A bottle sits in the fridge, you eye it up through the week knowing it is going to be beautiful but want to save it for lunch on Sunday with roast chicken stuffed with tarragon and warm enough to sit outside, wear shades and feel like you’re on holiday. On Thursday it’s a bit balmy and you’re almost tempted but resist knowing that chicken will be better than the chickpea curry on the hob.
Sunday arrives and as you take the chicken out of the fridge to prepare you send a knowing glance at the bottle of the slightly coppery, rose tinted wine.
As the table is set you ask your non-drinking wife if she wants some wine…no thanks…you remove the wine from the fridge….she changes her mind, remembers last year’s vintage.
Chicken out…new potatoes, asparagus, shades….glug glug glug…the wine poured…..you raise a toast…here’s to summer……rosé at its best. The wine? Canaiuolo Rosato from Montenidoli in the hills above San Gimignano, Tuscany.
Another day, another sample. This time no expectation at the half bottle of Manzanilla sherry with a bright blue label. Again, slightly chilled and poured into a wine glass….intense golden colour, old, unpolished, quite deep for Manzanilla. Swirl, sniff…. plenty of Flor character, a trace of oxidation, dry, saline and pungent, traces of sultana, hazelnut, almond and sourdough. Amazing, what will it taste like……dry, tangy and tasty, full yet relaxed, traces of quince and dried fruit, slight nuttiness, complex and intense. This Manzanilla is simply stunning and I urge you to drink it with half a dozen Mersea oysters. What is it….Manzanilla ‘En Rama’, I Think, Equipo Navazos, Jerez.
It’s Friday which means picking up some craft beer from a lock up in Barking…am I! Trudge back up to A12, stick a few of them in the fridge to taste later with the team as before that there are new cocktails hitting the list which the boys have been working on….I always wanted to drink Martinis on a Friday afternoon, more so when they’ve made it with Chase Vodka and rhubarb bitters! But alas work still to be done and vehicle bound….so sip sip……colder, more rhubarb, less cucumber and I think you’ve got it. So it continues…….
A quick taste of new set menu dishes with the chefs, chat about picking up baby vegetables, don’t forget the flour and yeast for the bread. Then to those beers that are now a bit colder. Top clipped, pour…..lovely straw colour, clear…creamy….honey and biscuit notes then citrus, refreshing, hints of sweetness. I could drink a lot of this Honey Beer from Hiver Brewery but things to do, people to see and wonderful food and drink still to discover!