February 29, 2020
News Opinion

WINE O’CLOCK: A wine lover’s guide to a ‘dry’ January

HAVE you been doing dry January? Me too. I had a nice dry Picpoul from the Languedoc, a beautifully crisp Viognier from the same French region and an unusually dry, aromatic Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire. I went off the rails a bit with a sweetish Chardonnay from Australia but got back on the dry with a perfect aperitif from Minho in Portugal.

It has been a struggle and I could never have managed without the help of my daughter who gave me a case of slightly unusual wines as a Christmas present. So, here is the map of my dry January. I don’t think you will find any of them on a supermarket shelf but your off-licence may stock them. The all retail around €20, which is a bit more than I usually spend on a bottle of wine but well worth it – especially since I wasn’t paying.

BEAUVIGNAC PICPOUL 2017: The Picpouls are underrated. Lovely crisp whites from the south of France. There’s a touch of pear, or maybe grapefruit, about this one. Said to go well with oysters, so maybe one for St Valentine’s Day.

DOMAINE GAYDA CEPAGE VIOGNIER 2016: Like the Picpoul, this is from Languedoc. A softer wine. Apricot and peach are the fruits that come to mind.

DOMAINE BELLEVUE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2017: Over-production has landed some dodgy Sauvignon Blancs on our shelves but this is not one of them. Delicate flavours of apple and kiwi and a slight aroma of lemon.

HESKETH THE RIVER CHARDONNAY 2017: I’m not a great fan of Chardonnay, particularly the Australians. But this slightly oaked Aussie is fresh, clean and not too sweet.

QUINTA  SOALHEIRO  ALLO 2017: This Portuguese white blends Alvarinho, fruity and aromatic, with the subtle Loureiro. The name Allo comes from the first two letters of each grape. It’s relatively low in alcohol and makes a lovely aperitif.

So you can see it’s been a hard old month. I’ll be back on the reds soon, please god.

MICHAEL WOLSEY

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