I’m back! And I’m 50! We celebrated with a (very) long lunch in the garden just a few weeks ago and honestly, my fifties feel like I’ve arrived at a party I’ve been wanting to go to for ages. Even the dress code feels more relaxed. Anyway, I’ve got lots to tell you so I’ll start with book news. My third novel, This Is Us, came out just before my birthday. Set in Florence and Mull, it tells the story of Stella and her book club (and there’s a fair bit of wine involved, natch). I won’t give too much away but it’s about friends, sisters, marriage, motherhood and starting again. Thank you so much to everyone who’s read it/is reading it and if you do, promise to let me know what you think.
In other news, I’ve got a new online wine course! Launching officially next week with Create Academy, you can pre-order it here from Thursday with a special pre-order discount. We filmed earlier this summer at my house, in my local wine shop and at the most beautiful winery in Sussex and the sun shone throughout. The result is, I hope, a down-to-earth wine guide that will help you pick and choose properly good wines more easily.
Talking of which, this week we’ve got an Italian white and a Greek red and I think you’ll love them both.
Current white in the fridge: Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi
Price: £7.99 - Buy From Majestic
Made from the (vastly underrated IMHO) Verdicchio grape, this is the kind of Italian white you want in your fridge door AT ALL TIMES. So crisp and fresh with lime fruits but with a gentle floral edge and a touch of almond. It’s unfussy but so damn delicious and drinkable. And way more interesting than many a Pinot Grigio. Also: cheap-ish.
Current red in the rack: Strofilia Mountain Fish Agiorgitiko
Price: £8.99 - Buy From Waitrose
From Nemea in the North Eastern Peleponnese, this gorgeous Greek red is from a winery started by two friends back in the 1980s. Made from one of the country’s star red grapes, Agiorgitiko (pronounced Aye-your-yit-ico), think juicy red berry fruits and a sprinkle of spice. Lighter than some I’ve tasted but all the better for it. Perfect pizza red. Great value, too.
Firstly, happy 50th birthday Helen. Welcone to the 50 club. Glad you enjoyed your birthday celebrations. Secondly, I recently read ‘This is Us’ on holiday and I loved it. You very quickly get into the characters and feel like you know them. I have thoroughly enjoyed all 3 of your fiction books. I also found the KMWC extremely informative and interesting. Highly recommend them all.
Thank you so much! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the books, thank you for taking the time to let me know. And really pleased the wine stuff helps too! x