An Occasional Tipple with Raymond Gleug

Raymond Gleug
Raymond Gleug

I grow old, I grow old. I shall wear my trousers rolled. Oh, I’m not sure if it’s observing the changing of the seasons, shuffling through the autumn leaves or just seeing the children going back to school and thinking “that used to be me”.

More likely, it’s the fact that I can barely heave one sore leg in front of the other after competing in the Belfast half marathon last week. Whatever the cause, I find myself feeling acutely aware of my advancing years.

Only one thing for it. Get tore into the vino. Or rather, that would be the answer if I hadn’t just finished entertaining an international delegation of my darling wife, the illustrious Madame G’s relatives for the last few days.

Consequently, I have drunk the bit out and can barely look at the stuff. I must be growing very old indeed. Still, my livelihood dictates I sample one or two, vicariously as it were, for your benefit, dear tipplers. Spittoons at the ready!

First among near equals but just about gaining the nod, by no more than the length of a well-smoked cigarette to be sure to be sure, as today’s WINE OF THE WEEK is the zesty, gloriously refreshing, pale golden-coloured Sainsbury’s 2015 Touraine Sauvignon Blanc(currently £9.99, Lidl).

Lean, lemony and slightly savoury, this tangy, bone-dry white has vibrant floral aromatics and pithy grapefruit and mineral flavours before a discreetly acidic finish. One to enjoy with my Madame’s amazing baked trout in a creamy, dill sauce alongside courgette, broccoli and some very buttery mash.

There is a wonderful promotion on French wine at Lidl right now which is well worth checking out with many excellent bottles available at very reasonable prices. I was impressed by their delicately spiced, tawny and mellow 2016 Cotes du Rhone Vieilles Vignes (£7.99). An elegant, graceful and savoury red with ripe but not overpowering blackberry and strawberry flavours and a luxurious, peppery finish, it seems certain to encourage romance. Quite hefty at 14% so go easy if you’re planning to seduce the missus or Monsieur. Enjoy with poultry or a meaty fish, some soft lighting and someone very beautiful. Meaning your partner.

Of course, it’s not just the French who make great wine. As well as the French, I was also entertaining Danes, Japanese and visitors from London, Germany and Turkey.

And it’s Turkey we turn to for today’s final recommendation, the superbly balanced, supple and easy-drinking 2013 Kavaklidere Yakut (£7.99) which I picked up from The Wine Company on Belfast’s Ormeau Road where they host free tasting session every Saturday under the expert guidance of their very knowledgeable French (I’m guessing from the accent) owner.

It’s a real treasure trove of a shop and well worth a bit of a nosey, as they say.

Lots of intense red fruit flavours on the juicy palate of this Turkish red which are nicely countered by firm tannins- an ideal match to mildly spiced Mediterranean or Asian cuisine.

Like a good wine, my beloved Madame G tells me I get better as I grow older. Who am I to argue?