Spitting Image

I was away working in London all last week and after two rain-sodden weeks of school holidays, it felt like something of a mini-break. Admittedly quite a weird one; I spent much of it spitting out wine. Not because they were horrible but because I was judging at a wine competition. One night I sat at a table at one of my favourite restaurants in Soho (from the old days, before kids ofc) with a plate of spicy crab cakes and a side order of chips whilst reading my book/watching the world go by on my own. Heavenly. Anyway, the competition results are out next month (I’ll report back on the best ones) but in the meantime, here’s what I learnt:

  1. I plan to drink a lot of Italian Vermentino this summer
  2. Same goes for Godello from Spain
  3. There’s some very good non-vintage Champagne about at the moment
  4. Canadian Ice wine gives you a better sugar rush than chocolate
  5. I like the Saperavi grape from Georgia more than I thought I did
  6. English Sparkling Wine is a great way to start the day (even if you do have to spit it out)

As for an end of day palate cleanser, G&T is the answer. Strictly no spitting.

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Current rosé in the rack: Fleurs de Prairie Côtes de Provence

Price: £7.29 - Buy From Aldi

I know it’s what’s on the inside that counts but honestly the bottle this comes in is just divine, embossed around the bottom with herbs and flowers. As for the contents, it’s a very simple pale rosé, all light citrus and peach perfectly done. This is the new vintage so even though the Aldi website says not in stock, you’ll find the 2017 vintage on the shelves.

Current red in the rack: Parrilla Malbec

Price: £8.99 - Buy From Majestic

This hit the table at Book Club earlier this week and went down a storm. It’s full of classic Malbec flavours – juicy black fruits – but with a real creaminess to it. Super smooth, in fact. I tasted a lot of Malbec at the big wine competition last week and they come in all shapes and sizes. This one really was a perfect fit. As was the book, I Love You Too Much by Alicia Drake. I’ve not loved a book so much since my favourite read of last year, The Wild Other by Clover Stroud. Highly recommended!


  • Gemma Coleman
    6 years ago

    Hi Helen, when we visited the Niagara area in Canada 5 years ago they were also drinking their ice wine as a slushy and it was gorgeous 😍

    • Helen McGinn
      6 years ago

      What a good idea! Now all we need is some sun and I’ll be doing the same 😉

  • 6 years ago

    I keep hearing about English sparkling wine and I am (almost) ready to take the leap. It’s not that I think all sparkling should be Champagne, I live in Spain and cava is part of our daily diet, and I love the lesser known sparkling wines, like Pignoletto in Emilia Romagna. I am still just skeptical! Maybe this summer.

    • Helen McGinn
      6 years ago

      Seriously, give it a go! Start with something like Nyetimber, Camel Valley, Wiston or Hattingley. Promise you will be pleasantly surprised!

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