whilst we like a glass of Kiwi Savvy B or a splash of Prosecco on a sunny day these wines are not necessarily what make us leap out of bed and run to work each day.  No, it’s the stuff around the edges, the wines that actually don’t perhaps have a historic reputation, a listing in a Michelin starred restaurant or a fancy-pants globetrotting winemaker – these are the wines that get us out of our pyjamas.

And we’ve listed some but sadly not all.  In our excitement we ordered a couple of wines from Armenia and one from Georgia to discover that their not in the UK until May – boo.

However we have got, arriving today, the following:


Oumsiyat Merlot 2018 – £15.99 – a supercharged damson/plum fruit nose that follow onto the palate – classic with a bit of oomph!

Republic of North Macedonia

Tikveš Kratoshija 2018 – £9.99 – strawberries and cream and a hint of bacon on the finish trust us, it works!

Tikveš Smederevka 2018 – £9.99 – crisp fruit here which is softened by 15% Riesling in the blend, a rival to Sauvignon Blanc?


Vachnadziani Winery Krakhuna 2018 – £13.49 – really nicely balanced white, somewhere between a Furmint and a north eastern Spanish white – very versatile

Vachnadziani Winery Saperavi NV – £11.49 – easy drinking red, with lots of light, bright fruit and a decent length finish – definitely might find yourself onto the second glass quite quickly!

We also found some less esoteric stuff.

From Italy the San Costantino Cannonau di Sardegna DOC 2018 – £17.49 – a style we have been trying to find for ages – Grenache done the Italian way.

From Spain, a replacement for the now lost Vivir Sin Dormir – Finca Bacara ‘Time Waits For No One’ White Skulls 2018 – £13.49 – a delicious Monastrell from Jumilla – delicious.

From Portugal, another corker for silly money.  Wayne thought it was going to be about £20 when he tasted it – when I told him how much it actually is he almost chocked on his scotch egg!  Quinta da Garrida Reserva 2015 – £11.99 – Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz doing what they do best in the Dão sunshine…

Weekend Wines

I think we’ll open the Quinta da Garrida as we are so excited about it and then it might as well be joined by a fellow countryman in the white corner – Ai Galera Mistico 2018 – £8.99 – a delicious and fresh blend of Fernão Pires and Verdelho that has aperitif written all over it!

So, don’t stay late at work, get yourself home and don’t forget the Friday fizz en route!


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