Weekend drinking thread [8th-10th April 2022]

Started last night, continued this evening, and with some left for tomorrow too - a 2015 Les Vins de Vienne Saint-Péray ‘Les Bialères’. 80% marsanne and 20% roussanne.

Drinking quite nicely this evening, after being a bit shouty and blunt to start with last night. Rich honeysuckle & stone-fruit, unctuous texture but not overly so, a bit of oak and just a little whisper of bitterness towards the end to keep it clean. Quite a weighty mouthfeel.

Probably not the best one you’ll ever have, and personally I’d like either a bit more freshness / or dial up the fruit & oiliness etc; but a good solid St Péray in my book.

I’ve got one left and will probably sit on it a while and see where it ends up in a year or two. Plenty of life in it yet I think.


First night in the Veneto with family joining tomorrow. This evening was spent trying a few wines at a local restaurant and wine bar in Vicdnza. Both great value and some interesting wines. The coming week might be similar. Oops.


I believe they have form, the 1909 regional exhibition apparently doing same I recall reading when last visiting.

Fantastic city for architecture, outstanding modern Calatrava buildings and landscaping on the old riverbed.

Terrific city to visit @JamesB

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Dinner out tonight and tried a white Bordeaux.

This is not a style I have had before but thoroughly enjoyed. The SB was showing through but slightly restrained and just enough acidity and fruit to match our meal. So I’m a convert!


Peru calling. Farewell M-Piccu and back to Cusco. Currently at the tail end of the rainy season the rail link to Cusco is a bus replacement from Ollotaytambo and much the better for it; the added 30mins is compensated by a wonderful up hill and down dale scenic excursion. An afternoon spent wandering the sights, sounds and shops of this most splendid city and a pause for a beer to check its pulse.

Dinner at our Casa Andina hotel was ceviche of river trout followed by a most bizzare dish titled “spaghetti carbonara” but as would be the codicil pinned on by a Masterchef contestant “with a Cusco twist”

Carbonara it wasn’t but pretty tasty none the less it was. Strips of grilled chicken flavoured with that local herb Haucatay (called Peruvian black mint in the UK, even though it’s actually a marigold ) with spaghetti in cream (as opposed to egg yolk) , little chunks of ham and finely diced onion. Italian coal miners are turning in their graves as I write.

To got with - Tabernero’s Syrah (about £12 menu price) and gosh, jolly nice it was too. Tasted blind I’d probably call it a decent Rasteau. Hoping to visit Tabernero on our way back to Lima on Wednesday; so watch this space.


Ha ! We have a different souvenir of Selestat and indirectly a not delightful one. We were cycling in the area 'twixt cellar door visits and on a whim decided to take in the birds of prey show near Kintzheim, which is up a hill. The back story is that earlier in that trip TOH’s own bike was stolen outside our hotel on Trier, over the border, so she hired a bike in Ribeauvillé to continue our excursions. On the way down from this Volerie des Aigles, quite a steep gravel road, she braked hard but as some of you know the brakes - handles arrangements are opposite on French bikes and sadly she went abruptly a-over-t and badly pranged and grazed her arm, breaking a finger in the process. On bikes, getting help is not easy so I whizzed off to the sapeur pompiers in Kintzheim central and they duly despatched an equipe and transported TOH to Selestat hospital where she was duly patched up with stitches and bandages and so-on.

Anyway, I like this pic of the day later - spot the heavily bandaged right forearm - as testimony to the adage of the Show must Go On !


Had this lovely, cool climate, South African Pinot Noir, yesterday. Still available from TWS.


Oak Valley Groenlandberg Pinot Noir, Elgin 2019

Elegant, refined strawberry and cherry mix of flavours, slight oak undertones and some low level tannins to add to the mix. Quite a lengthy finish and absolutely delicious. Lots going on but well balanced and very good value, at £20, from Elgin, one of my favourite New World Pinot regions. Highly recommended.


Ouch ! Hats off to your other half for carrying on regardless !

I remember that road well, particularly for the pain involved in cycling up it to La Volerie !

Some schoolchildren on a bus trip to the same, who passed me on the way up, even gave me a small round of applause when I eventually pulled in, puffing and red faced, to the car park :flushed:

Er, I kicked myself on the final day of the holiday though when I noticed, all too late, that my hire bike had three chainrings and not two as I’d thought !

The flat road through Colmar Forest was more to my taste if this poor selfie was anything to go by though…

…happy days !


A word of warning on a bike - the auberge is in La Vancelle, which is at the top of what Strava tells me is a 2.3km climb at 6%. And that’s before you factor in the valley road. Doable, but it might be preying on the mind at the end a long day :rofl:

The Humanist Library is well worth a visit - the renovations are very well done, and there are some great renaissance manuscripts to see.

@PHarvey - what can I say but “ouch”? Glad the show went on - and some distance away, by the road sign. Was that a Colmar base?


Thanks for the info., it’s much appreciated. I’ll have to look for somewhere to else to stay now :laughing:


No, we were in a b&b in Riquewihr but had a car too with a bike rack…

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Saturday evening glug! A little soupy, not very precise but clean on the palate and much better than the rubbish on the telly!

Claret and roast today :wine_glass: hoorah!


Thanks so much for your input, @ieuanf and @lapin_rouge. Really helpful, and I’m really looking forward to it now we have (I think) negotiated our way through all the passenger locator form stuff…

I will report back!

Just decanted this ….and some for the gravy…


Cantine Dei Rosso Di Mantepulciano 2020 and pizza last night.

I don’t think I’d have pegged it as sangiovese if someone handed me a glass. Smooth and easy, sweet red fruits. Maybe red cherry if I squinted but more along the lines of raspberry gummies. Really slick mouthfeel, like glycerol. For about £15 I didn’t think it was particularly good value.

The pizza was excellent.


The sake was from Nature Nature Sakesakana at Ealing Common

Sushi was Ezo in Acton.

The sushi wasn’t amazing (whereas you can get pretty good sushi at several other places locally) but BYOB is a good draw and they did treat us well!


Certainly is for civil servants and SPADs.


Friday - lunch with a chum and BYO white wine:

2021 Cederberg Bukettraube Waitrose Loved & Found (South Africa, Cederberg)

Bukettraube is an unattractive name, but the Bukett part translates as Bouquet, and by gosh this is intense. At first taste my chum screwed up his face and said that it was sweet and thought it was a dessert wine, but I insisted its perfectly dry, and my friend was demanding more and more as he realised the intense perfumed-floral taste was followed by a dry finish. (Winery tasting notes say fermentation was stopped at 19.6g/L RS, so the would not be dry, but it tasted dry to me.

There’s very little Bukettraube grown; according to Wine Grapes just 88ha. It’s a 19thC German cross but it’s no longer grown there and the only figure Wine Grapes has is for South Africa. They say it’s made sweet. I’ve only had this variety once before, made by Cederberg, and that seemed dry.

If you can, I urge you to try this rare wine.

In the evening I made our usual Friday dinner of plaice, new pots, peas and mixed salad and Mrs M chose the second of the Vinho Verdes she’d got.

2020 Caves Vidigal Vinho Verde Porta 6 (Portugal, Vinho Verde)

A pleasant light quaffer.

Saturday Usual Chicken, new pots and home-baked beans and

2019 Bellingham Pinotage (South Africa, Stellenbosch)
This wine is only £8 during Tesco 25% off six deal and punches well above that price.

Sunday aperitif will be

2017 Antech Réserve Brut (France, Blanquette de Limoux)
I love this Mauzac based traditional method sparkler, but on recommending it to a friend last week was distraught to see it had vanished from TWS website.

With roast pork, roast parsnip and potatoes, steamed cauliflower, broccoli and carrots with homemade Bramley apple sauce I’ll be opening

2018 Domaine Belles Courbes Saint-Chinian Vieilles Vignes (France, Saint-Chinian)

I gave this grenache based blend high marks at a recent tasting given by Bordeaux and Beyond to our wine tasting club and couldn’t resist buying a six pack.

( Bukettraube from Waitrose, Vinho Verde from Majestic, Bellingham Pinotage from Tesco, Antech from TWS and Domaine Belles Courbes from Bordeaux and Beyond)


Simple but perfectly cooked roast beef, roasted vegetables and carrots/beans/brocolli.
This staple did the job perfectly. A great lunch claret.


An industrious day house cleaning today, despite feeling slightly dizzy and nauseous since yesterday (Top Shelf syndrome, perhaps? I’ve had it before). Anyway, a reliable Godello this evening, to accompany a chicken, chorizo and artichoke bake:

Gaba do Xil Branco Godello, Valdeorras 2020

We enjoyed previous vintages of this wine, and the 2020 continues the theme of delicate floral notes married to ripe, but still delicate, fruit.

The nose has notes of white blossom, ripe pears, peach/nectarine and mellow honey. On the palate the mouthfeel is rounded - though not heavy- with delightful notes of pear, cantaloupe melon and nectarine and an undertone of savouriness (lees?). The medium finish is lifted with a lively note of citrus zest. Very good! :+1:

Back to work tomorrow after 3 weeks off… Philip Larkin’s Toads comes to mind…

Happy Sunday! :clinking_glasses: