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


I had some friends over for a wee gathering/reunion, last night. A few of the guests delighted us with Bolinger and a Chateau Tour St. Bonnet 2003, which replaced my original choice for main course wine.

Here’s what we had:

  • The Society’s Champagne; then some Bolinger with the nibbles.
  • Goats Cheese, Chorizo and Black Pudding Salad, paired with a Famille Bougrier Sauvignon Blanc 2015.
  • Family recipe Hungarian Goulash with roast potatoes, paired with Chateau Tour St. Bonnet 2003 (originally had planned Society Exhibition La Rioja Alta Reserva 2011).
  • Homemade Chocolate Orange Cheesecake, paired with Maydie Tannat 2015.
  • Big Cheeseboard, paired with Quinta Do Noval LBV Port 2011.

I was particularly impressed by the Maydie Tannat 2015. On it’s own, it looks and smells like port but has an interesting dry finish. When eaten with chocolate orange cheesecake it’s heavenly. Matchtastic!

The youngling was at Granny and Grandad’s for a sleepover, hence the excuse for a proper feast!


Goats cheese, black pudding and chorizo sounds like an excellent salad!


A South African theme so far this weekend:

This on Friday night, and wow, what a fantastic wine. Thanks to @szaki1974 for pointing it out. It extremely full of flavour, plenty of fruit, and secondary notes, an absolute bargain, and definitely no rush to drink.

Last night was this:

Last bottle of this unfortunately, and again, plenty of life left in it. Plenty of classic Cabernet notes, with pencil shavings on the nose, with plenty of black fruit coming through. A little closed to start, but decanted and it opened up beautifully.

Probably going to return to the Rhone this evening with this:


I often overlook just what a food friendly wine champagne is and Friday night saw an excellent opportunity to taste some differing styles alongside a specially created menu at a local hotel.

The evening was organised in conjunction with Taittinger whose UK head was present to introduce each wine.

It was a hugely enjoyable evening. The menu was well executed and the service faultless. There was certainly no scrimping on the wine servings :smile:

The Prelude and Nocturne wines showed particularly well. Not convinced on the rosé. It seemed to lack any subtlety and balance. The Reserve NV needed no introduction for us as its been our house fizz for a few years now and I will always enjoy a glass (or three!).


Had this for the first time last night. We where very impressed. Lovely crisp dry fruit. Very refreshing and a nice long finish. Hopefully will be back in stock soon. Will certainly be purchasing again!


Sheltering from the storm with a nice casserole and dumplings and a bottle of this classy Nebbiolo. Lots of rich and smoky flavours and a fair amount of complexity. Perfect for a stormy evening.


Not the most photogenic dinner but a tasty (and early) one tonight. We have a lot of rainbow chard at the allotment and had the other bits to hand, so I made the Meera Sodha recipe from yesterday’s Graun, rose harissa chickpea stew

Except instead of flatbreads, we had it with sausages…

I dialled back the harissa for the sake of family harmony and to make it a bit more wine friendly, and we had a glass of this Alsace PG with it:

Which was good, some fruit though I couldn’t clearly define it, some floral notes (maybe rose but that might have been wishful thinking because of the harissa), nice acidity and a quite prominent (what I think of as) minerality. Not a bad match, but maybe a bit boozy for the harissa heat, and a bit more fruit/sweetness would probably have helped too.


Was struggling to decide what to drink with a simple bowel of tomato pasta with vegetables, so I decided to try the Rousanne from the Foundary ( seems to be quite popular on the community at the moment)

Delicious! Reminded me of a Chablis - hint of apple and mineral streak with a slight hint of spice. Will definitely be buying more considering the price!!


Accompaniments to todays lunch:

The Wiston BdB NV was just superb; apple, lemon, and freshly baked bread. Spine tinglingly good.

The Viña Arana is consistently reliable. Beautiful clear garnet when you hold it up to the light. Medium bodied, surprisingly nimble on its feet. Crunchy cherry and smokey vanilla. Spicy and nice. Very easy to drink, but not too intoxicating to make storytime completely unintelligible…


Yum, looks like a great recipe and, dare I say it, all the better for sausages!


This was perfect with pigeon ( part two )…

… a Jamsheed Beechworth Syrah 2012. Unfined and unfiltered with a high proportion of its grapes being whole bunch fermented and then matured in old French oak. Not as opaque as the pic might suggest, its watery rim showed its age.

The last time I tried this, two years ago, it seemed to have entered a close stage. Thankfully it’s opened up again. Violets. blue and black berry fruit and a savoury olive paste quality on the nose. Equally Rhone-like on tasting, medium bodied with similar flavours to the nose, fresh acidity provides balance and some drying tannins grip. It had a lovely slippery texture and length of flavour was very good. Reminiscent of an artisanal Cote-Rotie, it was thoroughly enjoyed.


It is a good recipe, straightforward and tasty. In fact with the extra body from the chickpea water, umami from tomato purée, and the paprika and harissa, you’d be hard pressed not to know there wasn’t some chorizo or similar in it. Definitely recommended, and while the sausages were a good addition, next time I probably would have it as is with flatbreads- for extra worthiness.


One of my friends introduced me to this combo. Phenomenal, and excellent with Sauvignon Blanc.


Yum. Agree re SB- I’ve never had one (of any style) with goats cheese (of any style) where it hasn’t been an excellent pairing.

Also chapeau, that’s a hearty starter as part of a 5 course meal!


Healthy as well as hearty!


Tonight we ate Iberico pork chops, a bean and chorizo stew and caramelised fennel, and drank Sarget de Gruaud Larose 2016.

The wine cost 21€ last year in Carrefour in Reims, which at the time I thought looked a good price, and I was right. Possibly a bit young, but it’s actually very drinkable right now. It did need a bit of time after opening, but revealed some good cassis, pencil shavings and leather on the nose. A slightly lighter body than I expected, but it worked well with the meat - cassis coming through again, a little tobacco, good acidity, and nicely rounded tannins. The supermarket is our standard staging post when driving to Alsace, so I shall be keeping my eye out for similar bargains in other vintages.


Braved the horrors of number 1 child’s biannual dance school show this weekend (4 hours Saturday dress rehearsal, 2 performances today and everyone is knackered, hungry and irritable. Planned supper unavailable due to chef’s incompetence :tired_face:, more on that later.

Enter the Puttanesca

Such a simple yet satisfying store-cupboard staple, Sunday night supper. I basically follow Felicity Cloake’s recipe with a couple of tweaks, in her own style.

However, the only thing I had open to drink with it was the remainder of a bottle of this

That I used to knock up a Ox cheek Bourguignon in between visits to the dance show venue (cue shock horror in all of France). Unfortunately I underestimated how tough the cheeks would be - they’re still in the slow cooker, hence the puttanesca.

Though not completely one-dimensional the Cono Sur PN would have been blasted into insignificance by the spicy, salty, garlicky pasta sauce so I didn’t bother and just saved the glass for tonights Win the Wilderness. Some fruit (I got blueberry), some acidity, delicate tannins. Not offensive, but should have asked my boss for vouchers rather than wine for Christmas!

Midweek Drinking Thread [10th to 13th February 2020]

I agree with you here. I’m not a big fan of cava but we tried a bottle of this at the weekend and were very pleasantly surprised. Very easy drinking at this price.


Tonight the last of a bottle of Pinot Gris Roche Calcaire Zind Humbrecht 2016.
it’s balanced and ever so classy. Yes I guess it will age but is so lovely now.


Bianchi produced this limited production of Merlot from grapes grown at 1100m in the Valle de Uco, south of the city of Mendoza. 3000 bottle were produced. After fermentation the wine gets 12 months in French oak. A 2016 wine, this was a powerful, ripe Merlot although the back label says it is only 13%. Still young.

My notes were: Opaque centre, crimson rim. Intense nose. Black fruits, plums, vanilla. Full palate. Rich but dry. Ripe fruit hinting at sweetness. Low acidity. Velvety tannins. Black currants and plums. Hints of charcoal. Long finish but needs food. Not sure whether the low acidity will impact its ageing.