Drawing a blanc

Maybe it is the harsh jute-like feel of January compared with the velvet comfort of December, but I am struggling to get going. It might be the extra weight I'm carrying (booze/food, not baby for once) but I think it is just January. I'll go straight to the wines, that'll cheer me up.

This week's white in the fridge: Tesco Finest Gavi 2008, currently 2 for £10 instore or £4.75 online, Tesco
Gavi is the name of the region in Piedmont, Italy where this wine comes from and the grape variety is Cortese. Italy has hundreds of different grape varieties, which is a joy when you just want to break out of the Chardonnay/Sauvignon/Pinot Grigio rut. If you like the roundness of Chardonnay but don't like too much oak, try this: it is a peachy queen with a twist of lime and is ripe, round and very un-jute like. Loves a herby chicken breast.

This week's red on the side: La Leyenda Malbec Syrah 2010, currently £5 on offer, Tesco
Now, obviously what's inside the bottle is more important that what's outside. But this label is terribly pretty.  Not that I'm saying you should buy a wine for the label. That would be shallow. But it is pretty. Anyway, the wine: a brilliant blend of Argentina's look-at-me grape, Malbec and the more widely-travelled Syrah (Shiraz by another name), grown in vineyards that nudge the foothills of the Andes. The winery is the romantically named Escorihuela, founded in 1884. I've been, it's lovely. Violets, plums and spice in a glass, reminding me of the velvet comfort of December.

In vino veritas x

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