A good white for a spicy chicken salad? 

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When we have people over for a Sunday salad lunch it usually involves quite a varied amount of accompliments. I’m talking about the chicken being spiced, spring onions and radishes flourishing the salad and usually some sort of truffle oil and pecorino potato dish hanging around. Basically, it’s a bugger to find a reasonable match for. 

This calls for a failsafe white, the Picpoul de Pinet. It’s pretty versatile as a white and this is great matched with light  chicken and seafood salads as well as those doused in a spicy barbecue marinade.  I like this particularly one because of its citrus and mineral notes that perfectly cut through and completment a mixture of difference foods. It’s also a bargain at £8 at Sainsburys. Bravo! 👏🏼 

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By the glass

General

Now, maybe it’s me but I’ve done some speculating over the last few months and I’ve noticed that my favourite pastime is slowly starting to die out. If I am having a drink after work like the other thousands of other people who like to, I only want to stay for one. Maybe two at a push. If I want one pint, or one vodka or one j2o (that’s rare) I can order just one.

Wine by the glass however, just seems to be a major let down. Last week, I got a glass of merlot that had clearly been open longer than a week, a Pinot Gris that was tepid and clearly cost less than they were charing for a glass and then told (probably the most upsetting for me), ‘we only do wine by the bottle’.

Now I know I’ll be told were still in a poxy recession but you can always turn to the R word for an excuse, wanting A glass of half decent wine is one of lifes little pleasures that I feel is slipping away. Not only that, I don’t need the encouragement to drink a whole bottle on a Thursday night. Really, I don’t.

So my plea is not only for bars to please support us one glass drinkers but for you lovely people to suggest good bars in London where I can get a decent glass of wine for under £10!

Lastly, note the image. I broke the corkscrew when I needed it most…

Piccini Chianti Riserva

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Like a lot of the country last night, I was snowed in. I use the term lightly because if I really needed to get out, I could of. But a little voice said ‘No, stay in and have a glass of wine under your blanket on the sofa.’ The larger voice told me that this was what I had to do.

So, I cracked open the Piccini Chitanti Riserva – one of the left overs from the Christmas onslaught. Supprisingly there has been one or two bottles left over. They are saved, not forgotten about.

On to the drinking, being the daughter of a heavy Italian red drinking mother I know I like my reds full and so to speak – meaty. But finding cheap Chianti’s that pack a punch is quite difficult. The Piccini is from Tesco’s and often one of the discounted regulars at around £4.99 a bottle.

And for a cheap Chianti the Piccini line (who stock regularly to the major supermarkets) does it again by producing a ripe and fruitful easy drinking red. It still retains an element of distinction with subtle complex notes making it great for drinking on its own or with some mild cheeses. I have drunk this with red meat dishes and it does hold its weight without overpowering any of the food so it can be done.

A good bottle to have around for parties, or friends dropping in. 3/5

Royal Tokaji Aszu

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Tis the season and all that, so what are we all drinking this Christmas? There are always those deals hiting the shelves pushing us to try different things but there are always those trusty winter warmers that we have to enjoy every year.

So last night I delved into my so called storage system to find an old friend. I say old friend, it’s a relavitly new drink on my Christmas drinking campaign (which is enjoyed sensibly as always). Pushing past the port, brandy and sherry I made my way to the Tokaji…

There’s an awful lot of hype behind the brand with links to famous Kings and Queen’s and plenty of talk about first growth vineyards within the brand. However its best just to let the wine itself do the talking.

As in all Aszu wines the three grape varieties are Furmint, Harsleveu and Muscat de Lunel which all blend together for the 2000 vintage to produce a rich balance of sweetness and acidity to tickle a wide range of taste buds. With 2000 being warm and dry the grapes achieved a high level of sugar but failed to produce the trademark botrytis.

The result? A very rich but well balanced wine that quite frankly I believe deserves to be consumed on its own merit. But if and like a fair few you would prefer to indulge in food whilst enjoying this festive tipple, I would strongly recommend adding some to your Christmas pudding! The orange zest and honey notes are fruitful amid the sharp fortified flavours plowing through.

This is a drink best served at this time of year. I am certain to be returning next year.