So this is me, holding a copy of my new book – Teetotal Tipples – in my hand. Obviously, I have a glass of wine in the other. It’s now exactly a month until the book is out but you can pre-order it here! I wrote it because, having done a dry January earlier this year, I realised the hardest part about not drinking wasn’t in fact the not drinking. Rather, it was finding a vaguely grown up soft drink to replace my usual glass of wine. So this book’s full of booze-free drinks to get you through a dry spell whether for a month, nine months or just a couple of nights a week. And at the end, there’s a whole section on what to look out for when you’re back on the wine. All for the price of a decent bottle! Talking of which…
Current sherry in the fridge: Tanners Mariscal Manzanilla Sherry
Price: £9.95 - Buy From Tanners
Late to the party as ever, last week was Sherry Week. I’m carrying on the party with this gem from the seaside town of Sanlúcar. Known for its trademark salty style, Manzanilla is one of the most effective pre-prandial drinks, kicking the palate into action. If you want to know more about sherry, wine writer Fiona Beckett has just written a brilliant guide stuffed with info including food matching tips. You can download it here. In the meantime, stick some of this in your fridge door sharpish.
Current white in the fridge: Tumbarumba Chardonnay
Price: £13.00 - Buy From M&S
Chardonnay comes in all shapes and sizes depending on where it’s grown and who makes it. This one’s from a high altitude vineyard area not far from Sydney that sounds not unlike a pop band I used to know in the 90s that sang about getting knocked down (they got back up again). Anyhoo, this one’s more cool, calm and collected than in-your-face fruit. There’s lots of grapefruit and melon, with a fair bit of weight to it. Think long flavours. Definitely a food wine, esp. roast chicken.
Current red in the rack: Araldica Barbera D’Asti Superiore
Price: £8.99 - Buy From Waitrose
Piedmont in northern Italy is famous for its food and wine, specifically Barolo and truffles. Compared with the enormous flavours of Barolo, the other famous red wine from the region – Barbera – can look slight in comparison. But I love them for their sheer juiciness and drinkability. This one’s full of spice and cherry flavours; gently earthy too. From a fantastic producer, it’s properly great value at under £9.