This weekend is the Isle of Wight Festival. My mum went years ago, saw Jimi Hendrix in what turned out to be his last ever performance, apparently. I live a stone’s throw from the Island (ok, big throw) but I’m not going to be there. In fact, I am yet to go to an actual proper muddy-field music festival. I did cry to Coldplay’s Fix You at Glastonbury back in 2005 whilst watching it on the sofa with a glass of red in my hand, though I’m sure that doesn’t count. But, as it happens, I am going to another festival this weekend. The Borders Book Festival in Melrose, where I’m speaking on the Saturday evening about wine, my book (did I mention the book?) and me, in the Brewery Marquee. Now, I might not do music festivals, but I can organise a wine tasting in a brewery. I might even wear my denim cut-offs.

Current white in the fridge: Tesco Simply Garnacha Rose 2012, £4.59, Tesco
Last weekend’s sun brought out the rose in this house, and this is one of my favourites when you need quantity as well as quality. There really is nothing complicated about it and the label says it all – simply. Made from the Garnacha grape in the Campo de Borja region in Spain, it’s deliciously straightforward with bright, fresh fruit flavours. And it reeks of strawberries, in a wine-y way. Doesn’t need food but putting it with some sliced salami really brings out the flavours. 

Current red in the rack: Domaine des Duc Saint Amour 2011, £13.30, Beaujolais & Beyond
Kindly sent to me by Clare, who runs this specialist Beaujolais online wine business with her parents. They fell in love with Beaujolais and its wines over 40 years ago, and they really do have one of the biggest ranges from this region (and its neighbour, Mâconnais) to be found online. The real beauty of the wines from here is that the reds are juicy, bright and not too heavy. Made from the Gamay grape – the red Beaujolais grape – this is from one of the ten Beaujolais Crus, or top-quality rated villages, called Saint-Amour. I know! So romantic. I loved its soft red fruit flavours. And in turn, it loved our roast lamb. Quite the love-in. 

Peace out, winos x

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  1. And, should anyone fancy it…. I have a spare ticket…

    Just saying. You'd get to meet me AND Helen.

    ps please don't wear your cut offs. This is the Scottish Borders. We only wear Tweed.

  2. And a cowboy hat? You've GOT to wear a cowboy hat to a festival. I have some glo-sticks somewhere, I'll send to you…

  3. and wellies – for all that wine they spit out!

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