All Stars

Last Friday, I went to the Bath Literary Festival and my session was at 7.30pm. Turned out so was Kazuo Ishiguro's, in the room next door. He might have won the Booker Prize but I had free wine (very kindly donated by wine merchant Averys of Bristol - thank you, Mimi). And afterwards, as I signed books, I met this lovely lot.

Since coming to last year's Knackered Mother's Wine Club tasting at Camp Bestival, Claire (second from left) decided to form her own KMWC with a group of friends. They now meet once a month to chat over wine - and always bring something different to try. It was so brilliant to meet them and reminded me just why I set out to write the book in the first place. Wine brings us together, makes us sit down (I especially like that part) and converse. It connects us with places, stories and best of all, with each other. I'll drink to that.

Current white in the fridge: Verdicchio Dei Castelli Di Jesi 2013, £5 on offer (normally £8), Asda
From the Marche region in central Italy, Verdicchio is the grape and in this case it comes from vineyards around the town of - you've guessed it - Jesi. As with so many good Italian whites, it's crisp, fresh, a little bit floral (honeysuckle, for me) and not at all in-your-face. Rather, it's like good background music: you notice it, but you can do other things whilst enjoying it. Like talking. And eating. Bowl of salted almonds for me with this one. 

Current red in the rack: Territorio Malbec 2013, £7.49, Tesco
Argentina is huge in wine terms, both in how much it produces (answer: loads) and in the styles of wines it makes. And Malbec, its most famous wine export, is nothing if not a shouty wine. This one comes from the Salta region up in the north of the country and the vineyards are among the highest in the world. And the altitude seems to give the wine amazing intensity and (the bit I really love) freshness. Think plums, blackberries and spice with a whacking great hug of alcohol (it's 14%). Gaw-gus. 

Chin chin x

ps - I've added some new videos to my YouTube channel on stuff like vintages, varieties, hangovers and decanting. Hope you like, let me know!

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