Thankyou, Rioja, Chablis, Pouilly Fume and luncheon Claret

Fellow Wine Lovers,

As it was Thanksgiving yesterday we thought we should say thank you, thank you, thank you for the events of the past week.

Thank you for eventually resigning, Robert, although we’re not sure what you’ve done with Grace.  Thank you Philip, for freezing duty on beer, wine, cider and spirits.  Thank you also for continuing to freeze fuel duty.  Thank you Tottenham for making Arsenal fans happy, yet again.  Thank you, James Vince and Mark Stoneman, for at least getting us through Day 1 at the Gabba.  Thank you, Eddie, for putting Dylan on the bench tomorrow.  And thank you the British Medical Journal for publishing two reviews on subjects close to our hearts, relating to coffee and alcohol.

First up, coffee.  3 or 4 cups a day might be healthy and might reduce the risk of liver disease, some cancers, the risk of dying from a stroke and certain heart complaints.  Equally, too much coffee during pregnancy can be harmful – but then too much of anything during pregnancy can be harmful, so I suspect that’s not entirely breaking news.  Unfortunately, our excitement over this news was somewhat dampened when we discovered that all of the studies had been ‘observational’ and they couldn’t prove one way or another whether coffee had been the significant cause.

So, in nutshell, someone received a nice grant to watch people drink coffee and then make varying statements about the health benefits of caffeine without actually being able to, or even needing to prove any of them.  I definitely want that gig – but in the meantime, I need a drink.

Do emotions related to alcohol consumption differ by alcohol type?  An international cross-sectional survey of emotions associated with alcohol consumption and influence on drink choice in different settings – yep, this is the title of a research document published on BMJ Open online on 20 November.

In a rare fit of studious intent, I read the document online yesterday and, whilst it’s no JK Rowling, it did make for quite an interesting read perhaps because I managed to understand most of the words, although I’m not sure they’ve re-invented the wheel.  This was an international survey looking at individuals aged between 18–34 years old who had drunk some beer, spirits, red and white wine in the previous 12 months and where one of these was their drink of choice at home and out socially.  The study had almost 30,000 respondents from 21 countries, so quite an interesting cross section of cultures, I imagined with potential to throw up some surprises.

One part of the study was related to positive and negative emotions people believed they would experience with different drinks.  The positive emotions were: energised, confident, relaxed, and sexy; whilst the negatives were: tired, aggressive, ill, restless, and tearful.

Spirits were considered most likely to make people confident and energised but also most likely to make people ill and least likely to make you relaxed (is that definitely the spirits or perhaps the addition of Red Bull, Coca Cola or other sugary mixers – oh, hang about, it’s not my survey!)

Red wine, beer and then white wine were considered most likely to make you relaxed but this also resulted in them being least likely to energise and the most likely to make you tired – are they all possibly synonyms?  Astonishingly (!), beer was the least likely to make you sexy and, whilst spirits were most likely to make you aggressive, it was only 30% of respondents who thought so.

So, what have we now learnt?  Spirits can make you cocky, beer is no aphrodisiac and too much wine can make you a bit snoozy – shut the front door!!

Thank you, BMJ.

One more thanks before I start talking about wine – thank you Douglas and all The Cresidents.  Tomorrow evening, at 4.15pm, Christ the King is lighting up its Christmas Tree and there’ll be carol singing, mulled wine and mulled Ribena, whilst the lights will be turned on by a local celebrity…  Not to give the game away but we are led to believe that the local celebrity works here at Park Vintners but you’ll have to come along tomorrow to find out!

So, that’s enough giving of thanks for now, back to business.  A number of you have been asking if we are doing the Wine School in the New Year as you think it might make for a nice Christmas gift.  Well the answer is yes, on both counts – it would make a lovely gift and we will be putting the course on again – most likely to start late January but we just need to straighten out a couple of dates.

Another week, another deluge of wine arrives in time for December.

From Spain, Rioja in fact, we have the return of Lopez de Haro Crianza 2014 – £10.99 per bottle or £22 per magnum and Lopez de Haro Reserva 2012 – £13.49 both wines as delicious as ever and the Crianza in magnum just had to be bought.

From France we have some new wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Loire.

Bordeaux brings us Château Sorbey 2010, Haut-Medoc – £13.99, our new luncheon claret…

Burgundy provides us with two treats: Domaine Alexandre Chablis Vieilles Vignes 2015 – £19.99, an excellent, elegant Chablis with a nice richness from the old vines and a good, lean minerality.  Further south, we have Sylvain Dussort Bourgogne ‘Cuvée des Ormes’ 2014 – £18.99.  This is the estate’s flagship wine (impressive, considering he also makes Meursault), with the grapes hand-harvested from vines between 35 to over 60, years.  The wine is aged for 12 months in barrels on the lees is then racked off once and assembled in a single vat before bottling.  This takes place at between 16 and 18 months, depending on the vintage.  Delicate, rich and elegant, with good length, we reckon in a blind tasting it would easily be mistaken for a Meursault.  Awesome value for money we thought.

And finally, the Loire offers us Domaine Lebrun Pouilly Fumé 2016 – £17.49.  About a million years ago, when we sported Oddbins polo shirts, we used to sell lots of this wine.  The bottle has lost its distinctive orange label somewhere in the intervening years but the wine has lost none of its quality or verve.  Gooseberry, grass, minerals, lemons and limes all crop up somewhere between the start and the nice long finish.

I think, as it’s Friday, that we’ll open a bottle of the Pouilly Fumé and a bottle of the Rioja Crianza mentioned above this evening –might as well strike whilst the iron is hot!  We also have the Taylors 325th Anniversary Reserve Tawny – £29.79, should you fancy fortifying yourselves with something a little stronger!

Right, I’m off to have a Caffè Corretto alla Sambuca to boost my confidence and my immune system….


Comments are closed.