Midweek drinking thread (6th to 9th April 2020)

Finding it hard to differentiate between the week and the weekend at the moment…

Some inexpensive Austrian St Laurent tonight:

This is very reasonable for the money, has a distinct tobacco leaf character, not unlike a light pinotage. Nice with some stuffed peppers.


Sainsbury’s Cremant de Loire.

Slummin’ it. But on the other hand what good value!

What you have to do is wait until it’s £9/ bottle then hold your nerve until the buy 6 and get 25% off deal comes along. But then not bother to get any of that because the vintage Veuve is such a steal, and last time it was still the 2008!

A bit blocky but perfectly acceptable.


Esporao Reserva 2013

Few years since I’ve had this one-time favourite (think Sainsbury’s in the 90s?). Rich and meaty, has all the ingredients but doesn’t seem quite together yet. Pleasantly surprised it does seem almost old-skool Portuguese though - was expecting it to be a bit more international. But then it is a typicallly Alentejo blend of Aragonez (aka Tempranillo), Trincadeira Alicante B etc. Bit surprised they still use Cabernet in this, but to their credit I can’t spot it. Acidity lowish, as you’d expect with a climate as hot as this, but even with that I think the other half may just be a touch better tomorrow.


I had a goose in the freezer from the carefree days when freezer space didn’t matter a damn, so got that out a few days ago. Have taken off the legs and salted them to confit, made stock with the excess carcass, and this evening (eating early with the kids) roast the crown to have with potatoes, green beans, and a little apple sauce. Didn’t last long enough for a photo but turned out nice.

To drink

Which is absolutely delicious. I’m no Barolo aficionado and haven’t had it before, but it’s richer and riper than I was expecting. Still fresh but not too tannic after a decant. Gives something different every time you take a sniff or a slurp, loads of fruit and flowers. I could have carried on sniffing and drinking the lot if it weren’t for those pesky kids, needing to be bathed and read to and put to bed… anyway, a good start to the week.

Happy drinking, everyone!


That’s quite a meal for a Monday night!


Coming from you I’ll take that as a compliment!


Just delivered today from Bordeaux. Delicious with tuna and salad.


Suspect that this could become a thread on its own… :wink:


On the second day with this very nice Alsace Pinot Noir which in previous years has been too acidic and a little disappointing. Now much more balanced and quite delicious - seems to have little in the way of typical PN aromas, other than bags of cherry fruit. Very little in the way of tertiary notes and doesn’t seem 7 years old.


I’m drinking the same with pretty consistent notes. Nice balance, but not especially aromatic. Maybe that will come.


I enjoyed a virtual steak night, last night. Thankfully, neither the steak or wine were virtual, just the company. There were seven of us linked up on an app called Blue Jeans. A new one for me.

Naturally, to drink:

Delicious with fillet steak.


Another new wine for me last night:
This is a lovely, smokey, fruity red from La Mancha. Bursting with flavour and a lovely full soft well balanced palate. At £8.50 this was hitting well above it’s weight. In fact I would say that, for me, it delivered far more interest and pleasure than my previous bottle of wine - Nadia Curto’s Barolo Arborina - costing over three times as much. I was a bit worried as this is right at the end of TWS’s drinking window but it didn’t feel tired at all.

Incidentally I was inspired to put this one in my wish list after it was a big winner in one of the TWS “Wine Champions” blind tastings. I would add that judging from the online reviews it is possibly subject to some degree of bottle variation.


Personally I take TWS’s famously conservative drinking windows with a big grain of salt, I tend to use Cellartracker more for drinking windows if necessary :wink:

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Yes I do look at them too although I sometimes think they can be a little optimistic. Though they do provide good balance. I actually put both (when available) into my cellar spreadsheet. However in this case they only give '21 to TWS’s '20 so not much difference and probably wouldn’t expect an £8.50 2012 to last much beyond '21.

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Yep, all good points, in this as in all things, trying to reach the happy medium is the ideal :slight_smile: But yeah, that’s good legs for a relatively inexpensive 2012 :slight_smile:



Reporting back on this which I picked up along with their 2017 PG and 2018 SB after they offered free delivery over £30. The 2017 PG was disappointing - too little fruit and a sharp oak note. But the 2018, from a better vintage and with no oak, is a delight. Slightly fierce acidity at first but rounded citrus (mainly orange) fruit profile, really sustained length and a pleasing leafy note on the finish. Dry but fruity and 12% - and I think it will get better for at least 1 - 2 years as the acidity backs off. Recommended.

Also worth noting these vines have only been in a few years - could English PG become really really good once the vineyards are more established?


A lovely 2017 Saint Mont this evening:

Not the most complex, nor with the longest finish - but this is a wonderful midweek white offering those unique flavours you often find in whites from the South West. A blend of Gros Manseng, Courbu and Arrufiac, the nose is an enticing mix of honey, citrus, stone fruit, fresh herbs and acacia blossom. The palate is less complex than the nose would suggest, but still delivers fresh citrus (lemon sherbet), orchard fruit and honey with a zesty red grapefruit pith on the finish.

It’s certainly excellent VfM for £8.95 and we’ll happily buy this again! We’re making chicken and mushroom risotto to go with it, whilst catching the last, and very welcome, rays of sunshine! :sun_with_face: :clinking_glasses:



D’Arenberg Footbolt Shiraz 2017

A tenner in Tesco at the moment, stood out in a sea of mediocrity. Very smooth and easy drinking. Lots of berries and a twist of pepper, wears its 14.5% very well.


That’s exciting! I hadn’t spotted this (the original post), I struggle to find affordable St Laurent so this is definitely going on my list :slight_smile:


This came in mixed case of six from my local on Saturday. I am told it is 60% PN, 40% Gamay. Super easy drinking. Attractive cherry notes with a touch of attractive yogurtiness.

Goes well with a little lockdown salad…


Lovely weather for government approved cycling of late ( legs good, bum hurts ! ). Unfortunately, in these parts, there wasn’t a lot in the way of visible fauna but plentiful bluebells, everywhere, offered some compensation.

Wine-wise, pretty much full speed ahead here, not quite wine factor 10. but the pedal remains close to the metal.

Leftover from the weekend and finished yesterday…

… an Eden Valley botrytis Riesling 2017. Marmalade, apricot, lime zest and a floral note on the nose. Flavours match the nose but with a touch of something unidentifiably exotic too . What surprised was how understated it was on tasting, delicate and elegant, beautiful balance, a light but expansive finish that’s hard to resist. It tasted like cold sweet tea when paired with gorgonzola crackers though !

This went down well too…

…a glorious easy drinking example of Loire Chenin 2017 from Domaine de la Noblaie in Chinon. Broad orchard fruit flavours, a doughy bready texture and delicious acidity to balance. Knocks spots off most Vouvray Sec for the money ( £12.50 ). If TWS offer the 2018 vintage I’ll buy again in greater quantity.

Enjoyed with an Ottelenghi chicken satay recipe from a recent edition of the weekend Guardian…

…although I was using leftovers and had to improvise. Skin-on chicken thighs worked well, his recipes for sambal and satay sauce to accompany were wicked ( no other word for it ! )

…the Peter Lehmann ‘Margaret’ Semillon 2012 also opened to pair with it worked well too. The lemongrass and lime zest notes in the wine chimed perfectly with the same ingredients in the dish. Definitely a combo I’d be more than happy to hve again.

Apologies for, maybe, an overly long post but I guess it’s just a sign of the times !

As always, all the very best.