WINE O’CLOCK: On tap and poured at your door
Time was when the milkman would deliver a pint of the white stuff to your door. Now a pub in Belfast is delivering pints of the black stuff.
You phone the Hatfield House bar and pay for your order by card. They come to your house in a van fitted with a portable tap system, pour your pints into plastic glasses and leave them on your doorstep.
Sadly our readers won’t be able to avail of the service – we’re a bit outside their distribution range! But it’s a mad story that made me smile and I thought I should share it.
Fortunately you don’t need to go to such lengths to get your favourite wine. It’s still on the shelves of your local supermarket or off-licence.
If you bought some today (April 17) was it Malbec? Apparently, today is World Malbec Day. Supposedly it celebrates the day when president Domingo Faustino Sarmiento of Argentina officially made it his mission to transform Argentina’s wine industry. He asked a French soil expert to bring over new vines. One of them was Malbec which proved particularly well suited to its new South American home.
It’s a marketing wheeze worthy of the Hatfield House. But never mind, Malbecs are always a pleasure. They are generally nice, fruity, reasonably-priced reds and some of the best are from Argentina.
Exquisite Collection Argentinian Malbec (€7.99, Aldi) is typical . A bit too heavy on the fruit for my taste, but if you like your wine rich and plummy, this will please you.
Exquisite Collection Organic Argentinian Malbec (€8.99, Aldi) is just a little more subtle, with a touch of spice to balance the silky, dark fruits.
Trivento Argentina Malbec (€9, Centra) is a variation on the theme, dark fruits with a chocolate texture.
Eugenio Bustos Leyenda Malbec (€10.99, Spar, Londis and Mace) is another chocolaty treat from Argentina.
Some excellent Malbec is also produced, in small quantities, back on home base in south-west France. Try Pierre Jaurant Cahors Malbec (€7.49, Aldi) – a little bit lighter than its Argentinian cousins but with the same rich fruit flavours.
And there’s a white version from Argentina, Trivento Argentina Reserve White Malbec (€9 Tesco) which looks and tastes like a very light rosé.