01438 741177         thewinesociety.com

Weekend Drinking Thread 14-16 January 2022

Our local Wine Society’s first meeting of 2022.
‘It’s all Greek to me’


And the verdict(s)?

1 Like

Reasonably complex nose and taste but not worth the £20.50 changed by TWS.


With dry January ongoing, I’ve not much constructive to add on the wine front (it’s not really so hard, although I do miss the thrill of planning wine/food combos the most). We did, however, go over to friends last night for a gathering, which, as I suspect for the majority, hasn’t been an exactly regular occurrence over the last couple of years.

So anyway, last night I purchased every low/no alcohol beer I could find on the shelves of a supermarket we passed, just for interest, and to see where they’re heading as a genre :

First up was a Leffe 0,0%. Very nice, I thought, quite close to the original product, didn’t seem to lose too much ‘weight’ for the lack of alcohol (which seems a perennial problem with it’s competitors). In hindsight, probably the best of the bunch, and not a bad drink. Would consider for midweek drinks in future outside of dry January.

Next up, the Erdinger ‘Isotonic drink’ 9me either, any scientists/enthusiasts could explain?):

Very, very hoppy and dry in the German style. Which was a little of a shock to the taste buds after the ‘sweeter’ tasting Leffe, but after a few mouthfuls, I grew to quite like it. Would probably buy one if I was driving, rather than have them in the house.

Sharpe’s Doom Bar is a particular favourite of mine (but, lord, does it deliver the hangover from hell), so I was looking forward to this one…

Persistent notes of something vaguely earwaxy, and a lack of body suggests to me that Sharpe’s need to go back to the drawing board if they’re to produce as suitable alternative to the full fat version. :grinning:

Then a ‘Luck Saint’ (new one on me), checking the back label, brewed in Germany filled me with a little confidence…

Really quite nice, more towards the Erdinger in style, but less hoppy bitterness. No 2 for the night I would say,

Finally, as recommended by @lapin_rouge, an Adnam’s Ghost Ship:

Perfectly passbale - I quite like Adnam’s ales, so not a bad stab (and light years ahead of the Doom Bar), but I felt it came across as the poorer relation of a real ale. Wouldn’t discount buying again, but not in any hurry.

All-in-all, the genre has come on leaps and bounds from what I remember, although for now I think I still prefer some alcohol, seems to add a bit of body, mid-palate and a refreshing quality that seems to either be lacking or certainly dialled down in the 0% stakes. I don’t know why that would be?


ticks the box…

what is the name of this restaurant please?
Thank you!

Last bottle of this with rump steak and a stir fry of home grown winter veg (red cabbage, sprouts, celeriac, leeks, garlic and mushrooms).

A wine that never fails to deliver…a favourite of the late @onlyawino, Alan Sullivan if I recall and he had good taste. Such ripe sweet fruit, but not at all ‘confected’, with a trace of tannin to support. Like most Rhone 2018 it is forward and ready for drinking now. I had to restrain myself from finishing the bottle…it was so moreish.
Glad I have a case (well half a case - don’t panic @Leah - of their 2019 Nessun Dorma in EP.


It’s called Lusitania, it’s on the Wandsworth Road between Vauxhall and Clapham. Good value Portuguese comfort food. I’ll definitely go again (although there’s another one called A Toca next door but one, which I’ll probably try before going back).

1 Like

thank you! will give it a try. :yum:

1 Like

The tub of what looks like ice cream here is actually deliciously creamy rich Gorgonzola cheese. I was looking for wine to match and one suggestion I came across was Rivesaltes. By coincidence I had bought a bottle of 1960 Rancy in the run up to Xmas, but it never got drunk then.

I’ve never had a Rivesaltes before and this has been awesome. Dark brown, superbly rich nose and on tasting there are depths of flavour that just keep rolling - molasses, stewed figs, caramel. The density of flavour is higher than good aged madeiras I have had. Consistency is almost syrupy, although that may just be perception based on the depth of taste and colour.

And an exceptional partner to the cheese - all about the contrasts. A bite of cheese washed down with the wine is a little bit of magic in your mouth. I’ve been enjoying this combination for about a week now - just about out of cheese, but the Rancy is still going strong. You don’t need much - each sip is an explosion, so it’s back in the fridge every night, but has probably improved if anything over the past week.

One final thought - this is a wonderful pairing. But the Rivesaltes is so particular that it would overwhelm many other pairings. It’s got everything needed though for straight sipping in small amounts, nothing else required.

(The Rutherglen in the photo was another potential pairing but never got opened, the Rivesaltes is everything I need right now!)


That Gorgonzola looks amazing, where did you get it?


The Great January Rack Reshuffle has revealed a fair few bottles that were being held back until this year-ish, including…

…which I finished last night. Lovely sweet-fruited nose - a little woody on first pour, but it soon came together - more savoury on the palate, and with soft, squishy tannins.

Lost its mojo somewhat by day three; I never meant for it to last that long, but Thursday evening was a bit crazy-busy, so it had to wait…!

I need to keep buying this and tucking it away - it’s still good value, even as the price goes up.


Gorgonzola was mail order from The Fine Cheese Company. Came as part of a quarterly box delivery (Xmas present from Mrs H).


This is a bit late but is for Richard…the wife is working her way through the various Fino and Manzanulla sherries I got before Christmas, Richard mentioned the San Leone which there were a couple of including a pasada reserva, but they are a style and the amount of wood in the wine was not appreciated, I quite liked them but could see her point.
This reasonably priced number went down rather well, a little darker than your standard manzanilla but crisp and had a nice length to it, one of the successes.

This was a left over from the Christmas line up, from Waitrose’s new Loved and Found! range, very cheap for an Arneis and purchased with Inbar in mind as she loves the grape despite reticence as there are so many duds and non typical versions out there, this was decent enough it actually had a faint almond aroma which all Arneis should have but don’t, again just about noticeable in the mouth and a lot of fruit, just spoilt by , for me, a touch to much sweetness coming through which the acidity did not balance out, but for £7 a bargain buy.

And a wine I brought back from the Alsace from Albert Mann, consumed before I remembered to photo so a library pic.
Cracking PG, lichees on the nose a slight oily palate with a lot of tropical fruits and a lot of length, not had anything from this winery for awhile but they are still good quality and VFM, as good a PG as I have had for some time.

I would not normally put any personal items on here, sometimes though it is a way of showing how luck fate plays such a part in our lives, some may remember I said at Christmas about family and friends with deaths and health problems.
It continues, I will keep it short, my sister was diagnosed with bone cancer pre virus and sucesfully had chemo and recovered, her husband was diagnosed with a small liver cancer also pre virus but three cancelled ops meant he was in covid territory and was totally ignored for eight months when it was discovered it was inoperable, there was a lot more to this story but not for here.
He sadly died two months before Christmas, my sister in the meantime had a check up and her bone cancer had returned, she was put back onto a new regime of chemo and had to endure her husbands death during this time, I then got a phone call last week from her, she was in hospital with pneumonia, fortunately she is recovering.

But it just shows how sometimes but for the grace of God we can all go the same route, I have been trying to sort some care for when she returns home and it is a nightmare.


Richard Corrigan’s deep fried oysters with a honey and cracked pepper dressing really is the business. We love. Hidalgo manzanilla sets them off a treat.


We’ve gone all Spanish this evening, with a Spanish(ish) goat hotpot and two Spanish wines.

First, this 2017 Brut Nature Cava from Sainsbury’s – made by Codorníu:

Surprisingly good for a £9 bottle! Lovely nose of apples, lemon biscuit and delicate honeysuckle floral notes, and a pleasant freshness on the palate, with notes of orchard fruit, citrus zest and a touch of yoghurt-like sourness. Good stuff, which worked nicely with some chicken Pâté.

The 2012 Viña Cubillo spent 4+ hours in the Decanter. I think it did it a world of good – as it clearly needs air!

First impression after opening was similar to @MikeFranklin’s notes – quite a lot of acidity/sour fruit, and a bit all over the place palate-wise. But now, second glass, after all this time in the decanter – and it’s singing! Mind you, this is more of a cerebral Bartók than a crowd-pleasing Tchaikovsky, but beautiful all the same :relieved:

On both nose and palate – the fruit notes are definitely of the sour, red kind. Sour cherries, dried berries (Goji berries, anyone?) and bramble. But there’s also a faint vanilla note, sweet pipe tobacco, decomposed leaves and citrus-y orange peel. Acidity won’t be to everyone’s liking, perhaps, but it works for me. The tannins are as leathery as can be, and the finish leaves a spicy aftertaste.

A unique composition! :wine_glass: :ok_hand:


You ain’t kidding! Planning to open an Ascheri Arneis tomorrow , in fact! :smiley: :+1:

But your notes make me think that I should give this Waitrose one a go, too - as a midweek Arneis that is. Have you figured out who the producer for this one is?

1 Like

I seem to have opened the snazzy wine on a Wednesday and the mid-week throater at the weekend :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Anyway, this is great, especially when it’s on offer for a fiver. Proper garnacha character, went down very easily, yum.


It’s a Marcus Wareing recipe - pork mince, chopped chorizo, red onion and a few other bits to flavour and bind. I love the idea of mincing them together though, that would definitely be the best solution. Now I’m trying not to browse for mincing machines…


I love his recipes and his restaurant is beyond amazing.

1 Like

We will have real wine later tonight, but to start I opened this - because I need some red wine for a few dishes in the week and wanted to check this wouldn’t ruin them. Obtained in a blind secret Santa at work (2m distancing, no alcohol, opened at desks during a working day whilst dialed into a normal team meeting, no it’s not a party Sue…).

I’m powerfully reminded of Lenny Henry in the TV series “Chef”, where he describes a wine: “it doesn’t have a bouquet, it has a smell”. I assume this is roughly what you’d get if you added cold brew coffee to red grape juice and industrial denatured alcohol. The label proudly describes the coffee as being “100% Colombian Arabica beans” and the wine as “Australian red wine”. It’s not actually undrinkable, just nothing in any way to do with wine.

I suppose I should have regifted this in the time honoured tradition, but I feel Sir Chris and Sir Patrick would approve of breaking this particular train of transmission to protect public health.