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Weekday drinking thread July 11 - 15 2022

Oh well - it’s Tuesday already and no-one has yet taken the plunge.

But you’ll have to endure my preamble first.

Here in the Pyrenees it’s hot hot hot but never the less a yomp up to the mountains to 1800m does bring a little cool breeze and as a massive bonus point; this year’s myrtille (wild blueberry) harvest, which is astonishingly fecund; the best I’ve seen for 10 years +.



In 2 hours I’ve harvested 4.2 kg which was all my containers could accommodate. I’ll go again tomorrow. Lunch is some Intermarché Cremant d’Alsace from the Ribauvillé co-op and some discounted Listel rosé ( which comes to about €3 a bottle)

Listel is a bit like a French equivalent of Matteus, but for this money it’s pretty good. Listel’s vines are literally grown in the sand near Sète and I think are unfairly dismissed - especially on a hot hot afternoon waiting for late lunch to be ready. They are made by the Saignée method, and cépages include the usual suspects carignan, grenache and cinsault.

To go with the main meal - chicken pie made with de-boned thighs, leeks, peas, and precooked and frozen wild garlic, exported Norfolk new potatoes, an Ahr flutwein - requisite muddy label - riesling troken from the Mayschoss co-op. Whilst being the least interesting of my mixed 6 it’s pretty good with this dish.

Hope you like the glasses. They were from a recent Intermarché promotion where they give you “vignettes”, ie little plastic stickers, when you use your loyalty card for purchases and stick them on a sheet to get items like wine glasses for a nominal price such as €1 for two. But the cashiers are very benevolent and rather than peel off, say 2 stickers for a €20 purchase they pull through a whole strip of 20 or more and in no time it’s free wine glasses for all ! Santé !!

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A very warm, if slightly overcast, evening in Brighton, work is done for the day and this Chardonnay will be dinner accompaniment:

Warwick Estate, The First Lady Chardonnay, Western Cape, SA 2020

Can’t remember where I got it from - but it’s a very enjoyable, if quite straightforward, glass of wine. Just had a glass so far, but nose is a very nice mix of ripe orchard fruit, citrus (lemon, maybe a touch of tangerine?) and white blossom. I reckon I detect a whiff of vanilla there too, but if so - it must be from chips rather than proper barrels - it’s very muted.

The palate is very enjoyable too - balancing citrus freshness with a rounded, slightly creamy palate and notes of ripe pears, lemons, peach and honey. The (entry level) Rustenberg Chardonnay has more depth and panache, but this one is hitting the spot this evening, so can’t complain :grinning:

Whilst cooking (partridge breast in creamy tarragon and mushroom sauce) - a glass of this quaffable Vinho Verde Rosé:

M&S ‘Found’ Vinho Verde Rosé 2021

Enjoyed several bottles of this last summer, and the most current iteration is as enjoyable. Red apples, ripe strawberries and white currants and a fun, light spritz - essence of summer joy in a glass, and for £7 - very good value for money.

Happy Tuesday! :clinking_glasses:

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It used to be a regular in Morrisons (often reduced to £6.25) and, more recently, in Tesco. One of our “house” chardonnays.

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Ah! I reckon it’s one of my fairly recent selection from Tesco then :+1::grinning:

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As always, great pics @PHarvey !

Very much the same here in Watford, unpleasantly so TBH. However, this is providing some much needed refreshing relief…

…a Rueda ‘Palacio de Vivero’ Verdejo 2021 from Bodega Cuatro Rayas ( a co-op if I’m reading the back label correctly ) and £5 from Asda. Recommended on Saturday Kitchen and by members of this forum. FWIW, it also garnered a high score in Decanter magazine.

Must say, it completely over delivers for the meagre price. An invitingly fresh nose with plenty of citric and herbal fruit. Similar impressions on tasting. lovely purity and depth of flavour, refreshing acidity to balance the mediumweight fruit with some textural chew and a refreshing saline quality on the finish. It’s slipping down so easily that I’m now regretting putting a large slug into tonight’s shellfish risotto…

…which despite the rubbish pic ( and the shellfish coming from a bag in the freezer ) was rather tasty. The stock it was cooked in, made from a heap of prawn shells, veg and aromatics on Saturday, was well worth the trouble.

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Melting into the sofa in Wimbledon. This fantastic young Muscadet is just the ticket for the weather. I have got to say that it punches well above the price tag. On opening the aromas filled the room. I will definitely buy more Loire whites in the future. So good value for money across the board. Even if I splash out on aged Savennieres, it is nothing compared to aged white Burgundy with similar level of satisfaction.


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I’m painfully drowning in endless commitments and deliverables at work. Cannot wait for month to finish! No wine as I just don’t have the strength to enjoy anything tonight

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Lovely pics. We’re off to Bellver de Cerdanya in the eastern Pyrenees, perhaps more properly the Pre-Pyrenees, in a couple of weeks. Do you happen to know that area? Not much wine in the immediate vicinity I assume although we’ll be driving through the Languedoc en route.

Not on the Spanish side, no. I’ve visited the Foix / Ax-les-Thermes area on the French side a few times. I’m based more centrally in the 65 dept.

Looks very scenic but not a lot of viticulture going on around there !

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Two lovely wines. @Toby.Morrhall, the white especially splendid, fresh and wonderfully balanced. Dare I say, there is just a hint of Puligny about it. Fabulous wine in a great place right now. My puzzlement with the unpredictability of white Burgundy (quite apart from pox) remains, but happily last night because this was so good!

Incidentally, the red fooled my guests brilliantly when served blind. Both said Burgundy.

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Opened a bottle of the ever reliable Biferno Rosso Riserva, Palladino 2015 last night which I still consider one of the best value sub £10 wines I regularly buy. Thought I might have pushed it a little bit this time, TWS has 2019-2013, but it’s still drinking beautifully, although a couple of glasses worth were sacrificed to the pasta sauce!

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FWIW Wine Direct has an offer on this wine currently

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Bit of a lengthy late lunch / early supper to report. First - that I once again donned the sun hat, walking pole, best foot forward, and yomped up to the Mytrille fields and collected another 4kg of the little beauties. To do this efficiently I use a “comb” which is a handled open box-like container with combs -feet / jaws - and a no-return receptacle, so you can pass through the plants efficiently, and ultimately collect 4 kg of ripe berries in 2 hours without damaging the host plants. And how many others were up there doing this ? Personne, mes amis.

So, tonight’s leisurely line up… a cheery supermarket Cremant, around €7, the sort of wine which if in an English incarnation was in a £25 bracket and we’d be saying golly this is good; next - a Cotes de Gascoigne Intermarché own brand @ €2.65; I think it’s from Plaimont, a necessary test wine as this is our party wine for tomorrow’s Bastille Day fireworks - we are hosting a party on our terrace to watch the feux d’artifice. I can envisage this being a TWS branded wine for x 3 the price and folk rhapsodising about it. In a nutshell - it hugely reminds me of a decent Muscadet though obviously different cepages.

And to go with the cheese and biscuits and pudding (freshly picked myrtille crumble) another Ahr flood wine PN. Light-medium bodied - could have been a Tavel on sight - and all the usual PN attributes on the floral - ethereal spectrum.

Please note the time- proven best branded custard available out there




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Wife is out playing tonight, so it’s sonshine & me at home alone. With our dinner tonight of spaghetti with tuna & toms, I opened a bottle of this beauty - a 2019 Pio Cesare Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese. Enjoyed at proper cold-fridge temperature.

This is the first one I’ve had since last summer, and goodness gracious me this is a lovely tasty assertive mouthful; still as grippy, punchy, characterful & gorgeous as it was last year. Perhaps even more so, as it seems that bit more lengthy & mouth-filling than I remember it being.

An otherworldly combo of fruit-tannins-poise-dryness-herby-earthiness; despite looking rather pale & watery. Delicious :~}

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After 10 days I finally achieved a negative test result and am trying some wine again, in the interests of checking my tasting faculties of course.
Trying a Fefiñanes Albariño with a lemon mayonnaise prawn salad and must say I am very struck today by the saltiness of the wine. Of course it always has a slightly salty tang to it so it’s hard to know if this normal or not. I guess I’m just going to have to do more checking tomorrow. So be it.

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More Albarinho. With Fideas con rape y gambon

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Reporting in from the North German Plain (Luneberg Heath - between Bremen and Hamburg) on a weeks hols. Will add some pics shortly.

Not being a wine region there’s not a lot to be had ! although there are entire warehouses with hundreds of beer varieties - not a bad state of affairs if only I knew which one to buy.

In the supermarkets 10E seems to be the glass ceiling - Spatburgunder or a Reisling maybe. And that’s it! nothing more expensive unless you look at French or italian wines & they never go above 15E.

I’m beginning to think we pay to much for wine in the UK.

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@horsleym: Greek wine alert: this is super good. In fact, excellent. Will look for it when I’m back in the UK. Beautiful aromatic profile, nice acidity and masterful balance. And local! From Halkidiki.


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Monday I made pizza


and opened

2020 Waitrose Elbling Mosel Saar Ruwer (Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer)
I really like this. I didn’t get sherbert but the rest of its description is spot on.

Tuesday I made Puttanesca Sauce in which I stirred Penne and served it with mixed salad and Mrs M’s favourite, the no-brainer ™

2020 Casa Vinicola Roxan The Wine Society’s Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (Italy, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo)

Wednesday To St John’s Wood, London and the incomparable Oslo Court. What a pleasant surprise to be greeted by Neil who chided us for leaving it so long. We last saw him in February 2020. We expressed our delight in seeing him, but when we said we were told last month that he was only working lunches he was puzzled and assured us he was working evenings…
We started on the Melba toast and crudities and turned down the warm bread roll while sipping a glass of lovely house Champagne and I saved some to go with my starter of whitebait.
As usual I had Escalope of Veal Holstein with Pommes Lyonnaise, this time accompanied with green beans and broccoli, and a few of Mrs M’s fried courgette batons.

I remembered too late to take a picture, excuse the chunk taken out of the huge escalope

To accompany the main I chose

2014 Bodegas Trus Reserva (Spain, Ribera del Duero)

I could smell this wine as it was being decanted and waited until the main course before tasting it. Delightful and perfect at eight years old.

As usual I couldn’t finish this huge portion and was again chided by Neil for not clearing the plate, but that didn’t stop him from tempting me with desserts. He wouldn’t leave without taking an order, ‘just a taste’… I weakened and had a lemon tart that really tasted of lemon. (And Neil added some raspberries and two scoops of vanilla ice cream)

But that wasn’t the end, there were also petit fours to go with coffee.

And then I heaved myself to St John’s Wood tube station to start the journey home.

Thursday I’m preparing a simpler meal of steak pie, new potatoes, with assorted vegetables and

2020 The Wine Society Cape Heritage Blend (South Africa, Coastal Region)
I’ve enjoyed this before.

(Elbling from Waitrose, Trus from Oslo Court, other two from TWS)

@PHarvey I was wondering what you’d do with so many blue berries, then I saw the photo of a scrumptious looking crumble and it became clear…

We don’t pay too much for wine – we pay too much tax on wine :frowning_with_open_mouth:

@inbar - pedantically that’s not a Warwick Estate wine or it would say so on the label and be WO (appellation) Stellenbosch. It’s WO Western Cape so Warwick have made it from grapes bought from anywhere in the Cape. That’s not a bad thing, and it accounts for the low price but Estate has a special meaning and is part of the appellation.

@Lawrence-DD5A8
@Brenda
This is for you:

Neil, Wednesday night, cajoling the next table to try his desserts. Don’t worry if you can’t make up your mind, you can have them both…

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Hardly an appropriate wine or meal tonight ( cheeseburger, chips and salad ) whilst taking a mid-stage break from today’s coverage of Le Tour but what the heck…

…a Van Loggerenberg ‘Geronimo’ Cinsaut 2019.

In addition to the info on the label I believe it was also whole bunch fermented.

The relatively pale translucent colour begs sniffing and tasting. Fresh, sappy and savoury red cherry and berry fruits on the nose and palate with light tannins to structure. Intense and deeply flavoured too for a light to medium bodied wine and one which encapsulates the quality of the new wave wines coming from South Africa these days. Although some might baulk at the cost, £23 was a fair price for the quality in the bottle :+1: :yum:

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