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Weekend Drinking Thread 14-16 January 2022

@Tim1012 - I think I might have to try that idea out, even without a recipe. I love watching Marcus Wareing on Masterchef, though I smile wryly if he ever criticises for not serving enough food. Our first experience of Michelin-starred dining was at the Savoy Grill when he was chef there - the food was amazing, but the portions were tiny. And that’s compared with anywhere else, starred or not, that we’ve eaten at since, too.

@cerberus - So sorry to hear about your brother-in-law and sister, and my best wishes to her and to you. Lovely wine at Albert Mann - we haven’t visited for quite a while, but their prices in the shops seem have undergone a very sharp increase :frowning:

This evening I continued cooking from my Christmas present of Ottolenghi “Flavour” - roasted celeriac with a date barbecue sauce, and cabbage. The recipe is supposed to make cabbage “tacos”, but the leaves on my cabbage were completely the wrong shape and size, so a bit of adjustment in presentation was in order. We drank Famille Perrin “Réserve du Mistral” 2017.

I bought this a couple of years ago during a Waitrose 25% offer. It’s softly red fruited, but maybe a little bit fading . It’s quite light on the tannin - there’s some present, but it’s very much in the background, and I’d like a little more to help give it some grip. Acidity is on the medium to low side, and I’m happy to have drunk it now - it doesn’t feel like it’s got anywhere to go. It very much did the job that I wanted with the food, though, being fruity, unchallenging, and slipping down very easily.

Happy Saturday!


Finished my last of these (last of 24 in fact) last week and completely agree. Wonderful stuff, truly harmonious and rewarding, full of interest and comfort. What more could one want? It’s a sublime cover drive of a wine.
I have no quibble with the Nessun Dorma or other vintages of La Fermarde but somehow they just don’t quite hit the same sweet spot.


My very best wishes to you and yours @cerberus. I just hope you can sort a care package out ASAP for everyone concerned.

These here tonight…

…the Fino Perdido from Sanchez Romate was, and will be for a few evenings yet, chefs perks. Although it may lack the fresh and breezy notes of the standard Fino and Manzanilla usually consumed here it more than makes up for that with its deep and savoury yeasty flavours. It’s really pungent too as the aromas just leapt from the glass and filled my nostrils at distance. That said, I’d still prefer a more typical example in the summer months but at this time of year it’s nigh on perfect and a wine which provides exceptional VFM too.

As I’ve almost finished a case of Ogier’s L’Ame Soeur 2013 I decided to check out bottle two of his Cote-Rotie, from the same vintage, tonight.

Black olives, red berry and black cherry fruit, damp soil and sweet spices on the savoury and fragrant nose. Similar on tasting, sourly ripe berried fruits, tapenade, black pepper with a delicious savoury undertow. Fresh acidity and now resolved tannins provide balance and an elegant supple structure to the deep, yet elegant, flavours and there’s good length of flavour to end.

It was a great match with the pincha steak in tonight’s meal too…

…but less so with the polenta chips where, and as cliched as it may sound, an Italian wine might have been a better option. As always, the usual caveats apply to presentation !


Tour of Black Book Winery in Battersea this afternoon.

It really is properly in an industrial estate so not the most pleasant location, but was also a great tour/tasting.

We were presented with their Seyval Blanc fizz “GMF” upon arrival. Grapes are from Didcot, made in a traditional method but then not disgorged so it’s a bit cloudy. It was a solid Seyval Blanc fizz, with a bit more interest than most. Next up was their The Mix-Up 2019. I wasn’t entirely looking forward to this as I’d had the 2018 version, which (being polite) left a lot to be desired. This was a lot better. They’ve changed the mix (now a 50/50 Sauvignon Blanc/Chardonnay) blend, and while not amazing was an interesting and pleasant wine.

The 2019 Clayhill Chardonnay was next. Clearly the nicest wine of the tasting. Slightly vanilla yoghurt (you know, those french set ones) up front giving way to something that I"m pretty sure was quince. Really classy high acid, lightly oaked Chardonnay and a bargain at £20. The 2020 Pinot Noir rounded us off. It was good, just not as good as the Chardonnay. Very light and floral with something slightly stalky. I think, given the stalkiness, it may have been in a bit of a closed phase and I’d like to try it again in a few months (years?) time.

Talking with Sergio afterwards I managed to blag a sneak pre-taste of their experimental vermouth. It had a meunier base, which meant it was a lot more tannic and structured that most vermouths. I’m pretty excited to try the finished article.


As promised, actual wine:


New to us, and subsequently out of stock. Wine of the year so far (admittedly in early Jan). Incredibly light and fragrant, cherries with herbaceous notes (oregano?). Totally the wrong time of year for this - hope the 2021 follows because I could work my way through a lot of this with BBQ’d white meat and salad sat in the sunshine overlooking the sea, which is pretty much where it transports us to.


For me and a couple of other members the Ramnista was the best wine on the night (all served blind although I knew the order). Surprisingly the more tannic Karydas was very well regarded by almost all the group.
There were several comments when guessing blind that they might be Italian, which also tied in with the WS tasting notes.


I have very high hopes for tomorrow’s Sunday lunch at a close friend’s 60th birthday. Watch this space…


Half way through January purgatory for me; I wonder if it’s just @Tannatastic and me still hanging in there…

Adnams now do 2 AFBs and I enjoyed this equally as their Ghost Ship, this one more on the malty side. Enjoyment enhanced by accompanying the viewing of MoD highlights witnessing NCFC actually score and win a football match.

(tbf Everton were very poor… still you can only beat the team in front of you)


Have you tried the 2019 la Fermade @Joewlmansfield, and if so are you saying the 2018 is better? It should certainly be more open at this stage in any case.

I’m enjoying these AF updates. I agree ales don’t work as well as lagers or ‘craft beers’ (hate that label). Try Clausthaler if you see it - we buy it from Ocado - in the Lucky Saint mould but more balanced and satisfying IMO.

Sorry to hear @cerberus’s sad run of events - my commiserations.

Finished this Liberator Syrah/Mourvedre last night, which my wife opened Friday. I only had a small sip on day one but it seemed oaky and cloying to me. Much better on day 2, and chilled down a couple of degrees - oak had receded revealing a pretty good Syrah-forward CdR-type, plenty of freshness with some sweet fruit.

I paid £11.95 for it in Oct, but now on the list again at the full price of £13.95, which doesn’t feel great value to me.



This is so true!

I’m so sorry to hear about the sad and difficult events in your life at the moment… I hope your sister recovers soon and things ease off a little for you all :pray::pray:

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I’ve always liked Barbiana manzanilla since visiting this bar, maybe 25 years ago.

Not easy to find in the UK although I see the Whiskey Exchange has it.

We both enjoy this Beaujolais from Chenas. Nothing fancy just good value ripe red fruit and fresh acidity.

Light red centre, pink rim. Medium nose. Strawberry, red cherry and raspberry. Hint of bubblegum. Medium palate. Very light tannins. Fresh acidity. Dry. Juicy red fruit. Ripe strawberry. Red currant. Raspberry. Medium finish. Pleasant easy drinking Beaujolais.


Still going here too. I’ve eschewed the AF stuff this year. Have leant on it in dry jan + sober oct in the past. Whilst I do drink it throughout the year, during dry Jan it just becomes a stronger reminder of what I’m missing out on. Just trying to avoid any activities associated with a nice glass of wine at the mo. This middle weekend is usually the hardest to avoid cracking in dry jan in my experience. Downhill from here and good luck!


My wine buying this January has been way too spendy for my liking. EP season hasn’t kicked off too


Nice jug! Interesting stopper though?

Some good whites this week.

The Quinta da Fonte Souto was drunk with cod on Friday evening. I first bought the 2017 vintage of this wine and enjoyed it, so when the 2019 appeared on the list I bought 6 bottles. Very smooth, attractive, good body. Not cheap, but a very fairly priced alternative to white Burgundy. I will buy again in the future.

The Mochel Riesling was brought to my attention last year by Nick Foster in the “Ramblings on Riesling thread”. Consumed with chicken. Very fine, a hint of residual sugar. The sort of wine that as you work it round your mouth more and more flavours become apparent. A very good buy for £20 – pity I bought just the one bottle.

The Cervoles Calors was part of my first order of the year. Consumed mid-week, not this weekend. An attractive fruity white with good body – would drink well with or without food. I think a very good buy at the discounted price of £8.50.

Most importantly all three of these wines were well received by my wife.

This evening with roast lamb I plan to open a bottle of the Bin #005 Xinamavro, the second of six.


I’m enjoying a glass of Alegria Manzanilla, waiting for the roast lamb which will be accompanied by

Already looks quite aged with definite shades of brown, but a first sip shows it still has some fruit, with a definite savoury edge. Should do the trick.

Last night we had

which was not quite what I expected. I couldn’t resist tucking in to one at the start of its quite long drinking window, but I think it needs more time. Dry tannins, more oak than you might think, it didn’t really come together for me. The rest will be put away for quite a while, I think.


Yes it definitely improved over time and was better on the second and third nights, but, whilst it’s not faulty or even bad, I still feel there are better Riojas at the same price point, or at least more to my taste.


I only use the decanter for aeration before drinking. Wine isn’t stored in it.