Weekday Drinking Thread [12 to 15 December 2022]

Only two more days of work for me (including a departmental team day tomorrow – god help me! :crazy_face:), then it’s hair down until January and time to concentrate on what really matters in life.

In the meantime – a fun bottle of Mencía to accompany squids stuffed with rice and chorizo:

Pepe Porter, Mencía, Monterrei, Galicia 2021

I was chuffed to see this on the WS list, as my local merchant charges £12.99 for it. Not that I resent paying it, but at £9.95 it’s an even jollier proposition. Very pretty medium cerise hue in the glass, the nose is very true to the variety with notes of cherries, ripe strawberries, a sort of cool stoniness and a floral note of violets.

On the palate – it’s vivacious and quite light, with assorted crunchy red berries, red cherries and a savoury bay leaf note there too. The second glass showed a touch of spice too – I’m going to go for Allspice. Zinging acidity and mellow tannins make this very drinkable indeed.

Nothing complicated or too demanding (for which my brain is very thankful this evening), but it has groove in its heart – in other words, a sheer dee-light! :grin: :heart:

What are you drinking this week?


As it’s -3 outside we are just about to enjoy this….

It’s the weather , honest that drove that call….initial thoughts dark brambley fruit and perfect finish not sure it’s to 2026 but if this weather carries on it won’t need to.


Is it me, or has Tomte been tucking into the wine?

Nice posters by the way :wink:


Judging by his angle he had a bit too much…! :grin: He’s in a festive mood :tada:


Many thanks to @Inbar, I was worried that it might be me starting this weeks thread !

Tonight, homemade pheasant and steak pie, with Weinert Tonel Único 247 Finca Bizzotto Malbec Luján de Cuyo 2006 £23 (I bought 6 for £138 and have just a couple left ) - apparently not even in TWS drinking window yet I think its fabulous right now - all velvet and spices, rich and rounded. No tannin whatsoever & not much acidity, if you have some in store I might suggest advancing your ‘drink date’.

Prunes and spices, cloves especially.

Or as TWS say "Rich and powerful Argentine malbec with a ripe and opulent flavour. Finca Bizzotto was planted in 1910 and is situated in Mayor Drummund, near Mendoza. Evaporation of water over 15 years in cask has concentrated the wine, so this has good structure, depth of flavour and a very long finish. The best Tonel Único we have offered so far. Drink from 2024 to 2036. 14.5%


Do they still do that?

Presumably its ‘team breakfast’ of M&S croissants & orange juice while ‘the team’ watch a forgettable powerpoint (where the presenter painstakingly reads out the slides) then ‘the team’ debauches to the pub where the ‘senior team’ look more and more anxious as opinions flow freely and ‘the team’ subdivide into factions.


Unusual for me to be contributing on Monday.

After a Winter Wonderland scene upon waking this morning, reality hit as I dug snow from our house, clearing the pavement to our cars that were buried in snow.

After digging out the cars and putting the snow to the side, we were informed by the school that due to conditions school was cancelled.

WFH scuppered, I handed the laptop to my partner for our Little Man to attend his Zoom lesson (live guest speaker from the USA WC Team, teaching kids about team work, resilience and kindness), I braved the elements and drove to work.

Picked up a few bits from Sainbury’s, and found myself in the wine section as I contemplated opening up a half-bottle of the 2018 Thalabert. Fortune smiled upon me as I saw the gaze of CVNE Crianza 2019 for a reduced price of £7.50.

Colour: garnet

Nose: med- intensity red berries / fruit dominated: predominantly strawberry, dark cherry, oak and vanilla. Cloves or similar in the background?

Palate: med acidity, med- tannins, vibrant, more darker crunch red fruit and berries, with spice notes. Short finish.

An excellent cellar defender that ticks all the boxes for an uncomplicated, but delicious midweek drink.

Phenomenal value for £7.50. Will buy a bottle for my mother’s partner, as well as CVNE Imperial Reserva for him to stick at the bottom of the wardrobe for a few years.


Sadly! Having said that, I managed to avoid it over the last 5 years by coinciding my leave with it.

On a University Student Services budget…? You got to be kidding. Some coffee, possibly.

I hate departmental days, but to be fair - love my team. As for pub - as we’re in Brighton it’s catering for the veggies and vegans only… Ho hum! :grin:


Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Monnières-Saint Fiacre, Les Bêtes Curieuses 2015 £15.50

Regretfully o.o.s. otherwise I’d be back for more, this is Muscadet in a class all of it’s own ( I always buy when this wine-maker pops up https://www.lesbetescurieuses.fr/). Such an understated label, yet quite the opposite in the glass; classically sharp bite of unripe green grapes, a waft of honey, then deep mineral salinity & lees almost becoming a manzanilla. A mistake to serve fridge cold and it improves with time in a glass.

Today I’m off to the fishmongers for a bag of mussels which will be the perfect match, most likely as moules frites.

Update: The moules will be with a Thai type sauce instead of the usual white wine & parsley - so that’s a splash of coconut milk, ginger, green chilli, garlic, shallots, fish sauce, fresh corriander.

Happy Tuesday everybody!


A memorable start to the week for me. I had the pleasure to meet up with @Rafa here on BYOB Monday, Upmarket Steakhouse & Grill Restaurant in St Albans - Prime Steak & Grill

We both ordered ribeye steaks on the bone, with which, we drank this…

…a Barbaresco ‘Asili’ Riserva 2011 from Produttori del Barbaresco.

An invitingly bright medium ruby colour with a watery rim in the glass. Ye gods, what a wonderful nose it had. Incredibly fragrant and floral, violets, roses, red berry / cherry fruit, exotic spices, sandalwood and something medicinal like camphor (thanks Rafa ). We must have spent ten minutes sniffing it before tasting, on which, flavour-wise it was equally impressive.

Elegant and medium bodied with deeply succulent and intense red fruit flavours, raspberry especially, and complex notes of black tea, sweet spices and, once again, a subtle medicinal quality on the palate. Vibrant, but unaggressive, acidity provided beautiful lift and balance, integrated tannins good structure and just the right amount of food friendly grip on the lengthy finish. Without a doubt, my wine of the year and good for a few more yet too :yum:

Oh, and so engaging it took us three hours to drink too !

It was great to finally meet you Rafa and, once again, many thanks for the Pinot Nero which I’m very much looking forward to drinking :+1:


@Embee it was indeed a great start of the week.
It was a pleasure to meet you and thanks for bringing the Asili, my favourite of the 9 crus and Produttori being my favourite Barbaresco producer! On my top 5 wines of the year and by far the number 1 for aromatics.
Stunning! I can’t quite describe how good it was


2009 d’Arenberg Shiraz The Dead Arm

A bit of research required last night. My final bottle of 3.
Was very good. Black fruits, just a touch of lightness on the rim giving an indication of some age but otherwise black as night.
Plenty of silty sediment upon decanting.
All the black fruits, some pepper and liquorice.
Concentrated and smooth. Very enjoyable but something telling me it’s not quite £32+ worth. I didn’t have it as ‘Outstanding’. So on that basis, I think I’m out of the current First Release offer. 2018 is probably a better vintage than 2009 so that’s a bit of a caveat.
Still got a 4 of 5 bottles of the 2010 that will probably live forever and a day. So that’s maybe another reason to give it a miss.


actually these are catch-ups from the weekend, a couple of Northern Spanish reds again from our cellar door travels recently.

Firstly - a Trepat / Conca de Barbera, this is medium bodied, fruity and lightly peppery and good with a leftover cold pizza and salad lunch, and would have been a better choice than the IGP Ariège had the previous evening when the pizza was freshly out of the oven. Not as acidic or cherry-like as Sangiovese which I’d otherwise compare it with, Trepat is usually thought of as one of the 5 varieties allowed in Cava, but in the tiny AOP of CdB, in Tarragona it is vinified as a red, either in a blend or single varietal. But there is great place to buy a selection (especially on a Sunday) and that’s the CdB vinotecha in Poblet; it’s actually just outside the main entrance to the monastery in Poblet - the main attraction of the area. Would be good to see TWS stocking a 100% Trepat sometime.

Last night was leftovers supper - minced duck and bacon patties, refried potatoes and a sauce I made from jar rinsings of marmite, bilberry jam, whisky marmalade and thickened with the ever-reliable Sainsbury chicken granules. (It was OK actually) and to go with this low sulphur naturally wild fermented unfiltered Priorat from 50/50 carignan and grenache.

Made garage-style by a couple of young enthusiasts, we actually visited their winery in 2021 to try their amber parellada, https://www.soloelamorsalvaraelmundo.com/vinos-naturales but found all of their cuvées clean and delicious and brought away a mixed six. They are made in a being-converted old mill and sold retail only in their wine bar in Girona but as that was open only in the evening, they agreed to meet us at the winery instead. Which is, by the way, in the middle of nowhere to the east of Palol d’Onyar (and located in Emporda region; this wine’s grapes are from their small vineyard in Priorat )

Made in Inox only; Crown cap closure, somewhat hazy but dark cherry red, tingly spritz on the tongue. Slightly bretty on opening but soon vanished, leaving a really simple but delicious red fruit cocktail. No major structure that you’d expect in a regular priorat and no vanilla / wood at all, obviously.


Gross over-indulgence for a Monday night going into Tuesday night*, but with one thing and another, I went and opened one of my prize bottles last night - a 2012 Hugel “Grossi Laüe” Riesling. Excuses range from it being a melancholic anniversary time for us just now, yesterday being the last day of Uni-term chalkfacing for me, tomorrow seeing a pile of scripts to mark coming in meaning hours & hours day & night staring at my screen, and a simple devil-may-careness “do it”!

So I did it.

And I’m glad I did it.

One of those wines you’ll never forget - delicious iced-candied-roasted-lemon [I’ve never before come across such a nuanced complex lemon taste in a wine], with beautiful but charmingly delicate & nuanced acidity, and an array of fragrant subtle tastes fluttering throughout. Sensational.

* I actually finished it last night if truth be told, but will be sniffing the bottle through tonight and remembering the taste of a lifetime :~}


Shakshouka for midweek tea (dinner, supper…repast…what’s the etiquette here?), so a suitably acid-driven, fruity wine was in order…

Really quite an incredibly well-judged wine. Concentration is never - or at least seems never - an issue with the Manseng and Courbu family of grapes (particularly as I suspect there may be a little vendange tardive grapes in here), but sometimes it can all feel a little too much, like a high octane assault on the palate.

But not this time, thankfully. Quite a heady nose of concentrated tropical fruits. The palate and mouthfeel are where this really stretches it’s legs (and shows it’s class) - all oily, ‘full’ texture, yet never for a second cloying with a beautiful lime-like acidity ending the mouth filling sensation just as it threatens to overwhelm. I’d prefer a case of this to a few bottle of it’s non-plus-ultra stablemate Cirque Nord. Lots of wine for the money.

And for completeness, this has been open for the last couple of nights…

Last bottle of the case, and there’s still plenty of life left in it. There’s a little bit of age creeping in - a sort of vague old library background - but genuinely a pleasure, with acidic red and black fruits. Interestingly, the first half bottle of the case worried me, as it chimed with Galloni’s criticism of the wine, but the remaining majority of the case has been very good. Looking forward to withdrawing my case of Marcarini 2019 to replace now :grinning:


A white and a red this week.

First up, the Balassa Tokaji/Furmint 2021. TWS lists the name ‘Marty McFly’ but I can’t see that anywhere but perhaps refers to the silhouette on the label. Anyway. Rich nose of stone fruit, nectarine, lime with similarly rich flavours. A huge amount of lime acidity! I love it but it might overpower some. Finish follows quite well.

And Ch Musar Jeune Red 2020. I’ve not had this before, and it’s more substantial than I was expecting- lots of blackberries and plums with some cocoa powder and liquorice on the nose and on tasting, a good dose of chalky tannin with good acidity. I wanna say it has a touch of that Musar character but it feels more like a good Languedoc or southern Rhone; this is very good indeed and could certainly keep or even improve over a few years.


Crystallum Agnes Chardonnay 2021

Checking in on this ahead of a possible xmas lineup inclusion.

An excellent South African Chardonnay, great value Chardonnay compared to anywhere in the world. A complete steal for £16.50 on Black Friday wine sale.

Elegant, fruit first, oak second type of blend. Just so poised and enjoyable. Not a buttery, creamy full fat finish. May benefit from age.

Five soldiers just about edges it for xmas day though.

A nice treat in lieu of rail strikes meaning no attendance to this years work xmas party.

Have a good week all!


Sorry just realised my last post may have appeared slightly strike insensitive.

My wife works in palliative care and will be striking this week. I think pretty much any unionised profession is striking. I think this is justified. The imbalance needs to be corrected


One of the stories that stays with me is when my wife and I were living in London.

She was looking after an older Irish patient. He’d met with hard times, familial arguments had over spilled. Pride had gotten in the way of reconciliation. The outlook was bad for his prognosis. He wanted to see family but he was scared at how they would judge him. Particularly his shoes. “A man is judged by his coat and shoes” etc

One morning, I recall calling out to my wife “have you seen my shoes anywhere?”. We lived in a one bed room flat so not usually too much of a whodunnit.

Grudges are a complete waste of time.

He made it to his family


If I remember the 2019 needed a little more time last time I had one which I think it was 1st quarter 2022. Needless to say I still enjoyed it very much