Not tonight dear...

"Ohmigod, that's a headache wine" said a friend the other day after sipping a Spanish white wine. Then Ladybird World Mother said that she too got wretched headaches when drinking wine and doesn't even throw it back like the old days (her words, not mine). What might cause these headaches, other than having three too many? The usual suspect is sulphur, which has long been used to preserve freshness in wine. Some, particularly asthmatics, seem to be less tolerant than others but generally speaking headaches caused by sulphur are rare. Another cause may be the natural histemines found in wine, particularly red wines as they come from the skins of grapes. There are those who swear by taking an anti-histemine before drinking a glass of red. Too clinical for me, plus I would fall asleep. Nah. In my experience your best bet for avoiding a headache is to imbibe plenty of water and food at the same time. That and not finishing the bottle.

Current white in the fridge:
Tesco Finest Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009, £6.19, Tesco
New Zealand produces some of the best Sauvignon Blanc wines in the world, particularly from this region. In fact, it was Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough that really put NZ on the worldwide wine map. This is made at an estate called Highfield, where they've built a winery to look like a Tuscan cellar. Not sure why, but it looks wonderful if not a little out of place. Here, the cool nights and warm days allow the grapes to ripen slowly and surely, helping to get the best out of this aromatic grape. This one gives you a noseful of zippy lime fruit aromas then lives up to expectations with lovely gooseberry and passion fruit flavours. Dangerously moreish.

Current red on the side:
Esperanza Malbec 2009, Argentina, £4.69, Majestic
Torrontes was the white grape from Argentina that I wrote about last week. The red grape that Argentina does better than most is Malbec, a brutish red grape that produces dark, inky coloured wines with lots of black fruit flavours. Cahors in France is Malbec's other home, as well as it being one of the traditional grapes grown in Bordeaux. This particular one is more lightweight, in a good way. Still brooding, but not growling (really hoping you are still with me here) with bramble fruits and soft tannins. Long on the finish, as they say. Tried and heartily recommended with steaks.

One last glass, then x     

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