Escape Plan

How are you? I know, me too. But the end of January is in sight and publication day for my debut novel This Changes Everything is just two weeks away! So, a little more about it. The story revolves around Julia, her two grown up daughters Annie and Jess and what happens when Julia receives an invitation to go to Rome with her first love Patrick, a man she hasn’t seen for fifty years. Her daughters decide to follow her out there, without telling her, and what unfolds in Rome changes all their lives forever.

It’s a love story of sorts – first love, lost love, eternal love – and I decided to set the story in Rome and Cornwall for purely selfish reasons. Basically, it meant I could go on holiday (in my head at least) to two of my favourite places in the world when writing the book, usually with a virtual negroni or chilled glass of white in hand.

Most of all I wanted to write a story you can escape into, like a mini-break for the mind. To anyone who’s pre-ordered the book, thank you! It makes a huge difference, apparently. And if you do read it promise to let me know what you think, I’d love to hear. (Don’t forget to enter the competition to win a 24hr getaway to Lime Wood if you do pre-order, full details here).

For now, wine. This week both wines are from South Africa, where the sale of alcohol is currently banned. Producers have been hit hard by the pandemic and buying a bottle of South African wine is one small thing we can do to help.

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Current white in the fridge: Tesco Finest South African Chenin Blanc

Price: £6.00 - Buy From Tesco

I love Chenin Blanc, a much misunderstood grape that can do anything from dry to sweet to sparkling. Here it is on cracking form, all fresh and citrusy with a dollop of pear fruit flavours. Made from Fairtrade grapes grown in the Breede River Valley in South Africa’s Western Cape, it’s normally £7.50 but currently on offer. Amazing value.

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Current red in the rack: Morrisons The Best Bush Vine Cinsault

Price: £8.25 - Buy From Morrisons

South Africa’s Swartland region is stuffed with lovely wines but this one almost didn’t happen. The old bush vines were due to be pulled up (Cinsault isn’t the most fashionable of grapes right now) but happily they weren’t and we get to drink this raspberry fruit-filled, lightly spicy red for a relative song. Lovely with pork chops or roast chicken.

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  • 2 years ago

    Congratulations on the book Helen! Rome, Cornwall, a tangled love story, a dash of mystery and a glass of wine – sounds perfect! Thankyou for the South African Wine mention 👏🍷

    • Helen McGinn
      2 years ago

      Ah, thank you! And least I can do re. South African wine, really hoping for brighter days ahead.

  • Carol Mitchell
    2 years ago

    I hot footed it to Morrison’s (not my store of choice) and so glad I did 👍, the Cinsault is delicious, I mis-read and bought the Morrison’s’ The Best Chenin instead of Tesco’s but it’s gorgeous too, thanks for the recommendation, going back to stock up, 🛒!

    • Helen McGinn
      2 years ago

      Fantastic! So glad you liked it!

  • Lynne Rathbone
    2 years ago

    Just finished reading the book. Loved it!

    • Helen McGinn
      2 years ago

      Thank you so much Lynne, thrilled to hear you enjoyed it! x

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