Rob Da Bottle Bank

Rob is a wine trade expert, social media guru and knackered dad to boot. He talks and writes about wine for a living at Thirst For Wine, so I'm sure he was thrilled, really thrilled, when I asked him to write a post for us - which he's done, beautifully - for nothing. Rob, you are gent. Well, you steal your children's food but apart from that...


What's a knackered dad to do? It was in the freezer to be eaten, and the fact that it was made for the kids to eat is of lesser consequence right now. I'm on babysitting duty for a change.

Getting down to blogging after work, after helping to feed & bath the kids, plus getting them into bed (including the 1001st re-read of 'Winnie in Space') isn't actually all that easy, especially when your subject is wine. When you open that bottle, with every intention of taking notes and somehow evaluating it objectively, it is SO easy to relax, sit back and enjoy it instead. After all, this is really what wine should be about. Studying your glass rather takes away some of the social pleasure ... except that the effort might help others to discover wine, so ... it is still another job that needs to be done, really - even if you don't believe me.

Blogging starts out as great fun, but does eventually become a chore, an item on the to-do list, and however exciting the subject, it can quickly become tiresome. It would be interesting to find out what percentage of bloggers start off as enthusiastic individuals ... and then become parents and change their mind about the trade-off between blogging and sleep, then drop it all. Not me, I'm committed ... or need to be.

Which all means that I find myself justified in appropriating that lovely homemade bolognese sauce in the freezer to add to my pasta, because I have a job to do. It is my duty to concentrate on this bottle of wine for the pleasure of other knackered parents out there. I'll make the kids something else tomorrow.

Taste the Difference Barbaresco 2008 (Sainsbury's, £9.99)
Should we buy top wines from supermarkets? I thought I'd give some of the more expensive wines from Sainsbury's a go, starting with the Italians. Barbaresco is a well known region, and wines are made from Nebbiolo, a famously tricky but potentially delicious grape. I have to say this was a bit disappointing. It promised to be "rose scented with flavours of cherries and liquorice" and all I really got was a decent, but unexciting red fruit flavour with some not-over-the-top tannins. The magic was missing. I have higher hopes for the TTD Barolo.

Rosso di Montalcino 2008, Baricci (Naked Wines £19.99)
Instead, I turn to a wine that I helped to source (by loving it at a tasting, then seeing it picked up by Naked Wines). I opened a bottle the other night and ... hated it. However, having given it 48 hours to 'breathe' it is lovely - all spicy red cherry and raspberry fruit and plenty more. I wonder how many wine experiences are ruined by being drunk 'unready'?

Chin chin x

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