As we cruise into the last third of February, you don't have to be a meteorological magi to discern that we're not out of winter yet.
A friend recently trudged up to my office at around 6:30pm to find me opening a bottle of Romain Duvernay, 2011 from Côtes-du-Rhône. Anticipating pleasure he seized the bottle from my hands and inspected the label, nodding sage-like and exclaiming, "Nice… it is definitely Côtes-du-Rhône season!"
Ordinary Rhône wines night suffice if the conversation is established in flow and you are trying to hold distraction-by-pleasure at bay, but when we're damp, a little testy and tired, we want quality in bags! Thus I am pleased to say that the Romain Duvernay delivered a mouthful of pleasure that stopped us both in our tracks. After a sniff and sip, Ricardo paused for thought before exclaiming that he thought I was being extravagant with my choices but - and here's the tip - this bottle only costs a tenner.
Made from old grenache, syrah and mourvèdre vines, this wine has hints of rich dark fruits that are balanced with good tannin that cuts across the palate leaving it fresh and wanting another sip. Just how I like it! The blend ensures a combination of emergent flavours. I noticed liquorice and Ricardo picked out some spices before musing on a plate of roasted winter vegetables. The scene was set!
I was sent this to taste by Roberson Wine and asked to give a frank response. Well, frankly, it is delicious and a bargain! I would recommend it with pleasure. Buy a case or two, one to drink and one hide under the stairs… in the children's playpen, or wherever you choose, but bring out a bottle every six months or so, and see how it develops.
CÔTES DU RHÔNE 2011, ROMAIN DUVERNAY
Available from Romain Duvernay Cotes du Rhone
Bottle price £9.95
Bottle price when buying case of twelve £8.46
Discord in Odesa; pruning at Shabo goes on!
Last week a picture was posted on Twitter of vines in Shabo, a large estate that lies to the west of Odesa on southern Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline. The image seemed benign at face value but the reality, of course, is that the city of Odesa has been bracing itself for attack by Russian forces.
An aperitif by the coliseum
As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.
Artichoke pasta and very fine Pigato
Britain’s lamentable exit
On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.
I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!
Soave: volcanic wines with elegance and longevity
Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.
An American In Paris; Tanisha Townsend (@GirlMeetsGlass) discusses podcasts, Paris wine bars, & what she's drinking at the moment
Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.
Wine tasting in Galicia: The pilgrims search for Albarino
The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.