Bottoms Up

I’ve got exciting news. But I can’t share it until next week so, given that I’m terrible at keeping secrets, I’m going to have to change the subject until then. Earlier this week I helped with a fundraising event called Barre to the Bar. It involved an introduction to barre pilates for 50 people led by my friend, the Patsy of the Pilates world, Juliet Nicholas (watch Juliet’s video for arms like Aniston in 5 mins flat). Then a quick wine tasting, plenty of food and lots of chat. It was a beautiful evening raising a tidy sum for The Haven, a charity helping people through the experience of breast cancer. I’ll go straight to wines now, otherwise I’ll end up telling you about the wine tasting I did for a Hollywood A-list star recently…

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Current rose in the fridge: Williams Chase Rose

Price: £14.99 - Buy From The Solent Cellar

I love this wine’s story. William Chase grew potatoes. Once, when his potatoes were rejected by a supermarket for being ‘not being pretty enough’, he decided to make them into crisps. And so the Tyrrell’s crisps brand was born. Then he decided to make vodka from his potatoes and, eventually, gin too. Now he’s making wine in Provence and every time I include this wine in a tasting line up, it shines. After last night’s tasting, there was not a drop left. People even took home empty bottles because, with their glass stopper, they’re ideal for refilling with olive oil, sloe gin, whatever. Fresh and crisp with gorgeous redcurrant and peach flavours, it’s properly smart rose. Goes brilliantly with salty crisps, obviously.

Current red in the rack: Bijou Rouge Cuvee Sophie Valrose

Price: £7.99 - Buy From Waitrose

From a little-known tucked away corner in the Southern French Languedoc region called Cabrieres, this is a typical blend of southern French red grapes. It’s got an honest, earthy character to it, with warm black fruit flavours and a kick of pepper. It really is a treasure trove down here in the south, with lots of wines that are not only great, but great value. Needs food, either simple sausages or ragu. Find out more about Bijou here.



  • 7 years ago

    That William Chase story is fabulous (I’ve been into wine ‘stories’ lately).

    • Helen McGinn
      7 years ago

      Think a story (a proper, real one!) makes a wine a lot more memorable.

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