About 20 years ago, I went out for dinner on Valentine's Day. It was awful. We were so close to the table next to us that I couldn't help but listen to their conversation (I think it might have been a row). In fact, we left before the main course and stopped off in Harts on the Fulham Road on our way back home, buying a bottle of Laurent Perrier Rosé and a packet of those pastille chocolates they used to sell. And it was lovely. Since then, we've stayed in on Valentine's and The Husband cooks. I do wine. Cocktails too. Ever the multi-tasker.
Current cocktail in the making: Sloe Royale
This is a really simple cocktail, brilliant pre-dinner. Take two flutes or champagne saucer glasses and sprinkle a bit of edible glitter in each. Add a dash of sloe gin (the Sipsmith one is gorgeous) and then top up with whatever you've got to hand with bubbles in it - Champagne, Prosecco, even tonic will do. Instant sparkle in a glass.
Current red in the rack: Domaine of the Bee 2011, Cotes Catalanes, £24, Domaine of the Bee
This is made by a friend of mine, Justin, who also used to be a wine buyer for a big supermarket. He's gone off and made his own wine in France, along with his Mrs and a friend. It's a blend of Carignan and Grenache grapes from the Roussillon region, in southern France. And of the three vintages they've made that I've had so far, this is my favourite. Really rich, big red with loads of blackberry fruit, spice and a touch of honey to it (that might just be me). It's not cheap but honestly, this one's a keeper.
Bisoux, bisoux x
Labels: 2011, carignan, France, grenache, Roussillon, Sloe Royale, Valentine's Day