Château Talbot Saint-Julien 2003

On December 4th 2017 I was finally discharged from hospital. The surgeon checked me over one last time, pronounced that I was healing “remarkably well”, and told me I was allowed to do everything I’d been missing out on for the past ten months.

“Everything?” I asked.
“Everything” he replied.
“I can even drink alcohol?”
He said I could.

So I left the consulting room, ecstatically texted my friends to tell them I was finally allowed to socialise again, walked out the front door of the hospital, got on a bus… and immediately went to the wine shop.  Read more

My Favourite Red Wines For Under £20

I’m a bit of a wine snob, let’s get that right out there in the open. My monthly wine budget is equal to my monthly food budget, and often I actually end up spending more on wine than on food. Almost always when I go out for dinner, I’ll order wine that’s more expensive than the main dish.

Having said that, it’s not necessarily true that the more you pay for a bottle (or glass) of wine, the better it’ll be. And I’ve been promising my mother that I’d put together a guide for people who don’t want to spend a shitload of money every time they want a nice red to go with dinner. So here it is.  Read more

How We See Things

The ways in which people interpret the world have always amazed and intrigued me. How two people can look at the same situation, be armed with the same knowledge about it, and yet still come out with different conclusions (aka ‘politics’). How two people can have a very similar experience and yet react in wildly different ways. How something that can floor one person won’t bother another.

But even more subtly: how the individual ways in which we think about the world – our personal hermeneutics – help us to see things through a unique lens.

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Some thoughts on wine, from a favourite author

Joanne Harris, in Five Quarters of the Orange:

“Drunkenness, she told us… is a sin against the fruit, the tree, the wine itself.

The thought stayed with me.

Wine, distilled and nurtured from bud into fruit, and then through all the processes that make it what it is, deserves better than to be guzzled by some sot with a headful of nonsense. It deserves reverence, joy, gentleness.”

wine

Sometimes I recite this to myself when I wake up with a hangover 😉

Room Temperature

My mother and I, sequestered away in a house in the Scottish hills, a roaring fire in front of us complementing the howling wind outside. A melted camembert sits on the floor between us, waiting to be devoured, and I have just uncorked a bottle of wine. The glug-glug-glug as it reaches the glasses, one of the most promising sounds in the world, makes us both smile.

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Wine Review: Apothic Red

Of course, I must start this post with a disclaimer. When I say ‘wine review’, this will not be some kind of intelligent comment on notes of elderberry and an underlying velvety structure. I am no connoisseur. But I have drunk a fair amount of wine over the past twenty-five years, and this is my current favourite.

homebottle

I found it nestling in the top left-hand corner of one of the shelves in my local off license. I picked it up because of the name. ‘Apothic’. Rhymes with ‘gothic’. Sounds sort of old and dusty. And everyone knows that old, dusty wines are the best wines. Plus, the bottle is pretty. Can’t go wrong with red curlicues.

chrome 27/12/2013 , 22:30:06 Apothic - The Wine - Google Chrome

The bottle describes it as “Winemaker’s blend… a masterful blend of wines including zinfandel, merlot, syrah, and cabernet sauvignon”, which I must admit immediately brought this scene to mind:

Naturally the wine was nothing like the wine in this scene. Not that I’d know, never having made wine from vanilla ice cream and bits of twig from my garden. I did make a particularly terrible bottle of wine in Chemistry class once at school though. On the last day of term the teacher let us take it all home, and my friends and I went to the field behind the sports hall and got wasted on absolutely terrible wine.

But I digress.

This wine is excellent. And I’ve just been on their website and discovered that you can get all sorts of exciting things from there, too:

APT_StemlessGlass

“Shroud your wine in mystery with this black Apothic stemless glass.” IT’S LIKE THEY KNOW ME.

Spice Tin Candle

Who doesn’t love a spice tin candle?

I’m lucky, because my local shop sells it, but if yours doesn’t, you can buy it from their website.