Half wine… half common sense….!

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Names can make or break. Brand names, baby names, getting someone’s name right… getting someone’s name wrong… The ritual at Starbucks of having to give my name to the till girl makes me not only feel uncomfortable but pledge never to return for anything other than convenience every time they get it wrong. What other such frivolous transaction requires you to part with cash and a personal detail? I spend a lot more at the supermarket and leave with comforting anonymity every time. Company names that do exactly what they say on the tin are just as crucial, so it was with interest that I accepted to taste a few wines from a company called Half Wine.

Half wine, half what? Well, half the size it turned out.

HalfWine.com only sells half size bottles of wine. That’s 375ml. Perfect if you just want a glass or two. Perfect if you want to try a new wine without committing to a full bottle and perfect if you’re pregnant but still want to feel like you’re part of the grown-up gang.

For wine producers that fall into either the ‘baffling’ or unpronounceable category, producing more of their wines in half bottle size seems to me like a no brainer. I reckon wines from countries like Croatia, China and Greece would do well from this as well as more familiar but difficult to pronounce wines from Germany, Austria and some parts of France. Two I selected were Rieslings from Alsace, a French region I love but whose wines can be difficult to pronounce, difficult to understand and all too often packaged minus one key element: a back label telling you what style of wine you’re about to open.

Wines from Alsace and Asian food are a classic combo and Mr B and I were cooking Thai, the main course was beef chilli lettuce, but of my two half bottles of Riesling I had no clue which would go best with the dish. So in a manor not dissimilar to ordering a meat lover pizza when there’s a vegetarian in the room we had half and half and everyone was happy:

* Domaine Bott Frères Riesling 2010, Alsace, FR (£7.30/ 375ml)
* Domaine Weinbach Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg 2009, Alsace, FR (£15.20/ 375ml)

With my bump-related sweet tooth continuing to take hold and the aromatic Thai characters of the food the slightly sweeter of the two, the Domaine Bott Frères Riesling 2010, made the perfect combination and saw me award a very rare 5/5 on My Wine Friend iPhone app. As if it were meant to be Mr B preferred the pricier but leaner Domaine Weinbach Riesling Grand Cru. We rarely disagree on things but when it comes to wine we both have our personal taste. Why hadn’t we thought of this before? It’s half wine, half common sense!
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