Superior plonk for lovers and winners

As a general rule I drink reds in Winter and whites in Summer.

Saturday, 17th July 2021, 6:00 am

Winter seems the time for hearty casseroles, lazy evenings near a blazing fire and rich, consoling reds.

Summer demands lighter meals, even lazier evenings and lively, zesty whites.

But what if you are one of those people like my dear father, the esteemed Cornelius Gleug, who simply can’t abide white wine?

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Well, the best reds for summer drinking tend to be light-bodied, supple and subtle.

Think Gamay, Tempranillo, Pinot Noir etc.

Step forward today’s fabulous Wine of the Week, the soft, fruity and superbly balanced 2018 Chloe Pinot Noir (£8.99, Lidl).

This extremely easy-drinking, seductively smooth Californian red is delicately spiced and also has pronounced notes of raspberry and blackberry before a lingering, peppery finish.

Serve lightly chilled with poultry, pork or even meaty fish like tuna or monkfish.

Now, the term plonk is interesting, isn’t it?

Generally, it’s construed as a derogatory word indicating cheap, inferior wine.

On the other hand, Rumpole of the Bailey (do you all remember him?) used to delight in inviting companions to Pomeroy’s for a few glasses of plonk.

I’ve long thought it must be rhyming slang for ‘vin blanc’ though my extensive research has so far been unable to pin down the etymology.

Wikipedia confirms that it usually refers to white wine which somewhat bolsters my theory.

Anyway, I think it’s a fine word and to me it means cheap and cheerful which aptly describes today’s second recommendation- the fresh, fragrant and gloriously refreshing 2020 Dino Pinot Grigio (£5.50, Tesco or £4.50 for clubcard holders).

This unoaked Italian white is brimful of juicy peach and sharper lime flavours alongside grassy and herbaceous aromatics.

Hungarian wine is all the rage right now.

From Hungary via Lidl’s latest Wine Cellar promotion (which also features a superb range of interesting and exciting bottles from France, Spain, Portugal and Argentina) comes our final selection.

Before I extol upon its manifold charms, two things you should know.

It’s small (500ml) and it’s sweet.

So, not for everyone, but it’s worth a wee try.

Personally, I love a good sweet wine and this is nothing short of spectacular.

It’s the kind of wine I would normally serve with a fancy cheeseboard or some exquisite patisserie but as my darling wife, the enigmatic Madame G., is still away on business, I instead enjoyed the rich, complex and exceptionally elegant 2017 Szamorodni Edes Tokaji (£7.99) with cheese on toast last night and a delicious shop-bought Deluxe rhubarb yoghurt tonight totally delicious.

Unctuous and heady a luscious palate wherein nutty butterscotch notes mingle pleasingly with hints of beeswax and honey alongside backnotes of citrus zest and peaches.

A delight if that’s your kind of thing!

So, something for everyone and plenty for me!

Everyone’s a winner, especially Italians and lovers sipping fine Hungarian wine and pining for their woman, who has move to pastures new - just for a while anyway.

However it soon will be over, she assures me.

Till next week, tipplers, sante!

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