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How’s it hanging? You might recognise my dulcet tones from my weekly recaps of what I learned (or read about then immediately forgot) at wine school, and if you don’t, well that’s your problem, not mine. Go check the first post out here, then read all the other ones, then come to dan’s and give me compliments 😎. If you do check it out you might notice I used the phrase 'dulcet tones' in that one as well. My bad. If this is the first time you’re hearing from me, lucky you! We’re gonna get along great, I can just tell.
So, what’s going on chez moi? Lucky me, I’m flying out to South Africa this weekend. Not on a Dan-sponsored trip, sadly – thought it would be taking the piss to ask him to retroactively pay for my family holiday three weeks after he sent us to Paris. I’m beyond excited to say goodbye to this British January (although as a Brit who works with an Aussie who’s always complaining about the British weather, I feel like I’m supposed to stick up for it, but whatever, it does suck, he’s not wrong) and say ‘Howzit’ to some sun for a change. Although I wanted to take an actual holiday, not a working holiday, after the South Africa tasting a couple of weeks ago and meeting the producers at Gabrielskloof, Crystallum and Thorne & Daughters, it just seemed silly to not go check out where the magic happens. So me and my fam are heading up to Bot River to drink some produce. Although since it’s harvest season I have been told there’s a chance they’re going to ask us to help. I don’t know how well that’s going to go. Hope they like unripe grapes and possibly small stones that I mistake for grapes.
But that’s a story for my South Africa recap post, *publication date pending*. Let’s talk last weekend.
I had some friends down from various far-flung places (Paris, Slough, Canary Wharf) and I wanted to flex about my new career, so we went over to Highbury Library so I could show off. If you haven’t been you should go, if you can be arsed to go to Drayton Park, they have loads of small batch stuff I hadn’t even seen before (and bear in mind I spend all goddamn day staring at wine bottles) and that I’m trying to convince Dan to buy. Speaking of Dan, still come to our bar too, obvi – just share the love, check out the Library. Also check out the Google reviews, coz they’re full of people complaining that they couldn’t work out how to get an actual library card there. Lol.
Back to me showing off. Turns out my friends know as much, if not more, about wine than I do. I trekked downstairs to pick some bottles and came back up ready to deliver my spiel, and they were like, oh, natural wine! That’s the stuff that doesn’t have SO2 additions and is unfined and unfiltered, right? And I was like, um… yes. And then they were like, oh, orange wine, that’s when you ferment the grapes with the skins left on to extract colour, phenols and tannins, right? And I was like, um… yes. Turns out they spent lockdown learning about wine on top of their very demanding and successful professional lives, while I spend lockdown just drinking it from a box, in my pre-knowing about wine days (I stand by box wine, for the record). This happened when I finished my languages degree at uni, I would be out and about, wanging on about how I speak Spanish, and it would turn out the person I was talking to grew up in Valencia and just speaks Spanish anyway, on top of their finance degree. Ever feel like you’ve wasted your life? Nah, me neither.
Since I failed to show off at the Library, on Saturday I dragged them down to dan’s to show that off instead. That time around went better, although the things I was showing off (the rugs, the Italian-restaurant-candles, the art on the walls, the eclectic way the by the glass list is organised) aren’t actually things I can take credit for. It’s fine, I don’t think Dan heard me pretending all those things were my idea. If he did he didn’t say anything, which I appreciate. Thanks for letting me save face, boss.
But what did you drink, I can hear you shrieking. This is a wine email not your diary. Fine. We drank this pét nat which I’ve recommended so many times they should hire me as their hype man, but also it never misses, which is why I keep recommending it. Took great pleasure in explaining to my pals what a pét nat was since apparently that’s not on the WSET curriculum they’d been studying. After that my Parisian mate wanted a smoky white wine like she’d had in Reims the weekend before. A hard task, so I tagged in the master (Dan, duh) who brought out this little number which was insanely good. Smoky as all heck, smooth texture on your tongue, I love Tenerife and all their mental varietals. 1, 2, 3, gone. They were impressed, I was impressive, it was perfect. What are friends for if not validating all your life decisions?
Have a great week and if you haven’t shown off to your friends recently, make sure you do this weekend. Feeding them this is a great place to start. Is it red wine? Is it skin contact? Why is there a bear on it? What the heck is this colour? Etc. Impress them by telling them it’s a red wine but knowing in advance that it’s gonna taste like an orange. Ya welcome.