So it’s a Sunday night in early January and it’s raining outside. Although you’ve just spent the last two weeks drinking port, red wine and eating enough cheese to give you gout; you’re still hanging on to the holiday spirit and there’s no shame in it.
After all, you probably won’t have seen your flatmates over Christmas because you’ll have spent the holidays with your families. I call this week the transition week and, while it’s perfectly acceptable to continue indulging, I make subtle changes.
I start by exchanging the red wine or port for a nice bottle of white, buy in some mild cheddar cheese, avoid anything ‘cinnamon spiced’ and, instead of playing Michael Buble’s Christmas album in an ‘ironic’ way, put ‘4 Your Eyez Only’ on by J. Cole. If you’re reading this at the end of January then call it a justifiable dry January relapse.
You’re most likely skint because of all the partying and catching up with people you didn’t see over Christmas and you don’t get paid until the final day of the month (so annoying), so you’re not wanting to spend much on the wine, I hear you. Go to Tesco and look for Bouchard et Fils 2014 Grand Conseiller Chardonnnay. It’s normally £8 but you may be lucky enough to get it at £6.50 on special offer, as I was.
This wine is a classic Chardonnay in every way. Golden in colour, it had a slight honey smell to it and, upon tasting, I got notes of buttered toast (or if you want to get all posh, ‘brioche’) which counteracted the sweet honey taste. The finish was pleasant, which left a slight citrus note on the roof of my mouth.
A common myth is that you have to have red wine with cheese but, trust me, this wine paired very well with mild cheddar, as the creaminess of the cheese complimented the buttery taste of the wine. Initially I wasn’t impressed by this wine but, as it warmed up, the flavours really began to shine in it. I would therefore recommend that, after you take it out of the fridge, you open it and leave it for 5-10 minutes – use that time to slice the cheese and/or chat about how surprisingly deep J.Cole’s lyrics are.
For £6.50 this is an absolute bargain and for £8 it is still value for money. It’s a safe wine – really pleasant but not too daring. It’s a typical Bourgogne white: perfect over conversation and a bit of cheese on a rainy Sunday night.