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Weekend drinking thread (7th-9th February 2020)


That brings to mind a quote from Sir Henry ( at Rawlinson End )…

Generally speaking, if I’ve eaten something I don’t like to see it again.

And one for Community members perhaps…

If I had all the money I’d spent on drink, I’d spend it on drink.


Dinner yesterday wasn’t pretty so no pic !

Anyway, we had chicken thighs with sumac and pomegranate molasses, roasted squash, mixed beans and red pepper stew, a green salad and flatbreads. This stood up well to the robust and fruity flavours…

…lighter in body and without the oily texture of the 2017 it was nevertheless delicious. TWS notes mirror mine. A light oak flavour is also mentioned, if so, it’s so integrated that it was undetectable ( to my palate anyway ). The bottle was drained before supper so I had to open something else…

…an Alheit ‘Limited Release’ Chenin Blanc 2018 from Majestic ( £12 ) with the leftover chicken. I didn’t expect it to stand comparison to Alheit’s more sought after wines but I was wrong as it had a similar natural effortless quality. The pristine floral orchard fruit nose isn’t complex but it does beg tasting. Similar on tasting with some lemon and under ripe stone fruit flavours too. Balance and weight of flavour were spot-on as was the pure and refreshingly fruity finish. A lovely wine.


A first for us last night and today, a traditional method sparkling Shiraz made by a Scot in Spain:

This was absolutely brilliant, clean black fruit, juicy but smooth, relatively simple but dangerously easy to drink. Salud!


Szechuan crispy cauliflower with this great textbook Cava:

Worked well with the spicy flavours as a palate cleanser. This is great fizz at the price, nothing too complex, but a nice clean, creamy finish.


It’s great, isn’t it. I always have a bottle or two in the garage fridge, ready to go at a moment’s notice :clinking_glasses:


Starting with a glass of this, not sure if I’ll move on to anything else but happy if not, a lovely aperitif, creamy, peachy, like a light version of a viognier with some herby hints. Actually if i had some tarragon and mushrooms I’d make chicken, mushroom and tarragon pasta and finish the bottle.


We’re having a slow cooked Moroccan style lamb dish tonight so not 100% sure this will work perfectly with it, but 100% sure I’ll enjoy it anyway. What I’m not enjoying is the fact that this is the last one of my 2015’s and now the 2016 sold out too. Anybody tried the '17?


No, but I’d love to know what it’s like as well, because it’s going in and out of my basket all the time :wine_glass:


Last night had this

with venison ragu and penne rigati. The ragu was a left over frozen portion and wasn’t as good as fresh, as the meat had absorbed the sauce too much so didn’t coat the pasta as it should, but still tasted good.

This wine is the best vintage of it I’ve had. All vanilla and roast plums/figs on the nose. Lots of sweet, sweet fruit on the palate, and then, just when you think it might be a little sickly, you get that acidity and slightly bitter note that is so Italian, following through to a little tannic grip on the end. Spicy ragu is recommended and I would agree.

Tonight, with butcher’s steak pie, roasties and last of home grown sprouts, we had this

Just right to console after the rugby, on a truly miserable windy wet night up here. Spicy warm fruit, very smooth, very quaffable. even my wife liked it and she drinks very few reds. Uncomplicated comfort food and wine.


Tonight, dinner of halibut and prawns with wilted spinach, and a creamy shrimp sauce, accompanied by riesling.

Bruno Sorg GC Pfersigberg Riesling 2012, and drinking very nicely. A good amount of zesty lime and lemon, but backed up by steely minerality, and plenty there for those who love a petrolic riesling. Cut the richness of the sauce without overpowering the fish. Really good.


Oooh! I was after fresh halibut today but the fishmonger in the market said he couldn’t get it at the moment (at the price he wanted), and probably not till March. Oh well.

Opened a bottle of this tonight

The first thought that came to mind was “no wimpy wines”. I know this is a Ravenswood line, but it seems true for this too. It has green tints in the lemon colour, and it’s big, rich, and creamy and fills your mouth with flavour. Anything but wimpy!


A couple of bottles open this weekend.

Mmmm, worth all the hype round here. Poise and power in a classy harmony. Great with conversation last night and lovely with steak frites tonight.

I had a bottle of this shortly after delivery last year and seem to remember enjoying, but not being wowed. Think I’m a little more impressed this weekend. The fruit is lovely and there’s something there that’s reminiscent of a wine from Alsace, but I can’t work out what.

What happened to the Bin Series? I thought with three digits, this would be an ongoing promotion. Bring on the next one is all I say.


Back from a reunion with my old army friends, a meeting which - back in the days - used to mean lots of home made Middle Eastern food and countless cups of really strong coffee.

We broke with the coffee tradition this time, and opened a couple bottles of this quaffable 2017 Israeli Merlot:

Made in the Judean Hills, just South East of Jerusalem, this was very much made in a Californian style, though perhaps a little fresher. Lovely notes of dark chocolate, tobacco, blackberries and stewed plums on the nose were followed by notes of bramble, plums and dark cherries mingled with smoke and spice on the palate. Silky smooth, with mellow tannins, this was a good accompaniment to hours of laughter and some tears too. Funny how little one really changes in 26 years…

Happy weekend, all! :wine_glass:


Having finished Dry January late, we began the Wet Rest of Year with…

Lovely mellowing purple to the eye. Dark cherry, blackcurrant, the oak is evident in something charred and smoky. Meaty mushroomy scents coming through as well,. Tannins quite smooth with a bit of residual grip but still a lot of acidity which makes this feel quite lively. We had this with a beef stew which did not really work and then James Cagney and Billy Wilder - One, Two, Three which did.


Last night we had the Domaine Maby Lirac 2016. This was the first 2016 red we’ve had from the well-hyped vintage in southern Rhône. We have some 2016 Chateauneuf and Gigondas put down for several years time but judging by this Lirac it will be fantastic. I remember trying an older vintage of the Lirac which wasn’t as spot on as the 2016. Initially a sweet start, with good acidity and a dry finish. Quite complex after a few hours decanted.

For the price we’re considering getting 3 bottles of it to try in 3 / 4 years time. Recommended.


This last night with crispy spicy lamb and Thai green curry. A touch sweeter and it would have been perfect, but it did the job pretty well.

Jumping in the kitchen shortly to start cooking a roast chicken with hasselback potatoes, so will have to think about next choice soon!


I had a Pinot Noir that I was eager to try. Pigeon breasts, bacon and chestnuts sounded like the basis for a meal to pair with it so I did a google search and found a recipe that included all three. The only ingredient I had to buy were some sprouts…

With a Closson Chase Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016 from Prince Edward County, Ontario.

A beautiful pale red. The nose was fabulous, dried red fruits, beetroot, spice and that almost indescribable Pinot savouriness. Even before tasting I knew I was going to love it. Red cherry, cranberry, rhubarb, mixed spice, wood and that delicious savoury quality that defines good Pinot on doing so. Supple, light bodied and ethereal with ever changing flavours it had a paradoxical depth that belied its lightness. It seemed to glide across the palate. A complex savoury finish with good persistence capped things off. And only 12.3% ABV. Wonderful !

Edit - the wine was a bit light for the food. Salmon or tuna would have been a better match. I’ve got the same again tonight so will try something different. An Etna red, a SA Cinsault, a Northern Rhone Syrah or a Burgundy being the likely options.


I have had a bit of Rioja, which just confirmed that traditional style Rioja is not for me. There was nothing wrong with it, in fact it was a well made, typical example. Unlucky me has 5 more bottles to get through.

To be fair I have had ones enjoyed… for starters, the others I have bought from TWS (except the white).


Talking of Rioja our selection today with roast lamb shortly as Ciara swirls around the house and we hope the power stays with us…


Last bottle of my case of this last night with Thai prawn curry

Five years a stretch but still fab - slightly waxy now but all exotic fruit flavours, a great food wine and the best English still wine I have found by a mile.