It’s been a Christmas of contrasts for the W.O.W. team.
On Christmas Eve I received the exciting news that Window On Wine had been named the Tesco Wine Community Blog(ger) of the Year. The other nominees included some pretty august online wine writers and so to win was a real surprise – thank you again to those who voted for us. We celebrated (appropriately) with a glass or two of Tesco Finest* Premier Cru Champagne – really toasty, baked apple flavours and excellent length. It’s usually £19.99 but there’s a fiver off for the next 24 hours!
Christmas Day was spent with The Analyst, The Mothership and other family. Lots of youngsters, laughs and lovely food made it a super day. I introduced the wider family to my favourite Aldi champagne. This breaks the cheap Champagne is too good to be true rule for me. Regular buyers beware, the packaging has changed and the name – well sort of. It’s now called Champagne Brut by Philizot but has Monsigny prominently on the label. Aldi’s wine guru Mike James kindly responded to an anxious Christmas Day tweet – saying “Same lovely bubbles from same little Champagne House, just re-branded /packaged. Enjoy.” Phew! It costs £9.99.
The wines I’d picked to go with Turkey and all the trimmings also went down well. Parker Favourite Son Chardonnay was the biggest hit. It’s one of my ‘go to’ wines when I’m working at The Good Wine Shop. A great value, Australian white, we sell it for just under £11 a bottle. It’s been a revelation for loads of customers who’ve been avoiding Chardonnay from Down Under for years having overdosed on buttery oak flavours. Favourite Son is an oaked wine – so you get a bit of toastyness and vanilla but alongside really nice citrus flavours and good acidity. You can get it online from my place of part-time work, or Great Western Wine, and do look out for it in your local independent wine shop too.
In a departure from Pinot Noir, for a red wine, I chose Beaujolais. Not my own idea, but a suggestion I’d read about for Thanksgiving from Jancis Robinson. I plumped for the Wine Society’s Exhibition Moulin-à-Vent 2009. I knew that this was one of the ‘bigger’ of the Beaujolais Crus – those areas which are top of that region’s vinous hieracrchy – and that 2009 was supposed to be a really good year. The wine didn’t let me down. It was rich, almost full-bodied and juicy, brimming with red berry and cherry flavours. The tannins were delightfully smooth. You can buy this from The Wine Society at £9.25 a bottle (although remember there’s a one off £40 fee for membership.)
Sounds pretty good so far doesn’t it? So, where are the groans? Well, then the seasonal bug/virus struck…
You don’t need the details, but that’s where my seasonal drinking ended – apart from plain water, lemsip and, for strictly medicinal purposes, a small whisky.
Everyone tells me there’s a lot of it about – so I hope it didn’t spoil your Christmas.
I’m on the mend – and suspect I will be able to raise a glass or two of fizz tonight. I hope you will too. Happy New Year to you and yours.