So sue me!
When a friend recommends a wine, there is a lot of investment on their part. They probably love it, and they want you to love it too. Remember the horror when you discovered your first boyfriend/girlfriend didn't enjoy that book or LP/mixtape/CD/MP3 download (delete as age appropriate) you gave them? A little bit of their love just died... Wine is just as personal. We drink it because of how it makes us feel, and because of who it makes us when we drink it. Whether that's the fact that your dance moves improve, you are able to flirt more, or you think the sommelier will respect you for ordering a Bordeaux First Growth, wine is personal. So when we drink a wine that's been recommended, there are certain obligations:
- Drink it in a timely fashion
- Report back
- Love it or risk me thinking badly of you
If you love fish and you've not tried Albariño, then I'd recommend starting with this one. There's that irony again.
Yes, it's pricey, but it's absolutely what this grape is all about: refreshing acidity and minerality like Riesling but without the petrol or oily texture, medium bodied for a white but still light, peachy with crisp green apples for the fruit. It has real aromatic character but without this dominating in the way it can in a NZ Sauvignon Blanc or Alsace Gewurztraminer. This can only be Albariño. Other decent examples are available in the supermarkets for around half the price or so. After all, you might not want to take my word for it! But Meghan - well done! Now can you make me a mixtape?
Again, it was meant to be opened on Christmas Day but last year. Or was it the year before? And to be fair, that might be part of the problem - it's lain forgotten in the fridge ever since, and we know that over a year of refrigeration is unlikely to be kind to any wine, let alone one with a cork. It's a 2006, but as a sweet red wine dominated by Grenache, that shouldn't be a problem as this kind of wine can keep easily for 10 years. It was unexpectedly tannic, very dark in colour, and not as sweet as I'd expected. The fruit was subdued. In the end, I paired it with cheese, and it matched pretty well with some rather pungent roquefort. Perhaps not quite what my friend had in mind, but let roquefort and banyuls be this this year's port and stilton. I'm having a very non traditional festive season! Should you wish to try one, the 2009 is currently available via the Wine Society at £17.99 for 50cl and may be a better vintage. My recommendation for chocolate pairing remains Quady "Elysium" Black Muscat (£10.50 for 37.5cl from Tanners). We served it at our wedding. Nothing personal about that recommendation at all!