Happy Thursday winos! Recovered from the bank holiday yet? I haven’t. Had a pretty heavy barbecue (you know you’re in your thirties when you get hangovers after a barbecue) followed by a Dan’s family dinner on Monday. I thought if you drank real, quality wine then the likelihood of your head exploding the next day would be much reduced, but turns out anything can give you a hangover if you drink enough of it. Lesson learned. Until next time, anyway.

    Due to Dan’s aversion to drinking ‘shit wine’ (which, fair enough, why would he?) we were instructed to pool our resources and bring some quality bottles. Jaime was going to bring a box of Tesco’s finest bagged Sauvignon, but he chickened out at the last minute. Fair. It’s a joke that Dan would either find very funny or not funny at all, and either way, it’s £10 down the drain. Instead he brought this little number, of which we only have two bottles remaining, so run if you want one. And you do want one. If my count is correct (which it probably isn’t) I think this was the sixth bottle we drank, so yes, my memory of it may be slightly impaired, but what I do remember was that it was delicious. Which is all you need to know, I reckon. Tom brought an otherworldly Ploussard from the Jura, and Fionn dug into his personal cellar to bring out a Le Coste Rosato from a couple of years ago and a slightly weird, soapy orange from Slovenia, which I wasn’t mad at. I know I wasn’t mad at it because once all the other bottles were gone I quite happily drained what was left of it. My own offering, being a sucker for Chardonnay, was this from Frédéric Cossard, and if I may toot my own horn (or Cossard’s horn, which sounds weird, so let’s move on), it was the highlight for me. Possibly because we drank it early enough for me to remember it, but who cares about the why. I’m all about the how, and the how for you is by pressing ‘add to cart’. Thank me later. Or thank me now. Or don’t thank me at all, idc, just get one and enjoy.

    Dan’s offerings, obviously, were killer. First up was a Chardonnay from Arnot-Roberts, iconic Californian producers who know their way around the vines. If you want to be as cool as us then you can get your mitts on either of these two – old vines from Santa Rita Hills, or the Watson Ranch, from Burgundian-style soil. The second bottle was from Bruyère-Houillon, which you might have noticed I did not link, because it’s impossible to get. Not just for you, for us too – we only had this bottle because a very kind importer very kindly gifted it to us, and Dan very kindly shared. Remind me again why I don’t live in France? Ah yeah, Brexit. Less said about that the better.

    Eight bottles and a far too short sleep later, I fell off the bus and into the bar for an early morning wine tasting. There’s not much to complain about in this job, but sniffing and sipping alcohol at 11am after the night we’d had was… tough. Luckily the offerings were solid. We had Indigo Wine in to walk us through the bottles we’ll be pouring at our California tasting in a couple of weeks, and if you haven’t got your tickets yet, now’s the time – here’s just a taster (heh) of what’s going in your glasses…

    From Lady of the Sunshine, a cheeky Sauvvy B/Chardy blend, an homage to one of the winemaker’s fave wines from the Loire Valley, all pineapple and lemongrass; a 100% Sauv B that’s zesty and fun, and a fruity, floral Pinot from their own vineyard, made with 100% whole bunch.

    From Scar of the Sea, a Chardonnay that was so good I paid £20 corkage to bring it to dinner at Acme Fire Cult later that evening; another Chardonnay from a different vineyard that I would have paid another £20 to drink at Acme Fire Cult if it hadn’t been a Tuesday night, and a 70% whole bunch Pinot that’s a heady mix of fresh red fruit and a meaty, leathery backbone. Woof. Do I really need to say again that you need to come to this tasting?

    Speaking of incredible producers - the inimitable Testalonga are gonna be hanging out at Dan's next Thursday, and in their honour, our whole by the glass list is gonna be from them. Since everything they make is delicious, this is not to be missed. Make sure you get your butts down here on the 8th to say hey to them.

    That’s quite enough from me. I have to go practice the dance I’m being forced to perform at a wedding I’m going to tomorrow. Yes, really.

    Love u!