There’s wine lovers and there’s wine lovers….

Saturday, October 24th, 2009

italian-wineAlmo popped over last night for a catch up, we met in Paris 10 years ago. She’s seen me through my growing passion for wine and supported me through my hours of study for my wine exams so there was no surprise that she came armed with the obligatory entry fee into my flat. She was a little late, something that comes natural to Almo, in fact I’m so used to it that when she’s on time it fills me with dread that something must be wrong. One reason for her late arrival, she explained was because she didn’t know what bottle to buy “I’ve got to get something she can include in her blog” was her concern.

Almo has long been a fan of Italian wine, I on the other hand inexplicably lack the Italian wine bug and this clash in tastes has bought a tense moment to the table on more than one occasion. I can’t explain it, every time I’ve visited Italy I’ve had a lovely time but when it comes to their wines I just can’t connect (Prossecco Monday’s excluded of course). Montepulciano is indisputably Almo’s favourite, medium bodied, fruity and dry. “Just how you like your men!” I joked. One look at her face, ha, I’d hit gold, turns out a former Italian lover had been key in Almo’s wine discovery, now that’s more than a connection if you ask me!

Sorry, I digress.

Oh yes, so I think she even surprised herself by going with an off-piste choice from Sicily. Ok so she hadn’t gone far from the mainland of Italy but she’d bought me something I would never had thought to choose myself and which would broaden her horizons. Parfait.

Unbeknown to Almo at the time I’ve started research on Christmas wines that go with Turkey so I’d bought a turkey joint for dinner and was roasting some vegetables ready for her arrival. During the day I’d popped to my local wine shop – Wines of the World* – and chosen a bottle of New Zealand Chardonnay from Hawkes Bay. Morton Estate Chardonnay 2007** to be exact. (The shop owner was pushing me towards an argentine white but thinking about Almo’s wine connection now I’m weirdly glad I didn’t go with it. Don’t ask, he was very handsome but terribly short) Anyhoo, the Morton Estate Chardonnay was lovely and smooth, vanilla pod, baked pineapple and over ripe pear flavours flooded the glass, it was delicately rich on the palate and had an effortlessly en-vogue monocrome label. £9.99, all in.

We both enjoyed a slurp or two of the vin blanc before cracking open Almo’s choice – a bottle of Popolino Rosso 2008 from Marks & Spencer. How did she choose which one to go with in the end? Having not dated anyone from Sicily it turns out “There was a shelf recommendation from a journalist at the Daily Mirror.” Uh oh.

With a label reminiscent of the India Jane furniture brand (and the rag recommendation that I wish she’d kept to herself) the liquid in the bottle was the best sub-£5 wine I’ve had in a long time. It was aromatic and enticingly perfumed. If crimson had a smell it would smell like this. Lovely, light and fruity, it was delicious with our ‘mock-xmas’ meal and without any hesitation I can say this wine is guaranteed a place at the Bouquet crimble table this year!

Enough of xmas, it isn’t even Halloween yet 😉


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