Notta Lotta Bottle

Two booze-free days a week, that’s what we’ve been told by a group of MPs. I think that’s a sensible idea, not least because it gives us time to plan – on the wine-free days – exactly what we are going to enjoy a glass of on the non-wine-free days. In fact, a friend asked me just yesterday for some new wine recommendations. In her words: like nice dry white but bit over the fruity ones.  Quite like the Loire Muscadet but want something with a bit more oomph! So, I suggested she try French whites from Burgundy (Chablis), and other wines from the Loire (Sancerre). Or she could go for some Italian whites from the Alto Adige region (light, bright and breezy), or another Italian, a Lugana made from Trebbiano grapes (Waitrose do a good one). Then there’s Albarino from the Rias Baixas region in Spain (bit more expensive but worth it for flavour alone), or a good dry Riesling from Australia (subtle, in an Australian way: waxy, lemon fruit). Or she could try a Gruner Veltliner from Austria (inner confidence rather than in-your-face fruit) and when she’s done those she can move on to a Torrontes from Argentina (flowers with attitude). Then she can go back to the Loire region for some Chenin Blanc from Savennieres.

So many wines, so little time; two days a week less now.

Current white on the side: Argento Pinot Grigio, 2010, £7.59, Waitrose
I know, I know. After all that talk of different grape varieties to try (a woman’s work is never done) I’ve gone back to Pinot Grigio. BUT. This is different. It is not a watery, tastes vaguely-like-wine PG; this is a lime and lemon-scented dry white with great freshness and real cheek-sucking acidity. Made with grapes from the Mendoza region in Argentina, this is everything a fridge-door white should be. Undemanding, refreshing, qualidee wine. 

Current red on the side: Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir, 2008, £22,
Expensive, yes. Exquisite, yes. Like a model with great bone structure, this wine demands attention. It is from the Waipara region in New Zealand’s South Island, just north of Christchurch. The grape is, as it says on the tin, Pinot Noir – the noble grape variety that makes some of the world’s best, and most expensive wines, from the Burgundy region – and it fills the glass with black cherries and plums. It is soft, silky and quietly powerful: the Agent Provocateur of NZ Pinot. Drink with food; ours went with beef stew and loved it.

More tea, vicar? x  

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  1. I was already doing this anyway (for January at least), and am enjoying choosing more expensive wines as a consequence. However, I do think it's a bit rich of MPs to tell us how much to drink. They all booze away quite happily in the Members Bar and are notorious hard drinkers. Talk about the nanny state!

  2. I am sitting here contemplating my bed time cup of tea, on my SECOND wine free evening of this week. (I'm doing it for calorific reasons BTW. Don't really care what politicians think.) However, I'm finding that it's a question of not plonking down too early, as that's when I usually like to have a glass in my hand.

  3. I love Chablis and Sancerre, shame I can't buy them here.

  4. NVG – I know, sticks in the throat a bit doesn't it?

    Expat Mum – exactly, sometimes nothing beats a good cup of tea…

    VB – but you've got all that lovely Spanish white, right? Hope all well!

  5. Pish. Not that I'm an anarchist or anything, but really, MORE government nannying?

  6. Vinogirl – I KNOW. We are that stupid, clearly.

  7. The thing is about that directive on two days a week off the booze is that it stopped my month long detox in its tracks! all those news stories on how a month off does nothing for you, instead two consecutive nights off a week is much better? Brilliant! January has been much rosier ever since.

  8. Crumbs – cold turkey never a good idea. Everything in moderation, including moderation.

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