In Vino Veritas

Regular readers will be well-aware of my love of red wine. For more than thirty years now, it has been the only alcohol that I drink on a regular basis. I don’t hold with the traditional idea that certain wines have to be drunk to accompany different foods. I always have red, even with fish and seafood. My fondness for the grape even led me to be given a nickname, when I was still living in London. ‘Merlot Pete’. Now I am older, I try to limit myself to two bottles a week. But I don’t spread that out, instead I drink one whole bottle, on two different days, and abstain on the other five.

A regular size bottle of wine holds three-quarters of a litre, or 75 centilitres, if you prefer. The provides me with three large glasses, each containing close to 250 millilitres. So, one glass whilst cooking diner, then usually two more glasses after eating. If I open a bottle just after 6 pm, it will be empty by 8. One aspect of advancing years is that wine-drinking has a tendency to make me sleepy, so I am often in bed by 11, on the nights I decide to enjoy a drink. Modern wine production has seen the introduction of artificial corks, followed by the ubiquitous screw top. You almost never need to have to taste wine anymore, as there is so little chance of it being spoilt by corrupted corks.

I thought I would share a few of my favourites with you. Perhaps you would like to try some, or maybe you have never liked red wine. Either way, it might be of some passing interest.


Merlot.
This plummy-tasting wine is often reviled by serious wine buffs. I like it, though I prefer this less-sweet Chilean variety, to the more common Californian products on sale.


Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.
This lighter Italian wine has a real ‘zest’ on the tongue. It is a wine that goes with anything, and can also be drunk without food.


Rioja Gran Reserva.
This rather dense and heavy Spanish wine is one of the few that still comes complete with a traditional cork. Best consumed with food, for the ideal flavour.


Pinotage.
A grape from South Africa that became popular more recently. It has a distinctive flavour, and I soon acquired a taste for it. My second favourite wine.


Gevrey Chambertin.
For me, this is the King of Red Wine. The French Burgundy is dark, and full of flavour. Unfortunately, the high price these days means that it has to be reserved for special occasions.

A short introduction to red wine. If you like the look of them, most can be bought for between £6-£8 a bottle, in any supermarket. Except for the Gevry-Chambertin, which might set you back around £30.

CHEERS!

61 thoughts on “In Vino Veritas

  1. Some of my favourites too along with a cabernet sauvignon! I don’t drink much red wine these days anymore as it tends to give me a headache the next day even after one or two glasses and that’s no good with Little O. I’ve become a gin drinker but even so I rarely drink much now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have never got headaches, as long as I don’t mix red wine with anything else. Maybe if I did, I wouldn’t like it so much! 🙂
      Having a small child, you have to be more responsible. I can understand that.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  2. Oh dont get me started on wine, it rarely ends well 🙂 I like a red and you have picked a few good ones. I did have a passion for Fleurie at one stage, many a trip across the water to return with low suspension, handy living so close to France 🙂
    Its hard to find anything decent here in Poland, without going to specialist shops, but we are lucky that two brothers set up vineyards within a half a mile of us, one making white the other red. So now we have a steady supply of gratuities as we keep recommending their wine to friends and visitors 🙂
    When my sister was in Spain and I spent a season there I even had the chance to make a lovely Ribera Sacra, picked by hand, crushed by foot and drunk by the bottle, all 700 of them, although I believe we shared with most of the village 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We are mostly red wine drinkers, though a good Sav Blanc (usually from NZ) goes down well with seafood. We tend to go for the big reds – Shiraz, Merlot, Rioja with some nice ones from Spain and Portugal, though Australia and South Africa are always popular with us. We buy from Naked wines which can be more expensive than the supermarket stuff, but also allows us to try new winemakers. We also only drink on the weekend – a bottle between us on Friday, Sat and Sun and the rest of the week soft drinks or water only. OH has been told only to have two glasses now as he has high BP so I guess I shall have to help him out 😀

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    1. Sounds like you are being sensible, Jude. I have my wine during the week, and don’t drink at weekends at all, unless we go to a restaurant. 🙂 Julie doesn’t drink much, and watches what I drink too! 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  4. We like the medium white wines from Germany that everyone sneers at, even Hock but I have developed a taste for Pinotage at home and Merlot when I eat out. Dry white wine, especially Chardonnay, that is served in restaurants, is horrible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t mind some white wines, but will always choose red, given the option. I don’t think anyone should sneer at anybody’s wine taste. There is too much snobbery in the wine trade. You drink what you enjoy, Julie! 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  5. We love red wine, too. I fell in love with merlot many years ago when I discovered how wonderful it tasted with homemade chocolate fudge. I rarely drink it any more. I was never a huge fan of California wines, but have a few we love. Sailor’s Grave Cabernet and Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. We recently opened our last (aged) bottle from Clos LaChance and it was superb but no longer affordable for our retirement budget. Will definitely try a few of your recommendations.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pete, as a wine collector I love your passion for red wine! These are all great choice, and as you point out, very reasonable…Spain and Italy have terrific “everyday” wine, with France indeed leading the way with the “special occasion” wines…nice post as always!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Did you know there’s a Pahrump Valley Winery just an hour’s drive from Las Vegas? It’s an interesting place to visit. I’m not really a wine drinker, although I’ve had a few glasses over the years. When I do drink wine, being a cowboy, I prefer white over red.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oho! I love wine, but limit myself to a bottle every 6 days….a glass with my evening meal. When I was working, I had enough money to try some nice bottles. These days a little more prosaic, and I am firmly Old World…..frequently reds from Puglia in Italy, and I do love (white) Austrian Veltliner, but that’s now more expensive. I adore a good red Burgundy, but that really is high days and holidays but soon to be unaffordable. Sigh… You showed Denis Mortet’s Burgundy as an example – you would be lucky to get a good Gevrey at £80 a bo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I wouldn’t get the wine shown above for £29.95, which is the cheapest I have seen for Gevrey last year. (And that was per bottle, in a case of 12, so almost £360!)
      I am happy enough with ‘ordinary wine’ these days though. I can get a Montepulciano in Tesco for £4.50, and it’s really nice. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Wine always made me sleepy but now in my dotage it wakes me around 1or 2 a.m. with a furry tongue and massive headache so I drink it maybe once or twice a year. There are specialty wine shops here that might have (or could get) what you find routinely there in England. We have so many small family wineries popping up here even on the southeast coast, it’s fun to visit and sample.
    Maybe I am allergic to sulfites??

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s always red wine for me, too, Pete and I’ve sampled most of those except for the last two. My consumption has gone down recently. I did ‘dry January’ and since then haven’t had more than the occasional glass – and whisky at a Burns Supper last week.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I too love my wine….sadly not one of those is available here in Mississippi….the state controls what we get…..I do enjoy Spanish reds and I found a Spanish white that is really good…..I also like the Argentine “Red Rock” brand…the Malbec…..good review….chuq

    Liked by 1 person

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