I had planned a short post about my new year’s resolutions, but given that mine are hideously unoriginal (eat less/move more/shout only when absolutely necessary) I point you to Potty’s declarations of intent. I love them, especially the one about chocolate and wine, where she suggests a little of the good stuff is usually better than lots of the rubbish alternative. The point of my blog (says me, rather grandly) is to help anyone who’s interested buy better wine and get good value for money. Actually, the point is to be Dorothy-Parker-pithy and talk about me but wine comes a close second.

Current white in the fridge: Cowrie Bay Chardonnay 2010, £5.99, Waitrose
How did I not know about this wine until now? For a start, you need sunglasses for its look-at-me yellow label. Inside the bottle is a bright, tropical fruit-like Chardonnay from the Gisborne region in New Zealand’s North Island. You might possibly get more fruit flavours eating Carmen Miranda’s hat, but not much. I bought a couple of bottles for a lunch we had with friends in that wonderful in limbo time between Christmas and New Year and it was loved by all. Annoyingly, they drank it all too, so I’ve topped up. A gorgeous January gem. 

Current red on the side: La Citadelle Cotes du Rhone Villages 2008, £9.99, Boutinot
Sablet is a little town in the Cotes du Rhone region (Sablet is also on the label) and is home to this wine before it moved to mine, in a bottle. Made from a blend of Grenache Noir, Syrah and Mourvedre and aged in oak for up to 18 months, this is a really lovely red with soft blackcurrant fruit and gymnast-supple tannins (the teabag-like stuff that gives wine backbone and makes you suck your teeth a little or a lot depending on how big the tannins are). Put it with lasagne and you have yourself the culinary equivalent of a cuddle. 

Happy New Year x

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  1. That Waitrose NZ Chardonnay sounds good – will get a bottle on my next visit on Thursday. But I really want to thank you for your 'lovely bubbly' recommendations which I took note of for NYE as we had already been given English Merret and Prosecco for Christmas. Well we were knocked out by the quality and taste of the Cordoniu Vintage Cava. I am ashamed to say that from the days that I worked for a grand marque champagne house several years ago, I had been very dismissive of Cava. My mistake – big time. It was terrific! The Bolly will remain a treat for Special Occasions, but Vintage Cava will see us through the lazy days of summer 2012. Bunch of smileys from me!

  2. EM – thank you, what a brilliant thing! Taking the bunch of smileys and putting them in a vase on my desk. Love the picture of you & the Bolly on your blog, great way to see in in the new year, feet up and on the fizz. Happy travels x

  3. Happy new year! I'm going to make the most of wine this year – we've decided not to drink it from Mon-Weds, at least for January, in an effort to shape up. So what we pick for the weekend, I figure, can be a little more special.

  4. NVG – Happy New Year to you all! Hope it brings everything you wish for. Exactly that: drink less, drink better. Cheers x

  5. Happy New Year, coming to your blog and your no-nonsense witty take on wine is always a treat, like the finest choccy fish and a good priced bottle of vino!

  6. ALW – thank you for such kind words…Happy New Year x

  7. Happy New Year…I hope your pithy-ness flourishes in 2012!

  8. Vinogirl – And HNY to you too, hope all well and good in wine country. Still trying to convert your MLF film for the blog, when I figure out how to, it shall be posted!

  9. OMG – your New Year's Resolutions (or 'revolutions' as my five year old calls them) are EXACTLY the same as mine…

  10. Maeve – spooky! Happy new year…

  11. Happy New Year to you! Oh, and I see Maeve (we went to school together!)

    Have you tried the Cowrie Bay sauvignon? I'm rarely a fan of chardonnay, just wondering if the sauv is worth a try?


  12. KM, thanks so much for the mention (thought I should say it here as well as on Twitter in case I'm thought ungrateful which I absolutely AM NOT – breathe, dammit, breathe!), what an honour. And I probably should have put 'chocolate and wine' the other way around, given my priorities these last few weeks…

  13. Spud – And to you x Cowrie Bay Sauvignon definitely worth a try, we had some just a few weeks ago and it was looking good. Not too sharp but still with that lick of gooseberry you want from an NZ SB.

    Potty – I still slightly cringe about invading your space when we met last year (I'm a hugger). So pleased you liked the mention, your declarations are BRILLIANT.

  14. Happy New Year KM! Hope it's an excellent one, but I say that fairly confidently knowing you will make it so. 🙂 So, you're a Dorothy Parker fan too eh? My absolute fave is: I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy. Vix x

  15. I think you succeed quite nicely in your blog objectives…!

    We had lovely mulled with Christmas Eve by the way… thank you again for your fab wine interview post over at mine!!

  16. Vix – Happy New Year! You are kind, right back at you. And that's my favourite quote too x

    Michelle – thanks! And pleasure, I'm glad you liked it and that the wine was good…let me know if you'd like to do a guest post here. Would love the American take on shopping for wine here vs. there.

  17. Now here's a dilemma, after promising myself no drinking at home alone, I come across your brilliant blog (thanks to my facebook friend Claire Murray French). I live alone with my little one so I am at home alone 6 nights a week, but perhaps I should add to my resolutions inviting friends over more often and then I have the perfect excuse to try out some of your wine recommendations!

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