Confession: I am a deadline junkie. Over the years I’ve learnt to work with this not fight it. So when travel insurance is taken out on skis, via mobile phone, from the top of the first piste of the holiday and tax returns completed on 31st January – well, fine. Work due in at 4pm? I’ll do that in the afternoon, because Big Brain won’t bother coming out until it really has to and I’ll only squander a morning hunched unproductively over the laptop otherwise. Focus is so much sharper when a deadline is rushing in at high-speed like a giant wave eating up an empty beach.
And so to wine promotions, persuasive to some because they believe they’re getting a bargain (even if prices are artificially inflated to create them), persuasive to me because they appeal to that innate deadline-itis. Gotta buy it by the end of tomorrow, only got until then, only until then, tomorrow, tomorrow, after that the price goes up, the moment will be gone, get it now, now, act, click, buy.
There are lots of good wines in the Waitrose offer ending at midnight tomorrow (Tues 14th). So I opened three whites I’d liked in their tasting with friends to see how they did.
Here they are:
And here they are closer up (levels low because I pre-tasted):
Here’s how they fared, in reverse order of preference:
BRONZE: On the left, L’Atelier Miquel Vermentino 2011 France (£6.99 down from £9.99 until Tues 14th, Waitrose): an Italian grape, and I like the green, herbaceous ruffle of it in the hands of this young, French winemaker. But although it has no oak – it’s all made in clean stainless steel – it’s quite thickly-textured which is what my friends picked up on – “yeasty?” asked one, “buttery,” another.
SILVER: On the right, St Hallett Poacher’s Blend 2011 Australia (£4.99 down from £7.79 until Tues 14th, Waitrose; also £4.99 in Majestic when you buy two): three white grapes in one bottle – semillon, sauvignon blanc, riesling. Flashes of dried and fresh lime, just-squeezed lemon juice, peach and hay. There’s a quickness to this one and I mean that in more than one sense: it seems nimble and alert and feels to move swiftly through your mouth. I think: a bargain for a fiver. Really easy and bright. They thought: a bit here and then gone, yeah, good at a fiver, very, very easy to drink. But we’d rather pay more for the next one…
THE GOLDEN WINNER
Domaine Gobelsburg Gruner Veltliner 2011 Austria (£7.99 down from £9.99 until Tues 14th Aug, Waitrose) I say: Austria’s signature white grape, gruner veltliner, makes whites with glorious clarity. Classic tasting words: grapefruit, white pepper, mineral. This one in particular makes me think of light being refracted around an ice cube. It has a very light step in your mouth. The friends say: Oooooh, we really like this one – can you pour me a proper glassful? Job done.
Below, pink hydrangea, because I like them and they’re in flower at the moment.