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Weekday drinking 11-14 October 2021

Eugh. Head hurts.

Due to not being able to travel still because of complications around the NOVAVAX trial, we decided to blow the rest of the holiday budget on a ridiculous wine dinner at Trinity in Clapham. The dinner was beef and Rhone. It was excellent, but not the wisest thing given my current state of health! I’m not sure I’ve ever felt more full than last night and I have a stonking headache this morning. Worth it though!

Cremant de Die NV Domaine Archard. I’ve discussed fizzy Rhone with several people here in the past and always been curious to try. The feedback has always been “don’t bother” and I can see why. Meh. A bit nothingy and not enough acid to stand up to the bubbles. Served with Comte Gougeres though!

Viognier 'La Pied Samson" 2019 from Domaine Georges Vernay. One of those “almost a Condrieu” type wines, and in this case (having had an actual Condrieu on Friday) was actually pretty Condrieu-y. If you’d told me it was a different vintage of the one I drank on Friday, I’d have believed you (not surprising given that George Vernay was one of the people who revived the appellation/saved the grape). This came with smoked stergeon with horseradish. Also nom.

A little consome and madeira interlude while they caved a HUGE rump of beef and dished out a lot of root veg (including Chervil root, which I’d never had before - turns out chervil root is delicious). With the beef there was a north vs south classic fight. A Chateauneuf-du-pape Beaucastle 2006 (from Magnum) and a Cote Rotie La Giroflarie 2017 from Patrick Jasmin. Two very different wines. I’m not ashamed to say I’m not the biggest CndP fan, but this was glorious! Lovely big old red that did everything a lovely big old red with a huge chunk of roast beef should. Time to change my mind? I’m not sure, as it’s always partly been a value thing in a “this is great but is it really £80 great?” type way. The Cote Rotie was a different beast all together. Very start of its drinking window. Despite being inky black, it was light, peppery, cassis, smoke and etherial. Good, but not yet great.

With duck fat pastry apple pies was a muscat beames de venise 2018 from Domaine de Durban. Delightful, light, sweet, tasted of grapes!

Too much food. Couldn’t really face any of the lovely big chunk of epoisses plonked in front of me. A Brezeme 2019 from Domaine Lombard was the wine paired with it. I’ve never had a Brezeme before. It was nothing like any of the white Rhone’s I’ve had. It was a very salty minerally wine, almost like a wine from the Jura. Delicious.


Opened a bottle of Gigondas Première Cuvée, Cave de Gigondas 2015 last night:

I was a little surprised to find it rather disappointing. The TWS window is 2018 - 2021 but it didn’t feel over the hill and CellarTracker had it out to 2023. I’ve had the Signature and the Reference from the Cave de Gigondas and loved them both. But this felt a bit out of kilter. The nose was lovely with lots of smoky dark fruit but the palate was hit with a blast of acidity (it’s always slightly bizarre to feel your mouth watering when you’ve already got a mouthful of fluid in there!) and the tannins were still very much present. Also the 15% alcohol was very noticeably hot. After an hour it did settle down a bit but the acidity very much present to the last mouthful. Maybe will be a bit better tonight.


A long working day has finally ended, so I’m sticking my feet up whilst the other half is making dinner (chicken spiced with cardamom and cinnamon). We opened this white Châteauneuf-du-Pape (2019) to go with it:

It’s an Aldi offering, and I think it was @bargainbob who first mentioned this bottle - so many thanks to him as this is hitting the spot! :ok_hand:

A blend of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Bourboulenc the nose seemed a little muted at first, but with a bit of air and extra enthusiastic swirling, there are notes of quince, apple, maybe some peach and chamomile. The husband detected a tad of smokiness too, but can’t say I did. EDIT: now I do! :grinning:

On the palate it balances the freshness of orchard and stone fruit with a creamier, rounded mouthfeel rather nicely; there’s a pleasant honeyed background, maybe even something nutty going on but it’s not flabby - quite zesty, in fact. Acidity is medium and the (rather short) finish ends on a bitter herbal note which gives it a lift.

It’s not complex - and frankly, for £14.99 you can get better value white Rhône, but it’s smooth and welcoming and that’s good with me this evening! :relieved: :+1:


This tonight with sundays left over cote de boeuf
I think from Majestic it’s been resting for a couple of years against a cool wall

Hope it’s delicious


This was much more settled and accessible last night so, again surprisingly, that suggests it’s still a little young. I think the Signature and Reference cuvees are significantly more approachable than this Premiere one.


Camper van cuisine. I think that would be a good Masterchef round. Contestants would be faced with a mini fridge full of miscellaneous ingredients, a 2-burner stove and a range of cupboards and compartments with randomly equipped kitchen utensils and food items and tasked to produce a gourmet platter within an hour.

I managed to rustle up a pork schnitzel, (with onion, apple, mustard, cream sauce), rice and salad. As an aperitif a sparkling MC rosé from the World’s most northerly PDO / AOP (or BOB as they call it here) - more here on this thread Champagne and All Sorts of Fizz! - #163 by PHarvey,
then a Heavenly Cab Sauvignon from Cyprus, from Europe’s highest vineyard.

It’s a tough life ain’t it


I’ve never had Freisa before so where better to start than GD Vajra’s rendition from 2016?

A bit different, this. The nose is quite Northern Italian - think Barolo but with fennel switched in for the roses. Particularly dark, almost smoky cherries to taste. Feels like it will be heavy but turns out not to be. Makes me think a little of Torraccia’s Ghemme but this is fresher, cleaner and lighter.

I bet this would be brilliant with some mushrooms on toast. Certainly recommended to those who like wines from that part of the world.


:heart_eyes: :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes:


Being not too sure when to start a new wine I was absolutely delighted to find this 2017 Isole e Olena Chianti Classical quite delicious last night. Medium body, a little tannin and acidity, savoury. Ready


Prince Edward squash gnocchi with cavolo nero and hazelnut pesto for lunch today. Will probably prepare a fresh batch of the same for dinner. Any ideas what to pair with it? Leaning to a simple Burgundy.


Gnocchi, cavalo nero and pesto says Italian to me. Got any Etna?


It must be over 15 years since I last had it but Teruzzi’s Terra di Tufi comes to mind for some reason

Looks delicious. I think a simple Burgundy would be nice, but @winechief’s Etna Bianco would be a winner for me.

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Barolo with some age. Or maybe Barbaresco. My OH makes a lovely pumpkin and sage gnocchi, and it goes magnificently with it :smiley:


Funnily this is where I landed before seeing your completely unpredictable recommendation. :wink: The taster is very promising. Must not forget sage next time.


Monday - I made Pollo alla Pizzaiola: chicken breast strips, baked in a tomato/basil sauce with capers and halved black olives, served with boiled pots, steamed pointed cabbage and broccoli.

To drink

2019 Alain Grignon Cuvée Chasseur (France, Vin de Pays de l’Hérault)

Grenache blend, only a VdP with a ‘brand’ type label and low cost (£5.49) but wow, really mouthfilling and satisfying. A lovely wine, punching well above its weight.

Tuesday We’ve settled into alternating Penne Puttanesca and this - which is more work. Thin slices of aubergine brushed with EVOO and grilled till crispy, cut into strips and added to tomato & basil sauce, mixed in with cooked penne accompanied with a mixed salad laden with almost the last of the small tomatoes from garden. We drank no-brainer™

2019 Casa Vinicola Roxan The Wine Society’s Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (Italy, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo)

Wednesday Mrs M. graciously allowed me to buy a Deliveroo half chicken & chips from Nandos. What to have with it? I chose

2020 Mitravelas Estate Agiorgitiko Red on Black (Greece, Peloponnisos, Nemea)
I’d had the 2019 in January, and really enjoyed it, as I did this full-bodied red.

“Jolly convenient,” I remarked to Mrs M. as I put the chicken bones in a compostable bag and into the food waste caddy “that the recycling collection is tomorrow.”

I was woken in the night by a loud noise, and in the morning I saw the fox had found how to open the locked caddy by knocking it over. Vegetable waste was spread over the pavement but of the chicken bones, only the bag was left…

BTW if you have Amazon Prime you can get one years Deliveroo Plus, giving free delivery on orders over £25

Thursday I’ll be making a vegetable curry with rice and opening this reliable friend

2019 Beyerskloof Pinotage (South Africa, Western Cape)

Is another week already over?

(Chasseur from Waitrose, Montepulciano and Red on Black from TWS, Beyerskloof from Sainsbury)



Anyway, I didn’t even know that Marco Marengo made a Viole, so I can’t be that predictable (and mental note to self to try a Bricco delle Viole sometime).

No issue with the cork this time and it sure is a lovely wine when on form.
My plan from here is to drink the remaining 3 fairly soon with a back up in the fridge in case of disappointment.


Heidi Schröck’s ‘Wine Champion’ Blaufränkisch this evening:

What a fabulous wine - enjoyed from the first sniff, not to mention sip!

Lovely crimson-like colour (or is it magenta? or deep ruby? not sure), with alluring notes of blackberries, sour cherries, dark chocolate, cloves and leafy tomato stalk. On the palate - it’s medium bodied with fresh acidity and smooth texture. There’s lovely fresh and zesty fruit, though the interest comes from the more savoury, leafy, herbal notes and the bitter cocoa nib and spice. For the price - this is a complete wine, and a pure joy to drink with oodles of interest.

Heidi - ich leibe dich! :heart_eyes: :wine_glass:


This is a delight. Black currant and leather on the nose with good acidity and red cherry and smoke in the palate. Really chewy and perfect for an autumn evening. Merlot/corvina blend and a steal at £6.95.