Peter Ranscombe puts Drinkly’s one-hour ordering service through its paces by picking six of his favourite wines from Edinburgh’s Vino chain.
WHAT a week it’s been – from BoJo standing up on Monday to tell us not to go to pubs, restaurants or theatres through to the school gates closing this evening with little hope of reopening before August.
We’re being told to stay at home whenever we can, we’re being told not to panic-buy loo rolls, and we’re being asked to think of other people before ourselves by going into isolation if we start to show symptoms.
Let’s be frank – we all deserve a glass of wine at the end of this week.
Now, wine isn’t going to save the world, but it could make the next few months more bearable, especially if we’re stuck at home with kids and spouses.
At this point, it’s worth reiterating NHS Scotland’s alcohol guidance – if we’re all sitting around enjoying a tipple then we need to limit our weekly intake to 14 units in order to keep the risks to our longer-term health low.
It’s worth following the link on that webpage to the UK chief medical officers’ advice too, especially the infographics on pages nine and ten, which break it down into information that’s easy to understand for bears of very little brain like me.
But it’s also worth pointing out that there are times when a glass of wine can help us to relax and unwind from the stressful situations that lie ahead – plus the benefits that small amounts of red wine can bring to certain people with the right genes.
And there are home delivery services out there like Edinburgh-based Drinkly that can help us out.
It’s working with retailers to deliver chilled beers, wines and spirits within one hour of the order being placed.
Type your postcode into its website at www.drinkly.co.uk and it’ll tell you if it covers your area.
To my shame, Drinkly has been on my radar for months; it’s bright red postcard has sat grinning at me from my desk since I picked it up.
But it’s taken until this week for me to get off my fat arse and actually put its service to the test.
And, hats off to Drinkly, it’s also stepping up to the plate during the covid-19 outbreak.
“We’ll be launching free deliveries on convenience and household items between 10am and 4pm to support our more vulnerable customers,” it says.
“This includes anyone who is unwell, at risk, or self-isolating for any reason.”
Obviously, it can’t deliver alcohol for free, but kudos to the company for playing its part in these uncertain weeks and months to come.
One of Drinkly’s partners in Edinburgh is Vino Wines, among my favourite independent wine merchants, and so I’ve selected six of the best wines for home delivery…
Pinord +&+ Cava (£16.75)
One of my go-to cavas. Bright lemon and green apple aromas, with sweeter lemon curd and apple compote notes. Bursting with acidity on the palate, but with plenty of mouth-filling fruit flavours like crunchy green apple and sweeter cinnamon sprinklings for balance. Excellent as an aperitif with crisps and nuts, but equally up to the job when it comes to slicing through smoked salmon.
A&E Figeat Pouilly Fume Les Chaumiennes (£25.75)
Fresh, fresh, fresh. Very light wood smoke and chunkier curls of lemon rind on the nose lead into all the acidity you could want on the palate to cut through fatty belly pork or to go swimmingly with lake fish. Yet that freshness is nicely balanced by grapefruit, lemon juice and the crispest of granny smith flavours. A classic and a real find.
Primordial Soup White (£9.50)
Creamier, smokier and… erm… buttery-er (?) as it climbs up towards the nostrils amid twists of red apple and pear. This is no over-oaked or over-worked beast though; instead, there’s a warmth on the palate, with a crack of white pepper, a trail of savoury lemon rind and more of those drops of cream. It’s all wrapped up in crisp acidity and I’m hankering after some roast chicken to take flight alongside this South African white.
Eradus Pinot Noir (£24.50)
Concentrated aromas of wood smoke, cedar, raspberry jam and red plum hint at the intense red fruit on the palate, ranging from crunchier cranberry and redcurrant through to sweeter red cherry and spun sugar. Decent acidity to tackle food too – I’d match this to fillet steak at the meatier end through to baked aubergine at the other. Delicious pinot from one of my favourite New Zealand labels.
Pedrera Monastrell (£10.75)
Enticing sweet black cherry and fresher blackcurrant on the nose lead into lots of juicy blackberry and red cherry flavours on the palate. Bright and fruity, yet not some fly-by-night floosy; there’s plenty of freshness and a twist of tannin to take on food. Beef burgers would be a good match, but it could accompany a rib-eye or rump steak too. Loving the warm spicy note on the finish too.
Cline Cellars Lodi Zinfandel (£16.95)
Red fruits ahoy! Lots of warm red cherry and raspberry jam aromas, interwoven with vanilla and caramel. All those sweet fruity flavours are replicated on the palate and are joined by mouth-coating milk chocolate, spicy clove and a hit of coffee. This is a truly textural wine, with a lush mouthfeel and a kick of heat from its 14% alcohol. A big player, well-suited to casseroles or sausage and mash.
Read more of Peter Ranscombe’s blog entries about whisky, wine and other drinks on The Grape & The Grain at https://www.scottishfield.co.uk/grapegrain/