So people ask me: do you drink wine?
Does my cat self-harm? Hell, yes.
Why then don’t you write about wine on your blog?
Hmm, good question. And a good idea. So that’s what I am doing here. Cheers.
For my virgin review slot on RichardMcComb.com, I am running the rule over a plucky half-dozen supplied by Tanners Wines.
The last time I attended a tasting at Tanners HQ in Shrewsbury there were about 120 wines to sample, including some soon-to-released white Burgundy. I eschew the practice of swirling, tongue sucking and spitting. It was an excellent night.
Note: the scores here are entirely arbitrary but for what it’s worth they are based largely on value for money.
Produced near the coastal town of Sanlúcar, Mariscal Manzanilla delivers a delightfully refreshing assault of salty, sea spray. Not quite bone-dry, the sherry is lifted by floral tones. Serve chilled it will work wonders on seasonal sore throats. The locals of Sanlúcar and Seville are said to neck this assured manzanilla with baby clams, small squid and shrimps. Lucky sods. 100% palomino.
2. Principe de Viana Garnacha Tinto Roble, Navarra 2012, £7.40
A mouthful of delicious, juicy summer fruits – cherries, redcurrants and blackcurrants rather than sticky bramble. There’s a touch of oak from three-months spent in casks but the influence is light, balanced. 100% garnacha.
Classy, great value for money. Perfect with all takes on roast lamb.
3. Duorum Colheita, Douro Red 2010, £9.95 (2011, £11.60)
A classy Portuguese but maybe too classy for my tastes. I waited for the blackcurrant hit but it didn’t quite deliver, a little like compatriot Ronaldo in his early fancy-pants days at Manchester United. The Duorum is a grower, however (a bit like Ronnie, again) and uncorked on day two I detected liquourice and cedar flooding through. Grapes: touriga nacional, touriga franca, tinta roriz. This juice is a lamb buddy.
4. Amanti del Vino, Pinot Grigio Rosato, 2012, £6.90
Banish the autumn blues and pretend you are back on the beach with a bottle of this salmon pinker. The original style of unfiltered pinot grigio, it is all lightness of touch with barely discernible strawberriness – so you may need a couple. 100% pinot gris.
5. Tanners Mosel Riesling 2011, £10.95
Gorgeous peachy fruit, slightly oily, but not cloying – this is terrific stuff, a master class in modern German winemaking. If your memories of Mosel Riesling are of stealing a sip of granny’s room-temperature wine on Christmas Day 1978, you really need to try this. They’ve reinvented the wheel.
A mineral edge cuts through the fragrant fruit and holds the sweetness in check. And it’s only 11%. Kick it back retro-style with salmon en croute. 100% Riesling
6. Saint-Amour, Domaine des Pierres, Trichard 2010, £12.60
Text-book Beaujolais, soft and gentle, it’s not going to knock down any walls but that’s the beauty of it. This light wine is made from old vines that lend a gnarly, characterful edge. 100% Gamay. Enjoy it for lunch with a flash-fry steak and a well-dressed green salad. Great with mountain cheese, too.
For more details, go to: www.tanners-wines.co.uk