Voting is over and the Eurovino is in!

The votes have all been counted.

By An Occasional Tipple With Raymond Gleug
Saturday, 14th May 2022, 8:00 am

Shocks and surprises aplenty. Time now for the real work to start. Let the action begin!

Yes, tipplers, by the time you read this the Eurovision heats will have finished and tonight we can enjoy the actual contest itself.

Let’s hope Bellaghy’s Brooke Scullion will be there tonight singing “That’s Rich” for Ireland and the best of luck to whoever is representing the UK too. Perhaps they can match last year’s score.

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An Occasional Tipple With Raymond Gleug

One country who won’t be there is Russia. Banned for obvious reasons.

Which made me wonder about all the vodka drinkers here and whether they were doing the right thing and boycotting their favourite Russian tipple.

Until I found out that most of the vodka we drink doesn’t come from Russia at all but places like Poland, Latvia, Canada, Brazil, the UK and even Ireland.

Irish vodka? Yes, better still Belfast vodka. From Titanic Distillers (visit www.titanicdistillers.com), made with only the finest hand-picked Irish sugar beet, the clean, smooth and crisp Titanic Distillers Premium Irish Vodka (£32.50, 70cl bottle) is being launched primarily in pubs and restaurants this month but United Wines will be distributing it throughout off-licences and wine merchants across the island soon after.

We’ve already proven that we can make the best whiskey in the world, so why not the best vodka too?

And we’ve won Eurovision more often than anyone else. Check it out.

While we have no Russia this year and even though they’re not remotely European, we shall be entertained by both Australia and Israel.

Israel are currently barred from this column as they haven’t sent me any wine to review.

No such problem with Australia who have sent me two of their finest.

Actually, Australia didn’t send them. The Wine Society did that- visit www.thewinesociety.com or telephone 01438-741177.

First among near equals but just about gaining the nod as today’s Wine of the Week by no more than un or peut-etre deux points is the big, bold and intensely fruity 2020 Society’s Exhibition Shiraz (£14.95).

A smooth, juicy palate with pronounced notes of plum and black cherry leads to a satisfyingly lengthy finish with luxurious strands of vanilla and hints of earthy, pungent spices. One for roast lamb or beef.

In second spot (and only because i felt more in the mood for red than white this evening) comes today’s final recommendation, the exceptionally zippy and zesty 2021 Society’s Hunter Valley Semillon (£8.95).

A delightfully tangy palate full of bright sharp lemon and lime flavours which combine with grassy aromatics and hints of mineral in this racy, refreshing white which will be an ideal match to seafood or poultry.

So, all kinds of everything to choose from today. It’s just a matter of making your mind up.

Perhaps you’re thinking “Give me more time”?

Well, what’s another year so long as you save all your kisses for me?

That’s what I told my darling wife, the redoubtable Madame G., at Waterloo in any case. Hold me (or should that be stop me?) now.

Till next week, tipplers, enjoy the vino, the Eurovision madcaps and sante!