Our weekly round-up of the best new booze to try has it all.
A drink to… toast the late Queen Mother with
A consignment of Graham’s Port 1977, which was ordered for a visit of the Queen Mother, it being a favourite tipple of hers, to the Winter Gardens Theatre in Margate, Kent, in 1983, was never sold — perhaps because it would have cost an eye-watering £70 a glass in the theatre bar.
Now, in time for Christmas, four lots of the rare vintage will go under the hammer at Chiswick Auctions on December 5. And you’ll have to be ready to pay a lot more than £70 a glass for it this time round…
But what does it taste like? Chiswick’s head of wine Sam Hellyer describes it as ‘luscious, smooth, with the last hurrah of thick tannins lining the tongue and laying down a plush carpet for the chewy fig and lingering acidity to mingle on’. He adds, temptingly: ‘With them came a hint of smoky and chocolatey notes, the smell of cigar boxes and freshly sanded wood.’
A drink to… send you back in time to a 1970s dinner party
‘It’s inevitable that avocado bathrooms will make a comeback at some point,’ we were told the other day. So, too, could the Snowball once again take over the world.
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Warninks are certainly hoping so, and as well as getting their famous Advocaat out there in bottles, they’re now producing it in cans too.
A drink to… get you out of your Pinot Grigio rut
Country Life’s wine correspondent Harry Eyres is still buzzing after a recent tasting — and it’s all down to Alsatian wines.
‘The entirely benign bite of the Alsace bug is still working its way through my system,’ he writes in this week’s magazine. ‘I can’t resist sharing some more discoveries.’
The area makes a huge variety of wine, he says, but ‘I reserve my greatest admiration for Alsace Riesling. Riesling is the purest prism among grapes, reflecting and refracting the characters of individual vineyards with unmatched fidelity and panache.’
Where to start? Harry suggests the Cave de Turckheim Riesling 2016 Marnes et Calcaires (six for £70-ish at kwoff.co.uk), which he describes as ‘pale, greenish gold, with lime on the nose and a satisfying chewiness of texture.’
Not sure ‘chewiness’ is a great sell, but who are we to argue with Harry?
A drink to… steal from the Christmas tree
Why steal chocolates off the tree when you could steal gin, whisky, Irish cream and beer baubles? The Bottle Club is selling a huge range of boozy baubles this year, from Whitley Neill’s Raspberry Gin to Bailey’s, beer and more. Some are baubles full of liquid (like the Pickering ones here), while others are miniatures in bottles (see the Bailey’s)… and for those who want something a bit harder core, they also sell packs of miniatures with string attached to hand straight off the tree.