Weekend drinking thread [30th Nov- 2nd December 2018]

The nose on this Croze has quietened down. It’s dense and rich on the palate. Loads going on. Young, soft tannins, Syrah all over. Very long and evolves in the mouth. Will definitely get better but lovely now.

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Sounds similar to my experience with this. Longish decant needed…

Tonight it is this

with bobotie, gnocchi with roast squash and spinach, and braised cavolo nero with pomegranate and mint pesto.

There is huge sediment in this wine, so decanting is a must. Even after a couple of hours it was best described as like a somewhat recalcitrant St Estephe. I had a sneaky small glass before the food and it was pretty dense - spice and oak on the nose. The fruit was there, it was just hiding…lot of tannin still, probably not helped by the tannin or similar of pomegranate seeds. Maybe it will open up a bit more tomorrow. Wife and daughter had Kumeu Chardonnay, which seemed to slip down well…


Thought we’d kick off proceedings with this entry-level bottle from the Mad Hatter of the Rhône himself:


Very, very nice. My first 2017 from that neck of the woods - very purple, lovely dark-fruited concentration, great balance. And although this is (presumably) your standard Southern Rhône blend, the flavour profile really reminded me of The Society’s French Syrah. As ever with Majestic, it needs the lower price to be anything like the right price, but this bottle is perfect for the last day of November.

I took the glass upstairs to sip while bathing the little ones after dinner, which was great until a mouthful went down the wrong way, completely the wrong way, causing Daddy to cough M.Chapoutier all over the bathroom. Well, the first cough and a half went on the floor - remember that lovely purple hue? - while the other three and a half coughs, slightly more under my control, were directed into the sink. Oh well, it gave me something to do while the sprogs poured water over each other.


Staying at the bargain bin!
However, just completed a TWS order which actually is 100% from recommendations from community members…I have kept notes!


I made a French onion soup Wednesday night, which we had tonight after the kids went to bed.

I followed this recipe, except for apple brandy…

Paired it with the Bourboulenc Roussanne I posted about earlier and have to say it was a match made in heaven.


At the end of her glass of the Chapoutier, and all of a sudden, the other half piped up: “Have we got any Port…?”

Well, the Crusted Port is for Christmas itself, but we’ve got a bottle, left over from last year, of that cheap and cheerful Marks & Spencer Ruby Port that comes in the squat little 50cl bottle and is always on offer. I fetched it from the garage and plonked it on the coffee table. The good lady then picked it up and started shaking it, just for long enough to realise what she was doing: “Oh my goodness, I shouldn’t be shaking it, should I?! Oh no! Have I ruined it??”

No, it should be fine, no sediment here, but it was good for a chuckle…! :rofl:


Tonight is day 2 of this Bordeaux

Yesterday I thought I’d made a big mistake putting a case in reserves- even after a long decant it was hot, acidic, with very little fruit. Today it’s so much better: much smoother, more sweet dark fruit, big but tasty. I’m still a bit worried that it’s maybe a touch too boozy ever to integrate fully, but am confident it will improve over the next few years, and look forward to finding out. Good value, I reckon, especially if you like a ripe (modern?) style of Bordeaux.



Had this back in August and yeah, I agree, it needs a bit of air to show its potential. It’s a full-on style, and a bit more boozy than I like my claret to be, but I really liked it and keep meaning to put a few in a mixed case in reserves - even at eight years old I think it’s got more to give. Lots going on for the money.

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Yeah I agree, a bigger style than I’d generally go for in a claret too- but as you say, a lot going on for the money. And I can certainly imagine there being 11 situations in the next 5 years or so when it would fit the bill nicely, eg with a meaty main course at a dinner party. Which is lucky, because that’s how many I have left…!

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Its clearly good value claret night here. As mentioned elsewhere, testing the 2012 Fonbel with a view to Christmas. Almost Nebbiolo like straight out of the bottle, resolves to a very juicy, pleasant, actually really sweet St Emilion. £112/12 IB en primeur so about £15/bottle on the table today.


@Leah At least your neighbours will know where to come for a spare bottle or two… Where are you storing all that!?

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Tonight a Vincent Careme Vouvray Sec 2016 from a recent offer from Waitrose. All gone now but a fine Vouvray. To my mind it has a touch more weight than Careme’s “Spring” bottling which TWS used to sell at £11 a couple of years back. This one cost £17 and just about worth it.

Not so Christmassy for us yet, though it’s December tomorrow, so I shall make some mince pies. Tonight, I made my first foray into cooking fregola sarda, following this recipe:

Here’s my attempt:

We really liked it - a bit nutty, a bit chewier than risotto, and the citrus really lifted the squid.
The wine is a Muscat Grand Cru Kirchberg de Ribeauvillé 2014 from André Kientzler, and really complemented the dish. Floral but restrained nose - not as full-on as some muscat, but almost honeysucklish. Dry but fruity - how does Alsace muscat manage to taste like grapes but be completely dry - and long and minty on the finish. Lovely.


This looks great, @robertd! And a fab wine match too! :ok_hand:
I love fregola - especially with seafood, so will give your recipe a go. In the Middle East we often use fregola as a basis for salads - usually with some roasted peppers, feta and black olives thrown in. It’s a delicious alternative to couscous (and you can also use Orzo in a similar way)! :+1:

We are off to Tuk Tuks in Edinburgh to continue celebrating our daughter’s Masters graduation in psychology and mental health :clinking_glasses:. It’s a BYO so a stroll through Harvey Nicks wine store is on the cards today. I have Billecart-Salmon on my mind.
Last night we had paired tasting menu at The Gardeners Cottage which was delightful.
Update - Laurent Perrier from Oddbins for £29 fell into my basket instead - cheapskate :joy:


Weather meant to be OK in Edinburgh today, have a fantastic day.

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I shall definitely be cooking fregola again. I love couscous, but ths had a bit more texture. And dry muscat goes so well with seafood like this.

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We felt dead classy in front of the telly last night, matching the soft sweetness of a cheap ruby Port to the salty spice of large bag of Bombay mix.


You know, I’d never have thought to bother looking for wine there but stumbled across the wine section of the Birmingham branch while looking for a pair of jeans and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality, selection and even the price (fair, not cheap but not over the top)

By comparison I also quite enjoy the Selfridges wine hall - wonderful selection yes, but the real fun is to find the most extortionately overpriced bottle and wonder why anyone would pay that much*

*its because they’re much richer than me, isn’t it…