I’ve been meaning to write up our thanksgiving wine binge for a while now but it has taken me a week to recover from all the port I put away. It can only be a matter of time before I join my father in gout hell. Until I met my wife I had no idea what Thanksgiving was all about. I thought it might have been something to do with the hated British and throwing tea in Boston harbour. Actually it seems to be about eating and drinking a lot and seeing friends and family. As a big fan of the first two, it’s my kind of public holiday. Here’s what we drank:
Billecart-Salmon Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru – I loved this. It’s very dry and serious and has a sort of stripped down lithe power that’s more Bruce Lee than Mike Tyson. I tend to like my champagnes big and blowsy like sparkling Meursault, this is opposite, a Grand Cru Chablis would be a good comparison. You can taste the chalk in the soil. Also has very beautiful small bubbles.
Parcel Series Riesling 2006 – I like an Australian Riesling of an evening but only when it’s mature like this one. When young they can be aggressively acidic. This one has all those limey, toasty flavours that you’d hope for though without the intensity of a great example.
Jeanne Gaillard Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes 2010 – it’s a Syrah from the Northern Rhone but, tasted blind, I’d have said Cru Beaujolais. There’s lots of ripe red fruit, very little tannin and then a slatey, mineral finish that reminded me of Morgon. Your Christmas day wine hunt is over as I can’t imagine a better match for turkey.
Fonseca Porto Guimaraens 1996 – the problem with this wine is that it’s too delicious. So beautifully balanced is this that after a little glass, I forgot I was drinking a sweet wine of 20% and was putting it away like it was a light claret. By the end of the night, I had become a little, how shall we put this, reactionary. I was sent to bed with the last of the port and a copy of the Spectator.
The champagne is about £50 a bottle and the port £25. Both are easily worth the money with the port offering exceptional value for money. The syrah and the riesling are both from Majestic and extraordinarily cheap at £7.99 and £6.99 respectively though I can’t find the white online so they may have run out.