Since 2017, there have been a lot of changes. The good, the bad and the ‘you know what’s’. Though when it comes to wine, I have been lucky enough to have some all-time Swig favourites. Wines that I can truly rely on and come back to. That’s not to say they haven’t changed; they've been on an upwards trajectory and my love for them has simply followed… Here’s what they are and why.
"Rose Special Cuvee Frizzante La Jara Organic
I have described this wine over the years as variations of liquid joy, happiness in a bottle, liquid sherbet… Firstly, it is down right delicious, with unadulterated red fruits: think punnets of fresh strawberry and berries mixed with a refreshing pink grapefruit edge. Despite being from Prosecco country, this is so far from the vast plains of commercial prosecco vineyards south of Venice. Instead, La Jara produces this lovely softly sparkling rose from organic vineyards north of Venice and in the mountains. This is the real deal. Italian sparkling wine before it was cool. advise you to always have a bottle in the fridge. When to drink? From when the bottle is open and until empty.
Champagne Collard-Picard Cuvee Prestige Extra Brut
From birthdays to Easter, Christmas and christenings, relaxed evenings at home with those closest to you. The Collard-Picard Prestige Brut is truly unflappable and can handle any situation with ease. Since I first tried the Prestige, Collard-Picard has increased the proportion of old reserve wines in the blend and has a great deal in common wigth Krug’s Grande Cuvee. A glass of Prestige Brut creates a genuine and memorable sense of occasion. Alas, in life you might get handed a glass of Champagne and life goes on. However, drinking the Prestige Brut has always made me want to quickly share another bottle with those I love and care about. Price tag, history, critic scores aside, this urge to share and pass on joy through wine is basic but fundamental and, in my opinion, above all else.
Soli Pinot Noir, Miroglio 2019
‘Sous bois’ roughly translates to the forest floor, an intangible scent of leaves, wood, pine needles, a mushroomy earthiness... This French term is usually used to describe good Burgundy. The character you get from Pinot Noir when it is in that magical place, somewhere between red fruit and savoury ‘Sous Bois’... Well, not only was the Soli Pinot Noir the first wine I tried at Swig, but it was also the first Pinot Noir that I smelt wonderful ‘Sous Bois’ in, that was not from Burgundy. From Bulgaria and sub £15 it gives many village level Burgundies a run for their money. This epitomises Swig’s mantra from day one, finding wines off the beaten track that punch well above their weight in terms of quality and price. Count me in.
Ombrone Cupano 2017
I must confess, I have never been very good at keeping wine to lay down for longer than when it leaves my bag and onto the kitchen table. Having been lucky enough to have met some amazing winemakers, I realised early on that good ones make wine for one reason; to be opened and enjoyed. And around good company and people too. That’s how the best memories should be made. But, there is more to it, not least for high end and fine wines out there. Bordeaux to Brunellos it can all seem quite daunting and inaccessible for many. The Ombrone Cupano changed that for me. If you have always struggled to find that truly ‘great’ fine wine, the wine which stops you firmly in your tracks and leaves you wanting more, to actually go and lay down some bottles, this is the wine that will make you do it."
Wishing you all the best H!