Last week the wine industry lost one of it’s most charismatic and talented sommeliers. Terry Threlfall was one of the first sommeliers who bought wine from me when I moved to London. He was at Michelin starred Chez Bruce at the time and I was terrified both by the reputation of the restaurant, and of Terry. I shouldn’t have been. He was so utterly charming, engaged and encouraging that he gave me confidence in my knowledge and my ability to talk about wine. I owe him a lot, as does almost everyone who had the pleasure to know him. He died suddenly aged just 43. Terry was Canadian born and bred, and incredibly proud of their wines. So tonight I am raising a glass (or 3) of this gorgeous Little Farm Riesling 2016 from the Silmilkameen Valley in British Colombia to him. On the nose a lovely hint of kerosene and spiced pear. The palate is poised yet intense with a beautiful textural entry, a complex palate of lime marmalade and white almond and a pure, juicy lime-scented finish. The Wine Society £19
Mantler Zweigelt Classic 2018, Austria. This was part of the Wine Societies Regional Awards case which is proving a fantastic way to introduce you to unusual wines. Adventurous drinking at its best as this was their first encounter with the Zweigelt grape. On the nose it has plum, cherry and spice, the palate shows a hint of pepper but it is super elegant and easy to drink. ‘You can take it anywhere and it will always be appropriately dressed!’ - what a great description! Add in to the mix that it is superb value and it is definitely one to seek out. The Wine Society £9
Snap! Mantler Zweigelt Classic 2018, Austria. And another Zweigelt cherry taken! She is also on a mission to try new wines and wasn’t at all sure what to expect with this grape but had heard it recommended at TNC before. Surprised by how much rich fruit there is as she thought it might be lighter bodied, although the tannins are very fine and silky making it very easy to drink. Delicious. The Wine Society £9
Gabb Family Vineyards Chardonnay 2019, Coastal Region, South Africa. When you are running late for wine club, grab the first thing you find in the fridge take a sip and realise it is actually something really decent! Gabb Family Vineyards are an off shoot of Journey’s End which explains the quality. They are striving for elegance and complexity in single varietal wines. And did they achieve it?! Yes! Lovely entry of peach and nectarine, very subtle well integrated oak and an elegant, citrusy finish. Again excellent value at Majestic £10
This drinker is buying wine from Naked Wines and loves the idea that they are the 'make or break' for small wineries. The winemaker will pitch their wine concept to the buyers at Naked Wines, Naked will then front the money for the winemaker to go ahead, this comes largely from the membership fees of the ‘angel investors’ enabling the grower to crack on and do what he does best. The ‘angel’s’ are then able to buy the wine at a discounted rate. This is the Embeleso Crianza 2017 from Rioja and it is really good. Blackberries and vanilla with a subtle undercurrent of chocolate leading on to a smooth cherry rich finish. Medium bodied and elegant it is incredibly quaffable. Naked Wines £9.99 for angels, £13.99 for non-members.