I think it is fair to say that TNC has proven something of a life line this year, a moment of delightful normality in a world so distorted as to be almost unrecognisable. As I write, London and swathes of the South East have been thrown into Tier 4, Christmas plans have been blown to smithereens and chaos reigns on the boarder. But for an hour each week none of that matters, it is an hour of laughter, wine, anecdotes, friendships new and old, random sourdough advice and even on the odd occasion, a pearl or two of vinous wisdom thrown into the mix. And so for our final wine club of 2020...
First up we have the Domaine des Tourelles Cuvee Pierre Brun 2018 Old Vine Cinsault, Lebanon. Having recently had the Chateau Musar which they had loved, but which was at a price point that puts it in the realm of special occasion drinking, they were keen to further explore the wines of Lebanon in a more approachable price bracket. Described as having a ‘Christmas bouquet’ this was definitely two birds with one stone for the TNC Christmas edition. A great nose with rich red fruits, fig and peppery spice, it is smooth and rounded with a lovely finish. Majestic Wines £16.99
Marks & Spencer Classic No.6 Valpolicella Ripasso 2018, Veneto, Italy. This wine was thanks to my distinctly better half who was inspired to cook an incredible duck ragu from Saturday Morning Kitchen. They recommended the Tesco Finest Valpolicella Ripasso to go with it, but the rest of Poole must have had the same idea as it was all sold out! Lucky M&S had this little gem in stock. Silky and richly fruited with juicy red plum and fig, it has a soft rounded palate complimented by a lovely fresh finish. It was delicious with the ragu but is soft enough to enjoy a glass or 3 on its own. A lovely comforting, undemanding wine perfect for a little midweek escapism. M&S £10
Jules Billaud Chablis 2018, Burgundy, France. This was a recommendation from the guy in the shop who suggested the extra £5 was more than worth it. Thankfully he was right, it is a really delicious, fresh, concentrated wine that she would definitely buy again. Chablis is not a wine style she drinks a lot of but this was a delightful reminder of how good the wines can be from the right producer. Oddbins £25
Murdock Hill Shiraz 2017, Adelaide Hills, Australia. As Christmas draws close, our clubber was feeling a little homesick for Australia so chose a wine from a region bound up in her childhood memories; Adelaide Hills was where the family spend their Easter breaks. Murdock Hills was a ‘Young Gun’ winner which is a promising start, and from this relatively cool region the wine is fresh and peppery with a lovely mineral driven core, and a subtle earthy richness. Absolutely delicious. Salusbury Wine Stores £25
Zarate Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain. What are the chances, two clubbers were drinking the same wine! The first revelled in its lemony freshness with its classic linear purity, a wine both ‘sexy and safe’ as it is a little off the beaten track for many wine drinkers but the consistent quality from the region makes it a safe deviation from normal drinking habits!
Our second couple beautifully described it as a steel lollipop with citrus sherbet, loving the cool minerality on entry but particularly enjoying the peach and apricot notes that began to emerge as the wine warmed up in the glass. Corking Wine £19.99
And so my friends, until next year, keep safe, drink well and spread as much happiness as you can. See you all for the first Thursday Night Club of 2021 on 14th January. xx