Last week I had a proper break. Sadly it didn’t involve a tropical island for obvious reasons but we did escape to Cornwall for a few days to stay in one of my favourite pubs on the planet. Called The Gurnard’s Head, it sits above a stunning stretch of Cornish coastline, all crashing waves, jagged rocks and hidden coves. The landscape is littered with the ruins of old tin mines and the weather can change from thick mist to the bluest sky in a matter of minutes. I’ve loved this pub for years, so much so it inspired a scene in my first fiction book. To come back having hit send on the final draft of the book just a few days before was quite something. I celebrated with a Cornish 75 (Cornish sparkling wine, gin, lemon juice and a pinch of sugar) sipped in the garden, a second at the table before dinner. The book is out on 9th February next year and as soon as I have a cover to show you, I will. In the meantime, wine.
Current white in the fridge: Abbotts & Delaunay Viognier
Price: £7.99 - Buy From Majestic
Viognier is a peach of a grape, capable of producing wines with lots of ripe tropical fruit flavours. This one, from the Languedoc in southern France, is bright and juicy with buckets of apricot fruit flavours but also just the right amount of zip to keep it light (some can feel quite heavy and a little oily, if you know what I mean). Made for roast chicken, fyi.
Current red in the rack: Araldica Barbera d’Asti Superiore
Price: £9.99 - Buy From Waitrose
Made from the perky Barbera grape at the top of Italy’s boot, this gorgeous supple red from an old established producer is all cherries and gentle spice. It’s the kind of wine that makes you want to eat food, especially anything with a tomato sauce. Pasta, meatballs, margarita pizza…you get the idea.