|Tuesday, 11 January 2011|
Johan Strauss: ‘A waltz and a glass of wine invite an encore’, so waltz into 2011 and an encore of wines with a musical theme. Yet another octet to get a Handel on (did we squeeze that howler in before?), but quaffing vino can be more ‘glug glug’ than ‘Gluck Gluck’. Remember not everyone can tell their Donizetti from their Delmonte or a crochet from a quaver. The cheese ones go nicely at a wine tasting – Domaine Francois Crochet Sancerre 2006 (Averys, £10.99), an excellent if rare Loire white. A refreshing start.
Next up, there’s Three Choirs Dry 2008 (Waitrose, £6.29). The year 2008 was anything but dry in Gloucestershire but this is crisp floral and delicate, as are so many English wines. So three cheers for Three Choirs!
Peter Lehmann Eight Songs (everywine. co.uk); plum chocolate vanilla and nutmeg from Barossa. Don’t hear much singing from Lehman Brothers these days. We always sing the chorus of the Hebrew Slaves at the start of our Senior Medical Staff Meetings and end with ‘Release me’. What lovely tales you get on bottle labels these days. These ‘eight songs for a mad king’ are by Peter Maxwell Davies and resulted in a series of paintings by an artist called Schubert. This brings us neatly to (deep breath) Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg von Schubert (£15.99, Adnams), an off-dry Riesling Kabinett – unfinished symphony? I don’t think so, but could accompany a trout quintet stuffed with almonds or even just a trout with almonds.
"Arpeggio Bianco Cantine Settesoli 2008… a light floral Sicilian wine should The Godfather’s Don Corleone (or the clinical director) drop by wanting a favour and making you an offer you can’t refuse"
Arpeggio Bianco Cantine Settesoli 2008 (The Wine Co., £6.30); a nice Italian pinot grigio – think Zadok the priest and royal coronations since Saxon Times echoing and re-echoing round a vast candle-lit cathedral. A perfect companion to salmon, rice and mushrooms – a light floral Sicilian wine should The Godfather’s Don Corleone (or the clinical director) drop by wanting a favour and making you an offer you can’t refuse.
The sound of flutes? Paris champagne time Offenbach Rose (Sainsburys, £37.99) – either the belle époque or the naughty nineties, depending on your point of view. The can-can dancers could get very carried away, especially if royalty were present. Will they do champers in cans in the next few years? Enough to make Edward VII turn in his mausoleum and dissolve into bubbles. He was said to bathe in champers – bathing as opposed to washing if you catch my drift – when visiting certain very risqué Paris establishments. What did they do with the aqua regis afterwards not to mention the cracked baths?
Moving on to Coney Pizzicato Malborough Pinot Noir (Majestic, £16.99) – string-pluckingly tasty from New Zealand. Rich and dark. Dame Kiri probably gargles with this Kiwi beaut fruit at rehearsals – but don’t eat pizza with it.
Are half bottles getting smaller or am I just drinking more? Chablis Domaine de l’Harmonie (Adnams, £6.99); crisp, dry classic Chablis. Remember ‘I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony’? No, I don’t want to be United Nations Secretary General.
Bernard Ferrie, Consultant Urologistat Manor Hospital, Walsall