With just over three weeks to Christmas - and even less time to order the Christmas wine if you haven’t already done so - it’s time for us laggards to focus on what we’re going to be drinking and that’s what I’m going to be doing this week.
First off, a sublime sweet wine I tasted the other day at a tasting organised by a Bristol-based company called Vine Trail which supplies a number of top London restaurants including Rowley Leigh’s Le Café Anglais - a 2002 Loupiac 2002 Cuvée d’Or from Château Dauphin-Rondillon, the property’s top cuvée. I’d defy anyone to tell it from its neighbour Sauternes, so opulent and seductive is the fruit with that wonderful touch of hazelnut you find in aged sweet Bordeaux. And at £15.75 a bottle (£9.75 a half bottle) it’s a snip.
I didn’t try it with food but it would go with all the usual Sauternes suspects. Roquefort (and Stilton, plus washed rind cheeses such as Epoisses), foie gras (if you eat foie gras, duck liver parfait if you don’t), French-style apple, pear and apricot tarts and even Christmas pudding provided you added a good dollop of cream (cream always shows off Sauternes to perfection, so would showcase Loupiac too). Or simply sip it on its own. A lovely, lovely treat.