Perhaps the love remains? No? All loved out? No matter. I still have some bottles left over, dear tipplers, which may serve to rekindle your jaded souls. Overdosed on wine, champagne and romance? Well, how about some non-alcoholic gin then?
Today’s first recommendation is the super-smooth and gloriously refreshing Gordon’s 0.0% Alcohol Free Gin (widely available, £14 at Tesco, £14.50 Sainsbury’s, prices may vary elsewhere). Loaded with all the best distilled botanicals and plenty of pronounced juniper berry flavours with just a hint of citrus- if I didn’t know that it wasn’t “proper” gin, well I’d probably think it was. Even better, nearly, than the real thing. Serve lightly chilled with tonic water, lemon, a garnish of mint and lots of ice. As if you didn’t know.
Now for the many more of us who are far from tired of booze, romance and the like and who perhaps need it even more than ever right now, here come the wine recommendations. Firstly, however, I should warn you of an under-reported danger of the whole post-Valentine’s hangover which I learned about as a student of theology at the Sorbonne many moons past. Acedia- a state of listlessness, torpor, ennui and such- was considered by early Christian monks to be the most troublesome of all mental states. For the carelessness and indifference which it induces is the most fertile ground possible for all our other human failings- lust, anger, sloth, drunkenness, recklessness etc. So, keep your minds active, tipplers.
In the meantime, today’s Wine of the Week, is the ripe, robust and exuberantly juicy 2020 Puglia Rosso (£7, M&S). Full of decadent cherry and soft blackberry flavours on a complex palate alongside subtle spices and backnotes of espresso, this exciting and very modern southern Italian red is one which will go equally well with a midweek veggie pasta dish in a rich tomato sauce or some barbecued poultry and grilled meats at the weekend.
Cost of living: Price of home heating oil falls for seventh consecutive week, petrol and diesel also continue to drop in cost
NI beef a tasty blend with flavours of Southern Africa
East Belfast jazz club taking music world by storm
Inspirational NI couple in farm business focused on healthy food
MOT tests in Northern Ireland: PSNI and DVA advise how to stay legal despite five month backlog
Lovers of white may prefer to get on the right side of their lovers by pouring them a glass or two of the fabulously fresh, lively and vibrantly aromatic 2020 Rocca Murer Pinot Grigio Trentino (£7, Sainsbury’s). An ideal match to seafood or mildly spiced curry dishes.
As for ourselves, my darling wife, the enigmatic Madame G., and I decided to mark Valentine’s Day last Monday by matching crunchy rounds of French bread, toasted goat’s cheese and tapenade with today’s final recommendation, the deliciously dry, delicate and ferociously crisp Freixenet Cava (widely available, £8.99-£9.99). Brimfull of citrus and green apple flavours alongside hints of almond and brioche, this extremely well-priced Spanish sparkler is a very welcome mouthful of Summer which seems guaranteed to brighten even the bleakest of these wintry February days.
Upon which note, once upon a time a man loved a woman passionately but she couldn’t stand him. The man died and found himself locked in a hotel room with that woman. Alas, they were told they could not leave the room because a new and even more vicious, vaccine-resistant variant of the virus which had killed him had just emerged. So they were stuck in the same place. Forever... One in Heaven and one in Hell! But only a matter of time until acedia sets in. I hope they have plenty of booze and that they keep their minds active. Wordle? One suspects that their heavenly positions may change from time to time. So, be nice to your partner. Who knows how long you’ll be stuck with them? Love is for life (and longer, one hopes), not just for Valentine’s. Till next week, tipplers, sante!
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper whenever you are able to do so.
Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper when you can safely.
You can also enjoy unlimited access to the best news from across Northern Ireland and the UK by subscribing to newsletter.co.uk
With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.