Weekday Drinking Thread (13th to 16th of March 2023)

A somewhat indulgent Wednesday here this evening, to celebrate the other half’s birthday :partying_face:

We toasted with this delectable pink Champagne:

Devaux ‘Oeil de Perdrix’ Rosé Champagne Brut NV

Rhubarb fool, raspberries, rose petals and citrus zest on both nose and palate - it was a lovely combination of fresh fruit, cream and floral notes with a bright acidity keeping it lively and quaffable. It worked like a dream with an Angela Hartnett recipe of smoked duck breast and figs salad, and disappeared far too quickly… :face_with_open_eyes_and_hand_over_mouth:

Main was Osso Bucco with Milanese risotto, which was accompanied by a recent WS purchase:

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Contucci 2017

A lovely expression of Sangiovese - a grape we don’t drink too often, which begs the question why. Pale garnet in the glass (could have been mistaken for a Pinot Noir!), the nose was restrained but had lovely notes of violets, bramble, cherries, sous bois, clove and cedar.

Surprisingly sprightly and lithe on the palate - it was showing good evolution, with the fruit (bramble, mulberries, sour cherries) playing second fiddle to spice (clove, we thought), undergrowth and a sort of dried porcini note. Bright acidity and chalky tannins gave it good structure, and the finish had a medicinal quality to it. Lovely evolved wine offering good value for money :ok_hand:

Dessert was a hazelnut chocolate cake, which was just made for this dessert wine:

Quady ‘Elysium’ Black Muscat, California 2021

I posted about this wine a couple weeks ago, as we tasted it in my wine tasting group (albeit the 2018). I enjoyed it so much that I immediately bought a couple more half bottles. It was definitely more my sort of dessert wine than the husband’s. He found it almost too floral and fruity - but for me this is just sooo good! Fresh but with deep flavours of forest berries, plums and cinnamon spice and and a gorgeous floral nose. Yum! :star_struck:

Thankfully we’re both off tomorrow… :sweat_smile:


My wife’s birthday, and protocol dictates family meal at home with the kids. Keeping things easy, satisfying and something we will all eat we had scallops in garlic butter, followed by pesto crusted baked salmon.

And to accompany we cracked open Beaucastel Blanc 2016.

Purchased EP this is drinking really well. Stunning colour, but slightly muted nose. But the mouthfeel is gorgeous - rich and sensuous. Haven’t bought more Beaucastel Blanc since, and this is making me wonder why not?


Walk about wine tour continues with this delightful, big, bold but perfectly aged Shiraz last night. A new one for us - rich inky dark fruit with a long finish, very smooth and sadly only one bottle. Fabulous.


Sounds lovely- never tried it (yet!). Looks like it might be starting to close down?

Possibly. Pretty lively, but maybe not quite as much as a couple of years ago…

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It’s too late of course, and no help at all but, sorry. Neither. Of course I don’t know what version of Indian would be cooked by Australians in the Pyrenees, but I don’t fancy either. And I don’t understand why it’s a choice - take both if that’s all you have.

Oh, I see from a later post you did take both.

@m4rk - I didn’t take to that wine either. But I’ve not rated any of the False Bay Pinotages. Some thing funny about their taste. And it’s much overpriced…


Last night a wine tasting of Corsican and Sardinian wines variously from TWS, Amazon and M&S. Broadly preferred the French to the Italian but overall not greatly taken with any of them. Perhaps the best ones stay on the islands!


Thanks for the recommendation. The Spanish Wines Online website is awful so it’s good to discover something good.

You either need to know what to get or scroll a lot. Easier in the warehouse: it’s all in regional sections.

Just me-myself-and I this evening, which is often an excuse to open a Riesling… sadly the other half is not a great fan. I know! :roll_eyes:

Mosbacher Deidesheimer Herrgottsacker Riesling Kabinett Trocken, 2021

Very pale platinum in the glass, the nose is great - a background whiff of paraffin, but mostly orchard fruit, white peach and limes, and with a little more swirling and time - floral notes (Freesia, I thought), maybe even fresh mint and a smell that is difficult to describe - something like the smell of a river or a stream. Or perhaps being on my own isn’t good for me.

The palate seems a little less expressive. First glass, at least, is not as exciting as the nose. There’s fresh apple and lime, maybe even a bit of apricot or peach as well as nettles and gentle blossom. Acidity is lively - but there is something also quite rounded - so nothing ‘searing’, as Riesling acidity is sometimes described. The finish is not as long as hoped either - but there is still something quite pure and pristine about the composition.

Perhaps it just needs a bit more time. Don’t we all! :slight_smile:


Monday we walked down to Spur on the beach and had fillet steak, chips and a salad and this BYO beauty while watching the sun set over False Bay.

2019 Beyerskloof Pinotage Reserve (South Africa, Stellenbosch)

Tuesday we drove to Hermanus to lunch at the Marine Hotel then afterwards walk the coastal path. I had what used to be called Rich Man’s Fish and Chips but which has been renamed, presumably for PC reasons, and I had a glass of the delicious (and local, we passed within a mile of the winery).

2022 Beaumont Family Wines Chenin Blanc (South Africa, Cape South Coast)
Then we shared

an upside down Elgin apple tart with Amarula butterscotch sauce and orange ice cream, with which I had a glass of botrytised sweet perfection

2022 Bon Courage Noble Late Harvest (South Africa, Robertson)

Wednesday - lunch with friends from Toronto we’ve not seen since 2018. We ate on the stoep at Beyerskloof. It was breezy but warm and sunny and we looked over vineyards to mountains. We enjoyed

2020 Beyerskloof Synergy (South Africa, Stellenbosch)
a spicy blend of six varieties/

Thursday Probably the hottest day of our stay, with no wind. We walked along the beach and across the sand dunes to the new harbour to lunch at Ocean Basket - at an outside table for the first time this trip. There was a massive seal sunning itself on the jetty. We had taken a bottle of

2022 David Nieuwoudt Sauvignon Blanc Ghost Corner (South Africa, Elim)
‘Outstanding’ in Platter, but Mrs M prefers her NZ SB.

(Beyerskloof from winery, Beaumont and Bon Courage from Marine Hotel, Nieuwoudt from Wine Village, Hermanus)


With a dinner of salmon fillets served on a bed of Puy lentils mixed with some pancetta and a splash of double cream came this -


I’m grateful to @m4rk for his post earlier this week and to @peterm for his previously which, in combination, provided the impetus to .pull the cork on this tonight…

…a False Bay Vineyards ‘The Last of the First’ Stellenbosch Pinotage 2020 (£20)

Despite my advancing years this is the first time I’ve tried the grape so my thoughts should be taken with a large pinch of salt as to its varietal correctness.

Anyway, a bright mid ruby colour in the glass. A savoury and floral nose with a whiff of potting soil and a distinct aroma of Flavour King / blood plums. As is usual with me if I smell something, and then taste, similar sensations tend to follow. So, the same again on the soft and supple, savoury, medium bodied, palate. Fresh acidity provides lift and ripe tannins gentle grip to the plum and berry flavours. All in all, good depth of savoury and complex flavour which, to my mind at least, seems to combine the best characteristics of its parent grapes. Thankfully, it only weighs in at 12.5% ABV as it isn’t going to see tomorrow ! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

It was spot-on with the same meal as enjoyed yesterday too (duck and Puy lentils).


OK here we go. Cauhapé’s foray into amber wine; this skin contact petit manseng 2021 and a new one to me.

Firstly to say that, it’s quite nice in a totally intangible way. we had it with smoked salmon and broccoli tart. First off, it ain’t a Georgian Qvevri amber wine. It lacks tannin, definition, evolved flavours. It was a bit like tasting a wine in the same way as if there was some kind of filter :- where’s the acid ? where’s the structure ? Our tasting notes were- cream, grip-fixx glue (remember that ?) , putty , “is that some orange peel ? not sure”. Nutmeg ? Yeah maybe. No stewed apple but one of us said “banana !” at some point. Not far from a wine made from a custard tart. Quite long actually; if you wanted to savour it. Pretty strange overall. Not a repeat buy though.

But it was in an equally strange way it was quite enjoyable. How weird is that…


Cheated, and started the Bordeaux Blends tasting pack a week before the online tasting. Well I am not likely to drink 600ml of red wine on a school night, so I though ‘why not?’

Went for the Mendel Unus, which I’ve never tried before.

Snipping the corner off a foil sachet really doesn’t have the stress-relieving Pavlovian effect of pulling a cork. But the Unus is terrific, generous but structured and just immensely satisfying. A lovely, if small, midweek treat.


Seems to be - along with plastic bag - a sometime Cauhapé signature. I’m unsure whether it’s bad winemaking (bacterial, too little sulphites, volatile acidity?) or whether it’s associated with the grapes used (Petit Manseng seems to be the common denominator, but I don’t have a complete enough data set to definitively nail it down.) But it’s happened on several occasions, enough to make me wonder that there must be some kind of correlation…

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Fully agree. I tasted that at the TWS tasting in Bristol last Sept and it stood out for all the right reasons. I promptly bought 6 for the reserves. Excellent vfm.

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To be fair, no-one should (unfortunately they do) pronounce an a variety based on tasting only one example of that variety.

If one were to drink - for example - a Kanonkop (such as this) you’d find quite another style, and then Diermersfontein make another very popular style with coffee notes.


FWIW - totally a personal view - and I have had several incarnations of pinotage over the years including at cellar doors in RSA; the variety has provided me with associations of leather saddle, raw tobacco and as @peterm says, coffee. Which seems odd given the two parent varieties… whilst I quite like it there are not many occasions when it seems to be the ideal wine and I rarely buy or drink it. Perhaps I should more.


No. That way lies madness. I doubt you refer to the parents of other varieties.

Some have a slight hint in the background, especially those grapes grown in Wellington, but the coffee pinotage style, of which there are about 10, were pioneered by Diemersfontein which used French oak with a ‘mocha’ toasting. They really do have a coffee flavour. I’ve used them in tastings and people have said that it was the first time they had ‘got’ the flavour notes mentioned by the speaker,

I think there are: Indian or spicy Asian food, steak and barbecues especially.

Again no. There are so many varieties. If this one doesn’t ring your bell, then stick with the ones you know that will give pleasure to you. So many wines, so little time!

(It does ring the bell of many people now and the prices have been rising so much. Hoist with my own petard.)